Chiefs VS. Pats: A State Of The Union Game
By Laddie Morse
There we were, one month into the season and it was already time for a “State of the Union Address” when it comes to game day action reflecting the overall condition of the whole organization. The Kansas City Chiefs game against the New England Patriots was one of those games, for both teams. Not only did the Chiefs come out and make a statement but so did the Patriots.
Beast-like for one. Bust-like for the other. As a game it was epic and peptic, all at once, depending upon who you asked.
Personally, I’d like to forget about the Chiefs game one against the Tennessee Titans and I hadn’t been able to for the past three weeks. That is until Monday evening when the men of Kansas City trounced the boys of New England. I’d also like to forget the Chiefs game against the Indianapolis Colts last January and while this game went a long ways towards achieving that accomplishment, I’ll have to wait and see if there’s a playoff victory in the cards for the 2014 version of the Chiefs. If so, make it a victory over the Colts and then all will be forgiven.
For now, in this one moment in time, the Chiefs made it clear that they are not to be taken lightly. Before the season was getting ready to unfold, many had their doubts about whether or not the Chiefs could contend with many of the teams on their schedule, much less teams in the AFC West, excluding the Oakland Raiders. After Monday’s shellacking of the once proud Pats, no one is doubting that this team could give every team they face this season a run for their money. I would include the Seattle Seahawks in the group as well.
Did the New England Patriots get bad in one game? No, but they certainly looked bad in this game. The Patriots organization has obviously devolved. Old age and inexperience are like oil and water and that team is full of it. I won’t say any more on their account, mostly because ESPN used 90% of the post game show’s air time to talk about “New England Losing This Game” instead of “How the Chiefs Won the Game.” From where I sit, ESPN should be totally embarrassed, down to the last man (and woman), for doing such a pitiful job of calling what they did “reporting” because the real story of this game was: “What A Statement Game” it was for the Chiefs… so much more than it was any kind of story for the you-know-whos. So tired of hearing their names!
Back to the real story and the real stars of this show: the fathomlessly deep, incredibly talented and well directed Kansas City Chiefs!
Prior to the game I was watching Jamaal Charles huffing and puffing from getting warmed up. I’d never seen that before in Charles and although at first I had concerns, I also thought this might be good for the Chiefs because it would mean trading snaps throughout the game, instead of Charles taking them all from the first through the third quarters. Wow, did that ever work out for the best. You can now expect to see a lot more of this didactical duo teaching their brand of tag team two-step to countless other unsuspecting defense. There’s just no way to prepare for what Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis bring to the dance floor together. They’re not so much “Thunder-n-Lightning” as they are “Zip-n-Zap” because JC can unzip a defense faster than you can blink and KD will zap ‘em like a stun gun. It was such a pleasure watching these two wave each other on and off the field and then whichever was on the field would make the defensive players look like kindergarteners standing in line for a flu shot. And yes, it was even more pleasurable coming against that team.
Talking about nick-names… how about Misters… “Munch and Crunch:” Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. One to eat them up and the other to smash them flat. Before going on and on about the twin devourers, it must be stated that the Chiefs secondary, while not perfect, did an admirable job covering the wide receivers on this night. They did so well that it gave Hali and Houston time to shine. They are a big part of this story. This bodes well for the future of the Chiefs secondary, especially when you consider Eric Berry didn’t play in this game and the Chiefs really don’t have a shut-down corner (yet) to take away one side of the field.
Justin Houston has 5 sacks in four games this year. Tamba Hali three. At this pace Houston finishes with 20 and Hali will get 12. However, the story of the defensive front doesn’t in any way begin and end with them. Jaye Howard was very good on Monday. I watched highlights of the game on Tuesday evening and Howard was a presence and his pursuit was excellent often coming from the back side of a play to help chase down a running back. The same can be said of Allen Bailey and Vance Walker. In the game against Denver Kevin Vickerson stood out. Of course there’s the grand master of disaster Dontari Poe who continues to draw double-teams and that helps set up so much of what his teammates do along the defensive front. His value is equivalent to a shutdown corner. Anytime a player “demands” double team attention 90% of the time, every other defensive teammate benefits. I’d like to see more of Vickerson and Poe lining up together. What a mass of humanity that would be to deal with.
Both Josh Mauga and Jame Michael-Johnson played good games and were often in the thick of things. That brings us to that part of the team condition known as the depth. I don’t think anyone saw this outcome coming with Berry, DJ, DAT, DeVito, Mays, Allen, Stephenson, Catapano, Commings and McKnight all out. The only way this happens is if GM John Dorsey and his team of evaluators continue to bring in talent each week and give them a home if they’re more talented than who the Chiefs currently have in house.
In that sense, this game was a hats off to Dorsey game. One of the big reasons this was more than just a win. It has to be considered a state of the organization game.
If you’re looking the whole organization over, you also have to tip the hat to Clark Hunt. During the game I was asking the question: would I rather have the Chiefs organization right now or the Patriots?
+ Alex Smith is hitting his stride while Tom Brady is looking nothing like Tom Brady.
+ TE Travis Kelce totally out-gronked the Gronk in this game.
+ Coach Andy Reid still needs to take “Clock Management 101” but his play calling has reached another level. One that has me believing the Chiefs can win the big ones.
+ Jamaal Charles is incomparable. His shadow, KD, is pretty darn good too.
+ LT Eric Fisher is continuing to progress and the future looks brighter and brighter for him.
+ S Husain Abdullah looks a lot like Eric Berry and when Berry returns it’s going to be fun watching those twins unload on other teams. ProFootballFocus gave Abdullah a +5.6 for this game. Also, the NFL owes Husain Abdullah an apology for flagging him for praying in the end zone after his brilliant pick-six.
+ WR Donnie Avery even looked good in this game. He has 14 receptions this year and although he still doesn’t look like a strong #2 receiver, his speed is to be respected, which is exactly what other teams are showing him so far this season.
+ Little man Cairo Santos is scaring some fans but looks like he’s settling down and beginning to show some consistency.
+ Dustin Colquitt? Well, they should just change the name of all punters to “Colquitt” because he is having yet another stellar season.
+ The best and loudest fans in the world are the cherry on top. No question about it.
Do the Chiefs have holes? Sure they do but the depth and game planning have minimized the holes to a large degree. Since the half-time of game two… the moment I believe the Chiefs turned this season around… they have outscored their opponents 82-32.
If there is any one statistic that truly is a statement of how the Chiefs organization is doing right now… it is this, “82-32.” That’s why this was a state of the union game. Hail, hail to the Chiefs.
What do you say Addict fans? Want to add your own state of the union address?