Monday Morning QB: Playoff Glimmer

That's more like it. On Saturday night the Chiefs took care of business by whipping the Oakland Raiders 20-9, keeping their slim playoff hopes alive. This win might not make a difference in 2006 but it did tell us something about the heart and the talent on the roster.

There is no doubt that rookie safety Jarrad Page will be in the starting lineup next season. This seventh rounder is playing like a first rounder. Against the Raiders he had two interceptions, one sack and was flying all over the field. Even more impressive was the fact he played both free and strong safety. His speed is amazing and his instincts are far beyond his NFL years.

Along with Bernard Pollard, Page represents the future in KC's secondary. On offense, one person who's future might be in limbo is quarterback Trent Green.

It was not a stellar night for Green, who was very inaccurate, completing only 12 of 24 passes. His late interception was far short of the intended target and that's been a problem since his return from a concussion.

Green is throwing off his back foot, and it's clear that the lack of protection from his offensive line is something that will factor into his decision on returning in 2007.

The Chiefs face a huge dilemma with Green this offseason. The AFC West boasts a pair of the NFL's best young quarterbacks in Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler. The Raiders, as we saw on Saturday, will be looking for one of those as well.

With an offensive line that could include four new starters in 2007, the Chiefs might want to think twice about the direction they intend to go next season. If it's truly a rebuilding year, Green might not be the man to run the show.

Green is still the best quarterback on the roster, but he could take another beating next season. At 37 years old he has to really think about retiring. Sooner or later this team has to transition to Brodie Croyle. If they wait until 2008 this team might not truly compete for an AFC West championship until 2009.

Herm Edwards has to be proud of the effort the Chiefs displayed Saturday. Outside of Oakland's first drive, the Chiefs played solid defense. It was refreshing to see Gunther Cunningham blitz from all sides against a young quarterback. It's too bad he didn't do that in losses at Cleveland and Miami.

I realize Oakland's offense is terrible, but it was nonetheless good that the Chiefs were aggressive. You have to play that way, especially on the road.

All in all this was a game that the Chiefs should have won. They'll now scoreboard watch on Sunday while the rest of us will finish up the last of the Christmas shopping.

Let's hope for a plethora of miracles on Sunday that makes next weekend's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars a meaningful one. If not, the Chiefs can take some solace that they were 4-2 in the AFC West.

Five to Bench:
1. QB Trent Green - Something just isn't right. It might be the end of the road for Green. There is no doubt his talents during the high-flying days of this Chiefs offense were underappreciated, but his failure to hit open receivers while throwing the ball short and tossing interceptions could be a sign that his best days are behind him.

2. S Greg Wesley - It just didn't seem to me that he was into the game. I think Wesley realizes that he played his last Raiders game as a Chief on Saturday night. He also saw that he lost his starting job to Jarrad Page. The young UCLA safety is a lock to replace him in 2007.

3. RB Dee Brown - He finally makes a sparkling play on offense only to have it negated by an offensive pass interference penalty. The Chiefs were forced to use him to spell Larry Johnson, but he isn't the long-term answer as a backup. With Michael Bennett suffering from a sore ankle and youngster Derrick Ross an NFL Europe season away from being a factor, Brown, like Wesley, will be looking for a new address in 2007.

4. CB Patrick Surtain - Please tell this great cornerback that it's OK to be more aggressive. I know he's been asked to play off receivers, but he can afford to be more aggressive with Page behind him. Surtain might be getting older by cornerback standards, but he can play. Kansas City's coaching staff needs to rethink this Cover Two scheme in 2007. They are wasting Surtain's talents.

5. K Lawrence Tynes - His missed field goal in the second half could have been far more important to the outcome of this football game if not for the defense. The one thing that Tynes must improve upon are his short kickoffs. That is something that must be corrected and something the Chiefs believe can be corrected before they sign him to a new contract in 2007. Top Stories