Today’s discourse centers around a team that was outgained 188 to 501 yards, and in time of possession was dominated 20:11 to 39:49. What game? Lions getting hammered by the Saints? No sir! Rams being obliterated by the Seahawks 28-0? Nope. Yesterday’s statistically overmatched team was our own Chiefs. Despite having yesterday’s most embarrassing statistics, they remained in the game for 47 minutes and 54seconds. How?
Game management. Coaching. Not having turnovers. Making plays like Jon McGraw’s blocked punt for a TD, or Derrick Johnson’s interception. Averaging 49 yards per punt and successfully hitting a 53-yard field goal.
Yes, it is the little things that add up to victory. Like not running out of the endzone on a kickoff when your team is up by five with two minutes to play (Bills vs Patriots). Like not tipping the last pass of the game to your opposition (Bengals vs Broncos).
Todd Haley is methodically teaching the Chiefs to do the little things needed in order to be winners. Although the pantry is bare, Haley is laying the foundation for future Chiefs teams. Future Chiefs teams will be in excellent physical condition, will not take plays off and will not beat themselves.
Sunday, the Chiefs fought gallantly although clearly overmatched in talent. Players like Brodie Croyle played within their limitations and did not create turnovers. It was clear that Haley was a big part of this, as the Chiefs played better than expected, while the Cardinals performed poorly in their first post-Super Bowl regular season game.
Hopefully, blowouts, poorly devised gameplans and frustrating game management will be, to quote The Raven, “nevermore.”