Kansas City, Mo The 10-week tryout that dropped into Tyler Thigpen’s lap like a blessing from heaven is heading into the home stretch, and the results for the first player ever drafted out of Coastal Carolina have been mixed.
Sometimes Kansas City’s first-year quarterback has looked good. In a trip to the Meadowlands against the New York Jets, his numbers actually were better than Brett Favre’s. Sometimes he’s looked awful, such as the three interceptions he threw at Carolina and the three turnovers he committed last week in a blowout loss to Buffalo.
Most of all, if Thigpen is going to go into spring drills next year as Kansas City’s starting quarterback, he needs to win.
For the Chiefs (1-10), this is threatening to turn into the sorriest season in team history. Without at least a couple of wins these next five weeks they might be hard-pressed to use what’s sure to be a choice first-round draft pick next April on anything but a quarterback.
“When you go to do all these contract things, a lot of people look at statistics,” Thigpen said. “It doesn’t matter if he plays good. Did he win? That’s the biggest thing.”
Since taking over when season-ending injuries knocked out the two top quarterbacks on Oct. 19 and thrust the former seventh-round pick from the bench to the playing field, Thigpen has done just about everything except win. But then so have the Chiefs, who have lost 19 of their last 20 counting last year’s season-ending nine-game losing streak.
“In this business, it’s all about statistics and win-loss records,” Thigpen said. “That’s huge when it comes to it. If I can get that first win out of the way, it’ll help out a lot for myself and also for this team.”
A first-year starter coming off a terrible game could pick an easier place than Oakland’s Black Hole to try to get his first NFL victory. The Chiefs lost at home to the Raiders on Sept. 14, 23-8, when the defense gave up 300 yards rushing. This time, the Raiders are 3-point favorites and fresh off a 31-10 victory at Denver, their most impressive showing since beating K.C.