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Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Chiefs need to find answers for elite QBs

By Adam Teicher

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This fact surely won't escape Andy Reid and his coaching staff as they do their autopsy of the Kansas City Chiefs' 2013 season. It better not, because figuring it out could hold the key to their 2014 season.

Here it is: The Chiefs were 11-0 against quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert, Tony Romo, Michael Vick, Eli Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Terrelle Pryor, Case Keenum, Jason Campbell, Jeff Tuel, Robert Griffin III and Matt McGloin. They were 0-6 against Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Andrew Luck.

There's no shame in losing to those guys if you don't lose to them all the time. But an 0-6 record against those quarterbacks, all of whom are still playing this weekend, says a lot about where the Chiefs are right now.

They're good enough to get to the playoffs, but not good enough to do anything once they get there.

Go ahead, if you want, and toss out one of the San Diego games, the woulda-shoulda-coulda game at the end of the regular season when the Chiefs sat many of their starters. Even counting that game, the Chiefs turned four of those games into high-scoring affairs, scoring 38 and 24 against the Chargers, 28 against the Broncos in Kansas City and 44 against the Colts in Indianapolis on Sunday.

They got the job done in none of those games. The Chiefs have far too many good defensive players to lose games when they're scoring like that, no matter the opposing quarterback.

Something stinks here and it isn't easy to trace the smell. It is too simple to blame defensive coordinator Bob Sutton. This thing has to run deeper than that.

But it's incumbent on Reid, Sutton and rest of the staff to figure it out. The menu of quarterbacks on Kansas City's schedule next year includes Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Rivers and Peyton Manning twice each.

If they can't beat any of those quarterbacks next season, the Chiefs will be sitting out the postseason.