Blame Rankings In The Denver Loss

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#2 Special Teams

I’d like to make this a two-way tie at the top, but I know that is more of my emotion talking. Knile Davis had some good returns, but I just cannot forgive this unit for the punt miscues. I think the beleaguered CB Marcus Cooper should be cut a bit of slack because he was mostly at the wrong place at the wrong time when P Dustin Colquitt’s evil twin shanked a punt right into his shin.

But, the fake punt is unforgivable. I’m not sure there’s a single play so far this season that infuriated me more than that sequence of events. After a penalty on Denver’s initial punt at 4th and 2 at the Denver 41 was called back to a penalty, the Broncos took a direct snap on 4th and 7 and gained a 1st down and more. First off, this was a really smart call by the Denver coaches, who knew that the suspicion of a possible fake would be down after they had just gotten pushed back by a penalty to their own 36, but Chiefs players should know that they are not allowed to make Denver look smart.

Sep 21, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub (left) talks with head coach Andy Reid (right) during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Chiefs won 34-15. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The net result was that Denver’s first three-and-out all day was erased. After giving up 14 quick points, the defense came out with a stand at the beginning of the 2nd Quarter that could have started the Chiefs long road to a comeback. They would have gotten the ball with decent field position and, most importantly, seeing that the defense was capable of making a stop, the offense would have had the leeway to put together a long, grind-it-out drive on the ground the way they are built to do, and bring it within 7 by the end of the half.

Instead, the Broncos continued their march down the field and kicked a field goal to make it a three-score game. At that point, Denver had scored on every single one of their drives and HC Andy Reid had no reason to think they would stop. This immediately forces the Chiefs to go from what they do well to the types of plays one has to call to desperately get back in the game.

Although it won’t count as such, I consider allowing a 4th-and-long conversion on a fake special teams play the same as a turnover. And, in that regard, the Special Teams unit gave up two turnovers in this mess.