The Kansas City Chiefs fell back down to earth tonight, getting spanked by the St. Louis Rams.
The Rams took home the coveted Governor’s Cup for the second straight season.
We will get into plenty of specifics tomorrow and next week but for now, here are my observations from tonight’s loss.
1. Without Flowers, the Chiefs’ secondary is suspect
Right off the bat the Rams went to work exploiting Jalil Brown and Javier Arenas. Sam Bradford may have had a down year in 2011 but he is miles better than John Skelton and Kevin Kolb and he proved it tonight.
The Chiefs should immediately start shopping for a veteran corner for insurance.
2. Turnovers and sloppy play
The defense got a clown suit put on them on the Rams’ opening drive but Baldwin’s fumble on KC’s first offensive really set the night into a downward spiral.
3. Lack of focus
Whether it was arrogance from their stomping of the Arizona Cardinals or just a bad night, the young Chiefs need to learn to play consistent football. Baldwin’s fumble and offensive penalties that killed another drive against the Rams’ backups showed the Chiefs just didn’t come to play. They’d better change that next week.
4. KC’s offense still looks good
Despite Baldwin’s fumble and the penalties, the Kansas City offense was still pretty effective. Matt Cassel finished the night with 13 of 18 for 142 yards. Jamaal Charles looked good, carrying the ball three times for 17 yards. He also had two catches for 18 yards. Peyton Hillis struggled to break free but he looked good down on the goal line and punched in another TD.
5. Ricky Stanzi is a mess
There is no other way to put it. Stanzi got his chance with the second team and he completed only three of four passes for 24 yards and an interception. He looked skittish in the pocket and it seems he hasn’t quite learned to deal with the pressure of the NFL game.
6. Brady Quinn is the clear winner to backup Matt Cassel
Quinn came in and got the job done (5 of 7 and a TD) with KC’s scrubs on the third team. Is he a guy you want starting? Hell no. But he has looked competent enough that should he need to play with the first team, he could probably manage the game.
7. Were the Chiefs more vanilla?
Was it just me or did it seem like the play calling on both sides of the ball was more vanilla this week than last? Were the Chiefs pulling back a little bit? Or did it just seem that way because they were getting pushed around?
8. Cassel was strong again
Matt Cassel had another calm, poised performance. He seems to have a good grip on Daboll’s offense and he is doing a nice job of getting the ball to the right receiver. His roll out completion to Dexter McCluster while being pressured was particularly impressive. He didn’t panic, he extended the play and he made a hell of a throw.
9. McCluster had another solid night
Dexter again led all receivers with three receptions for 23 yards.
10. Bellamy likely won’t make the roster
Josh Bellamy has been a star in camp but he hasn’t shown up during the games. Part of the problem is the poor play of KC’s backup QB’s but Quinn is competent enough to get open receivers the ball. Bellamy isn’t getting open.
11. Walter saw this coming
Walter over at Walter Football has never been the biggest Chiefs fan. Recently, however, he has been high on KC because of all the talent on the roster. This week, in his predictions for the second week of the preseason, Walter predicted that the Rams would come out on top. His reasoning is what interests me.
Outcomes of preseason games rarely have anything to do with the talent on the respective teams, since the majority of the games are played by second-, third- and fourth-stringers.
Some coaches care about winning preseason games, while others do not. Thus, betting on coaches with great preseason records is an easy way to make money.
Here are recent NFL Betting Trends: Preseason Records for every coach in the NFL.
The Rams were embarrassed last Sunday. Jeff Fisher will probably want to secure his first victory as head coach of the Rams.
Was Jeff Fisher digging just a little deeper into his bag of tricks tonight to wash out the bad taste last week’s Rams lost left in his mouth? I’m not making excuses for KC’s performance but the Rams sure did need this win and they got it. The Chiefs, on the other hand, needed a reality check after the way they handled the Rams. They got it.
The local guys on the radio are already trumpeting all the “work the Chiefs have to do” and the “problems and limitations of this team.”
Sorry but I don’t buy it. The Chiefs were sloppy and flat for sure but I saw signs of the things that made KC successful a week ago. I thought the offense, save a couple of mistakes, still looked very promising. The defense didn’t show much but I did think they were doing a nice job of getting pressure on Sam Bradford. The problem was that the secondary wasn’t doing their job and Bradford was getting the ball out.
How the Chiefs respond in their big third preseason game against the Seahwaks next week will tell us a lot about this team. There will be a lot of negative talk about the Chiefs this week but don’t let it get you down. This team is just as talented as it was when you woke up Saturday morning.
There are bumps on the road to greatness.