Fully admit to being late to the party here, but I’m confused. I thought the Kansas City Chiefs actually liked Romeo Crennel. Because if they do, they sure have an awfully funny way of showing it.
Because showings such as Sunday’s general debacle in Orchard Park — Buffalo 35, Chiefs 3, garbage-time scores 14 — are the kind of matinees that tend to get NFL coaches (and general managers who hired said coaches) fired. Because this defense went after Bills backup running back C.J. Spiller like a bunch of zombies — you know, the walking dead, the dudes who eat brains — on the march. Except that zombies know better than to try that many arm tackles in the open field.
“I thought,” Crennel told reporters after his men fell to 0-2 on the season, “we would be better.”
So did we. Better than this, anyway.
You’ve built this ark on running and defense. OK, we get that. Trouble is, the first bit won’t float if the second one leaks. If the second part of the equation stinks, the first part is moot.
Guess what? The second part stinks.
Two weeks in, the Chiefs are a big red sieve, giving up 38 points a contest. Once to a feisty Atlanta squad could be considered a bad day. But Buffalo? Twice? Twice is a habit.
During Week 1, the New York Jets ran Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick ragged, picking him off three times. Sunday against the Chiefs, he became this Frankenstein combination of Tim Tebow and Ben Roethlisberger, rushing for 34 yards on four carries and throwing for 178 yards and two touchdowns.
Last week, there were caveats: no Tamba Hali, no Brandon Flowers, and a new mantra — just wait ‘til we’re at full strength! This week, Hali and Flowers suited up, and the carnage rolled on, unabated. (Mea culpa, Andy Studebaker. You, too, Jacques Reeves.) The Chiefs are running out of injuries. And excuses.
The dossier said Crennel’s players would run through a brick wall for the guy. They may run through a wall, but they didn’t seem all that interested in running through Buffalo’s offensive line.
Our man Romeo is either over-nice, over-burdened, or both. And why do linebacker Derrick Johnson and running back Jamaal Charles seem more hobbled than anybody will let on?
For months, they told us, the six-car pileup of 2011 was all Todd Haley’s fault. He was too high-strung, they whispered. Haley pushed too many buttons, too many times.
It sure beats whatever the heck Crennel is pushing right about now.
And whether on the field or in the booth, this was a team debacle, bottom to top. As we wrote after a 40-24 loss to the Falcons last week, this failure goes higher than at quarterback, or schemes, or game-planning — although all of the above leave plenty to be desired.
The 2012 Chiefs look like a failure of personnel. A patchwork of gifted individual pieces that don’t work — or don’t seem to want to work — as a whole.
General manager Scott Pioli talks a lot about finding the “right 53,” but in the process, he’s trotting out a laughable 22, a roster that’s two weeks away from a crowd full of people wearing paper bags over their heads.
And now the locals are pulling out their pocket schedules and clumps of hair, not necessarily in that order. Next up is a visit to the Superdome for a steel-cage match with a Saints team tired of reading about its 0-2 start. An angry Drew Brees meets this secondary. Sounds fun, right?
Meanwhile, the Chiefs are 0-2 for the ninth time since 2000. Think about that: nine times in 13 seasons. Between 1970-99, the Chiefs opened at 0-2 just five times. Since the NFL-AFL merger, Kansas City teams that start 0-2 went on to average 6.2 victories.
Six wins? Six?
They were supposed to be better. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice …
“I really thought we would be better and we’re not,” Crennel continued. “We’ve got to try to figure out why that is.”
Soon would be nice. When Matty Ice drops a 40 spot in your backyard, the problem is them. When Fitzpatrick drops another 35 the next week, my friend, the problem is you.