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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!