The Chiefs problems Pt 1: The Offense

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There is almost nothing redeeming about the play of this offensive line. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line

So, after calling out the quarterbacks for their short-comings, and for simply not being among the NFL elite…it’s time to start talking about why that is such a big deal this year.  The offensive line…I just don’t know where to start with these guys, oh wait, yes I do.

Eric Fisher is a bust.  Yes, I said it, and it is true.  However, that doesn’t mean he can’t turn out to be a decent NFL player with a long career.  It just means he has not been worth anywhere near the investment the Chiefs spent on him.   Of course, you can say that about almost the entire 2013 NFL Draft class.  Yeah, it sucked.  And, as I have said previously, the Chiefs got who they believed to be the best player they could at that time.  Now, I do think moving him back to right tackle was foolish, but not much I can do about that.  Still, he hasn’t been a dominant left tackle and that was what we needed him to be.

On the opposite end of the draft spectrum has been Mitch Morse.  Morse has shown the potential to really be one of the better centers in the entire league.  That’s no small thing.  However, he also continues to remind us that he is a rookie who can be prone to mental lapses…or simply getting beaten by guys who have been doing this for a long time.

Ben Grubbs was brought to Kansas City to be a leader and anchor for the OL, so a lot of this falls on him. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Up next is Ben Grubbs.  A lot of people have been down on Grubbs recently, but truth be told, that’s your own fault.  It seems that almost everyone has forgotten what Grubbs’ game is.  He’s a run blocking mauler.  That’s how he made his name in Baltimore.  The Saints thought they could use that and also make him a top tier pass blocker.  Turned out they were wrong.  When the Chiefs traded for Grubbs, I was sure that meant they were going to be getting physical in the run game…I was wrong.  Instead, we’re asking Grubbs to anchor the left side between a rookie center and a below average left tackle.  I mean, how does one look at that scenario and say: “Hey, I know you’re really good at this one thing, but I want you to do this other thing that you’re not nearly as good at.”  Mind boggling.

Speaking of that below average left tackle…I’m about over Donald Stephenson.  He certainly has not been an upgrade from what we saw of Fisher in the preseason.  In fact, it’s pretty clear that the only reason he is at left tackle is because he was much worse at right tackle and the Chiefs are simply trying to mitigate all the holes.  Stephenson has always been more hype than production, but now the Chiefs are at a point where it really starts to hurt them.

Stephenson’s counterpart from the “Pioli Era” isn’t faring much better right now.  I just don’t know what to make of Jeff Allen, and it seems that the Chiefs don’t either.  Seriously, I have never seen a team run as hot and cold on a player as this franchise has with Jeff Allen.  First he is replaced at left guard…despite having not been the problem there last year.  He is then given the starting right guard spot, until he is moved to starting right tackle.  He then suffers an injury that he is now supposedly healed from, but not being put back into the lineup.  I don’t know what all of this really says about him, but I can’t imagine that it’s good.

Speaking of that right guard spot vacated by Allen…I think we can all agree that Laurent Durvernay-Tardif being sent to the bench was the right (if not overdue) move.   I’m sorry, but he just doesn’t have what it takes.  He lacks the size and strength to be a road-grader and man up with the big men of the NFL.  He has great athleticism, sure.  But that’s not really what is needed at right guard.  You need a guy with some power and some lead in his butt to win in the phone booth.

However, it looks like the Chiefs may have found that (again?) in Zach Fulton.  Fulton struggled in the preseason and lost his job, but has looked much better the past two weeks.  Now, “better” does not equate to “good”, but Fulton hasn’t been the train wreck that LDT was.  In fact, this past week, I would dare say Fulton played the best on the entire line.  However, he still has his mental lapses and misses on blocks he should be able to dominate.