Kansas City Chiefs Make a Quick Recovery Back To First Place
When head coach Todd Haley had to undergo surgery earlier this week to repair a torn tendon in his leg, he didn't miss a single drill, or practice.
Not many coaches' in this league would get so worked up after a loss that they would force his own players to go full pads all week long, and then jump into a drill as a player to teach proper depth technique to his young secondary.
When Haley dove to the ground to catch a pass as a cornerback, it was what a hard working coach would do. Yet, he paid the price. "I ripped a tendon right off the quad" Haley said when referring to his injury.
"But I caught the ball, and I didn't miss a practice," Haley said. "I was proud of that."
That is the type of mentality he brings to these Kansas City Chiefs.
On the road is a different story. And to be a successful road team, you have to play smart, and fundamentally sound football.
Great teams find ways to win on the road. And beating a dismal Cleveland Browns team in week 2 hardly counts. This is the reason these Chiefs are not a great team yet. They may not even be a "good" team yet, as Todd Haley has been saying all season long.
Another thing is also becoming clear at the Chiefs most important position. Quarterback Matt Cassel is improving, and progressing throughout each and every game. Every snap in fact.
His performance on Sunday was in my opinion his best performance as a Chief.
He didn't miss wide open receivers. He consistently hit Dwayne Bowe in stride. And when he did have an incomplete pass, it was usually right on the money, and a defensive back just made a great play on the ball.
We may have seen Matt Cassel turn a psychological corner in that disastrous Denver game. As the Chiefs were down early, Cassel came firing back, throwing accurate passes, and making plays down field, and connecting with Bowe on several occasions.
Of course it was all too late for any type of comeback. But that didn't stop Cassel from at least attempting to close the gap in the score.
The problems of the past that I've seen from Cassel were that he was too afraid of making the big mistake. He didn't want to throw a deep pass down field just to see it turn into an interception. Yet those deep passes are sometimes necessary. He was playing scared.
Against Arizona, the Chiefs clicked in nearly every aspect offensively, as they usually do at home.
Running back Jamaal Charles was on a mission once again, using his speed to blaze by the Arizona defense. While Thomas Jones did the easy work of punching it in at the goal line. It was the type of 1-2 punch that Chief fans envisioned before the season began.
But one thing is still clear as day. Charles still needs a heavier workload. Especially if the Chiefs plan on winning at least four more games, and making the playoffs.
Defensively for Kansas City, the secondary had slight problems in coverage. They didn't allow too many big plays, and Kendrick Lewis back from his injury was hard to miss.
But Brandon Flowers still seems to be recovering from the nightmares that Jacoby Ford laid upon him two weeks ago. He's getting beat more often, and he doesn't seem to be as physical as he was before that sad performance.
Glenn Dorsey actually showed up this week after getting thrown around like a rag doll against a bad Denver offensive line.
The Chiefs have been, and will be in control of their own destiny throughout the rest of this season. It's a matter of hoping San Diego doesn't catch up, and winning at least four of their last six games.
They are very winnable games at that, and the week 17 match-up when Oakland comes to Kansas City will be a showdown for the ages.
But first, the Chiefs have to head to Seattle, and prove that they can win a road game. A loss to the Seahawks could put the Chiefs on life support the rest of the way.
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