Wesley Knows Chiefs Had Their Chances in 2005

One look at Kansas City Chiefs safety Greg Wesley's face said it all after the Chiefs 37-3 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday in Dick Vermeil's swan song as an NFL head coach.

The Chiefs missed an opportunity for something special. Of the Vermeil era, his final season is probably the most disappointing of his illustrious coaching career.

Realistically, the 2003 squad, as dominant as it was offensively, wasn't good enough defensively to get it done. We saw signs throughout that season, although the Chiefs won nine games in a row before finishing 13-3. This 10-6 Chiefs team is a much better bunch than that group.

Wesley, who played his finest season since entering the league, is well aware the squandered opportunity this season represents. If the Chiefs had won one more game, they would be in the playoffs, preparing to travel to Cincinnati or New England. Instead they'll be watching the playoffs on the television, thinking about what could have been.

"It's disappointing," Wesley said. "Especially knowing the team we had here, and knowing we didn't take care of business early. There were some games we gave away that we should have won, but that's a part of it. You got to take care of business, and take care of the teams you're supposed to take care of. We fell short, and it's disappointing."

This Chiefs team shouldn't be sitting on the sidelines for the playoffs. They just blew out the one of the top seeded AFC teams. A division champion. Starting quarterback out or not, the Cincinnati Bengals are a good team. The Chiefs pounded them relentlessly, offensively and defensively. This Chiefs team could match up well with any of the teams in the playoffs, including the feared Colts.

"We could beat any team in there," Wesley said. "It's not even a question, and it's disappointing that we didn't get that opportunity, and we came so short. Just one game short."

One game short. Had the Chiefs not dropped the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Buffalo Bills or the Dallas Cowboys, all winnable games, the Chiefs would be in the playoffs today. It could even be said that it boils down to three points; the number the Chiefs needed in the final seconds of the Cowboys' game to tie. Three points and the Chiefs go to overtime with an opportunity to get the last victory needed to secure a playoff spot.

This season started with so much promise. For it to end with a Chiefs team well above .500 missing the playoffs, is frustrating to say the least, but this team controlled its own destiny, and just didn't get it done. There's a bittersweet feel to the final game of the Chiefs 2005 season and Dick Vermeil's tenure as head coach. The Chiefs played as hard as they'd played all season, and closed the season with a dominating win.

"Everyone wanted to come out to play and dedicate that last game to him," Wesley said. "He's a great guy. He's a caring guy, and it's sincere, there isn't any faking with him. He's a special guy and we're going to miss him."

Now Wesley and his teammates will be waiting to see who the next head coach might be and how he'll get this team to play to their potential in 2006.

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