Michael Vick was anything but incredible. The plethora of wildcat plays thrown at Kansas City yielded minimal results. Everything that was hyped going into this game was a nonfactor.
For all the flash the stories surrounding Philadelphia provide, it was the same frustrations for Kansas City that dictated the game’s outcome. Penalties, a porous offensive line, and lack of pressure on the quarterback appear to be the depressing, recurring themes of the 2009 Chiefs.
Three areas of the game, all coaching related are worthy of note.
1) Bad Play Calling:
Philadelphia’s defense had six or more players charging the line of scrimmage on nearly every play. With this kind of crowd coming at the line of scrimmage someone has to be coming open in the undermanned Eagle’s secondary. Yet head coach and offensive coordinator Todd Haley sent running back Larry Johnson helplessly into the crowd on almost every first down. This led to a number of third and longs, where Haley always called a draw play to Jamaal Charles. Play calling more predictable than what day of the week tomorrow is. Aside from one trick play that was called on KC’s first scoring drive the Chiefs are disturbingly bland. Where is Haley’s inventiveness? Against this kind of pressure Haley needs to give quarterback Matt Cassel nothing but three step drops, quick release plays, nothing but quick slants and five yard outs all the way down the field and force the Eagles to adapt. Then the run game can open up.
In week two Kansas City had nine penalties for 70 yards. Again it’s important to note that the penalty yards do not include the positive yards gained called back. It seems every time the Chiefs had a successful running play it was called back on a holding penalty. Week three saw KC commit 10 penalties for 90 yards. The Chiefs only had 196 yards of total offense! We are undisciplined and again this has to fall on the coach.
3) Swiss Cheese Offensive Line:
It seems unnecessary to mention the poor play of the offensive line as anyone who follows the Chiefs already knows this is the team’s key issue. However, it will be the story of every game of the 2009 season. Cassel has no time, Johnson has no holes, and this unit is the primary culprit for the penalty totals. Once the pride of Kansas City the offensive line makes most want to look away.
Post game analysis will provide little solace for KC faithful as they will be the subject of ridicule. There is little to be done other than getting back to fundamentals. Although throwing on first down would help.
Solomon Wilcotts is an idiot. At the conclusion of the game he said about Haley, “You’ve got to love the way he dialed up plays.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s a commentator who knows little about a team desperately grasping for something positive to say.
Unfortunately, three weeks into the season, even devout fans are struggling to do the same thing.