The season wound up being a disappointment from the start.
The Chiefs were blown out by the Falcons in their opener, trounced on the road by the Bills and needed an 18-point comeback to force overtime in their win over the Saints.
Then a stretch of eight consecutive defeats.
Empty seats began to multiply at Arrowhead Stadium, once one of the most intimidating venues in the NFL. An organized fan rebellion paid for banners to be towed behind airplanes asking for Pioli to be fired, and the majority of fans dressed in black for a home game against Cincinnati.
Nothing Crennel did seemed to work, either.
He began the season as the defensive coordinator, but fired himself and turned those duties over to linebackers coach Gary Gibbs. He benched Matt Cassel, in the fourth year of a $63 million contract, and went with Brady Quinn, who played just as poorly the rest of the season.
Injuries were numerous, turnovers plentiful, penalties crippling and blown assignments became the hallmark of a team that was rarely in games into the fourth quarter.
Then came the morning of Dec. 1, when tragedy struck.
Belcher, a part-time starter, shot the mother of his 3-month-old daughter, Kasandra Perkins, multiple times at a home not far from Arrowhead Stadium. The linebacker then sped to the team’s practice facility and was confronted by Pioli, who tried to talk him out of more violence.
It wound up being their last win, though.
“I want our fans to know that I will do everything I can to provide them a dramatically better team,” Hunt said, “both next season and in the seasons to come.”