Tag Archives: Harrington Gardiner

After a four-game skid, are the Chiefs in trouble?

Harrington Gardiner | Contributing Writer

KC Chiefs 4.jpg

chiefs.com

Early in the season, the Kansas City Chiefs were considered by many to be a potential Super Bowl favorite and a threat to the always dominant New England Patriots in the AFC.

The superior play of Alex Smith at quarterback as well as the emergence of rookie running back Kareem Hunt caused many to believe that this team has what it takes to be a Super Bowl contender.

Lately, though, they’ve been inconsistent and have taken losses in their past games.

In the first five weeks, they looked to be the NFL’s hottest team, but now they are 6-6 and in a three-way tie with the Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders atop the AFC West.

What happened with the Chiefs, and can they rebound to save their season?

With the talent on their roster, it’s definitely possible.

Kansas City started off with a 5-0 record and was the last remaining undefeated team in the league. Early in the season, the Chiefs suffered a huge loss, losing pro bowl safety Eric Berry to a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Even with this loss, other Pro Bowl-caliber players on the roster have made an impact, including tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Tyreek Hill.

The two men have been making plays all year.

However, the struggles for this team are a serious concern, especially since the Chiefs are competing for a playoff spot.

The inconsistencies on offense have resulted in failure to put enough points on the board. This has led them to question of whether or not Alex Smith should be benched for rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

While it’s unlikely that Smith will be benched this late in the season, it’s important for the Chiefs to figure out the solutions to their problems.

Otherwise, things could get even uglier in the final weeks of the season.

Kansas City’s offense this season has been dangerous at times. Unfortunately for them, their issues lie on the opposite side of the ball.

The defense, which looked legit the first few games of the season, currently sits in the bottom half of the league.

Having a subpar defense this late in the season heading toward postseason play is a huge red flag.

The Chiefs may no longer be a Super Bowl contending team, but it’s not too late for them to save their season.

They can still rebound from their inconsistencies with the remaining games that they have on their schedule.

Andy Reid and his coaching staff will be put to the test late in the season. It’s time to see if this Kansas City team is the real deal or just all hype.

The Chiefs must remember this: It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish.

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MEAC battle at HU against NC Central

Harrington Gardiner | Contributing Writer

Hampton - FAMU Football Game

Yankee Johnson (#2) | Courtesy of Glenn Knight

After a three-point loss to Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Fla., the Pirates face their toughest test of the season this upcoming weekend against North Carolina Central.

Central is coming off an impressive 42-14 homecoming win against Delaware State, and now the Eagles will come to town sitting a game above the Pirates with a 6-2 record. The Pirates, however, are sitting at 5-3 with a 4-1 record in MEAC play and must now put Saturday’s loss to the side to focus on this much-anticipated matchup.

Prior to this past Saturday’s game, Hampton coaches acknowledged the importance of the inter-conference battle against NC Central. However, like any team, they were focused on the task ahead: to handle Bethune-Cookman on the road.

Pirates defensive coordinator Kevin Ketchum stressed the importance of focusing on the task ahead.

“We know Central is very good; they’ve lost one game in this last three years in the league, and that was last week to Norfolk State,” Ketchum said. “Do we have a game plan? No. We have our plan of how to practice, and you don’t change that.”

Ketchum also discussed the Pirates’ 5-2 record and the landscape for the rest of the season in MEAC play.

“So far, 5-2 has been successful, but there’s four left,” he said. “Now, with four left, that can go 9-2, or that can go 5-6. I don’t see anything that would lead me to believe that any of the last four are going to be easy.”

Injuries are another factor that could decimate a football team, and they have impacted some games already. Ketchum addressed that by saying, “You’re deep into the season, so try to get some kids who are hurt back onto the field so that you have a full complement of players to be ready for Saturday.”

The Pirates fell just short on Saturday afternoon against Bethune-Cookman. They had 125 yards rushing along with one rushing touchdown and a 6.8 passing average per attempt. Hampton also had two passing touchdowns, both of which were thrown by quarterback Delmon Williams to wide receiver Ronald Bell. Bell had 119 all-purpose yards, 79 of which were receiving.

This game had been controlled by Bethune-Cookman for the first half, but after halftime, Hampton came back to take a lead late in the third quarter. Even after the Pirates took a 21-17 lead, the Eagles scored late in the fourth quarter with a 7-yard touchdown pass by wide receiver Jawill Davis, making it a 24-21 game.

In heartbreaking fashion, the Pirates were unable to tie the game toward the end, as kicker Adam Brown missed a 29-yard field goal that would have sent the game to overtime.

Hampton did struggle late in Saturday’s game, but with time to regroup, the Pirates should be ready to play arguably their most important game of the season. NC Central, however, has plenty of momentum heading into this Saturday after a dominating performance against Delaware State. With that being said, they’ll be confident in trying to gain MEAC supremacy over Hampton.

The Pirates will look to secure a win to stay on track of what already seems to be a promising year so far.