The case for hope: Kansas City Chiefs have hope, just not this season


Losing 12 games in a row is difficult to accomplish and even harder to work through. Sports with dozens of games — baseball, basketball, hockey — rarely see such losing streaks during a season. But the Kansas City Chiefs achieved this marker in professional football, where losing four in a row can cost a quarterback his starting spot and a coach his job security.

In the early part of the 2007 NFL season, Kansas City was tied for first in the AFC West division with a 4-4 record. However, the Chiefs finished the season with a total of 12 losses and the same four wins.  The less-than-mediocre team limped into the off-season and began the 2008 season with three straight losses.

Losing for that long and that often caused many fans to blame general manager Carl Peterson and head coach Herm Edwards. The coaching staff and the front office are not blameless, but in truth, there is little that could have prevented such a sorry performance.

In 2003, the Chiefs started 9-0 and seemed to have the best offense in the league. Kansas City won 13 games as well as the division title that season, but it was that team that showed just how lost the organization would become. The team relied on an aging offensive line, inconsistent veteran receivers and an elite but fading quarterback.         Eventually, the most important players in the locker room and on the field started to retire and the window of Super Bowl opportunity closed.

In 2006, the Chiefs clawed their way into the playoffs, but their run was short and difficult to watch and the team looked to 2007 as a year to prove what it could do. But it was not to be.

A young quarterback took over the team, an inexperienced offensive line protected him and a veteran running back just wasn’t himself. The only part of the team that was consistent was the defense, which had been poor for years.

The team did not transform from a playoff contender to a cellar dweller immediately and without warning — the fears of five years ago just become real. Unfortunately, a new head coach had to watch as his team changed its identity from a work of art to a work in progress.

Herm Edwards will have an efficient football unit in a few seasons, after which the team will have experience and confidence. But he and the rest of the Chiefs fans will have to suffer through some years where Kansas City and Oakland will compete for third place in the division.

So have faith and don’t give up hope, football fans. In a few seasons we will be able to party like it’s 2003 and watch a Chiefs team that will compete every week, instead of once every month.

Owen Kennedy is a senior in management. Please send comments to