How Bad Are The Chiefs?

The Chiefs' Week 1 game in Baltimore game was a good example of what happens when a bad team catches a few breaks (a turnover and special teams score) against a good team - a two-score loss.

Their game against Dallas was a prime example of what happens when a bad team plays a mediocre team and is fortunate enough to receive free possessions off turnovers - an overtime loss. Sunday's waste of time against the Chargers is a sterling example of what happens when a bad team turns it over three times against a mediocre team - a 37-7 snorefest.

It's probably clear the Chiefs aren't the absolute worst team in football, but it's even more abundantly evident they're in the bottom five, and will be picking in the top five of the 2010 Draft. For an optimistic fan like myself, this comes as a surprise, because I picked the Chiefs to win anywhere between six and nine games this season.

I took into account that the pass rush would be improved by the scheme, and that has proven true. I thought perhaps the additions along the offensive line - Mike Goff, Ike Ndukwe and Andy Alleman - couldn't be as bad, and surely not any worse, than their predecessors Adrian Jones and Damion McIntosh. I was wrong. I thought Matt Cassel could muster more wins than Damon Huard and Tyler Thigpen. So far, he hasn't. I, like most, thought the Chiefs would benefit from playing in a division with the putrid Raiders and Kyle Orton-led Broncos. Not so.

Yeah, I'm a little surprised the Chiefs are this bad, and for anyone who thought things were looking up after last week's triumph over the dumbfoundingly disastrous Redskins, then this week should yank you back down to Earth. The Chiefs were breaking news bad Sunday.

Dwayne Bowe dropped passes he should have caught. Matt Cassel tucked balls he should have thrown, threw balls he shouldn't have, and overthrew open targets. KC's pass rush allowed Philip Rivers to set up shop, sell all his merchandise, take a nap, and then pack up shop all before he threw the ball.

If there was one thing you could point to this season as Kansas City's weakest attribute, which is proving harder and harder to do it may be their third-down conversion rate, as it's the worst in the league. The Chiefs are wretched in total offensive yards, but there are still two teams worse. There are six teams worse in rushing production. None in third-down success.

However, after Sunday's Charger pep rally, it appeared as though the Chiefs may be worse on third-down defense than even third-down offense. The Chargers torched Kansas City twice on third downs for touchdowns, one on a three-yard pass to Vincent Jackson and another on a 58-yard completion to Darren Sproles.

The Chiefs being really bad is not an epiphany, as they've been that way all season, despite my rosy preseason prediction. Sunday's loss should kill the last bit of delusion or optimism left in Kansas City. I won't harp on the offseason mistakes made by the coaching staff and front office, because if you read my post-game stories, you already know my take on those.

Instead, I'll tell you what I'm excited about, no matter how miniscule or meaningless. I'm psyched the Chiefs have a receiver who could easily be mistaken for Tweeder from Varsity Blues. I'm looking forward to Maurice Gilberry being second on the team in sacks at the end of the season, even if it's with 2.5. I think, for those silly fans who are upset over the whole Dallas Texans thing, they might enjoy seeing the Chiefs lose every game in their legacy getup.

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