September 09, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) is hit while throwing by Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham (55) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Falcons won 40-24. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

A Chiefs “Monday Morning (Armchair) Quarterback”


KC fans and fellow Addicts, I know that the Chiefs’ first game did not go as we had all hoped it would. I just returned home from my pilgrimage to Arrowhead and I wish I had it in me to string together a well-crafted and cohesive article, but I struggle to do that some (okay, most) weeks even when I’m not exhausted. So in honor of AA and FanSided’s partnership with SI.com, I thought I’d pay homage to SI’s Peter King and his Monday Morning Quarterback column. If you don’t read it every Monday, you’re missing out. King basically shares his thoughts and observations on a plethora of NFL topics. It’s as good as it gets when it comes to national writers who cover the NFL. So here is my feeble attempt at a KC Chiefs Monday Morning (Armchair) Quarterback.

• There were a lot of KC fans leaving the stadium Sunday fuming about Matt Cassel. I understand that his second interception was bad and that the failed screen pass throw away looked ridiculous, but overall Matt Cassel did his part to win that game. I know some fans will hit the ceiling when they read that, but it’s true. The Chiefs are built to win by running the ball and playing good defense. Matt Cassel is supposed to get the ball to his play-makers and pick up some first downs, and he did that. They only ran the ball “okay” in my opinion (more on that in a second) and the defense allowed scoring drives on the Falcons’ first eight possessions. Matt Cassel is not a QB that can win a shoot-out like that. We knew that already, but if the run game is stronger and the defense makes stops, the Chiefs can win with the Matt Cassel that played on Sunday.

• The run blocking wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. I know they rushed the ball for over 100 yards, and yes, Jamaal Charles is back and looked good, but most of his yards were gained because he’s the man, not because the offensive line was pushing around an undersized Atlanta front seven. Charles lost yards on several carries because there was just nothing between the tackles and it was too late for him to bounce it outside with any success. Peyton Hillis looked a lot like Thomas Jones (just with a lot more fight in him) because of the lack of running lanes. I REALLY hope the Chiefs can run between the tackles with more success as the season goes on. I for one think they may need to sign a true fullback. I love Eachus and all, but if they are struggling between the tackles they need a bigger bruiser in there at FB to bust things up.

• Why is Shaun Draughn getting meaningful snaps? I mean, he’s solid depth and I’m glad we have him, but Hillis only got seven carries. On third and long, wouldn’t it make more sense to have either Charles or Hillis out there? At least the defense would be scared of the threat of one of those two and it might open things up for one of the TEs or WRs. Anyone else think that’s kind of silly?

• Can we throw one deep ball to Jon Baldwin? Just one? I mean the guy was all anyone could talk about during training camp. I understand that he was invisible during preseason, but you know who else was invisible during preseason? Steve Breaston. Don’t get me wrong, I like Breaston, but not so much that Baldwin should only see the field for a handful of plays and not see a single ball thrown his way. Maybe the guy doesn’t run routes well. Maybe he doesn’t get off the jam well. What we do know about Baldwin is that if you throw a ball up to him in one-on-one coverage he has the ability to make an amazing highlight reel catch. So why in the wide, wide world of sports couldn’t we take one shot down field to him when we’re down two scores? I don’t get it.

• Allen Bailey is hurt. Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey have been scientifically proven to lack the “pass rushing gene” that is needed to apply pressure on a quarterback. That basically left two active defensive linemen left as possible pass rushers in the sub package next to Dontari Poe. Those two are Ropati Pitoitua and Jerrell Powe. Now, I’m happy to have Pitoitua on the roster and I think he’s great insurance in case something happens to Dorsey and Jackson, but I think he’s more of a Dorsey/Jackson type player in that he’s strong against the run but not much of a pass rusher. However, Jerrell Powe has repeatedly flashed a strong bull rush in his preseason snaps. Sometimes he does it when he’s suppose to be “two gapping,” which may be why they have been reluctant to play him at NT in the past, but it would make him a great candidate to play next to the other Poe in the sub package. Can you imagine the interior line of an opponent having to prevent the pocket from collapsing with those two wide loads charging at them? PLAY POWE IN THE SUB PACKAGE!!!!!!!!!! DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

• Tell me if I’m wrong here. Don’t we have a defensive back on the roster that has successfully played CB in this defense when Brandon Flowers was dinged up before? Didn’t Travis Daniels actually look pretty good filling in on the outside in previous seasons? Did I make that up? I get that they like him playing more of a nickel/safety role, especially with Lewis out, but since we have Elam and Arenas who can play safety and nickel respectively, WHY ARE WE PLAYING DANIELS THERE WHILE REEVES AND BROWN ARE GETTING ABUSED ON THE OUTSIDE?!?!?!?!?!?!?

• We didn’t lose this game because we didn’t re-sign Brandon Carr, just stop that talk right now. If we had re-signed Carr we wouldn’t have signed Routt. That means that this game would have had Carr and Reeves as the starting corners and Reeves still would have been Julio Jones’ whipping boy. As much as its fun to scream about all our cap space and how we could have signed both Routt and Carr, it’s not realistic. I’m sure Routt was looking to sign with a team where he could start and the Chiefs are already rated #1 in the NFL in cash spending on their defense even without re-signing Carr. We all wanted Carr back, but when you already have two huge contracts in your secondary (Flowers and Berry), I don’t think any GM in the NFL would have signed a third DB to a contract the size that Carr signed with Dallas. Wasn’t everyone pretty happy with KC’s offseason a month ago? What has changed to get so many people up in arms?

• I was pretty impressed with Dontari Poe. He’s obviously a LONG way from proving he was worthy of the high pick the Chiefs spent on him, but I think he’s shown enough thus far that KC fans can start to get excited. Actually, the entire run defense looked really good against the Falcons. The Chiefs’ problem was that there was ZERO pass rush without Tamba Hali. Zero pressure plus a third-string CB matching up with Julio Jones equals trouble. Hopefully the Chiefs will get some of their defensive starters back for the Buffalo game (Hali, for sure) and things will look a lot better.

I think that’s it for this week. Let me know what I missed or where I’m wrong in the comments below.

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.simms Leonard Thejukebox Simms

    ?How many times did we blitz?, it look a lot like a prevent defense with no pass rush

    • Danny W

      They didn’t even try! Houston was in coverage several times. What a joke!

    • Lyle Graversen

      Yeah, I can see trying it out to start with, but you would think that after getting beat repeatedly that they would at least try blitzing and see what happens. It certainly couldn’t have been worse.

  • Spencer

    it was a prevent reeves from getting killed the entire game defense, we overloaded his side with players, leaving routt to be abuse later on in the game by atlanta considering he only had elam while reeves had sum 50 people helping him, Crennel simply just tried to prevent atlanta from abusing reeves-which obviously didn’t work,

    Cassel had a GREAT game IMO, he had one interception and one fumble, Moeki had two hands on one of Cassel’s interceptions so that is a WR interception not Cassels, we simply had no run game in the 2nd half, had no defense helping the entire game, and Cassels simply isn’t good enough to play a perfect game when he’s trying to play catch up by passing all over the field, exspeically only 2nd and long, also his fmble was a strip from behid when he was winding up to throw-not entirely his fault……..

    i blame this game on the defense’s inabilty to stop atlanta once when it mattered, and succups missed fg which really forced us to play catch up preventing us from running in the 2nd half…………….

    With Hali back, presumbly Flowers back, Lewis hopefully we should TORCH the Bills, considerig how the blundering jets did it…….

  • Joshua

    IMO the coaching staff did a bad job keeping the offense cool after the missed fg. everybody knew the defense wasn’t gonna stop the passing attack and I believe Cassel tried to take over the game. I would rather see more single back formations with Charles in the game and have 3 receivers to spread the field with some delayed handoffs, make the defenders stop him in the open field he well make people miss

  • http://twitter.com/OHChief Mutty Sharfi

    I respectfully disagee that if we would have resigned Carr that we would not have signed Routt. Given what we ended up paying for Routt I think we could have afforded all 3. That said, I personally don’t think Carr was interested in resigning. I truely believe he wanted to test the market and when you look at the guarenteed money he took from Dallas he definately could have gotten more. I do feel that the Chiefs did not want to burn all of their cap money for this year rather be able to use it to extend multiple players and have a good team over the next 5 years. However, I do think having Carr for this game (assuming we would have also gotten Routt) would have completely changed the outcome of this game.
    That said… I agree that Cassell got caught up in trying to do too much in the 2nd half. If you take out the huge swing in the 3rd from the turnovers (that really put the D in a short field situation), it was actually a close game (but the turnovers did happen and you have to consider it). The impact of Flowers and Hali really showed. Houston looked good but he is not Hali (yet). As bad as this game turned out I did come out of the optimistic. With the injuries in the D, I did not give us a very good chance. As you stated we are a team designed to play a sow pace game not a shootout. Without our D at full strength we are not ready to complete with the Big Os of the NFL.
    We still have works to do… but I am still one optimistic Chief fan.

    • Lyle Graversen

      Could and would are two different things. Could we have signed Carr and Routt cap space wise? Yes. Is there any GM in the NFL that would lock up that high of percentage of their cap in the secondary? Probably not, plus I don’t know that Routt would have signed with us if he didn’t have a chance to start.

    • Chief Hokie

      I really wish we signed both Carr and Routt. All we’re ever hearing is how the NFL is a passing league. This fact, combined with our defense’s functional reliance on DB’s, and I see no reason other than $$ standing in the way of Carr and a Chief’s jersey right now. If we’re really trying to win a superbowl with the strategy of having a strong running game and a stout defense, then why on earth would you let a homegrown, elite talent like Carr walk when you have the cap space to get a deal done? I’ve heard enough of the “well we need to have money to resign our players next year” and “well we’re a young team and we need to save the money” charade. Wouldn’t that money best be spent locking up the best players on our team, especially when they are just hitting their prime? Yeah we need to lock up Branden Albert – but Dorsey and Belcher? Who is more replaceable, Carr or Dorsey? Regardless of how much money is tied up in our secondary, the fact is that Brandon Carr is an elite CB, a defensive gem, who is just as good, if not, better than Flowers. Bottom line: If you are in it to win it, which Pioli/Hunt would have us believe, you don’t let elite talent like Carr walk, especially when your depth at that position is weak.

      • KC_Fanactic69

        It was obvious, at least to me, that Carr was THRILLED to sign with Dallas, the team he loved growing up. I doubt that he would have signed back with us even if we had out bid Dallas – which we couldn’t simply because we’d set the ceiling with the contract Flowers signed. How can you possibly justify paying you’re #2 corner more than your #1 guy? Yeah I’d of loved to of had Carr back along with Rout too, but with Dallas willing to pay Carr MORE than we were giving Flowers AND Carr’s desire to play with his “home town” team it just had ZERO chance of happening. PERIOD.

  • ArrowFan

    Our special teams looked like they are still playing the preseason. In all aspects did we start one drive past the 20 yard line after a kickoff?

    • Lyle Graversen

      I haven’t been impressed with special teams at all this year.

  • Danny W

    This is the first article you’ve written in a while a I agree with. Nice work today.

    • Lyle Graversen

      Blind squirrels and broken clocks, right?

      • Danny W

        Oh, your a good writer brother it’s just the realistic optimism has seemed to be more kool aid dealing as of late. Difference of opinions you know what I mean?

  • jimfromkc

    What it all boils down to is that the Chiefs are just not as good as they were hyped to be. I see some things I like, but they are just not really good yet. The offensive line is going to have to get a little bigger and more athletic. They need to get rid of anything that reeks of New England and get back to Chiefs football. I think we just got beat by a team that has been playing together for a year or two longer and have better players at the skill positions, especially QB. I learned long ago not to put much credence in the media and team hype. The only thing I believe is what I see with my own eyes.In my opinion I think Pioli has screwed this group of players out of ever playing in a super bowl. He ain’t going to get it done with Cassel and by the time he gets a franchise QB and gets him ready to go the window will have closed on this core group of players.