Aug 29, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Junior Hemingway (88) is congratulated by tackle Matt Reynolds (77) and tightened Kevin Brock (46) after catching a touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
I get it that last night’s game against the Green Bay Packers was basically a 60 minute try out for the guys who haven’t made the team yet. But be honest, as my fellow Addict writer Ladner Morse said in the live thread, when was the last time you were smiling during the second half a Chiefs’ game? I mean really. It was fun to watch.
As always, my original comments are in normal type and my follow up comments are in bold.
#1 Stop the Aerial Attack
The Pack loves to throw the ball. It doesn’t matter if it’s Aaron Rodgers under center or any of their backup QBs, they love to throw the ball. This is how the “legend of Matt Flynn” all started. The Chiefs have a decent secondary with the weakest link being, perhaps, free safety Kendrick Lewis. That being said, one downfall to defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s “attacking style” 3-4 defense is it leaves the secondary open to attacks through the air. The Chiefs’ cornerbacks and safeties (both first and second teamers) looked awfully suspect against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, giving up several big pass plays. Hopefully they’ve worked on that this week.
The defense did its job against the Green Bay Packer’s aerial attack last night. With QB Vince Young at the helm for the majority of the game, Bob Sutton’s defense only allowed 157 yards through the air, got to the QB twice, recovered a couple of fumbles and even had an interception. And oh, by the way, the defense managed to keep the pack from finding the end zone for the entire night. Bob Sutton, take a bow.
Key #1: Achieved
#2 Fight Fire with Fire
Looking at the passing stats from last week’s game, it’s clear that the Chiefs can move the ball through the air. In the first half, starting quarter back, Alex Smith, threw for 158 yards with a 70% completion rate and one touchdown. If you extrapolate those numbers out for the whole game, that’s 34/48, 2 TDs and 306 yards. And oh, by the way, he had a 38 yard gallop as well. But…Smith will likely not play much, if any, of the game tonight. Which leaves backups Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray (notice there’s no Ricky Stanzi…kind of nice). Daniel also had a great game with 152 yards through the air and 45 on the ground. If the Chiefs want to win, they need to air it out.
Raise your hand if you had fun watching Tyler Bray drop some “Bombs over Baghdad” last night! The kid threw for nearly 200 yards in his three quarters of playing time but more importantly led the Chiefs’ offense on five – yes you read that right – five scoring drives. With Bray at the wheel, the Chiefs scored three TDs (all thrown by him) and two field goals. I get it that it was against the “scrubs” trying to make the roster, but I haven’t had that much fun watching a Chiefs game in a long time. Tyler Bray, take a bow.
Key #2: Achieved
#3 Create Turnovers
The defense can be “aggressive” and “attacking” all they want. If they’re not creating turnovers either on the ground or through the air, they’re just not going to be good enough to win. Even with some holes here and there, the Chiefs defense has enough talent to pick off the ball or create a fumble. They not only need to force the Pack to put the ball on the ground but capitalize on those opportunities when they arise.
The Chiefs defense, as previously mentioned, was at it in a big way. I don’t envy head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey, and they cuts they’ll have to make by tomorrow. All in all, the D created three turnovers (2 forced fumbles and an interception) but had the opportunity for two others, as they had four FFs all together. Bob Sutton, take another bow.
Key #3: Achieved
#4 Limit the Penalties
It seems to me that the preseason is truly the preseason for everyone, including the officials. While some of them may be a bit a “flag happy” that doesn’t excuse some of the dumb penalties the Chiefs have committed during the preseason thus far. In three weeks worth of non-counting games, the Chiefs have been penalized 24 times for 320 yards. That’s not okay. Reid needs to discipline both sides of the ball to ensure these costly mistakes don’t continue to be committed.
Last night’s game was the least penalized the Chiefs have been through the preseason, though they were still flagged seven times for 56 yards. That’s not going to cut it in the regular season. If there’s one big downer to last night’s game, this was it. Discipline, guys…gotta have it.
Key #4: Not Achieved
#5 Stay Healthy
This one goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyways. This is the last “nationally televised scrimmage” for both teams this season. Even though the starters will likely see very little action, anytime they’re on the field, they should be extra conscious. I also recommending wrapping Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles in bubble wrap and leaving them in the locker room. I’m just saying.
For the most part, the guys who were on the field managed to do a good job of avoiding injury last night. The one glaring exception would be rookie tight end, Travis Kelce. He looked to be in pain as he limped off the field. When the camera cut to him on the side line, he was holding his knee and didn’t look happy. I really hope this isn’t the second tight end drafted by this team who’s gotten our hopes up only to turn into a walking hamstring pull. As of this posting, there has been no info that I’ve seen on the extent or type of injury he’s sustained. Let’s just hope whatever it is, he makes a speedy recovery and is ready for week one in nine days.
Key #5: Achieved
That’s it, Addicts. The preseason is officially closed. Next Sunday, this weekly post will be back but it will detail a game that will actually count in the win/loss column. We’ll get to see the starters for the whole game and it will all count. I, for one, can’t wait!
Thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!