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"No." Obviously, Edwards wasn't going to stand much more. "I got no reason to hide. I'm trying to win a football game."
The Chiefs' head spokesman cut off the questioning.
Edwards headed for the elevator up to his office. As he waited, he shouted to nobody in particular, "I got a lot of holes in me. I feel like a sieve here." Then he shouted back to the gaggle of reporters, "Hey, Rhonda, got any more bullets in that pistol?"
"No, I'm all out," Ross said.
"Good." Edwards stepped on the elevator and was gone.
By that Sunday, November 11, it seemed Edwards had been telling the truth. Johnson was on the sidelines in street clothes, with no cast on his foot. He appeared to be walking without a limp.
Holmes got his first start of the season, and though it wasn't a stellar outing, he averaged 3-1/2 yards per run — as good as Johnson this year.
By halftime, Edwards' game plan seemed to be working. The Chiefs led, 8-6. But then Huard threw an interception and the Broncos scored. On the next possession, Huard fumbled; a Broncos defender picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown.
In two minutes, the game was all but over. The Chiefs managed only a field goal in the second half and lost to a pitiful Broncos team, 27-11.
Once again, the Chiefs had failed to score 24 points. And in the month that Edwards says is the most crucial, they had dropped two in a row.
The day after the Denver game, on November 12, Edwards called Huard into his office. He told him he was giving the starting job to Croyle. And with that, Edwards' support, his unwavering belief in his starters, shifted.
During his press conference the next day, the media badgered Edwards about whether he'd stand behind Croyle if he stumbled. Edwards didn't hesitate. "He has the ball. It's his turn. He's going to make errors. He's going to turn the ball over, and we're going to survive."
Nobody asked whether Edwards was giving up his playoff hopes. Nobody brought up that Edwards had said November was crucial and that the team still hadn't won a game this month.
But Edwards addressed these facts himself. "I hope people don't think, He's making the switch at quarterback because he's throwing in the towel. That's not the case."
If Edwards still thought this season was salvageable, he didn't show it on Sunday. Edwards was facing his mentor, Colts coach Tony Dungy, and for three quarters the coaches seemed to be fighting for the title of most conservative play caller. As the fourth quarter started, the score was tied, 10-10. The game was decided with two plays — an embarrassingly conservative call by Edwards and a gutsy one by Dungy.
With 7 minutes and 45 seconds left, the Chiefs had the ball on their own 37 yard line. It was third down, and the Chiefs needed 18 yards for a first down. Croyle had played like a veteran all game, with a touchdown and no interceptions. He lined up in the shotgun position, appearing ready to throw deep. Everybody on the field, every fan in the stands, everyone watching on TV, knew that the Chiefs needed to pass the ball to get a first down.
Edwards didn't agree. Instead, Croyle handed the ball off, and third-string running back Kolby Smith managed just two yards. Edwards sent his punt team out to give the ball over to the Colts.
It wasn't just a conservative call. Nobody would have figured that Smith could scramble for the first down. Calling a run meant that Edwards just wanted a couple of extra yards for his punter. It meant that Edwards didn't believe his offense could manage the winning score. It meant he was playing for overtime — or that he simply didn't believe that his team could win.