KC Quarterbacks Have a Rough Day

It didn't matter who the Chiefs played at quarterback on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. After an embarrassing 23-8 loss at Arrowhead, Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Herm Edwards has some decisions to make.

"You've got to give the Raiders credit," he said. "They came in here and did exactly what they needed to do."

Oakland controlled both sides of the ball. Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell only managed 55 yards passing, but 300 rushing yards from Oakland's ground game helped.

Kansas City had to rely on second-year quarterback Tyler Thigpen, who filled in for an injured Damon Huard. Thigpen was ineffective, completing less than half his passes and leading just one scoring drive.

"I felt like I need to get better," said Thipgen. "I put that on my shoulders. That puts the ball on my hands, and we need to convert third downs."

Though the plan only called for Thigpen to lead a few series Sunday, he ended up playing most of the game due to Huard's injury.

"Damon came off the field," said Thigpen. "Coach Curl told me to get warmed up and that I was going in. When the coach calls the play I'm expected to make the plays."

The fact he couldn't was a large part of the problem Sunday. Thigpen, who hadn't spent much time with the receivers this week despite the fact he was slotted for some snaps, did manage to make a game of it late when he connected on a two-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion, making the score 16-8.

But after a fumble by Oakland's Michael Bush, Thigpen could not finish a drive after he drove the Chiefs into Raiders' territory late in the game. That drive ended with a diving interception by Raiders linebacker Kirk Morrison.

After the game, Gonzalez explained the play, saying he hadn't worked with Thigpen much, and didn't know the quarterback would throw the ball before his break. Next time, as Gonzalez pointed out, he'll know to look sooner for the ball.

"We just haven't done that much with Tyler," said Gonzalez. "That's how it goes, but there are no excuses. I knew he was going to get a couple of snaps. But once Damon went down, his package expanded, and that limits what we can do because we haven't had that time together."

That has to change next week, because the Chiefs don't know if Huard will play next Sunday. The veteran quarterback indicated he may have been able to re-enter the game Sunday, however.

"I'm not going to make that decision," said Huard. "Yeah I hurt my neck when the linebacker came up the middle on the screen we tried to run. You have to put it behind you, forget about it, and move on. We know that's not us. We're a better football team than that."

The one thing Huard wouldn't do after the disappointing loss was question the man in charge of the offense.

"It's something Chan (Gailey) has had success in Pittsburgh doing," said Huard. "We can make it work. We just didn't execute today."

That sentiment was shared by Edwards, who now faces the pressure of naming the right starter at quarterback for next Sunday's road trip to Atlanta.

"We didn't do it today, but we better get it fixed in a hurry," Edwards said.

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