If you’ve been a Big Matt reader for long, you probably know I think Todd Haley’s “quarter of the season” concept is, for lack of a better word, dumb. It’s not that I think it’s doing any harm, but I still cringe every time I hear him reference it. I had thought this was something he’d talk about in his first year, and then grow out of. I mean, breaking a season into quarters when the games come every week? What is that supposed to accomplish? It is, at best, a pointless exercise.
But hey, if Haley is going to bring this team back from the abyss, I’ll play along. Because I don’t care that we’re playing awful teams here, three wins in a row is something I never thought I’d see from this team after those first two games. And really, no matter how bad Kyle Boller is, going into Oakland and shutting them out is awesome. Much-needed revenge, after last season. So fine, we’re 2-0 in the second quarter of the season. Or, the “4-game season” as Haley now likes to call it. Bring on game 3. I am now participating in this system.
The best part about this winning streak is that the players will be gaining confidence regardless of who the opponent was. Do you think when Kendrick Lewis scampered into the end zone he was thinking, “Yeah, but this was against the worst quarterback in the NFL”? No way! He was feelin’ it, and rightfully so. I would imagine the post-game celebration was jubilant, and I seriously doubt anyone was referencing how bad Oakland’s QB situation is right now.
“Justice is blind,” as the saying goes. Well, I think confidence is blind as well. Winning feels awesome, no matter whom you beat*. These Chiefs have won three in a row, they’re fired up, and they’re heading back home with a chance to stake a claim on the division lead. That’s what matters most about this winning streak, not who we played.
*I played in a gigantic rooftop washers tournament over the summer. My partner and I, after an early loss, went on a crazy tear to win the thing (double elimination). 7 straight games, or some such. Most of these were against people who hadn’t played nearly as much washers as I have. Some were even against guy-girl teams (always doomed to struggle in competitive washers). Did that matter to me? Hell no. I felt like a washers god out there. Struttin’ around, mocking my opponents, bowing like a Japanese sensei every time I put one in the cup. I was confident that whomever I played next, I would be able to beat. That’s what a winning streak, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, can do for you. And yes, this is the closest comp I could come up with from my own life.
Now we go home thinking we can beat a team that’s had a stranglehold on the division for a long time. Maybe the Chargers are better than us. But we’re at home, and we think we can beat them. That alone gives us a fighting chance. Such a quick turnaround. De NFL be crazy, mon.
game notes after le jump
- I predicted our defense would get at least five sacks this week. Turns out I should’ve replaced “sacks” with “picks.” Unbelievable. Kendrick “Louis” Lewis’s INT was one of the finest I’ve ever seen. He narrowly edges my boy Flowers’s jumped route for best pick of the game. Although Flowers was talking sh*t the whole way in, which I of course loved. He’s an angry young man, that Brandon Flowers. In a good way. I feel like he needed this game.
- Is it just me, or were they rotating Amon Gordon in for both Tin Man and Dorsey a lot more this week? I noticed him lining up on the end quite a bit, particularly in the first half. Could Haley and Crennel be losing patience with the LSU Block Eaters? Would Beast Nation be able to handle that, psychologically? It would be pretty hilarious if one of the guys they’ve been claiming was awesome for the past three years got benched (or in Jackson’s case, benched again). Can’t say I’ve seen much from Gordon so far, but I’ll certainly be rooting for him, if only for the fascinating repercussions if he plays well.
- I’m just glad Todd Haley benched Derrick Johnson two years ago. Look at him now! Clear cause-and-effect there, right? In all seriousness, what a game. 13 tackles!?!
- Speaking of that preposterous benching, it seems like Demorrio Williams has been pissed off ever since he lost that position. If you’ll recall, he was the guy who started ahead of DJ in 2009. Then when Johnson, who was always clearly the better player, took his job back, Demorrio Speedwagon became a guy whose role, as far as I can tell, is to get stupid penalties on special teams. It’s too bad; I was a fan of his for his first two years here.
- At one point during the game I said there was no receiver I’d rather have than Dwayne Bowe. That statement was greeted by three stoic nods from my companions. D-Bowe is awesome. So, so awesome.
- Matt Cassel had a bad game. I want him to start, and I think we can win with him, but this is not an above-average quarterback. Arm strength, field vision and courage under fire are all clear weaknesses.
- Kelly Gregg and Le’Ron McClain have both won me over. Unbelievably, Gregg looks like he might actually still be good. I’ve always thought he was essentially a product of that Ravens defense. Now he’s out there makin’ more plays on the line than two top five picks combined. Very pleasant surprise. And while McClain might not actually be “good” per se, he looks funny, he mixes it up, and he seems to be a really positive presence on the team (you know, like Jones is supposed to be?). I’ll take it.
- Thom Jones looks worse every time he touches the ball. Further kudos to Todd Haley for going with Battle as the primary back. I didn’t think he’d be able to refuse a chance to feature his boy Jones. Admirable restraint being shown here. And it looks like those of us who thought Battle should’ve gotten a few more touches last season in place of Jones were…….100% correct?
- So what are we thinking about those 2010 2nd round picks? Arenas got that TD, occasionally does something interesting. The same can be said for McCluster, although he’s having a rough season. I’d take Arenas over McCluster at this point I suppose, although I have to admit I’m still not very happy with either of those picks.
- Welcome, Jon Baldwin. You look very big. I’m hoping to see you on the field with Bowe and Breaston on most of our offensive plays moving forward. Lenny Pope is a backup, plain and simple. This offense calls for plenty of 3 and 4 WR sets. Although actually, Baldwin, Bowe, McClain, Battle and Pope would give us a pretty massive group of skill position players if we had them all on the field at once. That could be fun. Chiefs fans like big players.
This was a stupendous win. After the game Hue Jackson said he “gets to play us again.” Right. I’m sure things will go much better for them at Arrowhead than they did in The Brown Hole (trademark?). Word is Jackson also said he was considering trading three future first round picks for the rights to Daunte Culpepper.
It’s nice to have some of that Chiefs/Raiders animosity back.