Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 12/4/11
There have been weeks this season when all the questions about the Chiefs' performance and their future have sounded pretty much the same. That's true now, as well, even though Todd Haley's troops somehow escaped Chicago with a 10-3 victory over the Bears. In the incredibly wise words of that old sage, Tyler Palko: "There's no such thing as a bad win." There still might be issues that need addressing, however. So on we go. KANSAS CITY 10, CHICAGO 3 1. Is the defense really this good? Well, we shouldn't expect seven sacks every week -- but yes, the Chiefs defense has become a force. Remember, though, that the Bears had backup QB Caleb Hanie out there looking confused, and they lost star running back Matt Forte in the first quarter. Nevertheless, the Chiefs were aggressive and never seemed to let events deter them from the task at hand. The maturity of rookie linebacker Justin Houston has helped, and so has a slight change in emphasis by coordinator Romeo Crennel. "Everything has become more simplified," said Pro Bowl candidate Derrick Johnson. "That means it comes down to doing your assignment and beating your man. "There isn't as much thinking. So we're better at just reacting and making plays or getting to the ball." All you need to know about the defense is that coach Todd Haley took NO chances on offense in the fourth quarter preferring to trust the defense to protect a one-touchdown lead. That's a lot of faith. 2. Will they ever score a couple of touchdowns? In fact, the offense looked considerably better Sunday against a good Chicago defense. Sure, the "Hail Mary" TD pass had some luck to it, but bear in mind that the 38-yard pass came at the end of a nice drive engineered by Palko. Palko also looked sharp on the first possession of the second half, when Ryan Succop's second field goal made it 10-3. After that, Haley chose to shut up shop and let the defense hang on. Personally, I think he could have gone for the kill shot and that the offense would have tacked on more points. Palko isn't Aaron Rodgers, by any means, but he's made major strides from his first two games. All things considered, Palko may turn out to be a decent back-up QB. 3. What about Kyle Orton? What about him? The QB who is getting 2.6 million to be the Chiefs' safety net lasted one play on Sunday, banging the index finger of his throwing hand on the helmet of Chicago's Major Wright while trying to throw a pass. After the game, Orton claimed he didn't know the status of his injury, except that Well, it hurt. "I don't know. You're going to have to ask them," Orton said, referring to the Chiefs medical staff. "Whatever the situation was, I was pretty sore." How about playing next week against the Jets? "Nah, I don't have a guess on it," Orton said. Obviously, the guy is not a doctor -- nor does he play one on TV. 4. Will they EVER vary the play calls? Apparently not. Thousands of fans, plus millions watching on TV, no doubt knew that the Chiefs would run on every first down, try a safe pass that didn't put Palko at risk on second down, then run a draw and punt. Not surprisingly, the Bears figured out that sequence, too. Wouldn't you love to see play-caller Bill Muir (or Haley, if this is his decision) fiddle around occasionally and let Palko try a play-action throw on first down? It just seems like it would be so much easier to establish some offensive rhythm and keep drives moving. One more time, gentlemen Please mix up the calls. Please. 5. Are the Chiefs back in the playoff hunt? No. Forget what Haley says. Forget what anybody says. The schedule is too difficult, they're offensively challenged and they're two games behind Oakland and Denver with just four to play. Mathematics would argue against this dream, even if the Chiefs were a juggernaut which they aren't. Do yourself a favor, and keep listening to former Saints coach Jim Mora: "Playoffs? Who said anything about playoffs?" Focus on 2012 when the Chiefs have a chance to be pretty decent.
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