Will They Quit?

After the Chiefs lost to the Browns two weeks ago, quarterback Trent Green reported several of his teammates were feeling pretty down – almost as if depression had set in around the locker room.

Kansas City followed up that week by coming out and blowing a game at home against the Ravens. How do you think that locker room is feeling right about now? I'm guessing they could all use some Prozac.

Now is probably not the best time to raise the question, but I feel it's an important one – will the Chiefs quit?

There's a mini-history of quitting in recent Chiefs seasons. At the end of Gunther Cunninham's final year as head coach, the Chiefs came out flat and uninspired in a 29-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The 2004 Chiefs went to San Diego and got waxed by a bunch of backup players, 24-17.

I'm not saying the 2006 squad is comparable to those two other teams, but the way these last two weeks have played out, you just can't help but feel like the season is already over.

With the loss of owner Lamar Hunt, an even heavier burden weighs down these Chiefs. No one would blame them – except maybe themselves – if they came out a little flat in these last three games.

And now the Chiefs have to play perhaps the best team in the NFL – the San Diego Chargers - on the road.

San Diego has always been a tough place to play for the Chiefs. How the players react to being virtually eliminated from the playoff race will go a long way towards determining who is on the roster next year.

There are certain players like Kendrell Bell and Ryan Sims who know they most likely won't be here next year. Will they give 100 percent effort in the last three weeks? Will Herm bench these players at the first sign of disinterest in competing?

How Edwards gets the Chiefs prepared to play in these last three weeks will also determine how the fans feel about him going into next year. Support was high after the Chiefs beat Denver on Thanksgiving Night, but two consecutive losses have raised a few questions.

Will there be a third? There's already a lot of disappointment, and if the Chiefs lose to the Chargers, the apathy will obviously grow even worse.

There's no reason for the Chiefs to quit. They are still very much alive in the playoff hunt. If they can manage to run the table while the Jets lose a game, the Chiefs are in the playoffs. They're easily capable of doing that.

Winning in San Diego is a tall task, but we saw this Chiefs team beat the Chargers in Arrowhead, and without Trent Green to boot. Edwards is 4-1 lifetime against Marty Schottenheimer.

More importantly, the Chiefs have another road game against a hated rival, the Raiders. Surely they can get up for that game. If not, there is a problem. The Raiders are still a pushover and now Randy Moss is hurt.

And does anyone really believe David Garrard can win a game at Arrowhead Stadium? A sour taste will be left in the mouth of 80,000 (or more realistically, 50,000) fans if the Chiefs don't give them their money's worth in the regular season finale against Jacksonville.

But we're probably looking ahead too far at this point. Certainly the Chiefs need to be concentrating on the here and now. The season is not over, but do the players believe it?

When asked how he makes his team believe the season is not over, Edwards said:

"They'll be fine."

How do you know they'll be fine, Herm? You haven't coached the Chiefs in this sort of situation before. I'm not sure if you're going to leave the players to their own devices, but it doesn't strike me as a great idea. You've always been a good motivator. The players need a pep talk now more than ever.

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