The Chiefs can’t do it after losing Cassel

The Kansas City Chiefs need to protect their players from injuries and try again next season. It sounds negative, but it’s true. The recent loss of starting quarterback Matt Cassel for the remainder of the year, due to a hand injury, is the final straw for the Chiefs season. Losing Tony Moeaki before the season started, Eric Berry in week one and Jamaal Charles in week two have been major hits that the Chiefs have not overcome well. A four game win streak gave fans hope, but was misleading as it was the easiest part of the Chiefs’ schedule. They are about to head into the hardest five weeks possibly in franchise history. Playing the Patriots, Packers, Steelers, Bears and Jets. So far, with one of those five games left, they have won one of the games. They beat the Bears, and it was close. They had the advantage of a new quarterback, but the offensive line is so bad, he got hurt on the first play of his Chiefs career.

The fact that they have lost so many different anchors to the offense has made them seem unstable, but they have made due with what they have up to this point. The easiest loss for them to take was Jamaal Charles, because he split time with Thomas Jones anyway, and Jones is still there to play. Their offense, through extreme loss, is left with a wide receiver core and an offensive line, not a good one, but one that is not plagued by injury.

Having Tyler Palko, who is in his second season with the Chiefs, is the backup for Cassel is not going to do them any good. Palko’s inexperience and inability to handle tough situations will result in the Chiefs offensive line breaking to the superior defense of teams like the Packers, Steelers and Bears.

The Chiefs’ offensive line is one of the smallest in the NFL, and they have not played well as of late. Cassel has been sacked 22 times this season, making him one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL. If the line doesn’t protect there is no way for them to create a passing offense. The Chiefs have a strong group of wide receivers including Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston, and Jonathan Baldwin. If they had a quarterback that had time to pass the ball, they would be taking the ball up and down the field all day. If the offensive line was doing a better job, like when they had Will Shields and Willie Roaf, they could improve both our running and receiving games. Our running offense has been ineffective this year, scoring only three touchdowns yet still having the 10th best in the NFL. 10th sounds pretty good, but considering the Chiefs have always been a powerhouse for running backs having the best rushing offense last year.

The defense is a whole issue in itself. They have never been strong, but the loss of Eric Berry at safety was a huge hit. He was in his second year out of Tennessee and was a leader on the defense already. The defensive line, like the offensive line is one of the smallest in the NFL and although last year efficient at stopping the run, are no good at pass and run stopping this year. Their secondary is week and inexperienced and have not done well in breaking up passes all year.

The defense will take another hit starting this weekend. After head coach Todd Haley was fired, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel stepped in as interim head coach. This will give him less time to focus on calling the defensive plays, and could greatly affect his play calling ability.

The Chiefs are too injury-plagued and inexperienced to do anything with this season. They just need to focusing on getting all of their players healthy and ready to try again next season, and they will be able to produce. Hopefully a few great draft picks will beef up their very limited depth at key positions and something will come out of next season, maybe even a playoff birth when all of the healthy players come back, and with a new coach, this season could take a drastic turn and start off a good year for the 2012 season.