The Chargers were driving towards the end-zone and Chiefs fans still in attendance were working their way out of the stadium disappointed and fatigued. The Chiefs held the lead for most of the contest but due to several turnovers and inexcusable third-down conversions by the Chargers, the Chiefs seemed to be doomed.
But with two loud pops, a few sparkles from the parking lot and a San Diego botched snap later, the Chiefs were driving in overtime to kick game-winning field goal.
The truth is that it never should have come down to such a fortunate turn of events. The Chiefs' defense held up their end of the bargain, but KC's offense was sporadic.
The Chiefs started the game spreading the Chargers' defense out, getting rookie Jonathan Baldwin introduced early. They failed to keep that aggressive style. Instead, Todd Haley and the rest of the offensive coaching staff regressed back to the head-scratching conservative philosophy that frustrates fans and players.
On multiple occasions, offensive players like Matt Cassel, Branden Albert, and Le'Ron McClain were visibly upset with the play calling. Who could blame them?
The Chiefs have some firepower at their receiver position with Baldwin, Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston but seem reluctant to utilize their strengths. Even on crucial third downs and game-shifting drives, Bowe was inexplicably standing behind Haley on the sideline.
For the Chiefs to make it to where they ultimately want to be this offensive coaching staff has to open things up. If nothing else, if this team wants Arrowhead to continue to be an advantage, they have to show more aggression on the field.
At the end of the second quarter with the crowd making an impact in the game, the Chiefs received the ball back with just under two minutes left. With his squad up by 10 points, Haley again opted for the conservative approach and handed the ball off twice to running back Thomas Jones and the boos rained down from the Arrowhead faithful.
In a game that ended up going into overtime, Haley persistence in keeping his offense grounded almost came back to haunt him. Considering that last week's game in Oakland saw a first half that ended with points left on the field, this was almost an unforgivable sin.
If Cassel is the reason for Haley's reluctance to open up his offense, then a change needs to be made. If Cassel is what Haley keeps saying he is - a good quarterback - then this offensive coaching staff needs to grow a pair. Fortunately for the Chiefs, some clever pyromaniacs took a chance this coaching staff is unwilling too.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Are the Chiefs too conservative?
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