Bob Sutton was let go as the defensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs shortly after the Conference Championship Game loss to the New England Patriots. In that game, Tony Romo repeatedly called what New England was going to do in key situations in overtime, as the Patriots won by a thousand cuts.
So there is some sentiment out there that Tony Romo’s commentary somehow played a role in his demise. I’ve also seen some suggestion that a coin flip decided his fate. Both suggestions are wrong. Sure, he wouldn’t have been fired … yet … if the Chiefs were preparing for a Super Bowl. But Sutton was on thin ice in Kansas City regardless of the ultimate team success, on a team that was carried by its offense throughout the season, and where the defensive adjustments often never came, resulting in several heartbreaking close losses against good teams.
Here is Exhibit ZZ from Sunday’s game if you want to criticize Sutton:
How do you design a defense against the Patriots, who are lacking in outside deep threats, where literally all five options are wide open? This is the opposite of those montages they show after a sack where they show each receiver being covered. The Patriots spent the day switching things up and coming up with creative ways to stop Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs were apparently unaware that you get a new set of downs after ten yards, so why cover closer than that.
The Chiefs had 12 opponent possessions this year where it was a one-score game in the final five minutes. The opponents scored 52 points, including the Patriots in the Championship Game. Both Patriots games, the Rams game, the Chargers game in Arrowhead, and the game at Seattle all ended because the defense could not get off the field. Last year’s playoff game ended when the Chiefs could not stop the Titans in the second half, they made personnel changes, and the problems persisted.
Tony Romo didn’t have anything to do with why Bob Sutton is gone. He just gave the public a window into why.