KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 20: Head coach Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs watches during warm-ups prior to the start of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium on September 20, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
In the wake of Miles Austin's record breaking performance in Kansas City, most people chose to concentrate on the heart-warming story, a tale of a talented receiver who got a chance and capitalized on it; in doing so, they turned a blind eye, in great part, to the fact that the Kansas City defense sucks.
There were certainly those out there who approached the story with detached cynicism, quick to point out that Austin had a great day--but he did it against a monumentally bad defense. This is a fair point. Whether Austin is a career No. 4 receiver with one memorable game or, as Randy Galloway put it Friday, "a Drew Pearson non-drafted miracle" will remain to be seen for a while. For now, no one can know.
According to Todd Haley in today's Kansas City Star though, there is no excuse (besides the obvious one, that he coaches the Chiefs) for his team allowing such a performance by such a receiver.
“We’ve just got to be better,” Haley said. “We’ve got to be better as coaches in putting the right guys on the right players. That’s a tough situation. Miles Austin was Dallas’ fourth receiver, probably, going into this year."
Actually, he was the third, but point taken. The only problem is that, again, Haley coaches the Chiefs, and it seems unlikely that they have any "right guys" in the secondary at all. Just who Miles Austin will be, again, no one knows. Kansas City has a terribly flawed secondary, to be sure. But good players expose faults.
Concerning the Chiefs, this isn't the most Herculean task, but one can't deny that Austin not only beat them, but embarrassed them--twice. To infer that Austin is the reincarnation of Pearson would be foolish because, really, that is next to impossible. Pearson's a Hall of Famer. Austin is still a No. 3 receiver.
But on that day, he took over completely; regardless of opposition, there's something to be said for that. Just ask the scores of sportswriters who, after convincing wins over Washington, Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Oakland, have anointed the New York Giants world champions.