by CK Rairden
Okay Chiefs fans, take it easy, back off
the ledge and calm down. There is no reason to bail off
the Chiefs bandwagon just yet. Herebreathe into
this paper bag. Slow deep breathsthere you go. Feeling
better? Good, now lets Monday Morning QB
Sundays game was a difficult one to lose, but realize
that the Raiders are one of the top five teams in the
league. They have nearly everyone returning from a team
that was one game away from the Super Bowl last season,
and they added WR Jerry Rice, RB Charlie Garner and DE
Trace Armstrong to that talented team.
The Chiefs have a new offensive system, a new defensive
system, and a bunch of new personnel. They battled to
the end, had a great late game offensive drive engineered
by QB Trent Green to tie the game at 24 and with a little
luck could have pulled this one off.
Of course to do that they would have needed a kicker
with a range a bit longer that 31 yards. They would also
need a kicker that can get the ball somewhere in the vicinity
of the opponents goal line on crucial kick offs.
In the upcoming weeks NFL playthey are going
to need a kicker.
They are also going to need a kick coverage team that
stays in its lanes, and doesnt miss tackles. They
are going to need a kick off coverage team that doesnt
make David Dunn (who?) look like All-Pro returner Michael
But calm downits going to take some time
to exorcise the demons of former special teams Coach Mike
Stock. It will take some game action to break the awful
habits established by the previous regime.
Still, kicker Todd Petersons performance was once
again inexcusable. He was 15 of 20 on FG attempts last
season, but if there is any distance involved he struggles.
Last season saw him hit on only 40% of his kicks between
40-49 yards (2-5) and the Chiefs didnt even bother
to send him out on anything greater than 50 yards.
His 37-yarder that he took the gas pipe on during Sundays
loss had no chance of going through the uprights. The
Chiefs made the mistake of not bringing in a serious challenger
to push Peterson during training camp.
MMQB suggests that mistake should be rectified. Tryouts
should be held this week.
Apparently the virus that is Jimmy Raye also still haunts
Arrowhead. The Chiefs offense looked likewell a
new offensive system that played in their first real game.
One thing must be remedied and fast, some WR needs to
step up get open and give the Chiefs some other threat
than a RB out of the backfield or the double and triple
teamed TE Tony Gonzalez.
Keith Poole is available, but injured. Derrick Mayes
spent an entire camp with the team and seemed to get open
and make plays, but fell out of favor and was released
with the final cut.
If Alexander is hurt or cant perform in this offense,
MMQB suggests the auditions begin immediately. Get someone
in that can get open and provide another option.
The Chiefs offense could not control the ballhad
five possessions out of eleven that were four plays or
less and held the ball for a mere 22 minutes. They couldnt
run the ball effectively and RB Priest Holmes had an awful
first game as a Chief.
Even with those struggles, they produced 17 points and
showed some grit with their TD drive late in the 4th quarter
to tie the game. It would have been interesting if the
game could have been forced into overtime.
Greg Robinsons defense was as advertisedcrowding
the line and forcing Raiders QB Rich Gannon into mistakes
and turnovers early. The trouble was the defense as a
whole was on the field far too long and finally broke
down against a good offense.
CB Eric Warfield took an interception back for a TD on
the first drive, and Gannon lost two fumbles under heavy
pressure. But the Chiefs defense had trouble getting enough
pressure on Gannon without the blitz.
They have a good excuse of being worn down, but they
still completely disappeared on the Raiders final drive
that resulted in the game-winning FG.
MMQB has more confidence in this group of coaches. This
is not the old coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Al
Saunders will make scheme adjustments and if the poor
play continues hopefully personnel adjustments. Defensive
coordinator Greg Robinson should again have his side of
the ball ready for a familiar opponent; the Chiefs face
the Seahawks in Seattle next week.
It was a loss that stings, but this is a work in progress.
MMQB is sometimes critical, but there are going to be
a lot of growing pains as the Chiefs team not only changes
systems, but also their overall mindset and approach to