Chiefs Lose To Rams: 11 Obervations From The Game

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.

In closing:

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.

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • KCtitleist11

    does anyone know if Kendrick Lewis is ok?

  • Jim Harper

    Paddy you are right on target. Cassel is looking more solid than at any previous year (including 2010) Stanzi looked completely lost and very intimidated. In contrast Quinn came in and was sharp with lesser talent. I no longer think the #2 QB job is too close to call. It got called tonight and Quinn is the right choice anyway. Our defense took a step backwards due mainly to Bradford being sharp as a tack. On Quinns scoring drive he was very sharp and put ball into small windows. No reason for anyone to panic yet. The whole team has work to do, but everything I saw was correctable. Prior to this game I thought Horne was doubtful to make the team, but he did himself some good with his catch and run for the last TD

    • Tarkus

      I still think Horne is very doubtful to make the team. One nice catch isn’t going to change the fact that he’s done nothing in two plus years, and the Chiefs have better depth there now than ever before.

      • ArrowFan

        There might not be room onour roster but there will be a spot on someome elses.

    • DoubleD

      The concern I have is that if our D can’t stop an effective Bradford, they’ll also probably struggle with containing Manning, Rivers, and Palmer. That’s six games right there. After that, you’ve then got to factor in that they’ll also be facing off against the likes of Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and Josh Freeman. And who knows how good Andrew Luck and Brandon Weeden (teamed up with Trent Richardson mind you) might be by the time we face them? Point being, our 2012 schedule is filled to the brim with QB-driven teams, most of whom possess the potential the decimate flawed secondaries on an average day.
      I truly hope we don’t end up mourning the loss of Brandon Carr. Both our pass defense and our pass rush need to improve dramatically before the regular begins or we’ll be in a world of hurt.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I was wondering about that myself. We’re better prepared to deal with an injury at Safety than we were this time last year, but Lewis is a valuable part of that secondary.

  • ArrowFan

    I think play calling was alot more vanila on both sides of the ball. Baldwin’s fumble was disapointing but I hope he learned his leason, better now then later. The DL is looking good, is it just me or will there be like three DL that we cut imediatly get picked up by somebody? Also the face mask by Albert was a garbage call. I hope the refes get a deal done.

  • Leonard Thejukebox Simms

    Cassal looks very confident running the new offense

  • California Chiefs Fan

    Your analysis is right on the money. The Chiefs first-team offense is fast. They will get the ball to the outside receivers in due time. But the offense is solid. I think the defense can stop the run better than they showed tonight, so that should be a fairly solid part of the team. And while others may disagree, I think that when Flowers gets back, they will be o.k. in defending against the pass. I think these guys will go 11-5 this year.

    • Tarkus

      Agreed. We’ll be fine at the CB position when Flowers comes back. Brown is a solid 3rd CB and Arenas is solid as the nickel CB. You could always be better, but I don’t see them shopping for another CB, unless they lose someone to injury.

  • Chiefswatch

    Agreed. This game proved that our offense can still be pretty formiddable. Had Baldwin not fumbeled I think we could have easily put up 14 or more…things just tend to roll downhill. It is only the preseason so who knows what to make of not using our recievers much. Cassel looks like he has taken all that criticism to heart and is out to prove everyone wrong. Tim Ryan said it best: when Notre Dame ( featuring Quinn) and USC (featuring Leinart) faced off the best QB on the field (Cassel) was not even playing.

    We are definatley vanilla compared to what St Louis was busting out.

    Our secondary is pretty supsect outside of Berry and Flowers. I never thought Lewis or Arenas was all that good to be honest. I think Elam has shown he is the third best in our secondary to date. Routt is going to equal a lot of penalties.

    Nose tackle is position of strength it is looking like.

    Still dont like Belcher in coverage.

    Rookie refs tend to fall in line with the home team and this as the poster child of such games.

    Stanzi is really really not ready. Which is a let down, I was pulling for him. Not sure I have seen a QB so skiddish. He made Palko look calm and collected by comparison.

    I am glad the defense melt down occured here versus week one and two again. Rac will come down hard on them, but I am not confident he can coach talent into our secondary.

  • msluhocki27

    I agree that we should contemplate looking at a veteran cb for some quality depth. What about Leigh Bodden? If I remember correctly, Pioli and gang were interested when he was cut last year but didn’t sign him because of an injury. If he is completely healthy, I think he could be a solid, cheap pick up that would only make our secondary more dangerous.

    • Tarkus

      Who you going to get rid of to make room for him? Flowers, Routt, Arenas, Brown and Menzie aren’t going anywhere. Well, I suppose Menzie could go on IR, if they want to redshirt him.

      • msluhocki27

        If Lewis or another one of our safeties get hurt, menzie could play fs and bodden could come in and give depth at cb

      • big chief

        Given the choice Arenas is probably the most expendable. He’s useless thusfar as a returner and routinely gets beat in coverage.

        • Tarkus

          Ask Wes Welker if he can cover. Arenas was statistically the Chiefs’ best cover guy last year. He wouldn’t fair well against big outside receivers, but that’s not his job. His job is to cover guys in the slot, and he does it very well.

          As far as returning, he was 5th in the NFL last year in punt return average, despite never breaking off a long one. That means he was very consistent.

          • big chief

            Respectfully I disagree. Your stats may be true, I don’t know. Never had much use for stats personally, they have their place but never tell the whole story. I only know what I see and that is a returner who rarely gets past the 30 and a guy who was beat for a TD last night because he was face guarding like a highschool corner. I’ve seen a few good plays from him but only a few.

  • KCMikeG

    Thanks Paddy! It’s just preseason right? My predictions may have been a little premature – damn I hate when that happens! We should save ourselves the strain of analysis – FOUR turnovers does it every time. Good sign – we didn’t implode – we fought back from early adversity. Worried about Lewis’ shoulder. Will Stanzi loose reps to Tanney or do you think they will still focus on just him and Quinn (who looked better)? As bad as things looked tonight Cassel, Charles (looking better), DJ, Hillis, Boss, Succop looked fantastic! Honorable mention to Moeaki, Markshausen, Newsome, Parks and Williams. Still not sure what is up with Breaston? I see him go in motion numerous times but when the ball is snapped he disappears? Bowe’s return should help Baldwin. Why did the offense go so vanilla tonight?

    Disappointed big time by the defense as a whole, Stanzi, Baldwin to a lesser degree Reeves, Bellamy, Bannon, Gordon, Allen, Copper, Hartman, Eachus but most of all the terrible little league refs. Seriously how BAD can they be – at 8:00 in the 2nd quarter we have the ball trailing by 7 and Albert takes a left hand shot to the head – Uncalled so he gets a little hook on the guy and gets Called for holding while Cassel runs for his life Lilja lets the same defender #92 run right buy him who jumps on Cassel 2 yards after he went into a slide and was hit by another defender #58 leading with the helmet – Uncalled. The the very next play a 15 yard face mask call on Albert when in reality he was the victim! That’s a 45 yard swing and a drive killer. Houston, Hali and Toribio were grabbed and held by the pads on more plays than not, Stanzi ran for a 1st down and dove forward sliding across the line untouched and they spotted the ball where he landed like he went into a slide, Baldwin was interfered with on the end zone jump ball at the half – Uncalled. Last week Copper was drilled by the DB 3-4 yards after the ball passed well over his reach and NO CALL on a defenseless WR – MAJOR emphasis of the NFL – BLOWN. Time for the NFL stops jerking around the refs and get a contract done. Friday won’t get here soon enough.

    • steve james

      I agree with all of those I was thinking the same thing with Stanzi and that slide. The Refs are noticeably worse and I am a little surprised the NFL would lock them out. It isn’t like they get player type money. Stupid stupid putting player safety behind a dispute with the refs.

      Some positives as I see them.

      1. They still seem better in week 2 of the preseason than they did in week 7 of the regular season last year!

      2. The quick mind of Daboll translating to quick plays to Matt. He seems to be very quick setting up the offense. It seemed the regular tempo is light years ahead of were it was at any time Haley was around. Faster than Weis also. It was almost like it was a hurry up offense on the regular play calls. Execution is so much cleaner and crisper!

      3. Mcluster and Draughn were able to find the lanes most plays.

      Some negatives as I see them.

      1. The Off and Def line were getting beat. I was very surprised on the very first snap how much they were pushing around our def line. I am also worried about the def line calling the right call/adjustments on defense seemed to be not quite up to snuff.

      2. The quick mind of Daboll being much quicker than some of the players. Boss and Stanzi come to mind they both were not ready and screwed up they haven’t adjusted to the tempo yet. Quinn impressed me with how he handled the pace.

      3. Some of our receivers just couldn’t get open in one on one coverage. If it remains that way Baldwin will have a tough time as he seems to have trouble with the double teams and seemed to be off all game.

      4. JC didn’t seem to have the speed of the past. He was cutting just as well but the speed just wasn’t there that got him the 6.4ypc. Mcluster really was the only player to flash elite speed imho. I think he will benefit the most with the holes that this off line is making. In the last couple of years he just didn’t have those lanes.

      5. Special teams. I was disappointed by the return team blocking. I hope they do improve as they were fighting uphill all last year versus most other teams. That extra 3-4 yards per return adds up.

      I am disappointed at how badly we were beat but I still felt we could come back and win it right up until the refs killed us. I never felt we were out of the game until mid 4th quarter which is more than I can say about any preseason game with Haley at the helm.

      O and I really enjoy Trent Green as a game caller he has a very quick mind and tells you a lot about what just happened and who did what. He isn’t as colorful as Gruden but he tells more about the game in a shorter amount of time. I wish he could call all of the Chiefs games.

  • chiefs4life

    Noyou are way off. We need to worry. The Rams got spanked by a mediocre team last week just as bad as they spanked us. Our starting line sucked royally and our backs could not block either. The only bright spots on offense were Matt, Boss, Charles, and little Mac. Every one else sucked bad. Hollis ran hard a few times. Defense, not a lot of penetration. D-backs horrible. Every last one of them. SPECIAL teams succop did good but the return team please, I think my 8 year old could have blocked that good. We need to use whyle for returns. All I can say about that game is awful. WOW!!!

  • micah stephenson

    Last month my friend asked me who I wud draft 1st rd next yr and i said best CB available. He said he wud draft a QB. I said y draft a QB that prolly wont b any better than Cassel and we still thin at CB. I said if Flowers or Routt get hurt and Arenes or Brown has to start we are in trouble. Same thing if Belcher has to start for an injured DJ. Also K.Lewis is good but too lil for my taste. Cassel and Boss looked really good. Cant say anything bad about Cassel yet. That roll out pass to dex was amazing. 4 turnovas and u shud lose that game. Im kinda glad thur is no more of this stanzi starting ova Cassel by game 5 or 6 talk. Cassel as usuall was not the problem. Also sayn Cassel is the only weak spot left on this team is ludacris. Cassel is one of the players im not worried about

  • chiefs4life

    By the way, everyone applauded when we stopped tuning 5 yard dumps and screen. What did we do tonight ? That coaching was pitiful Offense and defense. We will not win if they don’t throw down field. I know its preseason but don’t work on junk your not going to run. IF those are the plays we are going to run we will get beat. Where was our two tightend set? No deep pas. I am just disappointed preseason or not now is the time we need to be working on that stuff. RAC better get with it right now. He was even running the ball like. Crazy in the 4th quarter. He may as well told stanzi to take a knee 3 times in a row and wait till the last second to snap it. Stupid, get as many plays in as you can. I want to see progression every game. To long have I waited for this team and I hate to see them sit on there hands. Use some trick plays or anything but run up the gut. Things need to change and fast

  • tm1946

    The play of Stanzi was tough to watch. Pretty obvious, Cassel cannot get hurt because he has no reliable backups on roster. So much for competition at QB position.
    DL remains an issue to me. Defensive plays seem to be generated by DBs and LBs and then the DL gets up to speed afterward, not the best plan for me. Local media are now saying Poe may not play all that much until late in the season, if so why was he a 1st round pick, if you are adding for later production seems a bit wasteful.

    • grizpapa

      Poe is the starter in subpackages.
      We were in subpackages more than 50% of the time last year.
      Seems like most of KC’s local media is garbage.

      • tm1946

        Yep, all local media is garbage, sez you. When the season begins, I suspect he will have stats similar to Jackson’s first two years. The level of his college career suggests he may not be the most finished product. But what does anyone know but you. We will see.