November 12, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) rushes the ball as Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison (92) defends during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Earning Their Arrowheads

Despite the bad taste left in many fans mouths after the heartbreaking overtime loss on Monday Night Football, there were some individual performances that deserve recognition. Here are the Chiefs that earned their Arrowheads this week.

Derrick Johnson:
Johnson is simply amazing. It doesn’t matter if the game is on the line or if the Chiefs are down by 30 points, DJ brings it every single play. He may be the best LB in the league at splitting blockers and shooting into the backfield. It’s not that there aren’t blockers assigned to stop him, he just shoots right past them. He blew up multiple plays in the backfield again Monday night and had Jon Gruden swooning over him constantly. I believe he ended up being credited with 12 tackles and a forced fumble. I think you can make a strong case for DJ as the best player on this team.

Jamaal Charles:
He would make this list simply for scoring the TD that gave the Chiefs the first lead of their season regardless of what he did the rest of the night. However, Charles ended up with 23 carries for 100 yards against a Steelers defense that entered the night the #4 team against the run. The Chiefs would be well served to leave JC on the field on 3rd down. The Chiefs ended the night 2 for 13 on 3rd downs and their best offensive player was standing on the sideline for most of those.

Justin Houston:
I almost disqualified Houston because of his stupid celebrations. The “Kid N Play” sack dance with Hali was cute, but should have been a penalty and then his leading of the group celebration in the end zone after the TD that didn’t even count was even more ridiculous. However, the fact that he was in on 7 tackles, had a sack, and forced a fumble put him on this list. Houston is clearly Scott Pioli’s best draft pick and a rising star for the Chiefs.

Tony Moeaki:
This is a bit of a stretch, but it was the first time all season that Moeaki was a factor in the passing game. He finished with 3 catches for 68 yards and had another nice catch that was called back on a bogus offensive pass interference call that should have put KC in FG range near the end of regulation. Even though Moeaki had a drop earlier in the game it was the first time all season that I felt like Moeaki was running well enough to get open. Perhaps Moeaki is starting to get fully healthy after his knee surgery last year. He looked like the same player as his rookie season and that is a good sign for the passing game.

Jalil Brown:
Okay, I know Brown didn’t do anything fantastic, but I thought he played every bit as well as Stanford Routt had been. He made a nice pass break up at one point and stonewalled Jonathon Dwyer (who must outweigh him by 25 pounds) in the open field to stop a first down. Routt wouldn’t have made that tackle. At this point I think they should give Brown a shot to start in the base instead of just putting him out there in the sub package when Arenas moves to the nickel. Brown will make some mistakes, but I think he has more long term potential outside than Arenas does.

Gary Gibbs:
Romeo Crennel has proven himself a great defensive coordinator, but he seemed to lose his mojo once he became the head coach. When he stepped down as defensive coordinator I don’t think many KC fans had a lot of hope that the defense would improve under Gary Gibbs. After all, Gibbs didn’t even beat out Clancy Pendergast for the DC spot in Haley’s first season in KC. That having been said, the defense came to play Monday night. The blitzes seemed well timed and pretty effective and with the exception of a few wide open Heath Miller receptions in the first half, the coverage was solid all night long. It appears that the defense will be fine in Gibbs’ hands.

Honorable Mention: Dontari Poe
If you look in the box score you won’t find any reason to mention Poe. I believe his only stat was one assisted tackle. However, he was in on the play where Johnson forced the fumble and actually got some push into the backfield multiple times throughout the game. The Chiefs have a bad tradition of recent 1st round defensive linemen, but Poe looks like he might be able to break that trend. To be honest, I thought the lineup of Poe, Ropati Pitoitua, and Shaun Smith looked like the best base defensive line the Chiefs have fielded in years. Not that that’s saying a whole lot.

What do you think Addicts? Am I wrong on any of these picks? Did I leave anyone out?

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  • ArrowFan

    Don’t forget the officiating that kept us in the hunt for the #1 over all pick.

  • Matt Finucane

    D-Bowe’s hilarious touchdown taunt gets an Arrowhead in my book. Same with the Houston/Hali dance.

    • Jonathan Aldridge

      agreed lol they were nice. coincidentally both were held back..

  • chiefridgy

    Obviously the officials blew some major calls and we might have won had they not been called BUT we still had several opportunities to win the game despite those penalties and we blew it in true chiefs fashion. Over all we looked pretty solid last night but get a clue daboll….this guys play calling leaves a lot to be desired and for the love of god leave Jamaal in for a couple series in a row….what ever happend to the threat of Jamaal and Hillis in the back field together? I hope it’s time to roll out Stanzi and let him play the rest of the season. Man oh man….sigh

    • PunjabiPete

      No offense, but if Stanzi had been out there we would have had 0 chance. We had multiple chances with Cassel in there. I am not sure why you love Stanzi so much. There’s a REASON he is #3 on the list, and it’s not because there is a super secret conspiracy to keep him down, that’s absolutely preposterous. The fact of the matter is Ricky Stanzi is a young, raw, untested, and currently not-NFL ready QB. I agree if we get into garbage time, we should let Stanzi play, but not when it’s close, or we have ANY chance of winning, or (funny, I know) a chance of losing a small lead if we have one.

      • chiefridgy

        Garbage time….we have had 9 games from start to finish of garbage time…..I’m just saying now that there is no hope why not throw him in there.

  • KcNdaRock

    Hali and Houston deserve it for the dance.. Did u see them 2 big ass bears on Rythem (kinda) lol made my night.. Got 1 complaint on the list BRANDON FLOWERS was beast all nite and laid some licks on people.. There’s no reason why gruden wouldn’t raise an eyebrow watching this team..

    • Lyle Graversen

      Good call on Flowers, he should have been on the list.

  • natasha2marie

    I know this isn’t the popular opinion but I loved each and every excessive celebration last night. Someone compared them to the classless Raiders, another said that 1-8 teams don’t deserve to celebrate like that. Undisciplined, etc.

    Whatever. The Chiefs are the laughing stock of the NFL and the punch line of every joke. Look at how much fun the ESPN group had at their expense. The Chiefs, and especially the defense, came out and played with some emotion on the biggest stage in the NFL. That was an entertaining game, and with a record of 1-8, that’s all I hope for from the Chiefs this season.

    • KcNdaRock

      You are right they played there heart out but still.. Mnf and they showed why they were1-7 no discipline.. We should have beat Pittsburgh the last 2 years but still missing that damn qb

    • PunjabiPete

      I still liked that Chris Johnson TD and bongo drums a couple years ago, anyone remember that? Or when Donovan McNabb ran off the sidelines and grabbed the front office phone? I might have my facts wrong

  • KcNdaRock

    Off subject but ima big believer that u don’t celebrate like crazy act like you’ve Bn there and done that before.. The Td dance was ignorant but I guess they haven’t had any success this year either.. Poor discipline

  • PunjabiPete

    Shaun Smith I thought brought some much needed swagger to that d-line. I saw him get in some faces, and if that’s how he’s gonna play I hope he grabs balls for the Chiefs for years to come! I LOVED the D-Bowe taunt, and I thought that Justin Houston dance was awful but I was laughing and enjoying it as well, if that makes sense