In spite of the wishful-thinking Twitter rumor started early Sunday evening, Todd "the Beard" Haley's job as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs (for now) remains in-tact.
After the Tim Tebow Show rolled through Arrowhead earlier in the day, however, the team's playoff-hopes do not.
For a team whose leader's preach consistency above all else, the Chiefs' 2011 season has been anything but. Two blowout-losses. A four-game winning streak that included a comeback victory against the league's lone winless team, a blowout road win against the division-leading Raiders, and a Monday Night miracle (with a little help from some amateur fireworks).
And now this. The Chiefs had an opportunity to enter murderer's row (at New England, vs. Pittsburgh, at Chicago, at New York Jets, vs. Green Bay) at 6-3 and atop the division. Instead, after embarrassing home-losses to the previously winless Dolphins and the Tebow-led Broncos, we're back to square-one, wondering how much time The Beard and the face behind it have left.
Sunday, Haley's Chiefs looked under-prepared for Denver's month-old option-read offense. As a result, the Broncos ran it a whopping 55 times for 244 yards despite losing its top two running backs to injuries. Tebow needed just two (TWO!) pass completions to outscore The Beard's anemic offense, which managed to end its eight-quarter long touchdown drought in the third-quarter.
But the worst part is how the team seems to be regressing in all facets of the game.
The front-seven was unable to get a push most of the day against the most one-dimensional offensive gameplan in recent memory.
The offensive-line allowed rookie Von Miller to have his way with quarterback Matt Cassel the entire game.
When given time to throw, Cassel, who left Arrrowhead with a splint on his right hand Sunday, was plagued by dropped passes and costly penalties.
And down by three with the game in doubt, the Chiefs' supposed strength, its secondary, allowed Tebow to beat them with his arm on a blown-coverage 56-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker.
The Monday Night miracle feels like ages ago.
If The Beard deserved the credit for the team's resurgence in October, he/it surely deserve the blame for this debacle.
At 4-5, the Chiefs have concerns everywhere, and they aren't going away. Cassel is lost, the play-calling is putrid, and the defense has gone completely soft. There's no guarantee Jamaal Charles or Eric Berry will come back healthy next season from season-ending injuries they each suffered in September.
Somehow, The Beard is blaming losses on "fatigue" after giving his team a pass during training camp with that very issue in mind.
Players are turning to Twitter to cover for personal on-field mistakes and criticize fans for voicing their displeasure with a team going on two decades without a playoff victory.
It's a mess. And sooner or later Scott Pioli will be forced to clean it up.
The Beard — and the face it hides — just won't last long like this.