Reason finally prevailed for the Chiefs today as the benched starting left guard Mike McGlynn for backup Jeff Linkenbach. While it may not have been stated for performance reasons, it was clearly a move that needed to happen. Here’s what Reid said after the game about the move.
It should be noted McGlynn is not listed on the official injury report for the Chiefs, though it does not mean he isn’t dealing with some minor bumps and bruises. Unless those bumps and bruises are more physiological than physical.
In the Chiefs first meeting with the Raiders, a game in which McGlynn started, the Chiefs allowed 11 quarterback (including two sacks) pressures on 40 dropbacks. That’s even more ridiculous when you consider many of those dropbacks were either screen passes or quick throws.
Today, with McGlynn out, Smith was sacked once and hit another time. Aside from that, Smith was left pretty clean. He even had time to throw downfield a few times, including a 48-yard bomb to Albert Wilson. It was the Chiefs’ longest pass play of the season until Knile Davis took a quick pass 70 yards for a touchdown.
Kansas City had five passes go for at least 20 yards today.
This isn’t to say Linkenbach had a great game. He got called for holding once, and the Chiefs averaged only 3.4 yards per carry in 27 attempts. Still it was evident, at least for today, that he was the better option for the Chiefs.
How long this remains the situation for the Chiefs on the offensive line is unknown. It will be something to watch throughout the week as the Chiefs head into a massive game on the road against the Steelers. But it was clear to the Chiefs were in a better position to throw the ball with some additional interior offensive line help than they had been the last three weeks.