Second Guessing the Chiefs

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Let’s see a show of hands – how many of you expected the Chiefs to beat the Atlanta Falcons Sunday at Arrowhead?

KC Wolf, put your hand down.

After a dismal preseason (not including the impressive win over the Arizona Cardinals in their first preseason game), we all knew the Chiefs defense needed some major work.  Then you add the absence of All Pro Tamba Hali due to suspension and a few other starters (Brandon Flowers, Anthony Toribio, Kendrick Lewis) to injury, and you knew the defense would be hard pressed to stop the Falcons aeiral attack.  Some believe the Falcons will win the Super Bowl, and after Sunday, you can see why.

The problems with the defense – and there were many – is that the Chiefs have no pass rush.  Zip.  Zilch.  None.  Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan stood for four, sometimes five seconds, behind a wall of offensive lineman, taking his time picking the secondary apart.  You can’t ask a corner or safety to cover explosive receivers like Julio Jones and Roddy White for more than three-four seconds.

How to solve it?  Maybe the defense should blitz once in awhile.  Send a safety.  Send a corner.  Send everyone!  But with no pressure, it’s too easy for NFL quarterbacks to carve apart your defense.  If the Chiefs can get more pressure against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills next week, they will have a chance to win.  At least the defense played great against the run.

As for the offense, they did a great job moving the ball – in the first half.

Let’s take a closer look at this offense.  Everyone knows an NFL team is only as good as your quarterback.  The fans booed Matt Cassell several times in the second half.  The quarterback who barely played football in college has all the tools to be great.  He just lacks confidence.  He let his first mistake affect the rest of his game.  Coaches preach to players that they must have a short-term memory.  You throw an interception?  Forget about it!  If you don’t, your confidence will waver and you’ll throw another one – which Cassell did.  You could see it in his face.  Resignation.  Oh well, we lost another one.  Your quarterback can never waver, never resign.  He has to lead the team, and the team played tight after Ryan Succopp missed that field goal in the third quarter.  If Cassell keeps a smile on his face, stays loose and says, ‘Alright, time to score,’ maybe the Chiefs stay in the game.  Instead, they were blown out.

It’s a long season, and Romeo Crennell is right – they have to put it behind them and focus on the next 15 games.  Many playoff teams go to the postseason with 7, 8 losses.  The Chiefs still have a chance – but they’ll need to put in a more aggressive defensive scheme if they want to win in this league.

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