Some teams have bad win-loss records, despite actually being quite talented (see: New Orleans Saints).
Some teams have bad records when they find themselves decimated with injuries on defense (see: Washington Redskins).
Some teams are just bad.
The Kansas City Chiefs are none of these. No, they're losing games because of generosity. What I refer to is, the twenty-nine total turnovers the Chiefs have committed so far in 2012.
They're on pace to give away the ball fifty-eight (58) times all season. That averages out to something like 3.75 PER GAME. You don't win that way. Kansas City is lucky they will not go 0-16, having caught the Saints early in the season and (inexplicably) beating them.
Incidentally, the final score of 27-24 over New Orleans is the ONLY TIME THE CHIEFS HAVE LED. Otherwise, Kansas City has been doing nothing but play catch up. Teams that play catch up all the time, end up throwing a ton of passes while running almost never.
Bad news for running back Jamaal Charles. Good news for each of the Chiefs' remaining eight opponents.
In the Chargers 31-13 win over Kansas City, there were heroes. In this game, there were zeroes. My job here, is to sort out who's-who.
Heroes of the Game:
Chiefs' Safety Eric Berry.
The 2010 first rounder suffered torn ACL last year which ended his season prematurely. Games like these show that he is well on the road to recovery.
I chose him as a hero because, if not for his interception of Philip Rivers in the end zone, plus his six tackles and pass breakups, San Diego easily would have put 40+ points on Kansas City.
Berry helped salvage the dignity of the Chiefs by playing his heart out.
Philip Rivers, Chargers quarterback.
In completing 18 of 20 passes, Rivers joined elite company. His completion percentage of 90.0 tied him with Steve Young for fifth best single game completion percentage (minimum 20 attempts) all time.
Rivers remembered how to play quarterback on an elite level, against a team the Chargers HAD to beat.
TIE: Dexter McCluster, Jarret Johnson and Shaun Phillips.
Because of McCluster's "pick six", Johnson's sack and Phillips fumble recovery in the Chiefs endzone, San Diego was able to slam the door shut on Kansas City. The three defenders' plays led to 14 points by the Chargers in just over two minutes.
Zeroes of the Game:
Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel.
Coach, listen, you have an elite-level running back in Jamaal Charles. He is capable of toting the rock 25 or more times in a game, and is able to break off long, momentum shifting runs as well.
Yes, I know, San Diego has the second best rush defense in the league. However, by only giving Charles twelve carries, which added up to thirty-nine yards, you were putting too much pressure on quarterback Matt Cassel. Not to mention that, elite runners find ways to have good games even when playing stout run defenses.
Quarterback Matt Cassel.
I know Cassel is astoundingly overrated and always has been. I know that the success he had in 2008 taking over in New England for Tom Brady was because, well, the Patriots are a well-oiled machine.
And I know Kansas City certainly is not. Cassel gave up two touchdowns personally, one on an interception that was returned all the way, the other when he fumbled following a sack in his own end zone.
Matt, sometimes you have to just get rid of the ball. Safely. But when you try too hard to make something happen, you suddenly see your opponent has fourteen more points than the last time you checked the scoreboard.
The Chargers have a bye next week, while the Chiefs play the Steelers next Monday Night. That's not meant as a "direct" zero, but it's worth mentioning that we, as the national football audience, are being subjected to Chiefs football in primetime two weeks in a row.