NFL missing elite teams?

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:51 PM ET

With the last of the undefeated teams having finally experienced the bitter taste of defeat Sunday, the suits running the National Football League undoubtedly will try to spin this as a wonderful example of league parity.

Sorry, guys, but we think it's more symbolic of a football parody ourselves.

And it's not even that that funny, to be honest.

Just look at the Kansas City Chiefs, who entered play Sunday as the league's only undefeated team at 3-0.

No offence to coach Todd Haley. He's doing a wonderful job bringing the Chiefs back to respectability by fielding a young fast team with outstanding special teams, a swarming defence and an electrifying ground game led by Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones.

But this team - the only team to come into Week 5 without a loss - has some major warts, primarily in the passing game.

Trailing the once mighty Indianapolis Colts by just a field goal at 6-3 after the game's first 30 minutes, the

Chiefs, 3-1, had all the pieces in place for an upset.

Instead, quarterback Matt Cassel and the Chief aerial attack fell to pieces.

Coming out of the dressing room to start the second half, the sputtering Chiefs offence could muster just three first downs over the next 20 minutes. By that time the host Colts had built up a 19-9 advantage, a lead the Chiefs would not be able to overcome.

At one point in the second-half collapse, Cassel misfired on seven consecutive attempts, including an apparent touchdown that clanked off the hands of butterfingered wideout Dwayne Bowe. In the end, they converted on just one-of-nine third-down opportunities.

Yes, the Chiefs are an up-and-coming squad. But an elite team? With numbers like that? Hardly.

Therein lies the problem.

Let's be honest. We like it when the league has one or two juggernauts, the type of swaggering squads that resemble the muscle-flexing neighbourhood bully who kicks sand in the faces of anyone they meet on the beach. Or, in this case, the gridiron.

A year ago the NFL had exactly that in the form of the Colts and the New Orleans Saints. The Saints, in fact, went all the way until Week 15 before suffering their first loss.

Compare that to this season, when the final undefeated team went down in Week 5.

As for the the injury-plagued Colts, they hardly resemble the side that flashed and dashed their way to a Super Bowl appearance a year ago. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning was just a bit off all day while the much-maligned Colts defence continues to be gashed up the gut by another opponent's grinding ground game, an occurance that is becoming all too familiar in Indy.

In the end, even with Manning tossing for 244 unspectacular yards, the Colts, 3-2, were lucky to hold on for the 19-9 win against The Gang That Couldn't Throw Straight.

The Chiefs loss means that the NFL does not have a 4-0 team for the first time in 40 years.

If that is not a parody, what is?

Extra Points

With running back Donald Brown and wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez inactive due to injury, the Colts suffered another blow in the third quarter when running back Joseph Addai was knocked out of the game with a shoulder ailment. Former Michigan star Mike Hart came in and scored a touchdown, but the Colts are becoming tissue-thin at that position ... The experts have showered the Green Bay Packers with all this lovey dovey propoganda but, in reality, this talent-rich team is underachieving right now. Coughing up a 10-point fourth-quarter lead to Washington, then losing 16-13 in overtime, is a collapse elite teams just don't allow. Don't forget that the Pack, 3-2, barely held on for a two-point win over the Detroit Lions one week earlier ... While on the subject of collapses, how about Cincinnati's 24-21 tank-job at the hands of the upstart Bucs, who scored 10 points in the final few minutes for the win? Three more picks for Carson Palmer, who has been brutal at times.


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