The D-Bowe show was a no show.
At least, it was when it mattered.
But it wasn’t the only one.
Jamaal Charles: Two first-half fumbles hindered what could have been scoring drives, including one that was lost. Also dropped what would have been a big first down in the fourth quarter. Granted, one wasn’t “officially” a fumble, but he lost control of the ball. That counts in my mind.
Thomas Jones: Looked slow and lumbering at times, not picking up yards in crucial short-yardage situations.
Chris Chambers: Couple of key drops, including a big one on the final drive that could have been a game-changer.
Matt Cassel: Didn’t stretch the field often until late, had some critical bad throws – especially on fourth down on the first drive of the game, throwing into at least triple coverage. He also had a fumble.
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No, the fingers can point in any number of different directions. Bowe’s going to bear the brunt because he clearly dropped a touchdown pass that hit him in the hands.
Quite simply, it changes the game. But it didn’t, because it didn’t happen.
Then the very next play, Bowe drops another one. The next play, McCluster drops one – I forgive him though, since it would have lost yardage had he caught it.
This is one the entire offense takes it on the chin.
But it highlights a problem. The playmakers – particularly the receivers (Bowe especially) are not making plays.
Through the first four games of the season, Bowe had nine catches for 152 yards. The yards per catch isn’t bad, but one of those catches is the 45-yard touchdown. Take that away, 8 catches, 107 yards.
For a No. 1 receiver, those numbers are pathetic.
Some may look at Bowe’s numbers his first two years and then his precipitous drop the last two years and say, “Well, Cassel can’t get him the ball.” Cassel could get Moss the ball. He could get Welker the ball. His 2008 season can’t be ignored, no matter how much the initial reaction is to say, “Cassel sucks.”
Fact remains, as a No. 1 receiver, Bowe has struggled the last year. Technically, it’s his first two years as a top receiver, as Tony Gonzalez was the top threat for the Chiefs Bowe’s first couple of seasons.
Add in the four-game suspension last year, the ”importing” fiasco during the offseason, plus an alarming ability to drop the ball in key situations – Bowe has grown beyond the term “concern.”
This game was not entirely Bowe’s fault – as I said earlier. However, when Bowe elevates his game, it elevates his quarterback. It elevates his fellow receivers. It elevates the offense.
But you’ve gotta make a play. You’ve gotta help your quarterback.
You’ve gotta play like a No. 1 pick and a No. 1 receiver.
And until he does, this offense is not going to do a lot, despite what Charles, McCluster and Jones do.
Sad thing was, I liked the offensive game plan. Look at that first drive again. Chiefs marched down the field until the Charles fumble.
The plan – dink and dunk. They watched David Garrard and the Jacksonville Jaguars do that exact thing. That’s one reason why I don’t fault Cassel for going deep often – you could see the gameplan develop pretty easily if you were looking for it.
Short passes. Running game. Control the ball. Run the clock. Keep Peyton off the field. Limit his chances to beat you.
It was a smart plan. And it nearly worked. All you need is a couple plays here and there and it would have worked. But those plays never developed.
And there are several people on offense – not just Bowe, not just Cassel – who know they didn’t fully do their part Sunday.