The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the St. Louis Rams 27-13 yesterday in the Edward Jones Dome with the help of returning QB Matt Cassel. The Chiefs didn’t decide who would play quarterback until the last few minutes before the game and Cassel did not disappoint. He looked rough early, sailing a check-down pass way beyond his target. By the second quarter, Cassel and the offense were cooking.
When I saw the offense clunking (the receivers were even more rusty than Cassel) and the defense scuffling, I was thinking they were going to hit their strides sooner or later. That was an awful lot of mistakes in the first quarter but when it ended, the Chiefs were still only down by 6. The Chiefs offense was tenderizing the Rams D and the Chiefs D was bending but not breaking.
Jamaal Charles capped a great game off with an 80 yard run to seal the win for the Chiefs. Charles had quite a day as he had his helmet ripped off and had some cramping issues but it didn’t stop him from rushing for 126 yards. Sure, he only touched the ball 14 times yesterday but he did so much with it. I know how frustrating it is to see him limited but there will be game where he should be unleashed and when he is, watch out!
Tamba Hali had a great day but he was out-shined by Wallace Gilberry, who had three sacks and forced a fumble. Yesterday was a day for the pass rush, who had Sam Bradford guessing and gambling all day and Kendrick Lewis caught two of Bradford’s pop flies at the end of the game. The secondary didn’t have to do too much because of the front seven’s pressure but when it was needed, a receiver was covered and a pass was defended.
One thing that was going on all day was the Chiefs were being penalized for illegal formations. This hasn’t been a problem in weeks past but not knowing where one should be at shouldn’t be happening. It is too correctable and disruptive for the Chiefs to have this problem again.
All this being said, I don’t feel any different about the Chiefs’ playoff prospects. I definitely don’t feel worse but I don’t feel that much better. The Chiefs should make the playoffs and, if they do, they should win that first game. After that, I think they will be over-matched. The Oakland game scheduled in 13 days from now looms rather heavy. It remains to be seen whether or not it will be necessary for the Chiefs to clinch the division but, in all likelihood, it will be.
If the Oakland Raiders game does matter, it will be time to unleash JC.