The Turn Of The Tide


OK, its time to heap some praise.  After a win like that, what else can you do?  We put a straight-up beating on those fools.  Back in July I promised I’d get a Chiefs tattoo if we made the playoffs.  I’m going to be happy to keep that promise.  And it looks like I’ll have to, because we are clearly the best team in the AFC West.  I am now convinced of that.  The tide has turned.

Thom Jones once again got more touches than Jamaal Charles, but I have no right to complain about that this time.  When the offense does well, they are immune from criticism.  My problem before was that they weren’t doing well.  In a game like Sunday’s, if they want to run Jones 20 times I have no problem with that.  We were in control and the passing game was clicking.  If there’s a time to feed Jones, its then.  Although to be fair to Charles, he once again did much more with less.   He’s a lot better than Jones.

I feel like I could write a book about that game.  There are so many positives here.  Cassel finally stepped up.  My boy Flowers looked like a pro bowler.   Hali looked like an MVP.  Moeaki made the best catch by a Chief I’ve ever seen.

More gushing after the jump

And how about Shawn Smith?  What we’re getting from him is basically a best-case scenario.  And while I can’t endorse weird crotch play (on the record), I can certainly endorse attitude.  Smith definitely has that.  I love having a guy like that on the line.  Swagger, baby.  Smith brings it.  It’s pretty clear our defense is better without Tyson Jackson, right?  A Smith/Gilberry rotation at LE is something I’d like to see on a permanent basis.

My personal favorite moment was the amazing reverse flea flicker that resulted in a classic Dwayne Bowe highlight-reel catch.  Bowe may not be the guy you want running a five yard out on third down, but when it comes to spectacular touchdown catches, he is second to none.  The playbook should feature him more the closer we get to the end zone.  God, I love D-Bowe.

Amazing plays and favorite players aside, there is one positive that for me trumps all the others.  Todd Haley and Charlie Weis got it done yesterday.  This is the Haley I like.  The guy with balls.  I was worried we’d lost him to a bizarre quest for ugly wins.  Yesterday he showed the aggressiveness that made me like him in the first place.

We don’t have the personnel for ugly grinders.  And even if we did, that style is hardly optimal.  What we have are explosive playmakers.  Our offense can hum.   They proved that.  They also proved that good offense and good defense can, and should, go hand in hand.  THAT is optimal.

Haley’s best call wasn’t the 4th down, or the onside, or even the flea-flicker.  It was that first touchdown pass to McCluster.  That was a critical moment.  His decision will have season-long ramifications.  Cassel had just thrown an ugly interception, and it looked like we were in for another afternoon of bad play from him.  When handed the ball in scoring position in that situation, most coaches would’ve gone into a shell and pounded the ball up the middle.  I was sure we were going to get a heavy dose of Jones from there on out.

Instead, we came out throwing.  Weis gave Cassel an easily completable pass and it turned into a touchdown.  For a quarterback in need of confidence, that had to have been quite a boost.  Haley showed his struggling quarterback he believes in him and was rewarded with a breakout performance.  Textbook.  That decision may well have saved Cassel’s season.  It certainly restored some confidence in Todd Haley and Charlie Weis.  I’ve talked before about trying to isolate a coach’s impact in my analysis.  This time, Haley gets an enthusiastic two thumbs up.

This is the most pumped up I’ve been about the Chiefs in a long time.  After the game I felt like I could run 20 miles.  Instead I went home, ate Chef Boyardee beefaroni, and watched four straight episodes of The Wire.  A man got to have a code.