Just like I predicted last week, the Chiefs are 2-3 going into the bye week. I have to admit, I was a little worried when the Indianapolis Colts got up 17-0 in the first half. But our Chiefs rallied and won the game to tie the largest comeback in team history.
Matt Cassel was stellar. He went 21 of 29 passing for 257 yards and FOUR touchdowns. We haven’t seen him do that since the Chiefs’ 2010 clash with the Seahawks in which he also threw four TDs. Cassel also recorded the second highest passer rating of his career, with a 138.9 rating. His only higher rating was against Jacksonville in 2010 at 144.0. Cassel also posted 12 rushing yards on the day, one of which came on a pivotal 3rd down as he jumped the pile of 300-pounders, extending the ball for one yard, which sealed the victory for the Chiefs.
Jackie Battle “Ram” had 19 carries for 119 yards, averaging 6.3 per carry, which is just behind Jamaal Charles’ average of 6.4 for all of 2010. I’m not sure if Battle can handle the load that Charles had in 2010, but he sure looked at the top of his game today, taking advantage of the opportunity since Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster aren’t producing like they could.
Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston split Cassel’s touchdowns, catching two apiece. Bowe’s first touchdown came on a 41 yard pass from Cassel in the second quarter. The Cassel to Bowe touchdown closed out a 6 play, 70 yard drive. The Colts drove right back and Delone Carter ran in from three yards out to make the score 24-7 with 1:09 left to go before halftime. Cassel then led the Chiefs, both passing and rushing, to a final score on a 16 yard touchdown pass to Breaston right before half, bringing the Chiefs within 10 points.
After exchanging possessions on punts to open the third quarter, the Chiefs drove 94 yards which led to Bowe’s second touchdown of the day, a potential “Sportscenter Top 10” type of play, in which Bowe had to tip the ball up in the air twice to himself while falling to the ground, and made a one handed catch for the touchdown!
Cassel and the Chiefs took over on offense with just under ten minutes left in the game after a 14 yard punt return by Javier Arenas which also drew a Horse Collar penalty, taking the Chiefs to the Colts 45 yard line. Probably the biggest play that no one will remember on the Chiefs’ final scoring drive is a 3rd down pass over the middle to Keary Colbert for 15 yards to give the Chiefs a first down at the Indy 19 yard line. It took three plays, but Cassel came through on third down with a floating pass to Breaston for the winning touchdown.
After the game, I compiled a list of feelings I felt throughout the game, so here they are for your reading pleasure.
I was afraid that the Chiefs would get mentally defeated after Pierre Garcon’s second touchdown
Being down 17-0 early in the second quarter can be very disheartening for a struggling football team. But I’m so glad the Chiefs stepped up and played as hard as they could and came back for the best comeback in the NFL so far this week. (Given the Broncos almost came back on the Chargers, but they didn’t complete it.)
For a while, Curtis Painter actually looked like a legitimate NFL quarterback
With Peyton Manning on the sidelines you’re bound to be successful, at least for a while, especially if you’re getting encouragement from him, which is exactly what Painter was getting. He looked Manning-esque in the first half, going 12 for 17 with 237 yards and two touchdowns. He somewhat caved in the second half, going 3 for 10, and only throwing for 40 yards.
I was almost afraid to start Cassel on fantasy this week
I missed my draft and it picked up Peyton Manning for me, so I had to go sign a free agent, being Colt McCoy. The Browns were on a bye, so I was somewhat forced to sign and start Cassel, because the only other starting quarterbacks available were Jason Campbell and Tarvaris Jackson. I’m glad I made the decision to pick up Cassel. If he keeps this up, he may start over McCoy for most of the season. (Fact: Cassel finished the Chargers, Vikings, and Colts game with passer ratings over 100.)
Dwayne Bowe is a beast
I can honestly say I don’t remember ever seeing a touchdown quite like Bowe’s today in the third quarter. The closest thing that comes to mind is the ball-on-helmet catch in the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl a few years back. I was worried that it hit the ground or that he wouldn’t hang on to the ball. But when CBS showed the slow-motion replay, I was stunned by how much concentration he had on that football.
The Chiefs defense stepped up big in the second half
Only allowing 40 passing yards to Painter for all of the second half after a 200-plus yard first half is outstanding.
2-3 is pretty good for the way the Chiefs started the season, although they are still in 3rd place in the division
Todd Haley and Matt Cassel have righted this ship and led the Chiefs to two straight wins going into the bye week. The Chiefs will prepare for a huge AFC West matchup in two weeks, going into Oakland to play an emotional Raiders team who lost owner Al Davis Saturday. Oakland has the best rushing offense in the NFL right now, averaging 178.8 yards per game. Their passing offense, however, is ranked 22nd. Don’t be surprised if we see Terrelle Pryor come in a couple times against the Chiefs, possibly even as early as next week against the Browns. It will be interesting to see how the Pryor/Campbell situation shakes down. If that starts in Oakland, two AFC west teams will be in the middle of a quarterback controversy, with Denver bringing in Tim Tebow in the second half of Sunday’s game to replace struggling Kyle Orton. San Diego joins the Chiefs on a bye week this week, but will have a tough test traveling to New York to take on the Jets in two weeks who actually played the Patriots very well on Sunday. The Jets are on a three game losing streak and will look to knock off the Dolphins and Chargers to get back in the AFC East race.
I think the #Suck4Luck campaigners have a little less firepower in Kansas City after Sunday’s game
Now that Cassel seems to be in his element and the team is playing like a team should, and that they playcalling has improved, I feel like the Chiefs can and will fulfill Le’Ron McClain’s prediction and go 5-3 in the first half of the season.
Todd Haley has the right idea
I love superstitions, especially sports-related ones. Sometimes they are ridiculous, like sacrificing a chicken (Major League reference, for those of you who don’t know), but if it works, keep doing it. Haley has decided to not shave until the Chiefs lose, and also will wear his sweat-stained red Chiefs hat on the sidelines until further notice. Even if there are no significant improvements, as long as we keep winning games, I won’t mind watching Haley’s press conferences with him in a Santa Claus beard.