Bad News Chiefs Return In 43-14 Loss

Sometimes you need to take a couple of steps back before you can go forward. If that's the case, let's hope Sunday's lopsided 43-14 loss in San Diego was a crack in the road and not a crater in the Chiefs' rebuilding program.

We could recap this game in a variety of ways but it was obvious the Chiefs lost because they turned the ball over three times, leading to 21 San Diego points, and could not cover Antonio Gates.

It's a disappointing loss because Kansas City had built a nice two-game winning streak and most did not foresee a blowout Sunday. It was supposed to be a close game and when the Chiefs tied the score at seven early in the second quarter, some had an upset on their mind.

But Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers toyed with the Chiefs' weak secondary, picking them apart for a pair of touchdowns to Gates and completing 21 of 28 passes for 317 yards. It was the second time this season the Chargers have wiped the floor with the Chiefs in the passing game.

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel was anything but sharp, and missed several open receivers again. He was 19 of 31 for 178 yards and that's not good enough for the Chiefs, especially when they need him to raise the offense to a new level of productivity. After his best week as a Chief a week ago against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cassel looked like a backup in San Diego.

He hasn't begun to justify his contract this season. At some point he needs to play a game where he completes 70 percent of his passes and is consistent from drive to drive. He looked uncomfortable all day in the pocket against the Chargers, and while he did a nice job of stepping up to avoid pressure, he lofted a lot of poorly-thrown balls.

His mechanics are still questionable. At times he opens up his hand and the ball sails – Cassel tries to place the ball instead of throwing it. He was better against the Steelers but against the Chargers, Cassel was all over the place with his release.

Long term, Cassel may be the answer, but the Chiefs need to add someone like soon-to-be-fired Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis to their coaching staff. Weis was instrumental in developing Tom Brady in New England.

Defensively, the Chiefs did a good job stopping the run, as San Diego's longest gain was just 12 yards. That's a good sign, but it's hard to take any more positives from this game other than the fact backup quarterback Brodie Croyle saw some action, his first since the season opener.

Next week the Chiefs face the Denver Broncos at home, the first of three straight games at Arrowhead Stadium. They need to get back in the win column and play like they did against Oakland and Pittsburgh.

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