Croyle Era Begins in KC

With the AFC West on the line and a chance to effectively end Denver's season, the Chiefs played another poor offensive game and lost to the Broncos, 27-11.

This game, I'm afraid, is on the coaching staff. The move to put Brodie Croyle in the game should have come after Damon Huard's first interception, but failing that, Huard should never have returned to the huddle after the second quarter.

Huard's struggles aside, the Chiefs wide receivers weren't able to take advantage of some soft coverage and once again Huard could not throw the ball to the middle of the field. His interception and fumble on consecutive snaps gave Denver 14 points in less than 10 seconds.

Herm Edwards, for all his patience with Huard, in hindsight should have probably made Croyle the starter Sunday. The Chiefs were only a .500 team with Huard and weren't going anywhere on offense.

But even with that a win against the Broncos wasn't guaranteed. Kansas City had opportunities in the first half to take care of business and put the Broncos in a position where they would have been climbing uphill.

Instead, the water-cooler talk today will be focused on which player might be available when the Chiefs are on the clock next April.

With a slew of potential playoff teams on the horizon, this team needs to forget any thoughts about winning the division and instead focus on the players who will make up the 2008 roster. That means sitting veterans and playing the kids. This entire organization needs to take their lumps on the field and gear everything towards next September.

Either way, the playoffs look like a pipe dream right now, and that's a shame because even another post-season loss would have been a valuable experience for the youth on this team.

Five to Remember


1. QB Damon Huard - It was a good ride, to say the least. Huard's demise boiled down to the fact he didn't play in 2007 as he did in 2006. I still maintain that if he had started last season's playoff game, he might have done enough to win, but the writing was on the wall this season as he struggled to get the team in the end zone with any consistency. He's a good guy and a warrior, but his reign as the starter in Kansas City is over unless Croyle goes down.

2. RB Priest Holmes - It was an OK day for Holmes who showed he could carry the ball 20 times, but he wasn't that effective. His best runs came on the strength of his own moves, not any great blocking by his offensive line. I was surprised he was given so many touches, but nonetheless, he's back.

3. DE Tamba Hali - Where has last year's first-round pick gone? He's missing in action from the pass rush, and with the Broncos triple-teaming defensive end Jared Allen, the former Penn State standout needs to show up. He was caught several times on the bootleg Sunday and that's not good news for this defense. In the second half the pass rush disappeared, and Hali also didn't do a good job preventing rookie running back Selvin Young from his cutback runs because he was being suckered into the middle of the play instead of staying home.

4. G Rudy Niswanger - Played quite a bit Sunday and should get the starting nod next week in Indianapolis. John Welbourn isn't getting the job done. Niswanger gives the Chiefs a more physical presence at right guard. Granted, he's still raw, but he's one of the answers next year as the Chiefs will be looking to add three new starters along the offensive line through free agency and the draft.

5. KR Eddie Drummond - No explanation needed. The Chiefs need to find Justin Phinnisee, who looked outstanding in preseason, and hand him the return duties.

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