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Nick’s Chiefs Briefs: Week 5

The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t undefeated anymore, but the game against the Indianapolis Colts gave me more faith in the team than I’ve had all season.  I think it would be an understatement to say that Chiefs fans would be pleased to be in the playoffs and that possibility is extremely real and plausible.  Welcome to this weeks Chiefs Briefs all ready to enjoy during Monday Night Football or while pretending to listen during that conference call at work.

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  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Most coaches have winning football games as their second priority behind keeping their jobs.  It’s why NFL coaches are conservative to the point that it hurts their teams chances to win.  If they make the easy call, then they can point to execution rather than take the heat themselves for a bold call that didn’t work out.  I have not been a fan of Todd Haley at all, not until this week that is.  Why?  Because he stepped up and made bold calls that gave his team an opportunity to win.  The opening onsides kick was brilliant, the 4th and 2 call was actually extremely easy to make, but in the ultra-conservative world of the NFL it’s considered crazy.  I really began to be a Haley fan this week.
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    • Speaking of the media reaction to the game and Haley’s coaching how bout this nugget from the Twitter account of Bob Fescoe, morning host on 610AM.  “The #chiefs lost because of the incompetence of Haley. He single handedly lost this game”.  Look, I know it’s Twitter and in the heat of the moment, fans and media alike can over-react, I do it all the time.  But how on earth can someone watch that game and come away with that?  I’ll tell you how, because the media is usually lazy and have bought into this conservative mind set.   Anything out of the ordinary freaks them out and they can’t wrap their heads around the idea that it was a good call.  It’s media and fan reactions like this which make coaches stay inside their comfort zone in order to keep their jobs.
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    • Patrick Allen from the Arrowhead Addict writes “The Chiefs Have A Matt Cassel Problem“,  I know it sounds like the same stuff you’ve been hearing/reading, but it’s really well done and worth your time and as long as there are apologists out there, this information is useful.
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    • Quick thought: What if this Kansas City Chiefs team had Jared Allen on it?
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    • Ok, I really need to be careful with this point.  I know that breast cancer is serious.  It’s hit and even killed some people I really love.  But I wonder how much the random pink uniform accents really helps the cause.  If they do help, even a little, then I’m cool with it.  There is a part of me that thinks there are more effective ways for the NFL to help find a cure for breast cancer than to make the NFL jerseys look ugly for a week.  Maybe I’m just a cynical jerk here  though, which is certainly possible.
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    • I’ve brought up the point in this column before regarding Matt Cassel being the Yuniesky Betancourt of the Chiefs, and this week you will know EXACTLY what I mean.  Anyone with even a little bit of ability to judge football talent could tell you that Matt Cassel is terrible, just plain terrible.  It’s the same with Yuniesky Betancourt.  Watch some games, look at some stats and the conclusion is simple: he isn’t good.  Yet certain members of the media will get all upset and try and point out meaningless statistics (RBIs, Team Wins) to convince you that you are being too hard on the poor, poor souls and that they really are good.  Mainly they seem to want to curry favor with the Royals and Chiefs organizations, or maybe they just can’t see the forest for the trees.  Either way, don’t buy what they are selling and don’t be afraid to question the sports commentary abilities of these kinds of people.
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    • I’ve been one of the most negative people I know regarding the Chiefs.  I picked them to go 4-12, which I’d love to not be the case, but which is still possible until the team wins game number five.  I had no faith that they would be any good whatsoever.  In fact after watching the first three games, I didn’t change my tune that much.  However, after watching the game against the Indianapolis Colts, I’ve come around a little bit.  This team is very possibly much improved and is moving in the right direction.  You shouldn’t be disappointed with Sunday’s game, it should make you feel very good about this team.
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    • Amber Ambrose of CultureMap writes about tailgating at Houston Texans games.  Hey, they try I guess.  But it’s all about their new rules where you have to have a special tailgating ticket.  Come up to Arrowhead Stadium some time and see how it’s done.
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    • Chiefs Historical Statistic of the Week: This one surprised me even though it was so recent.  Larry Johnson holds the record for the most rushing yards in a single season for the Chiefs with 1,789 in 2006.  He also has the 2nd highest with 1,750 in 2005.
    16 Comments Say Something
    • Good compilation of articles, Nick.

      I agree that placing the blame of the loss solely on Haley isn’t fair but the onside kick, though it should have worked, wasn’t brilliant and going for it on 4th and 2 didn’t pan out and those 3 points would have came in handy. I agree that coaches in the NFL are too conservative at times but risks should be associated with abilities and, on offense, the Chiefs don’t have the options to convert such a play at will. Arguably, most offenses should.

      The fact remains that the Chiefs were in it until Fuccop missed the field goal. Obviously, there were other problems preventing the team from scoring. Matt Cassel doesn’t deserve all the blame either. He does deserve a good amount of it despite hitting Bowe in the hands twice and McCluster once in a series.

      While I see why people may be calling for Brodie Croyle, he has shown little to suggest he can withstand the hits from NFL pass rushers to last until January. Yes, that makes him a poor backup but QB’s aren’t a dime a dozen. I see no reason why Matt Cassel should be benched because Croyle is effectively an emergency backup QB. Yes, Cassel is disappointing but unless a magic elderly QB like Warner comes back, the Chiefs will live and die by Cassel.

      I liked the way the Chiefs looked in the game. Two of the best five QB’s looked flustered against the KC defense and Peyton looked so in Lucas Oil Stadium. We know the Chiefs are for real but they don’t belong at the top.

    • Saying that matt cassel is terrible and calling for brodie croyle are two different things, even though the matt cassel fan club lumps them together. Just because he is the starter and will continue to be the starter doesn’t mean we can’t point out that he is awful. And we can point out that the GM gave him piles of cash for no reason.

      It’s the same with yuniesky betancourt. The chiefs PR machine pumps him up, the media who are lapdogs and want to curry favor lap it up and spit it back out in paper or over the air-waves.

      I love aggressive play calling. Conservatism loses you games and makes the product less entertaining. IF you can’t get 2 years, you don’t deserve to win a football game.

    • I’m not defending Matt Cassel. I just don’t think there is any alternative. When he throws good passes, the receivers drop them. When Cassel throws bad passes, it’s on him. He just doesn’t stack up to the other QB’s in the league. Don’t even give me started on his terrible contract. Pioli has made a lot of good decisions but, on the most important player for a football team, he failed to allow Cassel to show he is worth a long-term contract.

      The Yuniesky Betancourt analogy is pretty close. I think that Cassel has had more success in his prospective sport. A team can’t win with these types of players.

      An aside, I ironically owned a Mariners Betancourt shirtsey because it would be ridiculous to be a fan of him. I think Cassel is in that category as well. Even if the Chiefs find a way to go far in the playoffs, it probably won’t be because of Cassel. An upgrade is necessary no matter what.

    • Agreed, 100%. But I kind of think cassel has had less success than betancourt, but apples v oranges.

    • @Nick – You can hate RBIs all you want, but Yuni led the Royals in 2 of the 3 Triple Crown stats (RBI and HR)… Now, I’m not saying Yuni is good by any means… And I know all you sabermetric people don’t believe in fielding percentage either, but again, Yuni was above the MLB SS average there as well… Yuni leading the Royals in HR and RBI says a lot about Billy Butler more than anything… Taking about Yuni gets me really pissed off at Billy Bulter. A .388 OBP doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t driving in runs or scoring runs… David DeJesus, anyone?

      If comparing the two, Yuni is head and shoulders above Cassel… So why is it I am willing to stick with Cassel, and I want to find a replacement for Yuni?

      Back to football…

      One reason – Nothing says Croyle will be any better, and right now, while this D is playing well, there is no way in hell the Chiefs take a chance on Croyle while Matt Cassel is not causing turnovers and the defense is playing well.

      If this team was getting blown out and Cassel was throwing 2-3 INTs per game, that would be a cause for the team to look at Croyle.

    • Yuni played in more games, he should lead in counting stat categories.

      Yuni is one of the 3 or 4 worst SS in the MLB, it’s really not debateable. I guess if you want to choose stats like fielding percentage or some other nonesense, you can, but he just flat sucks offensively and defensively. Yuni’s rbi total says absolutely NOTHING about butler who had ten times the offensive season yuni did.

      How about we look at who had a better batting average, slugging percentage and on base percentage with runners in scoring position, any guesses as to whether yuni or butler did better in that?

      David Dejesus is one of the better outfielders in the majors, both offensively and defensively, I really don’t know how he fits in here other than some misguided attempt to suggest that yuni is better than both of them with some kind of hocus-pocus based on the least reliable value stats in the game of baseball. What’s next, chen is better than grienke because he had more wins?

      football: I’m not suggesting that croyle should play, maybe he should, maybe he shouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean we can’t call out how terrible cassel has been playing this season. The matt cassel love-fest on 810 this week has been insane.

    • Um…. No… Yuni had 90 less plate appearances and 7 less games than Billy Butler… This is the problem with sabermetrics… It COMPLETELY ignores the actual game being played.

      My point with Butler AND DeJesus: Who cares what their OBP is if they’re not scoring the runners who are already on base, and they are not putting themselves into scoring position when they get on base? DeJesus is the MOST over-rated player in baseball… Oh wait, you can’t be over-rated if nobody outside of KC even knows your name.

    • Butler has as a significantly higher batting average, obp and slugging with runners in scoring position than yuniesky betancourt does.

      I’m not talking sabremetrics, I’m talking common sense. Do you really believe yunieskky had a better offensive season than butler?

      Who cares what their obp is? Tell my you are must messing with me, right? Getting on base doesn’t matter? Hitting with a higher average with RISP doesn’t matter? Slugghing for a higher percentage doesn’t matter? The ONLY thing that matters is whether a guy gets lucky and hits a couple of grand slams? Because that is 100% of your argument. Yuni hit a couple grand slams and that makes him better than butler.

      How is dejesus over-rated? Name me 30 better outfielders.

    • I really don’t believe you are serious. There really isn’t a logical explanation for the things you’re saying that yuni is better because he led in 2 triple crown stats, which in fact he led 0 solo. Butler led 1 sole and 1 in tie.

      And who gives a crap about triple crown stats other than old baseball writers who are too lazy to look into anything deeper. Your dismissal of “sabremetrics” as you like to say is completely without reason or explanation. Ignores whats going on the field? Is that a joke? Its exclusively what happens on the field. People who choose to dismiss statistics are basically wanting to make up whatever they want to suit their own needs without using information. Thats fine if you want to write about how nice yuni is, but if you wnat to talk value, and you ignore stats, then thats plain insane.

    • heres the big difference:

      Yuni had 22 plate appearances with the bases loaded

      Butler had 7.

      Butler has aline of .312/.413/.422 with RISP
      Yuni has a line of .257/.278/.382 with RISP

      Yuni is a WORSE hitter with runners in scoring position than he is overall. Do you really believe given the information above, which “happened on the field” that yuniesky is a better fun producer than billy butler? If so, could you explain why?

    • I never said Yuni is better than Butler… I said, Yuni leading the team in any offensive stat category shows how poor Butler really is… Maybe Butler should have batted 8th and Yuni 3rd or 4th all season…

      I hate talking baseball with purely stats people… They never watch the game… They let the stats tell them what they should have seen, and simply ignore what actually happens in the game.

      Sabermetrics takes way TOO much assumption: “if Billy Butler batted in every spot in the order… and all the ballparks were adjusted… and wind conditions were eliminated… while the moon is in the cycle of the…”

      Ya, I understand most of the sabermetric stats, but I can still tell you which players will get the big contract and why… without taking a page long algorithm to accomplish it. Stats are beneficial, but they don’t dominate the game for me.

      Re: DeJesus – average hitter, below average base runner, average outfielder, doesn’t score runs, doesn’t steal bases, doesn’t drive in runs, doesn’t hit home runs

      I’m done talking Royals baseball on a Chiefs blog thread… Sorry.

    • I still think you’re screwing with me. The words you typed make no sense.

      what is a “purely stat person”?

      how do you know “how many games i’ve watched”?

      What did I ignore that happened in the game? ARe you saying somehow I missed where butler actually got 15 more plate appearances with the bases loaded, and the information i’ve provided is just wrong?

      Your entire argument is based on clearly false information and a feeling of superiority you get from thinking you wath more games or something. But again, I think you are messing with me. I can’t believe anyone would actually believe the things you just typed.

    • Aren’t you being the purely stat person in that you are basing all of your value judgment here on the statistic of rbi/ba/hr? Those are stats too, and your judgment is based PURELY on those stats. Unless you are suggesting that by watching games you’ve determined that butler is a poor hitter in which I’d love to hear your scouting report on why that’s so.

    • Dude you’re typing 3 messages to my one.

      I never said I like Yuni… I said, in comparison, he is better than Cassel… Although you cannot even come close to compare the two.

      I never said Yuni is better than Butler. I said Butler is nothing better than average. David DeJesus is nothing better than average either.

    • butler had a better season than mark teixera. I’d say that’s better than average. But you’d need to establish a baseline for what is average. I’d imagine that most any metric you’d want to pick would show billy and dejesus to be above average. However the amount or RBI that they have is completely irrelevant and the amount of RBI that yuni has is triply irrelevant.

    • I’d think that 9th in the MLB in batting average is better than average. Which is what butler put up this season.

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