Chiefs Washed Away 16-10 Vs. Texans in Pre-Season Opener

Craig BrownCorrespondent IAugust 16, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 25: Derrick Johnson #56 of the Kansas City Chiefs points on the field during the game on November 25, 2007 against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Game one of the Pioli-Haley era is in the books, with numerous positives and negatives sure to surface after reviewing game tape.

I'm sure there will be missed assignments, missed blocks, and obvious exhibits of a lack of concentration.  Certainly, perfectionist Todd Haley will be trigger happy with the laser pointer and quick with the tongue lashing.

I think the staff will also be encouraged by the overall team speed and tackling on defense, as well as the execution of the...uuuhhumm...second team offense.

Too many penalties at inopportune times, too much pressure on our quarterback and not enough on theirs—these are all facts the Chiefs will not escape upon further review.

However, as a fan, I found the game to be encouraging.  Defensively, I thought our defenders were flying around the field, and were sure with tackles.  Yes, the reaction time was a bit slow, and at times we seemed unsure of our position.  However, there is a clear difference in game speed of this defense vs. one year ago.

Faced with little support from the offense much of the first half, I think the boys held up well.  Let's not forget that Houston was the third ranked offense in the NFL last year.

Tamba and DJ seemed to meet at the ball nearly every play.  Corey Mays was quite impressive filling in for Zach Thomas at inside linebacker.  The defensive line did a fair job of keeping linemen off of our linebackers, and the defensive backs tackled well and had a few nice plays defending passes.

I'm certain the Chiefs were running a scaled down version of Clancy's package, as there were few exotic blitz plays on the night.  Still, there seemed to be a sense of confusion the Chiefs were able to cause at times.

Offensively, I'm less encouraged.  I thought our offensive line was porous and soft, allowing too much penetration in to the backfield on both running and passing plays.  Reviewing several plays on the DVR, we were clearly beaten at the point of attack, and that must change quickly.  Our two guards and center were caved in most of the night, with outside pressure handled fairly well I thought.

Matt Cassel appeared to look like he had third string receivers out there. Oh, wait a minute, he did.  The combination of Copper and Darling looked as unimpressive as I thought they would.  Hey, I appreciate great work ethic in camp, but seriously guys, I think you've proved your point.  Could we please move on now? 

It was obvious once Dwayne Bowe and Mark Bradley entered the game, the Chiefs actually had a pulse offensively.  Brodie Croyle looked quite comfortable with Bowe and Bradley, obviously having more polished and accomplished receivers on the field with him. 

It would have been very intriguing to see how Cassel looked with Bowe and Bradley.  Hopefully, the boys can pull their heads out and make that happen this week.

There's a lot to work on, but as Chiefs' fans, I think there's also a lot to be excited about.