It made dealing with the 20-10 defeat the Chiefs suffered at Soldier Field a lot harder than if, say, there were casinos or gentlemen's clubs every 50 miles.
My drive home did, however, provide ample time to try and figure out the ultimate fate of the 2007 Chiefs and what direction they are headed in.
Let me preface by saying the trip to Chicago was well worth the drive and Bears fans are the epitome of gracious hosts. Making the roadie ticketless and with a 27 on my chest made me wary of being price gouged, but that was hardly the case and I ended up getting in with both arms and legs.
The drive itself was worsened, however, because the Chicago sports stations seem to penetrate the air waves for 500 miles in all directions. So, while they won, it was jockey after jockey saying it was "only the Chiefs" or "only won by 10," and the dagger, "we're talking about one of the five worst teams in the league here".
But I couldn't say anything. They're right - for now.
The Chiefs aren't going to be world-beaters this year. They might not even be Raider beaters this year, but this team will get better. Two issues come to mind that might have led to this team being 2-0 instead of 0-2.
This aspect has been downright atrocious. In Houston, it seemed like the vanilla of the preseason spilled over into the real thing. The X's and O's had about as many surprises as a game of tic-tac-toe. In Chicago, the Chiefs turned up the creativity dial a little bit, but nothing to where it should be. Mix in an audible when the defense is showing nine in the box. The Chiefs need to curb their appetite for the swing pass that usually nets only three yards or a turnover – otherwise, the backs will be dropping fast.
The dagger was sheer irony, because Mike Solari actually decided to get cute on third-and-one, down by 10 in the fourth quarter. That is not the time - maybe when leading by 10. Touching on all of the bad play calling in two games would require an upgrade in memory, but finally, when facing Devin Hester, the head coach had better tell the punter, "Kick the ball out of bounds or find a new job."
Dropped passes, poor special teams, and the un-timeliest of penalties are absolutely plaguing the Chiefs right now. This is something that hasn't been so prevalent in Kansas City since the 1980's. The blame could easily be put on the shoulders of the players making the errors, but ultimately this onus lies on the coaching staff. The illegal shift on Dwayne Bowe's would-be second touchdown against the Bears prevented the Chiefs from gaining the momentum that I'm confident would have carried them to victory. I would love to know how many times they worked on that flea flicker last week.
All is certainly not lost. There are beacons of greatness on this team, starting with the defense. They did enough in both games to give the offense a chance. This week it's Herm Edwards' and Mike Solari's turn to give the offense a chance. Bowe will be as good as advertised, and it's impossible to think Larry Johnson won't begin a streak of 100-yard games soon. Damon Huard is still capable of doing enough to lead this team to victory, but I can't help but think if the Chiefs are going to be 3-13, then they might as well do it with Brodie Croyle.
This Sunday a bad Vikings team comes to town and presents the perfect opportunity for the Chiefs get things going in front of the Arrowhead faithful.
If they don't, at least I'll already be home.
The Long Drive Home
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