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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?