Okay Addicts, I sat down and watched the Ravens game for a second time yesterday and came up with several specific observations on what I saw. I’ll share those with you (if you’re interested) after the break. However, the end result that I have come to after watching the first two preseason games and even seeing and reading about training camp is this: The Kansas City Chiefs need to beat the bean poles out of the St. Louis Rams this week. I don’t mean they need to win. I don’t mean that they need to “play well” or “look good”. I mean they need to walk into Arrowhead Stadium on Friday night and put a beat down on the Rams. The kind of game that is over at halftime. The kind of game where the shots of the sideline in the fourth quarter show the starters smiling and laughing with each other.
Well its not because we have some proud desire to win the Governor’s Cup. It’s not because the third preseason game is suppose to be the measuring stick of how your team will look in the regular season. It’s not really even the fact that we are 0-2 so far in the preseason (but I guess that is part of it).
Find out why and see my Ravens game observations and Tyler Palko pic of the week after the break.
The real reason we need to pummel the Rams this week is because it appears to me that we are starting to lose a little bit of our 2010 mojo. I was there the night the mojo was born, last season’s opening Monday Night Football game. The Chiefs walked out of that game with a swagger and a confidence that even though they were young and nobody believed in them, that the “Chiefs Will”. They rode that belief all the way to the division title and the playoffs. The year prior that attitude wasn’t there. The Chiefs often looked defeated even before the game was really decided. Last year, no matter the situation the Chiefs still had fight in them. I 100% believe that this belief and attitude was part of the reason the team and their coach Todd Haley got along so well. When you believe you can fight it out and win, a coach that is in your face pushing you is just helping you do what you are already set on doing. When you give up and accept defeat as a possibility that same coach grates on your nerves.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not over reacting to a couple of preseason losses. Those in and of themselves are not that big of a deal. I’m looking at the big picture. The Chiefs ended last year with two blow out home losses where they were really beat up by more physical teams. Then they had the lockout where they weren’t around each other as a team near as much. Then when they finally come back they find that the team game plan is one that involves team conditioning and protecting players from injury. A good long term plan, but not one that really gets guys fired up for football. The first preseason game they don’t play most of their best players at all and get shut out at home. The second game they show better but it ends with a down slope and the coach being upset about the score being run up. On top of that there is now a cloud hanging over the team with the incident involving Baldwin and Jones. These are all things that lead to the hard work in practice feeling more like hard work. Some players are naturally driven to keep fighting, but others need something to fuel that fire.
That’s where a good old fashioned drumming of your in-state rival comes in. A game like that would help remind the guys from last season what it felt like to be a good team. For the guys that are new to KC it would affirm what the other players may have told them about last year and make it real. When you have that confidence and belief it makes the hard work easier. It makes a demanding coach more bearable. If that game is going to happen before the start of the regular season it needs to come Friday night. Not only because the starters should play a lot, but because hoping that it happens in the final game of the preseason when they’re playing at the defending champion Packers is a long shot. The Rams are another young team. The Chiefs beat them at their home last season. They won 3 more games then the Rams did last year. It’s at Arrowhead. The Chiefs are suppose to be an improved team. They should win this game and really need to prove to themselves and everyone else that they weren’t a fluke last year and that Haley’s plan is working this year. Even if it means gameplanning some plays on both sides of the ball to make sure they come out and execute. Normally I don’t put much weight on the preseason, but I think the Chiefs need this one in a big way.
Here’s to hoping that it does happen this Friday night.
Alright, for those interested, the following is my list of observations (in order) from the Ravens game. Some are informative, some might be a little sarcastic, and others are questions I’d like an answer to if anyone can help me out. There are a lot, so if you don’t want to read them all I bolded a few that really stuck out to me. Here we go!
Bowe already looks to be in mid-season form. He may have another monster year.
I think the fact that Houston is playing hard on special teams is a good sign in terms of his effort and work ethic.
Kelly Gregg still moves pretty well for an old man playing NT.
Dexter McCluster is horrible at picking up the blitz. It’s really a waste of having him out there. If he’s not getting the ball he should at least be a decoy.
Is it just me or did Dorsey look like the worst of our three starting d-linemen in this game? I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing.
I really like seeing Lewis lining guys up in the secondary. It shows he knows what’s going on and has confidence for a second year player.
It looks like the Chiefs intend to get McClain involved in the offense. I like that.
Urban doesn’t look like an upgrade at WR from what we had last year.
We’re playing the Ravens, not using Charles much at all, and Cassel is having a hard time completing passes. This seems familiar for some reason.
Wow, Dex looks just as explosive as he did pre-injury last year. Still can’t pass protect.
Last year on passing downs we lined up Dorsey and Gilberry as the inside rushers. This preseason Dorsey hasn’t done this at all. Bailey has been out there with Gilberry. Do they think Bailey is better at it, or are they just trying to keep Dorsey from having as many snaps as he did last year?
Anybody else love seeing Houston and Sheffield both get to Flaco on the same play?
The #2 o-line for this game includes three undrafted players David Mims, Butch Lewis, and Chris Harr. Asamoah and Hudson are starting out with them.
Chris Harr can’t stop any type of speed rush. At all. It’s bad.
Hudson has played a ton of center so far in the preseason, including a lot of shot gun snaps. Considering he played almost all guard in college has anyone seen a bad snap yet? Good sign for the future.
Arenas and Piscatelli were really out of position on the Ray Rice TD run.
Did I mention Harr is horrible against the blitz. It’s like Dexter taught him how to pass protect.
Palko looked a little Brett Favre esque on that jumping back pedal TD pass. He does wear #4.
Note: There were way more Baltimore first string defenders on the field for the Palko TD pass then there were starting defenders for KC on the Rice TD run.
I don’t know if Siler will end up being any better then Belcher, but he definately looks a lot more scary to run at.
Okay Palko, I know I brought up the Favre thing, but that underhanded flip you tried to Battle was just silly.
Tucker behind Urban is starting to look a little like Charles behind Jones or Studebaker behind Vrabel, isn’t it?
The pass Palko threw to Markshausen in the endzone would have been a TD if it was Bowe on the receiving end. Nice pass.
Why in the world is Walters playing so much instead of Sheffield?
Ugh, McGraw and Piscatelli in at safety at the same time. QB’s dream about that kind of thing.
Is Lawrence our only kick returner this preseason because they want him to do it this season or because they don’t care if he takes a beating?
Powe moves better then I thought he would. I’m starting to feel like Gregg/Powe will be a big upgrade over Edwards.
Stanzi now in, didn’t see a wide open Colbert crossing because of the blitz.
Seriously, Tucker >>>>>>> Urban. That is all.
A playaction fake to Mike Cox and the defense didn’t bite. That’s weird.
Stanzi missed Colbert crossing again, overthrew Cox instead.
I should have mentioned this earlier, Colquitt is good.
They’ve got Gordon in there at NT now. To my untrained eye he looks average. Not bad for a guy off the street though. I’d keep him over Gales at this point.
Maybe the best stats of the night are that despite Baltimore playing their starters a lot longer, the Chiefs lead after 3 quarters 13-10. At that point KC had 21 more rushing yards, 65 more passing yards, 7 more first downs, and were +3:06 in time of possession. So really, When it came to first and second stringers, we outplayed them. Their guys that probably won’t make the team just stomped our guys that probably won’t make the team in the 4th quarter.
Now into the 4th quarter and Ingersoll and Patterson (the undrafted defensive lineman that the Chiefs are playing at o-line, not to be confused with Greenwood who they did the same thing with last year) are in at the guard spots, poor Stanzi.
Ingersoll just got steamrolled on a Stanzi sack. It’s like he and Harr are having a contest to be the first guy cut.
I love seeing Weigmann on the sideline coaching Stanzi after he took back to back sacks.
Houston with his second sack. He looks like he’ll be able to contribute as a pass rusher right away. Still seeing way too much Walters and not enough Sheffield across from him.
Interesting to note that even in the fourth quarter they aren’t ever using Bailey as a base 3-4 DE. He is only playing as a passing down inside rusher.
Poor Stanzi, an undrafted d-lineman at guard and a second string FB at RB.
On the go ahead TD our newly signed NT (Ayodele?) got turned out and then Langford had a total tackle failure. Our back up safeties are pretty bad.
Horrible coverage by Lawrence tonight.
Mims, Patterson, and Bannon all failed to pick up the blitzer. I hope they at least buy Stanzi dinner after the game.
Ravens are running the ball behind their left side here in the fourth. Going right at Bair, Ayodele, and Walters. The Chiefs have no answer.
I bet Stanzi wishes Ingersoll would lose his shoe permanently. How bad are you when people are relieved that Butch Lewis is coming in? Butch Lewis?!?!?!
Stanzi interception wasn’t his fault. He had to get rid of the ball because his undrafted o-line doesn’t even cause the blitzers to break stride and then his WR (Williams) wasn’t even looking for the ball.
Lawrence beat badly again on the long throw to set up the final score.
The more I watch Gordon the more I think he could actually make the team. Hopefully they sign somebody better after roster cuts, but Gordon has looked okay.
The final two Baltimore runs, including the final TD, were at the left side again. Those same three guys I listed above just can’t hold their ground.
Overall there was some progress tonight. We have some players out there in the fourth quarter that just don’t belong on an NFL roster. Not even just for preseason. The fact that the Ravens played their starters longer and seemed to be more set on winning then we did but didn’t take the lead until the fourth quarter is encouraging.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, our post game Tyler Palko locker room interview snapshot of the week. First let’s look again at last week’s picture that clearly showed that Palko was auditioning for a shampoo commercial after the game.
Now clearly Palko must read AA, because this week….well let’s just say he changed things up a little.
Alright, I think this never ending post needs to actually end now.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!