Week 10: Kansas City Chiefs Vs Denver Broncos: 5 Things To Take From This Loss
Kansas City took a smack down at Invesco yesterday. Denver started to runaway with game from it's very first possession of the game.
This was not the week Kansas City wanted them to show up to play. Kansas City is now 2nd in the AFC West behind the Oakland Raiders by virtue of division wins.
I'm sure this was not part of Kansas City's game plan and now they're going to have to work hard to get some momentum going.
Even though they managed to avoid a total implosion they still walked away with their biggest loss of the season. In fact it's their 1st loss of more then ten points so far.
Still there are things to be taken from this loss. Some of them we knew, some we suspected and some may have come as a surprise to many of us.
The Run Can Be Stopped
Earlier this season I would've laughed in someone's face if they had told me Kansas City's run would be shut down by not one but two low ranked rushing defenses. Thankfully nobody told me that because crow never tastes good and that crow would be especially nasty.
The Oakland Raiders 26th ranked rush defense held Kansas City to it's lowest yardage of the season so far. Kansas City left the game with a combined 104 yards rushing. A few of those yards Cassel ran for himself.
The Denver Broncos 31st ranked rush defense literally shut down Kansas City's running game. They held the Chiefs to an unbelievable 51 yards rushing. Leaving most of saying "how did that happen?".
One could wonder after two weeks if Chiefs rookie Dexter McCluster has that much of an impact on Kansas City's running game. I don't think that's the case though. I think Denver just set out to stop the run and got it done.
Matt Cassel Can Throw
Perhaps the only bright spot in this week's loss to the Broncos is that Matt Cassel showed us he's capable of wracking up the passing yards when he has to.
While Cassel had perhaps his best game this season he still wasn't mistake free. He had a tendency early on to hang on to the ball too long outside the pocket and it cost them a Denver touchdown following a fumble.
Cassel threw 53 completions for a total of 469 yards, with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. There goes the theory that his lack of interceptions is tied to his lack of attempts.
I'll give Cassel MVP for the day not that MVPs matter much in a loss. His second half play was impressive especially when trying to make up a large deficit.
Todd Haley Will Always Be a Gambler and Sometimes a Bad Sport Too
In spite of the Chiefs at least temporary loss of forward momentum Haley doesn't seem to have become anymore conservative in his play calling. Going for it on fourth down wasn't that much of a gamble considering they were 4th and goal. The same can't be said for the two point conversion attempts and yet another failed onside kick.
I'll be honest here I love that Haley doesn't play scared and continually shows faith and confidence in his team. No it doesn't always payoff but they don't play apologetic football and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Do or DIE seems to be Haley's motto.
At the end of the game Haley refused to shake McDaniels' hand and wagged his finger at him instead. Haley must have been in the wrong there because he apologized for the snub today. He showed bad sportsmanship for doing that but I'm glad he could face up to that and apologize for it. I know a lot of men that seem to think admitting they were wrong is worse than getting teeth pulled.
They Do Have a Passing Game
Kansas City has had to prove over the last two weeks that yes they do indeed have a passing game. The problem is they can't play it long enough. A 30 to 45 minute passing game isn't enough when there is no run game to speak of.
It seems to take the Chiefs too much precious time to adjust to the pass offense. When they first bring it out it seems a little rusty and lacks confidence. That said their passing offense looked better today than it has all season.
Where did all those receivers come from? Have they been failing to get open in previous games or has Cassel just been failing to find them? Tucker, Cox, Cooper... Chris Chambers seems to have finally woke from his slumber. Then there's Dwayne "The Show" Bowe. He can hold his head high with confidence that the blame for today's loss in no way lays on his shoulders.
The Chiefs Are Still Not Showing Up For 60 Minutes Of Football
The Kansas City Chiefs are still not showing up for the full 60 minutes of play. In recent weeks it has been the second half they have faltered in.
This week they got off to a late start. They let Denver get momentum and run away with the first half. The Chiefs finally showed some life the end of the first half. It was too little too late.
I'm not taking anything away from Denver here they earned their impressive win. If you can hold the leagues number 1 rush offense to yardage that low you've done something.
My point is playing better than the other team is what wins games. No matter how good or bad they play you must play better. You also must play the entire game.
That the Chiefs still have some work to do is clear.