The Kansas City Chiefs defense showed up for their prime time game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unfortunately, the offense didn’t. Tyler Palko was terrible, the offensive line was bad and Todd Haley’s coaching was awful.
Meanwhile, even after being put in a terrible position by the offense on several occasions, the Chiefs defense held the Steelers to 13 points. Tamba Hali has shown that he was not a one-year wonder, but a player that took a little bit of time to develop into an elite defensive threat. In the secondary, Brandon Flowers may be the most underrated cornerback in the NFL, while the rest of the defense played a great game with solid contributions all around.
The exact opposite can be said of the Chiefs offense. Palko looked like a player that had virtually never taken a snap in the NFL before. He finished the night going 18 for 28, mostly on very short passes and totaled just 167 yards. What was even more atrocious were the three interceptions that he threw—at least one of them looked like he was throwing the ball directly at the Pittsburgh defender. Then, on the final interception and final play of the game for the Chiefs, there were at least four or five defensive backs in the vicinity as he lofted the ball in the general direction of Dwayne Bowe. Oh, yeah. He lost a fumble, too.
The Chiefs running backs were led by Thomas Jones, who carried the ball 13 times for 38 yards, also known as 2.8 yards per carry. However, he was being the veteran leader that he was supposed to be. The Chiefs as a whole averaged only 2.6 yards per carry for the game. The longest run that the Chiefs had was nine yards. The “explosive” Dexter McCluster led the team with 3.1 yards per carry.
To make matters worse, Todd Haley has apparently completely forgotten how to coach. There were lots of errors throughout the game, but the final three minutes were inexplicably stupid. The Chiefs had just converted a third down, but Baldwin had failed to get out of bounds. The Chiefs got one more play off before the two minute warning, but only because they ran Jones up the middle for a four-yard gain. That is completely unacceptable under any circumstance, but especially when the team still has all three of their timeouts.
The poor decisions continued after Bowe caught a nine-yard pass on fourth-and-seven, when the team decided to hurry up to the line and run a very poorly executed play. In addition to using time that they didn’t have to spare, they wasted a first down and the momentum that they had built with the fourth-down conversion on the play before.
Three plays later, the game was over. The Chiefs defense deserves a lot of credit for playing hard while not getting any help from the offense. However, it must feel like a punch in the stomach to play that well and that hard and have nothing to show for it at the end of the day except for the ranting of some guy watching the game on T.V.