The joke is over. This team is no longer worth it. Three hours on Sunday for a sad, cheap laugh at the expense of the Kansas City Chiefs just seems like a ridiculous waste of time during the holiday season.
Especially when Tyler Palko, Barry Richardson, and ring-master Todd Haley are still receiving paychecks for the circus they've helped create.
It's fine if you'd rather criticize GM Scott Pioli, but the point to make here is that before the pressure shifts to the front office, the original wave of clowns hired to perform will have to be replaced.
The 37-10 debacle at the hands of the Jets Sunday is the new all-time low, even if the final score doesn't suggest it. The offense, led by Palko, could only net four total yards in the first half, and scored just one garbage-time (and hail mary-esque) touchdown in the fourth quarter after the game was decided.
The offensive-line was embarrassingly bad. Richardson was blown off the ball all day, demonstrating his best Roger Dorn-olé impression from Major League. Classy veteran center Casey Weigmann's performance was equally as bad. It's disgustingly evident Weigmann chose to retire a year too late, and his consecutive-snaps streak is handicapping the development of the roster. (Of course, this is that point in the blog where we reluctantly bring up the recently released Jared Gaither, who's now 2-0 as the San Diego Chargers' starting left-tackle, and guard Brian Waters, who was released prior the season and is having a Pro Bowl-type season blocking for Tom Brady in New England.)
Dwayne Bowe dropped passes. Tyson Jackson whiffed. Sabby Piscitelli played. Dexter McCluster flailed. The circus kept on rollin'.
But this thing proved to be an absolute meltdown on a third quarter touchdown drive by New York in-which 81 of the Jets' 90 yards were gained off Chiefs' defensive penalties. Moments after a questionable Jovan Belcher roughing-the-passer penalty extended the Jets' drive when it looked as if the Chiefs had forced a punt, Haley was tagged with an unprecedented unsportmanlike conduct penalty for an apparent heated exchange with a referee. Two more flags for defensive pass-interference followed, all but gift-wrapping the touchdown for New York.
The officials' actions on the drive symbolized a collective middle-finger from the league to Haley. I don't blame them. The holier than thou mentality he's displayed since becoming an NFL head coach hasn't gone unnoticed with officials, either. Don't think for a second they're not laughing with the rest of us when Tyler Palko runs onto an NFL field as a starting-quarterback.
More to the point, though, the drive is the most obvious evidence to-date that the team is finally mirroring Haley's personality. The immature sideline antics (like flicking offensive-coordinator Bill Muir's headset microphone last week in Chicago) and screaming matches with referees (like we saw Sunday) are just off-hand examples, but they sure resemble Le'Ron McClain's unsportsmanlike penalty for arguing with an official (which occurred on the ensuing drive following the Haley penalty), and rookie Jonathan Baldwin missing the first half of the season because of an injury that occurred during a preseason locker room scuffle with veteran Thomas Jones.
If you think the Chiefs play/act undisciplined, well, have you noticed just how undisciplined Haley coaches/acts?
Is Haley to blame for all of the team's problems? Of course not. But Pioli is safe for at least another hire. The sooner that next hire happens, the sooner we know if there's a bigger issue than the lame-duck head coach.
What we do know is the team has been absurdly inconsistent all season, and one of Haley's biggest talking-points is consistency. They aren't improving. And the offense is the worst of all, which just so happens to be Haley's background and the reason he got the job in the first place.
Sunday was a golden opportunity for Pioli to cut-loose. If it doesn't happen by Tuesday, expect Haley to last until the new year when the schedule wraps up.
Until then, enjoy the holiday season — there'll be plenty of green and red at Arrowhead next week when the Packers roll into town and show us just how far from "Super" the Chiefs still are, three years into this circus.