Chiefs Once Again Disappoint

What the heck was that? The Kansas City Chiefs football game against the New York Giants was one of the most disappointing efforts I've seen. The defense couldn't tackle. The offense left a ton of points on the board. It was an uninspiring effort to say the least and one that signals the end of the 2005 season.

The Chiefs were flat out embarrassed. Last night's game against the Giants exposed this Chiefs team as a playoff pretender and not a team on the rise as we had come to believe. The reality is this team has been here all along. Don't get me wrong, this Kansas City Chiefs team is a good ball club. That's what makes this loss and the one to the Dallas Cowboys so unacceptable. However, we should have seen this coming. The Chiefs this season have dropped one big game after big game.

It started with a loss at home to the Philadelphia Eagles and road tilts at San Diego, Buffalo, Dallas and New York. All of these were big games, and the Chiefs dropped every one of them. We thought the Chiefs had turned the corner, but the last two losses spoke volumes about where this team really is. It also points out a consistent theme in the Dick Vermeil era. Name one ‘BIG GAME' he's one since he became Head Coach? He's blown them all.

It would be tempting to blame this loss on the defense, and they deserve their share, but the offense deserves a good helping, too. How many points did they leave on the field? Sure, this is the number one offense in yards, but gaining yards doesn't win football games, points do.

The game started out pretty well. The first quarter was hard fought and the defense did a great job of stopping the run. The defensive line helped out the secondary defender against the taller Giants receivers by getting in Giants quarterback Eli Manning's face and not letting him get good looks downfield. The trouble started when the offense could only muster three points in the first half after being stopped cold on three consecutive runs on the goal line.

The problem snowballed in the second quarter, when the Chiefs defense allowed Giants running back Tiki Barber to kick start his record setting day with a 41 yard touchdown run. At least five different Chiefs failed to tackle Barber on the play, as he romped over and around anyone in his way. Barber finished the game with a Giants record 220 rushing yards, eclipsing the old mark of 218, a record that stood for over 50 years. Wide Receiver Amani Toomer added a clutch score, fighting through a Sammy Knight tackle to take Manning's pass 31 yards in the third quarter.

The Chiefs offense produced only 17 points, just more than half the points they had been averaging over the last four games. They failed to take advantage of a depleted Giants defense that was missing two starting linebackers. Running back Larry Johnson had a big day, rushing for 167 yards and two touchdowns. It was Johnson's seventh consecutive 100 yard game, tying a Chiefs record. It's too bad, such a valiant effort was put to waste in a game the Chiefs had to win.

Despite these putrid efforts, the Chiefs can still make the playoffs, but will need help from San Diego and Pittsburgh. If Pittsburgh loses to the Minnesota Vikings today, and San Diego loses to the Indianapolis Colts, the Chiefs will still be in the thick of the playoff race. That would set up a must-win game on Christmas Eve for the Chiefs to claim a playoff spot. Given their record in must-win games this season, here's a hunch the Chiefs will find nothing but coal in their playoff stocking.

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