Where's My Football Team?

After an 0-2 start, I still believed this team would turn its season around. Five games later, with a 4-3 record and six of their next eight games at home it was easy to proclaim the Chiefs could control their fate in the AFC West.

Now I wonder if this team will win another football game this season. The fan base is eroding with each bad call from the offensive coordinator. Nearly one-third of the fans who attended Sunday's game were in their cars or in the front of their TV sets with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. There was already over four thousand no shows (the paid variety).

The defense could not get pressure on Daunte Culpepper, nor make any tackles in the red zone on Oakland's running backs. The secondary, which took a blow with the loss of Patrick Surtain, didn't play well in obvious passing situations.

But the defense, which is the hallmark of this football team, was lackluster in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter. It's a combination of talent and desire, not coaching. It's man-on-man football, and the guys in red didn't show up Sunday. Oakland's offensive line is horrible, and yet the Chiefs recorded just one sack.

They also recorded just one field goal, from a kicker who isn't getting the job done. His shaky kicking is putting too much pressure on the rest of the team. The decision to pass on Colorado kicker Mason Crosby has cost the Chiefs three potential wins (Denver, Indianapolis and Oakland).

After the game, Edwards told the media he wasn't going to put the game on his kicker's foot. Instead, he chose to give it to rookie running back Kolby Smith, who had thirty carries to that point in the game.

The logic was sound, but it's not what Edwards would have preferred. It proved to be a game-changing decision, but it didn't really matter because the defense could not stop the run in the second half.

All Edwards can do now is keep playing the young players and look forward to cleaning house at season's end. It's amazing to think the Chiefs have been in a position to win every game but the season opener. They've had multiple second-half leads, only to squander them.

That's a sign of a football team that does not have enough talent to be a division contender.

Five To Remember

1. FB Boomer Grigsby - Finally at the urging of the head coach, the Chiefs used the only true fullback they have on the roster. Though Grigsby struggled some when he had to run wide, he opened a few holes that led to Kolby Smith's 150-yard day. It's good to see Kris Wilson on the bench because he's a man without a position on this football team.

2. QB Brodie Croyle - He wasn't as sharp as he was a week ago, but made good decisions on third down. He telegraphed his only interception, and that's something he'll overcome, but on the day he had a passer rating below 60 and that's not good. Croyle was banged up today and running for his life, so it was a good learning experience for him.

3. DE Jared Allen - Where was KC's Hawaii-bound defensive end Sunday? He was manhandled today against a poor Oakland offensive line. Premier defensive ends need to make plays in every quarter, even if they only disrupt the play, but Allen disappeared for most of the game. If he wants to earn Dwight Freeney money, a higher level of play is needed throughout games. As he goes, so does the defense.

4. MLB Napoleon Harris - The Chiefs are failing to stop the run because their middle linebacker isn't getting the job done. He's been MIA in that department during this losing streak. Harris was supposed to be an upgrade from the departed Kawika Mitchell, but in the last four games they are about the same player. That's not what the Chiefs are paying him to be, and he must step up his play.

5. SS Bernard Pollard - The Chiefs are close to losing Pollard and his potential. He's having a difficult time adjusting to his increased role as a starter. It might be time to bench him in favor of Greg Wesley. Secondary coach David Gibbs should make Pollard his personal project the rest of the year so he's more prepared for 2007. If Wesley plays well his trade value may yield a decent draft pick.

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