Harry Truman used to say the ‘Buck Stops Here’ and that’s the case on Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs travel to face the suddenly vulnerable Arizona Cardinals. At the heart of the losses, Head Coach, Andy Reid, has received much criticism in crushing defeats to the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos.
In both AFC West matchups, Reid has ignored his star running back, Jamaal Charles, and further ignored the mistakes being made in personnel groupings by his defensive coordinator, Bob Sutton. Over the past two games, neither coach has been worthy of their job titles.
Reid’s game plans in recent games have been atrocious and Sutton’s refusal to rotate his exhausted defensive line from one series to the next, have been the primary culprits in their recent divisional losses. Nose Tackle, Dontari Poe, can’t keep playing every snap. The team has veterans Vance Walker and Kevin Vickerson who has barely played in losses to the Raiders and Broncos, yet Sutton sits them.
Still Sutton’s mistakes can be somewhat overlooked but he continues to play a defense that doesn’t fit his personnel. However, the same goes for Reid on the offensive side of the ball.
His insistence on becoming a passing team at this stage of the season is mind numbingly frustrating. First, he doesn’t have the offensive line that can block sufficiently for Quarterback, Alex Smith, and secondly he doesn’t have the receivers to open up the other half of his playbook.
He has a legitimate Superstar running back at his disposal in Charles, and a capable back-up in Knile Davis, that should be touching the ball between them 40 times per game. Yet Reid wants to chuck the ball down the field with the pass and it’s causing his offense to become stale and unproductive.
In facing the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Reid has to treat this game as if it’s the playoffs. In fact, that has to be the case for the teams remaining games that follow this contest. Currently the Chiefs sit as the 7th seed in the AFC playoff race. With a win, and losses by either the Chargers or Dolphins, Kansas City moves back into a position to control its post-season destiny.
To say this game has a flair of desperation for would be grossly understated by yours truly. Lose this game and Chiefs fans can start looking toward free agency and the NFL draft next spring. Win this game and suddenly the Chiefs can regain their swagger to make a strong run into the post season.
Reid has preached for weeks now that he needs to do a better job of coaching. Well its time he backs those words up and plays to his teams’ strengths and not his weaknesses.
For his efforts to date, Reid has still done a remarkable job guiding the Chiefs to the post season a year ago and attempting to do it again this year with a flawed roster. Still he can’t outthink himself and stray away from what has proven to work in seven wins this year.
Kansas City is at its best when it runs a ball on offense and stops the run on defense. When those two items combine, the Chiefs are dynamic, tough and will win every game they play this month.
When either one of those suffer within a game, Kansas City is at best mediocre in every regard as a football team.
With the month of December in full force, the Chiefs have four games to prove their recent failures mean nothing heading into the playoff rounds in January. But to get that point, defeating the Cardinals on the road Sunday is paramount in regaining the form that brought them back from the depths of their 0-2 mark in September.
Reid has the ability to get the job done and there is enough talent on both sides of the ball to defeat the Cardinals, and run the table in games versus the Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers.
However, that won’t be the case unless they defeat the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon if the team doesn’t return to its smash mouth ways.