Charter Member of the Sub-Media

December 05, 2004

Hm. The Chiefs Actually Win. Huh. « Kansas City Chiefs »

I should be excited, but it's hard to get very happy when there is no hope for the playoffs.

However, I did see some good things.

First, Larry Johnson is an excellent running back. If we have to trade him, and can trade him, we should get a 1st-round pick for him. But I think it's more likely we'll let Blaylock go in free agency, which would hurt, because Blaylock is better as a receiver and as a blocker. Running well is only 1/3 of the RB's game.

In any case, with Priest Holmes almost retiring this last year, and being injured for much of this year, we really need to think about who will be our next featured back. My hope is that Holmes will consent to being the Red Zone back, and letting Blaylock play the rest of the field (trading Johnson for a top-notch WR).

Second, Willie Pile is a big-time player. He may lack some experience and veteran savvy, but he's a good hitter, not bad in coverage and most importantly, he tackles well. It's a shame Curry's foot was hurt on that tackle, but it really looked like Curry was going to slide through the tackle and go for a big gain...we've seen it all season, and the last half of last season. But Pile broke down, didn't leave his feet, and took him down. Lots of good tackling in the last two games, and much of it because Harts and Pile and even Bartee hit well. Bartee had 7 tackles! I'd almost rather sit Jerome Woods with Wesley and Pile as my starting safeties, and bring in Harts and Bartee for the nickel and dime. But to do that, we need a quality corner to play opposite Warfield, and neither Bartee nor McCleon are good enough. Nor is Julian Battle, and I doubt Bennie Sapp will get that good...although Sapp is an excellent tackler, too.

Third, just when I say Kennison has lost a step and is washed up, he has a game like this! Sheesh! Why can't our guys turn in a 16-game effort? Different players have been pro-bowl level in different games, but we can't find any consistency!

But it was a good win, on the road, and they showed some heart and desire by not folding at the end of the game. I think it also showed them what happens when they are ahead with less than 2 minutes to go, and how it makes things so much easier for the defense.

The run defense was good. Maybe the best players, aren't? Meaning, maybe some of the guys considered "starter" quality in terms of quickness and coverage and skill had "scrub"-quality tackling skills? We are definitely tackling much better. Maybe the team on the field this weekend gave up a few more first downs than with the season-starting players, but this group seems to give up less 4th-quarter 80-yard TD runs to 2nd-tier running backs. I prefer that, myself.

Jared Allen got another sack, showing he's for real and increasing the chance he may reach double-digits by the end of the season. He's got 6, and there are 4 games left. Even just 8 sacks from a guy considered undersized and a Div I-AA overachiever gives lots to build on for next year. He's showing me enough to convince me he's got potential for 15 sacks and pro-bowl after a full offseason of NFL-quality strength and conditioning programs.

Tomorrow I'll give you my early predictions for off-season roster moves.

Posted by Nathan at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)
Post a comment

Remember personal info?