Kansas City Chiefs: The Truth Is in the Facts
"Charlie Weiss is leaving", "Todd Haley is a egotistical coach who is impossible to work with", "Bill Muir will be Todd Haley's puppet", " Look at what a great job Jim Zorn did with Jason Campbell", The only reason the Chiefs made the playoffs is due to a soft schedule". Do I really need to go on?? The season is barely over and the sky is already falling. I believe enough is enough and lets look to the facts. The defense was a lot better, the offense is improving but let us down, the 2011 schedule is tough, and the Chiefs draft choices will be determined by the facts.
The Defense Was A Lot Better Than Given Credit
In Romeo we trust.
Points/Game: 20.4 = 11th
Yards/Game: 330 = 14th
Rush yards/Game: 110 = 14th
Passing yards/Game: 219 = 17th
Sacks: 39 = T-9
Forced Fumbles: 15 = 8th
Interceptions for TD: 3 = 5th
GAMES LOST: NOT ALL THE DEFENSES FAULT
COLTS 19-9: Defense held Manning to 244 yards, 1 int. and 0TD. The colts kicked 4 FG. KC offense was 1/10 on 3rd down, 0-2 in red zone, and time of possession was Colts 34.25 / KC 25.35
TEXANS 35-31: Close game but defense gave up 21 in 4th quarter.
RAIDERS 23-20: Defense gave up 321 yards. Special teams allowed kickoff for TD. Offense was 3/15(20%) on 3rd down. Time of possession Chiefs 33.10 / Raiders 29.43. Penalties 12 for 100 yards.
BRONCOS 49-29: The secondary got blew up in the first half. Broncos jumped out to a 35-0 lead. One TD was a 75 yd. fumble recovery. KC offense only rushed for 51 yard and o-line gave up 4 sacks. Defense only gave up 14 in second half.
CHARGERS 31-0: I was at this game and I do not blame the defense. The offense was horrid, with Brodie Croyle at the helm KC offense had 67 total net yards. 5 first downs and 0-11 on 3rd downs. Time of possession was KC 19:50 / SD 40:10. With a 2:1 time of possession the Chiefs could have had the all madden defense and lost.
Raiders 31-10: With the playoffs in hand I'm not sure how hard KC tried, but they looked terrible on all sides of the ball. KC offense gained 201 total yards, was 7/18 on 3rd down (38%) and committed 2 turnovers which led to TD's. The offensive line gave up 7 sacks. Time of possession was KC 26:32 / OAK 33:28.
Secondary: The Chiefs defense was in the top half of most defensive statistical categories. The only area lacking was in the secondary where 2 rookies started at safety. I am excited about the Chiefs safeties. Eric Berry is great in run defense and has a nose for the ball. Berry can over commit at times but that is to be expected. Kendrick Lewis was a great surprise and was really turning it on at the end of the season.
Linebackers: Derrick Johnson can tackle and can play sideline to sideline with the best in the league. Tamba Hali led all AFC players in sacks. Jovan Belcher was a surprise who was always around the ball. Mike Vrabel was a situational player and Andy Studabaker was showing signs of being the future OLB the Chiefs need. Definitley an upgrade over Williams and Mays from last year.
Defensive Line: Glenn Dorsey stepped his play up and the combo Gilberry/Smith was excellent. Tyson Jackson started the year but injuries made him situational. Ron Edwards did his best but he is the main weakness in the run game. Anytime a team chose to run the ball down the Chiefs throat they could. Arian Foster, Michael Bush, Mike Tolbert, Mike Hart and Knowshon Moreno all did it. Nose tackle is the defenses biggest need.
The Offense Was Better But Let The Chiefs Down
Total offense: 22.9 points/game = 14th
Rushing yards/game: 164.2 = 1st
Passing yards/game: 199 = 31st
Sacks allowed: 32 = 12th
3rd down percentage: 36.7% = 20th
1st downs/game: 19.9 = 11th
Penalties: 90 = T-10th least
Quarterback: It all starts with the quarterback. Matt Cassel was a phenomenal game manager. Cassel had a career best 27/7 TD/Int ratio. A quarter back rating of 93.0 and threw for 3116 yards. Matt took 26 sacks and fumbled 3 times and only lost one fumble. All of those stats are great, the Chiefs quarterback is getting better, however it seemed like the Chiefs were afraid to let him loose. In the Bronco game when the Chiefs were down 35-0, they turned Matt loose and he put up phenomenal numbers (33/53 4td, 469 yards and 0 int.)For Matt Cassel to get better the Chiefs must provide him with more weapons and better protection on his right side. As for the backups Brodie Croyle was a nightmare and Tyler Palko played too little to evaluate.
Offensive Line: The Chiefs offensive line improved with veteran stability. Casey Wiegman was solid all year but is getting old and may retire. Ryan Lilja was an excellent right guard who pulled cleanly and was in the secondary quickly. Barry Richardson did a good job at right tackle but wasn't very good all around. He is a versatile lineman of the back up quality. Brian Waters was average at best and made the pro bowl by name only. Branden Albert had a rocky start but got better as the season progressed. Branden Albert is the Chiefs future left tackle. Overall, the line looked great compared to last year and gave Jamal Charles the holes needed to succeed. One thing that impressed me was the quickness in the Chiefs line and how good they did in sealing off the edge. The Chiefs line must improve pass protection and goal line push. They do well man to man but FAIL when a team blitzes and uses twists and stunts.
Running Backs: Thomas Jones was brought in for veteran leadership and to be the power back. Jones started the season strong but really struggled in the second half of the season. In the last few regular season games he looked like he was running in slow motion and could not push a pile. Thomas Jones racked up 245 rushes for 896 yards and 6 TD's and caught 14 for 122 yards. Jamal Charles was lightning in a bottle. Jamal ran for 1467 yards on 230 carries with 5 TD's and caught 45 for 468 and 3 TD's. Charles ran 100 times less than Arian Foster and Michael Turner and produced just as much. The running game was the Chiefs strong suit but play selection and carry distribution were questionable to say the least. For the Chiefs to improve on their number 1 ranked running game they need to draft a young power back to pair with Charles.
Wide Receivers/Tigh Ends: Besides Dwayne Bowe the wide receiver group was shambles at best. Dexter McCluster was a good addition and will play well in the slot but he never regained form after high ankle sprain. Terrance Copper, Chris Chambers, Kevin Curtis, Quinten Lawrence?????? All substandard and unreliable. Verran Tucker is an interesting prospect but will take time to develop. Dwayne Bowe was a stud who had 72 receptions for 1162 yards and 15 TD's. Bowe improved his dropped ball numbers and really excelled in blocking. Rookie Tony Moeaki was a steal in the 3rd round and will be a playmaker for years to come and can block well. Leonard Pope and Jake O'Connell are not the future and should be replaced. Don't count out Brad Cottam just yet. Overall, the Chiefs need two more wide receivers and one more good tight end who can catch.
Conclusion: The Chiefs offense improved but was to one dimensional to really contend. The offense was hot and cold and a bit inconsistent. The offensive line needs a new center and right tackle. The running game needs another young power back. The wide receivers block well but need at least 2 more dependable wide receivers to compete and 1 more play making tight end would make the Chiefs dangerous.
Tough 2011 Schedule
Of the 11 other teams that went to the playoffs in 2010, the Kansas City Chiefs play 6 including both super bowl teams.
San Diego Chargers: 9-7, split last season one blowout and one tight game. Always dangerous.
Oakland Raiders: 8-8, beat the Chiefs twice last year and are constantly inconsistent.
Denver Broncos: 4-12, rebuilding team. New 4-3 defense.
Green Bay Packers: 10-6, SUPER BOWL CHAMPS, enough said.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 12-4, AFC CHAMPS, solid defense with plenty of depth and stability.
Minnesota Vikings: 6-10, no quarterback, defense getting older, new coach.
Miami Dolphins: 7-9, rebuilding team with no quarterback or running game. Defense can play.
Buffalo Bills: 4-12, the Chiefs barely beat the Bills in 2010 and the Bills kept getting better.
NY Jets: 11-5, solid defense, stable o-line, and good rushing game. Lots of swagger.
Chicago Bears: 11-5, offense is inconsistent, can run the ball, weak line, defense is strong.
New England Patriots: 14-2, NFL MVP QB, defense has a ton of depth, great coaching.
Indianapolis Colts: 10-6, Peyton Manning, excellent WR, TE, fast defense, beat Chiefs in 2010.
Detroit Lions: 6-10, rebuilding franchise with a solid young d-line. Best WR in the game.
Conclusion: The Chiefs will have to get better on all sides of the ball to be competitive next year. The 2011 schedule will be the true test. If the Chiefs can go 8-8 they will prove to the NFL that they are more than a one year wonder. The defense can hang with these teams but the offense needs to get better and put up more points. If the offense plays better it will give the defense a breather and force the opposing team to take risks.
The Kansas City Chiefs hold the 21st pick in the 2011 draft.
Needs: NT, WR, RB, TE, OL
Phil Taylor, Baylor, 6ft. 1, 337 = Nose Tackle
Torrey Smith, Maryland, 6ft. 1, 205 lbs. = Wide Receiver
Mikel LeShoure, Illinois, 6ft. 230 lbs. = Running Back
Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin, 6ft. 3, 240 lbs. = Tight End
Derrick Sherrod, Mississippi St., 6ft. 6, 312 lbs. = Offensive Tackle
Speculation: If Todd Haley and Scott Pioli want to win next year they must improve the offense and secure the Nose Tackle spot on defense. Since free agency is uncertain the draft is the only spot the Chiefs can upgrade. If Pioli drafts like he did in 2009 the Chiefs are sunk. If they draft like 2010, playoffs here the Chiefs come!