If teams were allowed to request bye-weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs wouldn’t have chosen this week to take a break. However, a team takes what the NFL gives a team and the Chiefs could use some extra time to study some Indianapolis Colts film and get Javier Arenas, Tamba Hali and Tyson Jackson healed. I don’t think this bye week is a “momentum disruptor” because the Chiefs have won by playing good football and not because of nebulous game-to-game momentum. Two weeks without playing at game speed might have the Chiefs playing rusty but if they prepare for the Colts as they did for the San Diego Chargers, the Chiefs could very well find a way to win in Indy.
Though the Chiefs are 3-0, they still have some deficiencies. I looked through the depth chart and I was trying to come up with names of players that I have seen not doing a good job. Matt Cassel comes to mind pretty quickly. I struggle to name another player that I think isn’t pulling his weight on offense. Brandon Albert received some light criticism from Pro Football Focus but he wasn’t near as bad as his Niners counterpart.
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On defense, Shaun Smith is outplaying Tyson Jackson but Jackson has only played in the home opener and he played well enough. It appears that Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher are rightful starting inside linebackers. Demorrio Williams and Corey Mays aren’t exactly changing the coaches’ minds at this point. This defense has Brandon Flowers, Tamba Hali and a bunch of players that are doing their jobs and it shows. If this defense can regularly simultaneously generate pressure on the quarterback and provide tight coverage downfield like they did against the 49ers, this might be a top 10 defense.
I’m not one to lend myself to believing in gimmicks but I like head coach Todd Haley’s idea of giving each of the veteran leaders and young leaders a clipboard for the bye week. At the very least, it keeps the older players from dinging themselves in practice. I am usually not in the habit of taking what players say at their word because they are usually talking nonsense but I believe Mike Vrabel when he says that more practice won’t make for optimal health when the Chiefs go to Indianapolis. I don’t even want to know what Shaun Smith’s drills entailed.
Now, here is a quick check-up on the teams I predicted the Chiefs will surpass in 2010 shows that, at this point, I am 3 for 5. The Carolina Panthers and the Arizona Cardinals have fallen apart rather quickly. The Denver Broncos appears to be having problems but they haven’t collapsed yet. Seattle has enjoyed some success but I am confident that Matt Hasselbeck will invariably be injured and then the Seahawks will be in trouble, The Chicago Bears are the NFC’s last undefeated team and their last win coming against the Packers on Monday Night Football. It’s still too early to tell anything as I think the Chiefs and the Bears still haven’t shown they will be in the playoffs just yet.
I will close with a recommendation and a scolding. I recommend the articles and analysis in Football Outsiders. While football doesn’t lend itself to statistical analysis, it was Football Outsiders projecting the Chiefs higher to be better than the prognosticators did. I don’t believe their projections as being consistently accurate but they have been correct thus far. It’s worth a look but take them with a grain of salt.
The scolding goes to Charlie Weis for opting to wait until Monday for emergency surgery for his infected gall bladder. Weis had been in pain for 48 hours but decided to coordinate the 49ers game rather than receive help. For a guy that had already come close to a health-related death and has obvious health problems outside of infected organs, he sure has recklessly disregarded his own health. To Weis, I say “Thanks for the dedication but you’re an idiot.”
Who are you watching this Sunday? Thanks for stopping by and good luck finding a compelling game that doesn’t involve the Chiefs! Also, congrats to Tony Moeaki for earning Rookie of the Week honors for last week!