This season has been an unmitigated disaster for the Kansas City Chiefs. Picked by some to be a dark-horse playoff contender at the beginning of the season, the Chiefs have slumped to a dismal 2-12 mark heading into this week's game against the Indianapolis Colts.
A season ago, the Chiefs endured debilitating injuries to key personnel, losing star running back Jamaal Charles, quarterback Matt Cassel and defensive leader, safety Eric Berry. The team fired head coach Todd Haley and replaced him with defensive coordinator and former Cleveland head coach, Romeo Crennel. The Chiefs finished strong, handing Green Bay its only loss of the season and nearly made the playoffs in the lackluster AFC West. With everyone back, some thought the division was winnable for Kansas City.
Matt Cassel struggled, however, and was booed by home fans after getting knocked out of an early season game against Baltimore. Cassel was permanently replaced by Brady Quinn after the Chiefs started 1-7. Quinn hasn't fared much better, going 1-5 in his six starts.
Three weeks ago, tragedy struck the Chiefs when linebacker Jovan Belcher committed suicide at the team's practice facility in the presence of Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli. The Chiefs won an emotion-filled contest the following day against Carolina, but have managed only one touchdown in their last two games against Cleveland and Oakland. Excepting the Carolina game, the Chiefs have scored fewer than 10 points in each of Quinn's starts.
Jamaal Charles is doing his part. The diminutive back is over 1000 yards for the season and averaging a healthy 4.9 yards per carry. His four fumbles haven't helped matter though. One time Madden cover-boy Peyton Hillis has been disappointing averaging only 3.1 yards per carry in limited duty.
It's the turnovers that have been most costly to the Chiefs. They have a -22 turnover deficit, tied for last in the league with Philadelphia. This has led to a league worst offensive output of only 13 points per game.
This anemic offense has spoiled a pretty good effort from a young and improving Chiefs' defense. The Chiefs have surrendered six non-offensive touchdowns. The lack of offense has worn down a Chiefs' run defense which has held opponents under 100 yards only four times this season.
The Chiefs are simply playing out the string on what has been a very disappointing season. Still, Colts fans can remember how the Colts responded at the end of their own dismal season a year ago. Needing a victory to lock up a playoff berth, the Colts can ill afford to take the Chiefs lightly.
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