Now It's Time to Worry

After the Carolina Panthers dismantled the Kansas City Chiefs 28-17 in front of another Arrowhead sellout, it's very apparent that this team has a long way to go to get back to the team then went 13-3 last season. Not only is the defense bad but the offense was equally as bad and two games into the season; the Chiefs season is on the brink of disaster.

Normally, I'm a positive person but after watching the Chiefs be unimaginative on offense for the second straight week and the defense yielding 174 yards to DeShaun Foster, Kansas City fans have to be wondering how far their team has fallen in two short weeks.

It's been said a million times on this website, on the radio and throughout the national media; the Chiefs as an organization made the decision to stand pat on the roster and now face a season with two losses opening up the season; where becoming a .500 team could be a challenge.

In the NFL you are only as good as your last game and the Chiefs have stunk for two straight weeks. That's a result of poor play, poor coaching and poor game planning. After the game, Chiefs head coach was not pleased but in the end all he could do is second guess his decisions when the Chiefs had the opportunity to make a statement in the first quarter.

Facing a short 4th and one, Vermeil elected to try a field goal instead of electing to get a first down when the offense was ramming it down the Panthers throats. Instead, once again he played it safe and the Chiefs settled for a field goal.

Late in the second half, the Chiefs had another opportunity to make a stand offensively but Vermeil once again chose the safe route and kicker Lawrence Tynes missed a 48-yard field goal that would have given the Chiefs a 13-7 lead at halftime.

It seems to me that the Chiefs head coach for all the gambling he took coming into the 2004 season with basically the same personnel that limped off the field in the playoffs against the Colts, would be more willing to put more faith in his offense.

The defense has its problems and nothing is going to change their level of play this season until the individual players step up and bye into Gunther Cunningham's defense. But the offense can't struggle and it has ion both games this season.

In the third quarter they only had four offensive plays and they failed to convert a single third down attempt. They did manage to convert one fourth down but it was little too late for this offense.

Trent Green has to play better and despite the fact that he was razor sharp in the exhibition season, the Chiefs have to be concerned that he looked as bad as he did on Sunday afternoon.

It's clear that defenses are going to stack up on the line to stop Priest Holmes and double-cover Tony Gonzalez and that means a wide receiver has to step up. That's the root of the problem on offense. Eddie Kennison went down with a pulled hamstring in the second quarter and rookie Richard Smith had to come in and he struggled to catch a single pass.

It might be and should be time for the Chiefs to swallow their pride and make a stab at trading for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Keenan McCardell. Kansas City simply does not have the numbers at receiver to be effective in the NFL.

But neither do the Panthers who came into this game starting rookie Keary Colbert who outplayed every Chiefs receiver and Muhsin Muhammad simply over-matched the Kansas City corners. For the second straight week cornerback Dexter McCleon struggled but Eric Warfield continued his strong play especially after his 43-yard interception touchdown return.

But still the Chiefs face an uncertain future that clearly puts them behind the eight-ball in the AFC West. But further it lets the rest of the NFL that Kansas City is beatable at home and that clearly has been to their advantage the last 13 games. Only the Denver Broncos have a better home record than the Chiefs since 1995 and now Kansas City has showed all of their frailties in just two games.

But give credit to the Carolina Panthers, they played a great game and they simply wanted this game more. Despite their opening season loss to the Green Bay Packers a week ago, they came into Arrowhead and outplayed the Chiefs on virtually every snap outside of the initial drive of the first quarter.

It will be interesting to see what the Chiefs do this week in preparation for the Houston Texans who come limping into the game 0-2. If the Chiefs do the unimaginable and lose next week, the organization has to completely second guess themselves by not being more aggressive in the off-season.

Most NFL teams that stand pat from one season to the next; generally fail and the Chiefs fall from grace is a much harder fall than the one they took to climb to one of the elite teams in the NFL.

It's time to make some changes and to evaluate the systems, schemes and players. Outside of McCardell there are not enough players to re-shape the roster but some younger players on both sides of the ball are going to have to grow up very fast.


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