The last 24 hours or so has felt like a horror movie for fans of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Everything was going along perfectly well until yesterday. The Chiefs were 8-4, Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe were showing vast improvement, Dexter McCluster was back, Jamaal Charles was having one of the most productive seasons ever running the ball and the Chargers had returned to their stumbling ways. The Chiefs had a chance to go to San Diego this weekend and if they were lucky and the Raiders lost, essentially clinch the AFC West title.
Then “The Appendectomy” happened.
The announcement that Matt Cassel might miss this weekend’s game and possibly, next weekend’s game, was like something out of the scariest of horror movies.
Fortunately for the Chiefs, horror movies have rules and the rules say the Chiefs are going to survive.
Find out how, after the jump.
In every horror movie, the squeaky clean teen who does everything right is always the one who survives to the end of the film and ultimately defeats the bad guy.
So don’t worry Addict Nation, the Chiefs are the good guys in this film.
The Kansas City Chiefs have done pretty much everything right all season long and because of that, they are going to ride this one out. In fact, the Chiefs are built to survive this kind of disaster.
Early in the year, Matt Cassel was still developing. He was still a little inaccurate and his supporting cast was talented but very, very young. The Chiefs decided to win by playing solid defense, running the ball and avoiding mistakes and turnovers.
It worked pretty well at first and the Chiefs jumped out to a 3-0 start. They build up some capital and once Matt Cassel was ready, they became even more dangerous by adding in a more balance passing attack.
If the Chiefs are forced to roll with Brodie Croyle this weekend, they’ll be good to go. They will simply need to revert back to some of the tricks that got them here in the first place. They’ll draw up a stout defensive game plan and make sure they get the ball into the hands of their playmakers as much as possible.
That means lots of running with Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster mixed in with some effective slants, screens and play action passes. Look for Tony Moeaki to be a big factor in the passing game as he’ll be a big target for the rusty Croyle.
The Chiefs are going to do everything in their power to put Croyle in the best possible position to succeed. Look for them to avoid making him throw too many dangerous down field passes. A premium will be put on protecting the football and Croyle has been around long enough to know when to throw the ball away and when to take a chance.
The Oakland Raiders beat the Chargers with Jason Campbell. In fact, they hardly threw the ball at all in the first half last week, choosing instead to pound the ball up the middle with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. The Chargers didn’t have an answer for it.
No one in the league runs the ball as well as the Chiefs. Look for KC to take advantage of a suspect Charger run D.
The Chargers are not best suited to win low scoring, grind it out games. They prefer shootouts where they can get up on their opponents early and force the opposing offense to be one dimensional. Teams that can run the ball and play pretty good defense can dictate the pace of the game when playing the Chargers. That is why the Jets had success against them in the playoffs last year and it is why the Chiefs and Raiders have knocked them off this year.
As long as the Chiefs avoid turnovers, stupid penalties, premarital sex, dope smoking and drinking, they should be able to stay in this horror movie right until the end.
And after a few temper tantrums from Philip Rivers, the good guys will run to victory.