ESPN broke down the worst seasons for each of the 32 NFL franchises. It should come as no surprise that 2012 topped the list for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Kansas City Chiefs have had plenty of bad seasons in their history. However, with the Cleveland Browns about to have an historically bad year, ESPN decided to break down the all-time lows of every NFL franchise. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that they chose 2012 as the worst in Chiefs history.
As far as recent history goes, 2012 stands out as an absolute nightmare for Chiefs Kingdom. The state of the franchise was so bad that the “Save Our Chiefs” movement came to life and got the attention of CEO Clark Hunt. The result was a huge sweeping change, that many would say did indeed “save our Chiefs”.
However, before we get into the arrival of Andy Reid and the resurrection of the franchise, there is plenty of bad to get through. Chiefs fans watched in horror as the team absolutely collapsed both on and off of the field. It’s a season that many of us would like to pretend never existed.
If It Could Go Wrong, Then It Did
The 2012 Kansas City Chiefs were just absolutely awful. Outside of Jamaal Charles, there simply wasn’t anything to really be proud of at all. Even the defense had its share of struggles in 2012, despite Romeo Crennel running things on the field. Of course, “running things” might be a stretch for the guy who never knew what was happening.
Things got so bad on the field for Kansas City that year that fans were cheering for starting quarterback Matt Cassel going down with an injury. Spare me your denials…even if you specifically didn’t cheer, we all know most people were happy about it. Of course, Chiefs fans would quickly find out that the quarterback player could actually get worse.
However, as bad as things were on the field, the 2012 season is overwhelmingly defined by Jovan Belcher‘s murder-suicide. After killing his girlfriend, Belcher traveled to Arrowhead Stadium. Once there, he thanked GM Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel before shooting himself in the head. It was a tragic situation that still elicits some strong emotions.
Clark Hunt Steps In
The multitude of issues, poor play on the field, and fan pressure finally led to Kansas City Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt making big changes. Hunt stepped in and snagged Andy Reid as he was en route to a job interview with Arizona. From there, the entire culture of Chiefs football completely changed.
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Romeo Crennel was gone. Scott Pioli was gone. Matt Cassel was gone. In their place, the Chiefs put together an organization that would help push the franchise to new success. Since the arrival of Andy Reid, Kansas City has yet to have a losing season. They’ve made the playoffs in four of the past five years, including back to back division titles for the first time in team history.
Kansas City is the blueprint of how an organization can turn around from all-time lows to find sustained success. However, as much as we like to revel in that current success, it’s important to remember just how bad things were. At the very least, it should give us some perspective on how good this current team is.
The Kansas City Chiefs have had some bad times over the years. Older Chiefs fans will certainly remember the bad days of the 80’s and late 70’s. However, I don’t know that you will find anyone who would argue that 2012 wasn’t the absolute worst year in team history. ESPN doesn’t always get things right, but they nailed this one.