Well, I was a little off in my beliefs about last week’s game. It turns out the team wasn’t really ready to go and the team got beat up on both sides of the line and no other facet of the team was able to pick up the slack. The Chiefs straight got beat by a winless team as they were out-coached and out-played. You can say that if the Chiefs lose to the Chargers and beat the Dolphins, they are worse off than they are now at the same 4-4 record but they should be 5-3 yet they are not.
These things happen (though they shouldn’t at home) and they happen to middle of the pack teams. At best, the Chiefs are a middle of the pack team and they could be worse. Todd Haley is going to get the blame for this and he is partially to blame but the whole team played bad football but the rest of the team deserves blame as well. The Dolphins game happened and now it is time to move on. The Chiefs next game is one that will have a lot of interest built into it. The Chiefs will be hosting the Tim Tebow-lead Broncos.
Before last week’s game, Broncos coach John Fox said that Tebow had to impress in the game against the Raiders and he was kind of impressive. It seemed that the Raiders were not prepared to face the college-style offense the Broncos were running. Ultimately, that type of game plan will be stopped by NFL defenses and I hope the Chiefs are ready to shut that offense down as well. The reason that the spread offense doesn’t work is because NFL ends are too fast to allow the gimmicky plays that are run in the spread offense. It also would help if they can shut the Broncos’ running game down. Oakland could not and it got them beat. The Chiefs can stop the Broncos offense like most teams have this year but will they?
Someone on Twitter (tweet not shown) likened the Dolphins game to watching your oldest son get beat up by a girl. That’s an accurate metaphor for what I saw. The Chiefs just flat-out got beat. The Dolphins stretched the field, picked apart the Chiefs defense and had Cassel running all day. As well as the Chiefs have played as a team, the team failed on all levels as individuals which means that no facet of the Chiefs were able to pick up the tremendous amount of slack.
So much for Brandon Flowers being called elite. Maybe next year he can get to that status but I am done with having him in that conversation. So much for Andy Studebaker being anything more than a special-teamer and occasional sub for Justin Houston. Studebaker doesn’t get to the quarterback, he doesn’t cover receivers well and he doesn’t really hold the edge of the line well with a runner rushing to his side of the line. The outside linebacker spot is a concern because more sacks should be produced from that side. Tamba Hali is drawing double-teams and drawing the best blockers so any player on that opposite side should be getting some good shots to the quarterback. It could be that both Studebaker and Houston are bad and #96 is getting more snaps because he is still better albeit bad. That is not good and some pieces may have to be moved around in order to get a better pass rush on the Chiefs.
On the opposite side of the ball, the offensive line collectively laid down and died in the protection of Matt Cassel and the creation of holes for Jackie Battle. None of the Chiefs running backs are good and the offensive line is incapable of making them even average. Matt Cassel did not have a good game but he didn’t have a bad one either considering his protection. A better quarterback makes more out of what happen but, in a game where all are to blame, Matt Cassel is more blameless than most on the season. He was sacked four times in the first half! I don’t believe that Cassel can be a franchise quarterback for the Chiefs but I don’t want to see him getting set up for failure either. That is what happened to the Chiefs on Sunday.
Really, what needs to happen with the Chiefs is that they just need to air the ball out. Maybe they don’t throw too many deep passes but it is clear they are not a good running team and they do have three wide receivers who can move the ball after the catch. Really, that is all the Chiefs have on offense and they need to be used. Obviously, the Chiefs shouldn’t abandon the running game but they can stray farther from it than they have. The Chiefs should have been able to do well against the Dolphins since Miami had plenty of secondary problems as well but they failed.
This Is Not A Drill
Right now, the Chiefs are still in good shape to win the AFC West. To me that does not matter because I don’t think the Chiefs will get into the playoffs and, if they do, I don’t think they will do anything in the playoffs. They are just not that good and the AFC West is a pile of garbage. I really didn’t think the Chiefs had another blow out in them to give up but they did. Now, I really don’t know how low the Chiefs can go but we may all know if they lose to the Broncos at home. I don’t know how anyone can still be excited about this team making the playoffs this year given that they will be the team that sucks the least in the AFC West like the Seattle Seahawks, the NFC West winner last year. I will leave this discussion for another time, however.
If you have read anything I have written about the Chiefs, you know how much I dislike Tim Tebow. Everything the Broncos are going to do on Sunday can be stopped by a real ass NFL team. The read offense, the running game and the Broncos porous defense can be shut down by the Chiefs defense. The Chiefs have what the Broncos will do on tape and they have the physical ability to stop this bad team. I do not have confidence to say that the Chiefs will stop them. If they do not bad things are going to happen.
You don’t know to what level I will sell the Chiefs out if they do not win today. I don’t think that there would be an excusable reason why the Chiefs fail to win this game. The Broncos are running a college offense and that should not work in the pros and hasn’t in recent years. Their defense is nothing special either. The Chiefs should win this game and they should own this pathetic gimmick of a quarterback and an offense. If the Chiefs do not do that, I don’t know how anyone responsible survives after this season. To me, this is a must-win game for the Chiefs and much more is at stake than just the weak AFC West division title. A team cannot lose to two of the worst teams at home and still be considered better than those teams.
If this game is lost by the Chiefs, all of this win streak and October rally month deal was all nonsense. Even if they win, they still may never be a good team this season but they surely won’t be called good if they lose. If the Chiefs lose today, how will they fare against the Patriots, the Steelers, the Bears, the Jets and the Packers? I don’t know how they are going to face them if they do win the game but this thing will be swirling around the toilet bowl if the game is lost today. This may be a similar cliff jump to the one that happened in 2007 and that will not be easy to watch.
Now, THE GAME!
The last two games, the Chiefs had a few rare good rushes and were thwarted on the ground otherwise. A running game works well when a team is up by two touchdowns and that is when the Chiefs could be the running team that they want to be. Until they get to that point, they need to throw the ball period. The Chiefs have to throw the ball to get some points on the board and stop worrying about being a running team. If Matt Cassel is going to be defended by some of the fans as being an adequate quarterback to seriously make a run at a Super Bowl, he must show every game that he can win in the air.
On defense, the Chiefs just need to stack the box and stop whoever is running the ball. Make Tebow beat you through the air, plain and simple. It will matter if Jon McGraw can play because he is really the only strong safety that is a plus in the efforts to aide in keeping the Broncos running game at bay. That is the sad truth and things could get ugly if McGraw (listed as questionable) cannot play. I want to see a lot of pressure on Tebow and I want to see any member of the Chiefs get a good square hit on Tebow if he isn’t sliding when he takes off to run. Tebow will not last long in this league as a running quarterback. Sure, Tebow is larger than Michael Vick but he will still get injured just as Vick has in the past. It might as well be the Chiefs that shows him why his shit that worked in college will not work in the pros.
It does appear as if Javier Arenas is back and he should resume returning duties because Dexter McCluster is not as good of a returner in my opinion. I suppose Dex can still field a few kicks but the majority of chances should go to Arenas. Field position did hurt the Chiefs against the Dolphins and missing Javier was one of the reasons why the Chiefs did not have good field position. It might also help if they get their fake field goals right but I doubt they try that again for awhile.
The Chiefs have been good enough that I can envision how they can win this game but bad enough that I can envision how they can lose it as well. I really think that there is no excuse why the Chiefs could lose this game but I think the possibility is far too high for my liking. I may not even watch the game today. This might be a game where I watch it on NFL Game Rewind because watching it in real time at a bar might be painful and embarrassing if they play like they did last week. If you want to accuse me of not supporting the Chiefs or not having faith in them, I am guilty of that for sure. I have so little faith in them that I am picking them to lose this week because I am tired of being burnt by the Chiefs and tired of watching them fail to reach their potential more weeks than not. Not that their potential is very high, but it should be high enough that they can compete against every team, every week. So, I am picking them to lose. Hope I am wrong.
Prediction: Denver Broncos 21, Kansas City Chiefs 17