Kansas City, Mo. Larry Johnson's theory for what ails Kansas City's offense may land him in the doghouse with his coaches and probably some of his teammates, as well.
The outspoken running back says the Chiefs have become too predictable and need to vary their play-calling.
"When you do the same things over and over again, a good defense ... they're going to do things to stop you," Johnson said after LaDainian Tomlinson and the San Diego Chargers handed the Chiefs (7-7) a 20-9 whipping that virtually eliminated Kansas City from playoff contention.
"If you don't switch it up, if you don't do different things, that's how it goes," said Johnson. "We played them a lot of weeks ago, and they see what we do on tape, you know, we never changed a bit of it, and that's what happens."
Coach Herm Edwards said Monday he was not concerned with Johnson's criticism of the offense and the way first-year coordinator Mike Solari is running it.
"Obviously, he's frustrated. And there's a lot of frustrated players here," Edwards said Monday.
"Coaches, too. We haven't found a way to score points in the last couple of weeks. That's the plan this week, get some points on the board. That's been our Achilles' heel the last couple of weeks."
With Tomlinson rushing for 199 yards and two touchdowns and erasing any doubt even in the minds of Chiefs fans about who is the best running back in the NFL, the Chargers stretched Kansas City's December losing skid to three in a row. The last two weeks, in losses to Baltimore and San Diego, the offense has scored only one touchdown.
The only good game the offense has played in five weeks was also another loss. Trent Green threw four touchdown passes and Johnson had more than 100 yards rushing in a 31-28 overtime defeat at Cleveland that began the ruinous slide.
"We need to sit down and change something," Johnson said. "This is getting ridiculous. Everybody is saying, 'Oh, it's fine, it's OK.' I don't know who in their mind thinks this is OK. This is nothing that's OK. We need to change a lot of it.
"I'm getting tired of hearing that 'We'll get 'em next week' speech. We need to really start sitting down and knowing what we need to do to put points on the board and what we need to do to do win games."
Edwards said he didn't think his offense was necessarily predictable.
He also said he does not worry about dissension rotting his team.
"I'm not concerned at all. Not one bit. No," he said.
But Johnson also appeared to take a swipe at an offensive line that has struggled all year.
"I'm getting tired of this. It's tough running against a brick wall until you break it open, you know," he said. "You see other teams do different things, you see different teams react differently. Like I said, you don't have to bang your head against a brick wall hard enough to crack a hole in it. There are other ways of doing different things."
Going into the game, Johnson led Tomlinson by five yards for the NFL rushing title. But Tomlinson's 199 yards and Johnson's 84 left Kansas City's Pro Bowl running back 110 yards behind, in second place.
"I'll talk to the whole team about where we're at right now," Edwards said. "What we need to do. And that's something we all have to look at and do. We've lost three in a row. No one's happy about that, especially me. I'm not very happy about it and I know the players and the coaches aren't. We've got to find a way to get the ship turned around the right way. Right now it's going the wrong way.
"(Johnson) is frustrated. And he's not the only guy frustrated. There's a lot of guys frustrated. Coaches are frustrated, too. We've got to handle it. We'll handle it in-house. And that's how we do it."