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Cheifs Chatter

Take a Memo:

Third and three call blew it

Posted 10-14-02

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

With 2:35 left in the game, the Chiefs brain trust made the decision to put the game in the hands of Greg Robinson’s “TURNSTLIE” defense.

The Chiefs injured one-legged QB led the team downfield and instead of allowing him to attempt to make a play, they decided to run yet another sweep on 3rd and 3. It failed as it had all day. The team then passed it over to the injured one-legged automatic kicker, who booted a 43-yard FG to give the Chiefs a 6-point lead.

There was absolutely no way the 3-0-8 “TURNSTILE” defense could stop anyone, let alone the Chargers offense who had dominated the Chiefs all day long. The only hope the Chiefs would have is if the Chargers scored quickly and the potent KC offense could take the field again with a little bit of time left.

Due to inept time management by the Chiefs coaching staff, the Chiefs offense wouldn't see the ball again until 10 seconds remained in the game. Game and clock mismanagement are at the top of the list of an incredibly full pad.

Take A Memo:

—On the Chargers game winning drive, Tim Dwight caught the ball at the 2-yard line with 1:03 left in the game. It was obvious the TURNSTILE defense couldn’t make a stop and the Chiefs had one timeout left. The Chiefs should have used it. The only hope for a win was to get the ball back to the offense with at least 35 seconds left. The coaches didn’t use that timeout and the clock kept ticking.

—Marty Schottenheimer and the Chargers were so confident that the TURNSTILE defense couldn’t make the stop they huddled up and giggled, and didn’t take a snap until 25 ticks were left on the clock.

—Two plays later, the Bolts toasted cornerback (and I use that term loosely) Eric Torchfield for the fifth San Diego TD of the game. Game over.

—Cornerback William the Burnee doesn’t belong on an NFL field. He looked completely confused on the field, and it was amplified on the Chargers last drive.

—For those just checking in, Defensive guru Greg Robinson calls one of his anemic defenses the 3-0-8 spinner defense. I renamed it to the 3-0-8 TURNSTILE defense as opponents merely pass through on their way to chunks of yardage, and lots of touchdowns.

—The Chiefs blitzes don’t work because the defense is so slow. The blitzing defenders come untouched many times but are so slow that they arrive at the QB too late to disrupt the play.

—HELP WANTED: Several cornerbacks who will at least defend a couple of passes a game. Bring shoes and shorts and apply at One Arrowhead Drive.

—Shaunard Harts and Scott Fujita played well on the defense, other than that this defense can’t tackle, can’t stop the run, and can’t stop the pass. Is there any more to say about Greg Robinson‘s TURNSTILE defense? Nothing that can be printed here.


—Is Marc Boerigter for real as a wideout? All he’s done when he has been on the field as a wide receiver is make plays. He now has 5 catches for 136 yards and 2 TD’s in very limited action.

—Trent Green showed once again that he has guts, playing the entire second half on one leg. Taking the ball out of his hands on 3rd and 3 late in the game was a mistake. Instead of a sweep to Holmes how about a short pass to Holmes? Or Gonzo? Or Boerigter? Or Richardson?

—There are now so many offensive weapons it seems as if it will be difficult for any team to take them all away in any one game. Unless it is 3rd and 3 in the fourth quarter, and the play call takes the plethora of weapons away.

—That coaching mistake caused the 4th quarter magic streak to end as the Chargers outscored the Chiefs 21-10 in the 4th quarter.

—<Sarcasm on> Priest Holmes had an off game; he only had 159 total yards and 1 TD. <Sarcasm off>


—A golden opportunity wasted by this loss, but this offense is still a blast to watch. They continue to develop offensive weapons, and Trent Green is maturing with each snap.

—But this is the kind of loss that can stay with a team for a while. And no matter what record this team finishes with for the season, this is a huge “what if?” game. The 3-3 Chiefs are an adequate defense away from being 5-1, and it can’t change this season.

—The older, slower defensive personnel and coordinator dictate that unless the Chiefs offense gets the ball in the 4th quarter with more than 10 seconds remaining, the Chiefs can’t count on any defensive stops.

—This has been obvious since the beginning of the season, and still nothing has been done about it. And that’s an embarrassment.

(CK Rairden can be reached by email at