I’m not going to rehash the debacle in Buffalo today. You can read my live thoughts as it unfolded by clicking here.
I’m not going to unload after two humiliating losses, one of which was to Buffalo, for the second straight year either, like I did last year. It’s pointless. Either these guys get their shit together over the next month and salvage the season (like last year), or hopefully we get one happy moment of celebration over Thanksgiving that at least makes this season swallowable (like in 2008 … 2008 … 2008 …)
I’m also not going to call for Romeo Crennel’s head, mainly because we all know it ain’t gonna happen. Teams don’t fire a head coach five games into his tenure, no matter how justified that firing is. (And if ever in the history of sports, a head coach could be fired with cause for on-field performance not even six games into his tenure? It’s Romeo Crennel.)
Instead, I want to focus on the single biggest problem this team has, and to be fair, it’s not a recent issue – it’s a franchise history long issue. And it’s this:
In the 53 year history of the Texans / Chiefs franchise, they have NEVER drafted a quarterback who could even be considered “almost elite”, let alone franchise caliber. Hell, I’ll put it even more simply than that – in the 53 year history of the franchise, we have NEVER drafted a quarterback who has won a playoff game for us.
I mean, how does that happen? How in the hell do you go 53 years without lucking out at least once at the position?
The answer? Simple. Piss poor draft decisions.
I’m going to go back and look at the last eight drafts, from 2005 to present, to highlight eight huge f*ck ups the Chiefs have made, f*ck ups that have cost them a franchise-caliber quarterback. (Seems fitting – one screw up a year, on average.)
In some cases, the f*ck ups are glaring. In others? Reasonable minds can debate how bad a decision it was. But in my opinion, these are ALL glaring screw-ups that have the Chiefs squarely where they are today: the worst team in professional football, and nobody else is even close.
(Also, why only eight years back? Because entering 2005, you could reasonably assume Trent Green had two solid years left, and Todd Collins was a capable backup, so that was the first time since 2000 that the top two spots were within a year or so of needing replacements.)
Here we go. For the purposes of this exercise, I ONLY considered players picked after the Chiefs selection, in the same round. If the Chiefs took Tyson Jackson 3rd in 2009, and some elite QB went 205th? Not applicable.
* Round One (Pick 15): Chiefs select LB Derrick Johnson, Texas.
* QB Passed On: Aaron Rodgers, Cal (picked 25th by Green Bay).
* Rationale: of ALL the screw-ups about to appear, this is the MOTHER of all of them. I am rarely right when it comes to the draft, but when I am? I am GOLDEN. “The Voice of Reason” and I infamously screamed at each other for fifteen straight minutes entering this pick. I wanted Rodgers, he wanted DJ. We nearly came to blows, the argument was so heated.
* Rate of Screw-Up: 9 out of 10. DJ has had a solid, Pro Bowl career. Aaron Rodgers stepped into an impossible situation, replaced a future Hall of Famer, and won a Super Bowl within three years of earning the starting job.
* Round 7 (Pick 238): Chiefs select OT Jeremy Parquet, Southern Miss
* QB Passed On: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard (picked 250th by St. Louis).
* Rationale: the Chiefs actually selected a QB in the seventh round in 2005: James Kilian of Tulsa (pick 229). Obviously the 7th round is a crapshoot, and you don’t expect to get anything better than a stud special teamer out of the pick. Which makes whiffing on Kilian, while Ryan Fitzpatrick has whipped our asses to the tune of 76-24 the last two seasons, really glaring.
* Rate of Screw-Up: 4 out of 10. It’s the 7th round, I can’t be too harsh. But still, clearly the Chiefs gambled on the wrong 7th round project.
* Round One (Pick 6): Chiefs select Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU. Or
* Round One (Pick 15): Chiefs select Branden Albert, OT, Virginia.
* QB Passed On: Joe Flacco (picked 18th by Baltimore).
* Rationale: You don’t take Flacco at 6 … but at 15? What would you rather have – a quarterback who’s 4 for 4 in making the playoffs, has won at least once every time he’s gotten there, and was a botched 23 yard field goal attempt away from playing in the Super Bowl earlier this year … or an offensive tackle who had to switch sides of the line because he couldn’t handle the pass rush, and still hasn’t developed into a player worth a mid-first round pick? Yeah.
* Rate of Screw-Up: 9 out of 10. Especially glaring given what the Chiefs QB situation entering 2008 was (Brodie Croyle, a washed up Damon Huard, and Tyler Thigpen), and given that 2008 was an all-out rebuilding year. In hindsight, selecting Albert over Flacco is a fireable offense. To the surprise of noone, GM Carl Peterson was fired seven months after this draft.
* Round One (Pick 3): Chiefs select Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU.
* QB Passed On: Mark Sanchez (picked 5th by the New York Jets); Josh Freeman (picked 17th by Tampa Bay).
* Rationale: Freeman would have been a reach at 3 … but defend taking Tyson Jackson over Mark Sanchez? Seriously, defend it! Rip Sanchez all you want – he’s 4-2 in the postseason in three chances to get there. That’s four more playoff victories than the Chiefs have had, in the last 19 seasons. Furthermore, all four wins have been on the road, all of them in tough venues (Indy, New England), or against division champs (Cincy, San Diego). This is the one indefensible blunder of the Pioli era so far.
* Rate of Screw-Up: 10 out of 10. At the time, I railed against passing on Sanchez for Jackson. in hindsight, it’s a fireable offense.
* Round Five (Pick 142): Chiefs select Cameron Sheffield, DE, Troy.
* QB Passed On: John Skelton (picked 155th by Arizona).
* Rationale: I’m not saying Skelton’s great … but ask yourself this, Chiefs fans – if Matt Cassel can get down 35-3 and do nothing positive, and basically take a dive anytime a defender comes within 10 feet of him by midway through the third quarter, and STILL isn’t benched? Then how sh*tty has Brady Quinn got to be? Again, Skelton ain’t great … but he closed 7-1 last year, won Arizona’s opener this year, and is frankly better than anything we currently have on the roster.
* Rate of Screw-Up: 8 out of 10. Sheffield has been a massive waste of a roster spot. Skelton is better than any QB currently on the roster. The fact that, at best, this is only the THIRD WORST draft whiff regarding the QB position of the last eight years by the Chiefs? That’s vomit-inducing.
* Round Three (Pick 70): Chiefs select Justin Houston, LB, Georgia.
* QB Passed On: Ryan Mallett (picked 75th by New England).
* Rationale: I’m not letting this one go. As decent as Justin Houston as looked, and let’s not go overboard here, at best he’s been decent … if Mallett is on the roster right now? There’s at least a reason to look forward to the next fifteen weeks – namely, to see if Mallett is “the guy”.
* Rate of Screw-Up: 2 of 10. I am still pissed we didn’t draft Mallett … but to this point, Houston has outplayed him. Then again, it’s not like Mallett has a five-time Super Bowl quarterback starting in front of him.
* Round Five (Pick 135): Chiefs select Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa.
* QB Passed On: TJ Yates (picked 152nd by Houston).
* Rationale: (stevo sighing in disgust …) TJ Yates won a damned playoff game last year! Ricky Stanzi is so shitty, so awful, he can’t even make the active roster on gameday! Which one would YOU rather have?
* Rate of Screw-Up: 10 out of 10. I get the fifth round is a reach. But at some point? You HAVE to hit on the reaches, or else you wind up where the Chiefs are – the worst team in the league after two weeks of play.
* Round Three (Pick 74): Chiefs select Donald Stephenson, OT, Oklahoma.
* QB Passed On: Russell Wilson (picked 75th by Seattle.)
* Rationale: do you realize Russell Wilson has already won more games in TWO WEEKS, than ANY Chiefs draft pick at quarterback in TWENTY FIVE YEARS?!?!?!?!?! No, really – NO Chiefs draft pick has won a game at quarterback since 19 f*cking 87!
No, really, here’s your trivia question that will drive you bat shit crazy for the night: name the last Chiefs drafted QB to win a game as a Chief? I gave you 1987. I’ll give you a second to guess which of the four games we won in 1987, that Todd Blackledge won.
And … time.
It was week one, in San Diego.
Meaning that since then, we have literally played TWENTY FIVE COMPLETE SEASONS without a drafted QB winning a game. That … that’s a damned near perfect way to end.
*Rate of Screw Job: 1000 out of 10. Again, Russell Wilson, who went ONE PICK after a guy who can’t get on the field, has already won more games in TWO WEEKS than EVERY QB THE CHIEFS HAVE DRAFTED IN TWENTY FIVE YEARS!
Chiefs fans? It's simple. We HAVE to get a franchise quarterback. You don't need a competent head coach to win a Lombardi -- ask the Cowboys. You don't even need a competent head coach to get a shot at the Lombardi -- ask the raiders.
But you DON'T get a shot at the Lombardi without a franchise, or damned near franchise, quarterback under center. You don't have to take said franchise guy in the first round. But you HAVE to take him SOMEWHERE! Something the Chiefs haven't done in the history of the franchise ...