Chargers Stop Chiefs' Rally, 20-19

You have to give Herm Edwards credit for attempting a two-point conversion at the end of Sunday's game. It was the right call to make, and the Chiefs might be the best 1-8 team in the NFL. But there are no moral victories in this league and plenty of blame to go around, because this football team should not be riding a five-game losing streak.

If this Chiefs team, under this coaching staff, is going to be the long-term answer, then they'd best all get on the same page. For the third week in a row a victory was left on the table and in each loss it was the second-half coaching that let down a group of players who left it all out on the field.

Let's talk defense first. Gunther Cunningham was working with a skeleton crew, but there is no excuse for leaving Antonio Gates wide open on third down. To let him release from the line of scrimmage without any contact before putting him in the hands of two backup linebackers, two off-the-street corners and a safety that is too slow to react, is criminal.

The problem that continues to be a theme for this football team on defense is that they can't close it out. Nobody respects Gunther Cunningham more than yours truly, but I don't think KC's Cover Two defense is working whatsoever.

The Chiefs have no pass rush and a plethora of players who can't cover NFL caliber receivers due to either lack of experience, talent or injuries. In fact, even Brandon Carr looked lost Sunday.

Knowing that, the coaches have to just man up. Cunningham should have played man coverage instead of zone and just sent the house on the Chargers' game-winning touchdown drive.

Now is the time to be aggressive and create the action and the result instead of sitting back and playing it safe. Cunningham should have embodied the same gambler mentality we saw in Edwards at the end of the game.

On the other side of the ball, Chan Gailey continues to baffle me. His offense disappears in the entire second half of games until the last drive, when he's forced to spread out the offense.

In the second half Sunday, Gailey was again as conservative as it gets. He only sporadically put Thigpen in the shotgun. His play-calling on the second-to-last possession, which entailed putting the rock into the hands of Dantrell Savage on third and one was an even bigger blunder. That mistake tells me Gailey does not trust his young quarterback.

It's sad, because it appears the only one who really doesn't believe in Thigpen is the man running the offense. Thigpen is the key to this entire football team. So what if you have to pass every down? If that's what it takes to win, then you do it.

But once again, Gailey dropped the ball. As someone in the organization put it to me last week, he goes into a cocoon in the second half. It just leaves me scratching my head.

The offensive pulse of this football team begins and ends with the ball in the hands of Tyler Thigpen. For the third Sunday he didn't throw an interception, he made good decisions, and delivered clutch throws on the final drive.

When Gailey tries to outthink himself this team loses football games - eight and counting to date. If his mentality doesn't change, this team will struggle to win another game and he may be looking for another job in 2009.

Herm Edwards has his team playing their best football of the season over the last three weeks, but he, too, could be in trouble for 2009. Because of that, he's started coaching like there's no tomorrow.

That's why I think he went for it at the end of Sunday's game, and took a stand, one the entire organization could see. It's too bad his coordinators didn't show the same guts.

Four To Remember:
1. Tyler Thigpen - He's the quarterback of the future and let's hope the Chiefs can discover a running game at some point. Thigpen might be the hottest and most consistent quarterback in the AFC West over the last month. I'd take him over the other three because he has made the most of what he has to work with.

2. WR Mark Bradley - What were the Chicago Bears thinking? The Chiefs should count themselves fortunate for taking advantage of the blunder and making Bradley a permanent fixture in their offense. If you add Will Franklin to this mix and Kevin Robinson (after a complete offseason), all of a sudden the Chiefs have the makings of a scary group of wide receivers. Give Eric Price major props for developing this unit.

3. DT Glenn Dorsey - For the second week in a row, he was all over the field. Dorsey is starting to figure it out and the way he played on Sunday leads me to believe he's finally 100 percent healthy. He's breaking up double teams, clogging the middle and peeling away from his blockers to get in on tackles. Some in this town are comparing him to Ryan Sims but that couldn't be farther from the truth.

4. DS Thomas Gafford - Why this team didn't take Kendall Gammon off the sidelines and put him on the roster for the balance of the season is a mystery. After the injury to JP Darche, Gammon was in his driveway, practicing his craft, hopeful he'd get a call from his old employer. He would have gladly peeled off his headset and put his helmet back on. If Gammon had been snapping Sunday, the Chiefs win the game. Gafford's bad snap in the second quarter - a single point - was the difference between a win and a loss.

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