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September 07, 2008

Chiefs 0-1: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly « Kansas City Chiefs »

The Good:
Brandon Albert started and played well, nailing down the left side pretty well.
Glenn Dorsey created pressure up the middle.
Brandon Flowers played like a vet, not like a rookie in his first start. He's playing like a top-10 pick.
If you're scoring at home, that's 3 rookies in their first NFL game that played like veterans.
McBride got some pressure from the right side, nearly getting a sack.
The Chiefs converted 8/16 (50%) 3rd downs.
Brodie Croyle didn't turn the ball over, and displayed good decision-making, good touch, and good strength on his throws.

The Bad:
All sorts of pressure came from the right side as McIntosh struggled in pass coverage.
Bowe had at least four drops at key moments that could have turned the game for us.
Brodie went out of the game with a shoulder injury.
Neither the running game or the passing game could get any momentum.

The Ugly:
LJ had just over 3 yards/carry; part of this is that the Pats weren't scared of our WRs, knowing they could rotate coverage to Bowe and Gonzalez and not worry about our #2/3 WRs. And it worked, until Darling finally made a big catch near the end of the game.
We lost on the road despite winning the turnover battle, the time of possession battle, and having the Patriots run 3 plays from inside their own 1-yard line.

Reasons for optimism:
Even without Brady, the Patriots have lots of weapons, with 3 pro-bowlers on their line, Wes Walker, Randy Moss, a decent stable of RBs, and a good defense. Yet we still almost beat them on their field, despite the number of rookies and 2nd year players getting significant playing time.
This may well be the best defense we face all season, or at least the one that matches up best against us. Our offense should do better next week.

Reasons for pessimism:
We caught a break when Brady went out of the game, but still couldn't win.
We took 4 shots at the end zone from the 5 yard line, and couldn't gain a single yard.
We had the Patriots on 3rd and 11 just one foot from their own goal line, and let them get a 51-yard pass play that kept a TD drive alive.

Key takeaways: Our young players got lots of experience in this game, and it will pay off this season in improved performance. We stopped Tom Brady on his first two drives before he went out with an injury, and that isn't easy to do. We came within 5 yards of beating the Patriots on their home turf. This team will end up 10-6 or 11-5...but with 3 losses in their first 5 games.

Posted by Nathan at 09:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)