be able to rebound vs. tough San Diego club?
Eric Lewis of The Landmark staff
-On Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs were coming off a huge
come from behind victory against the Arizona Cardinals.
KC's record a solid 2-2, and the Chiefs were surprising
everyone with their tough play. The attitude was positive
and the Chiefs seemed to be forming together as a team
that could achieve anything. All the obstacles that were
overcome and the adversity this team has been overwhelmed
with seemed to inspire these guys to play harder. But
the Steelers crushed any hopes of building off last week's
victory and pushing for an above .500 record thus far
in the season. They embarrassed the Chiefs on both sides
of the ball, and the Chiefs seemed to just take it with
We can point fingers and play the blame game all
day, but it would accomplish nothing. The Chiefs lost
four key members of the once outstanding offense, in QB
Trent Green which will hopefully only be temporary, FB
Tony Richardson, OT Willie Roaf and offensive guru Al
Saunders. That is going to affect any squad in the way
they go about scoring points.
The defense acquired solid veterans and hired a defensive
minded coach in Edwards. Yet somehow the Steelers rallied
a 31-0 ball game at half time.
The fact of the matter is, this Chiefs unit despite all
of these obstacles and the complete blowout on Sunday,
have shown me that they are still capable of doing great
things this season, and besides it was just one game
The Steelers were the first true test for the Chiefs
and boy did they fail. They failed in all aspects of the
game and it seemed as though they didnt even want
to be there.
The first play on the opening drive showed promise, Jared
Allen stuffing fast Willie Parker in the backfield for
a loss. Yet just three plays later a 50 yard pass from
Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes set up the Willie Parker
TD run, and it was all downhill from there.
These cover 2 schemes that have been pounded into the
Chiefs defense since Edwards arrival failed numerous times
on Sunday. It seemed as if the secondary was playing too
soft and the linebackers were not dropping back far enough,
because Roethlisberger found open receivers all day long.
The missed tackles were ridiculous, they reminded me
of the days of old in which my grandmother could have
ran through KC's defense scoring at will. This has to
be taken care of, you cannot miss tackles like this in
the NFL and expect to win games.
All these negative factors contributed to the 45-7 loss,
yet there is no one person to blame. This was a complete
team loss and the breakdown should affect the Chiefs perspective
on what is to come of this season.
The defense gave up a total of 457 yards on the day and
contributed to Rothlisbergers first TDs of
the season. It just didnt look like the same defense
that had been getting stronger every week and improving
on there play making abilities. The Steelers did fumble
the ball 4 times on the day yet KC only recovered one
Altogether the defense had a huge eye opener on Sunday,
and should learn and capitalize from their many mistakes
that were made. I still think this defensive unit has
the capability to dominate, sometimes in football these
kinds of games only help to motivate and dictate where
this team is really heading . They were completely muscled
around all day; I really dont think that is going
to happen again. They will study game film and come home
against San Diego with a new perspective and a reason
to play that much harder. If this teams wants to accomplish
anything this season and have a chance of pushing into
the post season they will need to rely on this defense
to hold opponents to minimal points.
The Steel Curtain fell on the Chiefs offense that put
together a measly 213 yards on the day. In my opinion
KC was still too predictable, running the ball 6 out of
7 times on first downs of each drive just proved that
they still dont have faith in their scoring capabilities.
The Steelers came out with quick snaps to receivers, and
other various plays that kept the defense on their toes.
Yet we tried, and failed to run screens to L.J a dozen
times throughout the game.
Yes we need to get Tony Gonzalez more involved in the
game, but when 2 or 3 defenders cover him there is no
need to force the ball there in hopes of him making a
play. Huard tried to force a few passes to the Hall of
fame TE, when there were other options on the field. When
there are two guys on Tony, at least one accounted for
covering L.J and three receivers going out for passes.
Someone is one on one and is able to make a play downfield.
L.J had only 26 yards rushing, something that was not
suppose to happen in his 2,000 yard campaign at the beginning
of this season. Nevertheless opponents are stacking their
defense up and daring L.J to run the ball. So if we can't
run the ball, once gain I ask where is the passing game?
Like I said earlier its the play calling. You have
an all-pro RB, Hall of fame TE and a veteran receiver
in Eddie Kennison. And in recent games we have been shown
that Huard is more than capable of getting the ball to
these weapons. Yet on Sunday KC just seemed to crumble.
Huard put out a 16 of 32 for only 162 yards on the day,
and couldnt seem to get anything going for the passing
game. His streak was broken and he did throw an interception
on a tipped pass.
A bad day for Huard, which was the result of a relentless
Steelers defense, will give this veteran QB some character,
and we will see if they can rebound.
Coming up for next week, the Chargers defense is
no walk in the park either. In fact they are one of the
best in the league. Huard will have to lick his wounds
and prepare for a hard fight Sunday. He is going to have
to be more accurate more decisive and make some huge throws
for KC's offense. What we failed to do against the Steelers,
in getting an early lead, we'll have to be accomplished
against the Chargers. Their speed on the line and in the
secondary could be used to our advantage. If they over
pursue against us, and we can establish a solid running
attack, something that can still is accomplished. Our
passing attack will emerge, and catch the Chargers off
Despite the critics including myself on why we did not
go after a big name receiver in the off-season, our receivers
now have he ability to give Huard more opportunities downfield.
Newly acquired WR Rob Gardner despite not being as affective
as I had hoped on Sunday, looked good in his routes and
showed he can make separation with his size. He could
be a huge pick up for the Chiefs if we can get him the
ball and see what he can do.
The Chiefs have not started off as good as they wanted
in this tough three game stretch. But I see the Chiefs
rebounding in an upset victory over the Chargers. These
boys have a reason to play harder and will need to rebound.
Keep your heads up, Chiefs fans, the season is far from
Catch the action! Sunday 12:00 noon on CBS, the Chiefs
home against the stingy San Diego Chargers.
(Eric Lewis provides Chiefs' commentary
for The Landmark. Reach him at Platte County's most powerful
newspaper by emailing email@example.com)