The Kansas City Chiefs upset the Green Bay Packers in Romeo Crennel’s first game as interim head coach.
It was as complete a game as the Chiefs have played all season long. Kyle Orton seemed to spark the struggling KC offense and although they had difficulty finding the end zone, there is no doubt that KC was a different team with Orton under center.
Here are some initial observations from the game:
-Kyle Orton was terrific
For a guy playing with a bad finger in his first start with a brand new team, Orton was sensational Sunday. He out-dueled Rodgers and although he didn’t throw any TD passes, Orton completed a number of crucial passes that helped move the chains for the Chiefs and keep the Packers offense off the field. Orton finished the day with 299 yards passing. He was 23 of 31 with a 104.1 QB rating. If he continues to play well, Orton could spark quite a bit of controversy and debate when it comes to deciding who will be the QB of the Chiefs in 2012.
-The offensive line had their best game of the season
The KC offensive line kept Orton upright, and the QB made the Packers pay. Orton wasn’t sacked all day and was only hit once, on a pass he completed for a first down. Orton likely helped the line by making smart decisions and getting rid of the ball but there were times when the QB had an eternity to throw. The offensive line showed up big today.
-Derrick Johnson continued his amazing play, once again leading the Chiefs in tackles with seven. He is on pace to set the single-season tackle record for the Chiefs.
-Ryan Succop was automatic
The Chiefs’ kicker was four of four on his FG tries Sunday. Succop’s early season struggles seem like a bad dream.
-Dusin Colquitt only punted twice
That is how you beat the Pack.
-Tamba Hali is a Pro Bowler
Hali was a one-man wrecking crew Sunday, sacking Rodgers three times. He now has 12 sacks on the year and has had at least one sack in his last three games. The emergence of Justin Houston has clearly made Hali’s life easier and it is showing.
-Justin Houston continues to play well
The rookie had another solid game. He had four tackles and a QB hit. His play enables Hali to do his thing.
-Sabby Piscitelli appeared to play pretty well
-Run to win
The Chiefs struggled to gain yards in big chunks on the ground but they stuck to it. KC ran the ball 39 times for 139 yards. They only averaged 3.6 yards per carry but they got big runs when they needed them, and they chewed up the clock.
-Crennel makes a statement
Romeo Crennel made a strong case that he should be the new head coach of the Chiefs on a permanent basis. It was by no means a perfectly coached game. The Chiefs had a number of silly penalties and miscues but it was Crennel’s game plan that really took the Packers by surprise.
The Chiefs came out determined to spread the ball around to keep the Packers off balance and the plan worked. Orton completed passes to 10 different receivers. The Chiefs also featured a number of players who do not usually touch the football. Guys like Leonard Pope, Anthony Becht, Terrance Copper and Le’Ron McClain all touched the football. In fact, Pope led the team in receiving yards.
That was the answer all along, I guess. Just send Lenny Pope deep and let him go up and get it.
Those are my initial thoughts. What are yours?