Time to Move On

October 11, 1987. That was the last time the Chiefs were bludgeoned as bad as they were Sunday by the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was all of eight years old. The NFL season was already in disarray after a 24-day player strike forced teams to use replacement players for three weeks.

The Chiefs went into Miami in week four with Matt Stevens at quarterback. After he left the game early with an injury, Alex Espinoza, a guy who had never taken an NFL snap, would take over on the way to a 42-0 rout by the Dolphins. Matt who? Alex what? The saving grace in that pasting was the Chiefs had a valid excuse for getting worked. So what was the excuse this time?

The correlation here besides the astounding margin of loss is the team that took the field on Sunday in Pittsburgh looked and played like a squad of replacement players.

I found me asking myself: That guy wearing #27…was he my waiter last week at TGI Friday's And #88…wasn't he my caddy at the local muni? But I don't mean to just pick on those two, as this was clearly a collective meltdown by the entire team. They were overmatched, outcoached and outplayed in every facet of the game. Head coach Herman Edwards owned up to that after the game.

"We played against a pretty good team today," he said. "They showed up, played a lot faster than us, a lot smarter and the only saving grace is it's only one game. We got beat; we got embarrassed."

He's right. It is only one game. And speaking of one game, the Chiefs are only one game off the pace I thought they would be at in this point of the season. The only game that's strayed from my prediction was the opener against Cincinnati. That means that with eleven games left on the schedule, the Chiefs need to steal a game somewhere along the line. They need to win a game they should lose.

They won't have to wait long for that opportunity as San Diego and Seattle are coming to town the next two weeks. Initially, I had the Chiefs dropping one of these games, but if the Chiefs can somehow manage to defend Arrowhead Stadium, they'll get their season back on track. And Edwards knows the importance of not dwelling on a bad loss.

"The thing you have to do now is correct it and move on to next week," said Edwards. "That's all you can do. You can't harp on it. We've got a long season left, so what we've got to do now is go back and look at the tape, correct it. Now, we've got a home game which is good – two home games – and try to get back on the right track."

To the defense's credit, I will say one thing. They didn't give up. They forced four fumbles on the day, but the Steelers were just quicker to the ball. The ineptitude of KC's offense repeatedly put the defense back on the field with very little time to rest.

The Chiefs had six consecutive three and outs on Sunday. Six straight possessions with no first downs? Are you kidding me? Somewhere, Alex Espinoza is laughing. That kind of ineffectiveness will put just about any defense in a difficult spot. Once the fatigue of Kansas City's defense became apparent, the Steelers realized they could do just about anything they desired on offense, to the tune of 372 total yards in the first half and a 31-point halftime lead.

It was one game. One very bad game. There are zero positives to be taken away from such an embarrassing defeat. Apologists will say the defense played better in second half, but a realist will say the Steelers simply took their foot off the gas.

The lone personal highlight for me was seeing Troy Polamalu finally pay the price for looking like Diana Ross. I'm still trying to figure out how that was unsportsmanlike. Having hair like that should be an automatic penalty.

San Diego comes to Arrowhead next week as arguably the best team in the AFC. If the replacements show up again, expect the same decimation seen at Heinz Field.

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