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Cheifs Chatter

Chiefs Chatter

 

Sloppy start but a comeback win

Fourth quarter rally provides important victory

Posted 10/12/06

by Eric Lewis of The Landmark staff

-Sunday the Chiefs were in a daze in the first 9 minutes of the ball game against the Arizona Cardinals, when the scoreboard read 14-0 and rookie QB Matt Leinart was the man responsible for both scores. The rookie came out firing, and taking advantage of the Chiefs fumble on the first drive. And left the defense in shock since they had not given up a TD in two games. The D made some adjustments and was able to hold the Cards to a 23-20 victory. The Chiefs established attitude in their ugly victory over the Cards, something that has not been seen in previous years. And despite the mistakes made in all phases of the game the Chiefs now stand at 2-2.

- Throughout the game Huard once again was very efficient in his passing and composure. His career day of 26 of 38 passes for 288 yards and 2 TD’s gave him AFC player of the week honors. Along with kicker Lawrence Tynes sharing the glory. Tynes' game winning field goal capped off the gut wrenching victory in the desert.

- Huard's passes were not only on target they were methodical in a much-needed Chiefs passing game. If not for so many drops from various receivers and backs, his passer rating would have been even better. This guy just keeps improving every week, and we can only hope he continues his hard work and dedication going into Pittsburgh.

- L.J was stuffed all day; the Cards sometimes had 9 guys in the box to stop the run. But he plugged away and kept the defense honest. His 16 rushes for only 36 yards were not the regular L.J numbers we are used to. But its something that we might have to get used to with the opposing defenses keying on him. On the other hand with Huard's strong play defenses are going to defend all aspects of the field and L.J’s numbers should increase.

- Despite the lack of rushing yards from L.J in the worst day of his career, as far as numbers go. He was able to step up and make a much needed play for the Chiefs, catching a 78-yard screen pass that should have been a TD if not for Samie Parker's poor attempt to block downfield. That caused the ridiculous Antrel Rolle facemask tackle that led to L.J’s neck strain. His injury was minor and should be fine for next weeks game.


- This huge play set up the Chiefs to take the lead. The conservative call to go with three run plays in a row nearly ruined things, in which RB Dee Browns fumble nearly spoiled any chances of a Chiefs comeback. Jason Dunn managed to come away with the loose ball, and the Lawrence Tynes' field goal gave the Chiefs the lead for the first time in the game.

- As far as receiving goes I thought the dropped passes were ridiculous. Samie Parker looked like he was just learning how to catch. In football you learn how to catch with your hands not your arms, on Sunday that little bit of information seemed to slip his mind. Though his TD grab in the back of the end zone showed great concentration and soft hands. He needs to be more consistent, and step up his game; Huard needs all the weapons he can get.

- Our free agent pick up Rob Gardner got a couple balls thrown his way. And looked decent on the field. I don’t think he has proven anything yet, but I do see him being more involved in the offence.

- Dante Hall came out of the game with an injury. His replacement for punt returns was rookie Jeff Webb. Webb must have eaten his Wheaties that day, because a 50-yard punt returned proved that this kid is capable of making big plays. Even though the offense sputtered out the drive following the return, it’s good to see some of these young guys stepping up.

- Speaking of these young guys, rookie Bernard Pollard's blocked punt changed the momentum in the come from behind campaign. His block punt set up a Chiefs score, and gave a huge moral boost to the sidelines. In his college days at Perdue University blocking punts were nothing new to him. And he is using those skills to make big plays for the Chiefs special teams.

- With these rookies Hali, Pollard, Page, and Webb coming in and proving they are playmakers. I think finally the Chiefs draft picks have set a foundation for a solid well-rounded Chiefs team. It all starts with the future and with these young playmakers on board along with great veteran pickups like Law, and Edwards. It makes for great chemistry, although they will need more of them especially on offense to make for a Super Bowl caliber team.

- Altogether the offense had a mediocre day. Going into Pittsburgh however, the Chiefs will need to follow Huard's leadership and start scoring early on the Steelers. He has had some great throws, and is showing he can lead the Chiefs to victory. If he continues with a mistake free day, and get Tony Gonzalez more involved in the passing game. The Chiefs offence could once again be a weapon against the Steelers.

- So far the conservative play calling has only hindered our point scoring capabilities. With L.J battling 8 or 9 guys keying on just him, our passing game should be relentless.

- The defense, despite having to climb out of a quick 14-0 deficit, proved they are playing with heart. The few mistakes were obvious, blown coverage and miscommunication. Yet they adapted, improvised and overcame these obstacles and rallied to hold the Cards from scoring another TD.

- The run defense was fantastic, holding Edgerin James to only 71 yards on the day. And once again playmakers like Law with his interception of Leinart's pass, sacks by Allen, Hali, Edwards, and Bell, are evolving this once laughed at defense into a dominate powerhouse capable of controlling the game. They will only continue to get stronger and more confident, which will lead to even better defensive play.

- Altogether the battle was pretty even on Sunday. The Chiefs dished out a dismal 301 yards total offense and the Cards putting a measly 298. The offense will need make some adjustments, giving Huard more options downfield. And utilizing L.J more in the backfield.

- Even though KC lost Trent Green I don’t think the passing game from the QB’s standpoint has taken too much of a blow. Huard has hushed critics like myself, and shined on game day.

- The Chiefs are coming together despite the sloppy win on Sunday. They are molding together and playing as team. With loses like Roaf and Green, the Chiefs have still managed a 2-2 record thus far. And coming into Sunday’s game against the Cards, they missed two key weapons on offence in Turley and Bennett. Someway, somehow this team has managed to rally around what they have and are actually looking pretty impressive.

- However they need to capitalize on what few positive aspects that have emerged so far and hold nothing back. The defense is playing great, and the offence has great potential to be even better. They play calling has opened up a little bit, but more chances need to be taken. We don’t need anymore-conservative play calling, especially with our next 3 opponents being the Steelers, Chargers and Seahawks.

- Edwards has done a great job so far turning this Defense around. He will need to lead his men into Sunday’s game with a chip on there shoulder. They have overcome obstacles all year, and will need to continue doing so if they hope to continue their winning ways. The Steelers will be a tough road test and will show all Chiefs fans if this team is indeed capable of pushing into the post season.

- Catch the action Sunday 3:15 on CBS. Chiefs vs. Steelers, in what will be a huge test for the 06 squad.

 

(Eric Lewis provides Chiefs' commentary for The Landmark. Reach him at Platte County's most powerful newspaper by emailing eric@plattecountylandmark.com)