The Kansas City Chiefs must seriously consider claiming wide-receiver Randy Moss, who was placed on waivers Monday by the Minnesota Vikings after being acquired by the team just a month prior.
Ok. Believe me, I know what you're thinking. The Chiefs are doing well. They're young. If things didn't work out, the effect on the locker room could be disasterous. Moss is too old. He's lost a step. Why risk it?
Well, first, let's consider the Chiefs' rushing attack in 2010 thus far. Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones have been absolutely dazzling in helping the league's best rushing offense through the first seven games. The team ranks first in the league in total rushing yards, averaging just over 190 yards a game, and is tied for first in yards per carry with a healthy 5.2 yards per clip. It's coming off its third consecutive game with over 200 yards on the ground, which is the first time anything like that has been accomplished since 1978.
It's been good, to say the least.
The passing attack? Well, not so much. Led by ultimate game-manager Matt Cassel, who played with Moss in New England, the Chiefs have the NFL's worst passing-offense, and that fact may never be more obvious than it was Sunday. Against the winless Buffalo Bills, Cassel completed just four total passes to actual wide receivers — three to Dwayne Bowe and one to Terrance Copper — and couldn't surpass the 100-yard plateau until midway through overtime.
The worst stat of all could be this: The Chiefs are worst in the league having completed just 14 passes of 20 or more yards this season. By comparison, the team with the league's second-best rushing offense, the Jason Campbell/Bruce Gradkowski led Oakland Raiders are tied for ninth in the league having completed 23 passes of 20 or more yards.
Now let's imagine, for a moment, that same rushing attack led by Charles and Jones, with a new-look passing attack led by Moss, Bowe, and rookie slot-receiver Dexter McCluster. Throw in impressive rookie tight end Tony Moeaki. It looks good, doesn't it?
Moss is just one player, but his presence in this offense would make a world of difference. Opposing defenses would suddenly be completely overwhelmed with the amount of weapons and mismatches the Chiefs could present them with. Bowe, virtually for the first time in his career, would no longer be smothered constantly by the opposition's most-talented cornerback.
The team, as a whole, would look much more like a group ready to win games in January.
Moss wouldn't be taking playing time from any younger, developing receivers, either, because the team simply doesn't have anyone else at the position. There's Bowe, Copper, Chris 'Where's Waldo?' Chambers, McCluster (who plays the slot — Moss' presence would effect his playing time very little, if at all), and Verron Tucker (who?).
So, in other words, there's Bowe, McCluster, and then a handful of other guys who just don't hold a candle to Moss.
And in the unlikely event that acquiring the league's greatest deep-play receiver had a negative effect on the Chiefs, the team could simply release him before things got out of hand. The price, or risk for Moss is a little less than $4 million for the rest of the season, or about what the team is paying Chambers to contribute virtually nothing.
And did I mention we could finally stop making excuses and find out, this season, what the Chiefs really have in Cassel?
The order of priority for claiming players off waivers is determined by the team's current record, with the team with the worst record having first dibs. For the Chiefs, that means they're sitting at 25th out of 32 teams. Still, this should be a no-brainer for GM Scott Pioli. Catching passes downfield is Moss' specialty. It's all he does. And as great as rushing for 274 yards in a game sounds, as the Chiefs did Sunday, the team still managed just 10 points in regulation against the lowly Bills.
At some point, they will face a team tough enough and willing enough to force Cassel to beat them downfield. Without a deep-threat like Moss, Cassel and the Chiefs won't have an answer.