Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers: 10 Things We Learned
A beautiful 91-yard run last week looked to have possibly changed the fortunes of the 2012 Chiefs but another blowout loss has the franchise and its fanbase scratching their heads.
The San Diego Chargers capitalized on six Kansas City turnovers and cruised to a 37-20 victory at Arrowhead Stadium today.
Offensively the Chiefs were generous and gave San Diego prime field position all game, and the defense was just as charitable.
Here are 10 things we leaned from another disappointing Kansas City loss.
No. 10: Matt Cassel Is Terrible
Last week Cassel showed some of his moxie, but in this matchup he proved once again that he does not have the skills to be a legitimate NFL starter.
Cassel had three interceptions in the first half and was wildly inaccurate. The USC product did do a good job of finding Dwayne Bowe often but he missed far too many chances yet again, finishing 24-of 42 for 251 yards.
He missed on screen passes and check downs, and Cassel is obviously not the long-term answer at quarterback.
The Chiefs front office seems to ignore this and there does not seem to be an end to the Cassel era in sight.
No. 9: The Chiefs Will Miss Rodney Hudson Greatly
Hudson was commanding a veteran offensive line with poise, and it was evident that the pass protection suffered greatly without him in the lineup.
Matt Cassel's inept game had a lot to do with poor protection up front, and the Chiefs will have to make do with veteran Ryan Lilja stepping in at center.
Rookie Jeff Allen will be taking over at guard for the time being.
No. 8: Jamaal Charles Is One of the Best Runners in the League.
Jamaal Charles was a human highlight film last week against the Saints but he had scuffled early in this game, fumbling twice in the first half.
A 37-yard breathtaking run in the third quarter in which Charles reversed field entirely and scampered for a score proved that he is one of the most exciting players in football.
Charles has shown his toughness on numerous occasions this season, and he did it again today when he was able to shake off a tough first frame and use his speed to almost put the Chiefs in a place to make a comeback.
No. 7: The Kansas City Defense Is Bad
Another 30-point game by an opposing offense is unacceptable.
The Chiefs' offensive unit certainly didn't help matters much by turning the ball over in their own territory on many occasions.
Quarterback Philip Rivers threw for a highly efficient 209 yards and two touchdowns while capitalizing on Kansas City turnovers.
San Diego's rushing attack was effective as well. Ryan Matthews and former Chief Jackie Battle rushed for a combined 100 yards and converted many vital first downs.
Kansas City's secondary has played poorly this season. It has also become very evident that they miss Brandon Carr, who left via free agency this offseason.
Derrick Johnson and company are far too talented to be playing this kind of defensive football, and they will need to fix these issues to compete.
No. 6: Antonio Gates Owns Eric Berry
He had a rather mundane stat line, but watching this game it has become clear that Antonio Gates gives Eric Berry all sorts of problems.
Gates had three catches for 59 yards in the first half and the former basketball star was making the Pro Bowl safety look foolish until the Kansas City defense began to adjust.
Gates has owned Berry dating back to the 2010 season opener in which Gates torched the Chiefs defense for two touchdowns.
No. 5: The Kansas City Pass Rush Can Be Elite at Times
They are highly talented in their front seven and when they want to, the Kansas City linebackers can cause a ton of havoc behind the line of scrimmage.
The problem is that they can only seem to sustain that pressure in spurts, and at other times the rush is non-existent.
All three sacks today happened in the third quarter, and last week the pass rush only showed up in the second half against New Orleans.
Some consistency is needed from this talented group in order for the defense to play at a competitive level.
No. 4: Dwayne Bowe Deserves a Big Payday
Dwayne Bowe's stats have benefited greatly from his Chiefs being behind at many points in this season, but the past two weeks have been an exception.
Bowe had seven catches for 108 yards and a touchdown against San Diego today and his physical presence was felt all game long.
The former LSU tiger worked the San Diego secondary with a variety of out routes, and his slants were a thing of beauty today.
Bowe has 342 yards and three touchdowns on the year. He is going to command some big money in the market this offseason, so Scott Pioli and Clark Hunt must pay him handsomely.
No. 3: Jackie Battle Wanted Revenge on His Former Team
Jackie battle was a rarely used special teamer during most of his tenure in Kansas City.
He was leaned on heavily in preseason games, but he didn't get a chance to log real playing time until injuries decimated the Chiefs backfield last season.
Battle played admirably in 2011 and San Diego signed him as an insurance policy to play behind the injury-prone runner Ryan Mathews.
A broken collarbone for Mathews opened the door for Battle and he has played very well thus far.
Battle has scored four touchdowns this season, including two today against his former team.
No. 2: Turnovers Keep You from Winning in the NFL
Six turnovers. Five in the first half. That is a recipe for complete disaster, and it has been a huge problem for Kansas City this season.
Jamaal Charles fumbled twice in the first half and Matt Cassel was giving the ball away at an alarming rate.
Cassel's lost five fumbles this season and he has also added seven interceptions as well.
Many wondered if Romeo Crennel's lack of discipline would become an issue in the future, but it is causing a tremendous ball security problem in the present.
No. 1: Romeo Crennel Is in over His Head
The players love Romeo Crennel and that shows.
Kansas City has played with a lot of heart, even in three blowout losses so far in 2012.
For the second consecutive season it is clear that the Chiefs have started the year completely unprepared to play NFL football.
It was easy to pin last year's early failures on Todd Haley but it's evident that the same issues still exist, and Romeo Crennel is a big part of that.
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