The Chiefs had built momentum during a four-game winning streak earlier this season, but the 0-7 Miami Dolphins sucked what little life was left from this team and it's fan base.
Even with the lopsided losses and ineffectiveness in all three aspects of the game, the Chiefs could at least keep the interest of their fans if they were competitive. The problem is not simply that this team is losing, it's the way they are getting utterly dominated by bad football teams. With that kind of backpedaling, the fans in Kansas City are starting to smell blood and somebody will soon pay the price.
The obvious scapegoat would be head coach Todd Haley but I don't see a change being made on that front without general manager Scott Pioli letting the dust settle. Pioli is not the type to make knee-jerk reactions. But he may start feeling pressure from his boss, Clark Hunt.
Hunt cut his teeth as an NFL owner when his father, Lamar, headed a team that won more regular-season games than any other franchise in the 90s. He saw how Kansas City would support this franchise as long as they were rewarded with a competitive product. Slowly, however, he has watched teams like Sporting KC build interest around a town that was once solely dedicated to his father's football team.
After spending millions in stadium renovations, Hunt is financially and emotionally invested in this city. But without the loyalty he witnessed from Chiefs fans under his father's watch, Hunt is starting to feel the downside of being an NFL owner.
After getting embarrassed again Sunday by the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos, the interest in this team is at an all-time low and is not likely to change based on the product on the field. For better or for worse, Pioli or Hunt need to send a message to their fan base that the current losing mentality is not acceptable.
It's not time for Pioli to pull the trigger on Haley, but standing pat and doing nothing in terms of personnel will drive a larger wedge between this franchise and its fan base. So who is qualified to be the scapegoat? In my eyes there are several players and coaches that would be candidates for demotion or outright release.
At the top of that list would be offensive coordinator Bill Muir, who was set up for failure dating all the way back to the release/resignation of former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis in 2010. Muir was a formidable offensive line coach last season but was promoted to coordinator by default. No indication has been given as to how the play calling duties are defined and the dysfunction has translated to some of the worst offensive play calling we've ever seen in Kansas City or the NFL for that matter.
When a team struggles to this degree no coach or player is safe from dismissal. You could easily point the finger at the offensive line (or their position coach, Muir), as well as quarterback Matt Cassel. But this defense is not without blame, either. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has a get-out-of-jail-free card after losing safety Eric Berry, but we are way beyond the point of excuses. Criticism of Crennel is well deserved.
So who pays the price this week is ultimately up to the men in charge but something needs to be done before this fan base gives up on this team all together. With high ticket prices, parking fees, and inflated concession prices, there is not a much motivation for football fans in Kansas City to spend their money at the stadium.
But this is a loyal fan base and they will invest in the team they have adored for decades. They just need to know that the team leaders share the same dedication to excellence. That message can only be sent by winning or heads rolling. After the last two weeks, and an upcoming trip to New England, it is hard to see the former happening anytime soon.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Should heads roll?
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