Chiefs: Savor the Win While It Lasts
Gotta love the Monday after a Chiefs win. Everyone is in a good mood. Optimism is overflowing. We’re going to the playoffs! many true fans believe. It feels good when your team wins, but keep in mind, a win can mask a lot of weaknesses. Here’s to hoping the Chiefs attack practice even harder this week. They still have a lot to do to catch up to the elite teams in the NFL, but at least we now know they can beat SOMEBODY. Sure, New Orleans is without their head coach and in disarray after Bounty-gate and hadn’t won a game all year, but still, you don’t scoff at a win. The Chiefs are 1-2. Now if they can carry that momentum into next week against the Chargers, maybe they can still salvage the season. Maybe.
It’s easy to dump on the Chiefs after the way they’ve played recently, so I thought, instead of picking apart their play yesterday, why not celebrate the good things they did on the field. For instance, how about that Jamaal Charles?! Wow! Great to see the guy can still run the rock. No doubt many of you were worried after his anemic performance against Buffalo (3 yards rushing), so it was great to see he has enough pride to bounce back and attack for 233 yards rushing. What a runner! It’s great to know the Chiefs have a weapon like that who can change the face of the game with one carry. I LOVE watching him sprint by defensive backs on the way to the end zone. Electric!
It’s also great to see the defense stuff the run. Besides giving up one big run to Darren Sproles in the first quarter, the front seven did a great job containing the run game. I’m just wondering, why did New Orleans keep trying to run? They have one of the best passers in the game in Drew Brees and yet they kept trying to pound it up the middle. I love seeing Romeo putting in more blitz packages, especially the delayed blitz that proved to be so effective. Hopefully this is all a sign that our defense is coming together.
What about our pass defense, you ask? Staying with my positive theme, I will just say that it’s great to know the defensive backs have something they can really focus on improving this week in practice. Always nice to know your weaknesses so you can try to make it a strength. Being a former defensive back, I really focus on the coverages and see that if the cornerbacks (yes, you, Brandon Flowers) can stay focused and actually cover their man, the pass defense will be a lot better. Right now they’re trying to do their teammates jobs for them instead of just doing their own job. That touchdown catch by Jed Collins, when he fell down, got back up and walked into the end zone without getting touched, was pretty embarrassing.
But we’re staying positive! So how about Matt Cassel? Even though the offense stalled in the red zone, Cassel did a great job moving the offense, especially on that fourth down play in the fourth quarter. Huge clutch play. If he can play every game like he did Sunday, then we’ll be in good shape. Maybe they can draw up some better plays for him to run once they get close to the end zone. Right now, the lack of imagination is preventing us from getting six points. Maybe some fullback flares, or tight end screens, or even a throw to the corner of the end zone. Nice to see Jon Baldwin leap up for some of those high throws! Great athleticism at the wideout position. Hopefully he and Bowe can continue to catch Cassel’s clutch throws.
Ryan Succop also had an amazing game. Six field goals? Wow! What a weapon! His ability to get points out of those stalled drives gives Chiefs fans hope every game that no matter how far down we might be, we’ll rally behind his strong right foot. He and Charles were players of the game.
Sunday’s win was a big baby step toward salvaging the season. Of course, all of our good vibes might disappear next week if they don’t compete against Phillip Rivers and the 2-1 Chargers (which, by the way, were just smoked 27-3 by the Atlanta Falcons). Savor this week, because you never know how long it will be before we feel this good about the Chiefs again.