The Day After... Chiefs Lose To Raiders

 

Herm_huh_medium

So this is the part where I come in and cheer everyone up and talk about all the good things that came out of yesterdays game....

Well, there was how good our developmental QB is progressing... Oh wait, he went 14/33 with an interception (and about 4 more that SHOULD have been interceptions)

Well you can't deny that our defense has really improved against the run.  Err... yeah, I forgot.  The Raiders ran the ball for 300 yards on us even though JaMarcus Russell couldn't hit the broad side of a barn in the passing game.

Well, to be honest the only thing I can really think of is how much fun we're going to have at the draft in April.

Tighten your chinstraps Chiefs fans.  This is going to be a LONG season.

More tragic comedy after the jump...

"We knew exactly what these guys were going to do... We knew they were going to come in and try to run the football on us.  That was their mindset and we knew we had to stop the run and try to run the football, try to protect our quarterback. 

We didn't get any of those things accomplished.  They came out and knocked us off the ball and ran the ball down our throat."

That quote by Herm pretty much sums it up.  The philosophy the Chiefs are being built on requires they both be able to stop the run on defense and be a run first team on offense.  The reason the Chiefs have sucked SO BAD during this 11 game losing streak is because they can do neither of those things.

Let's start with the good side of the ball.  And when I say good, I mean the side that gave up 300 yards rushing.  The defense.  I think Carr and Flowers played well, but its tough to tell considering my six year old daughter is a more accurate passer than JaMarcus Russell who only completed 6 passes for 55 yards. 

So WHY was the defense incapable of stopping the run when that was all they had to worry about?  When you look at the stats, the Raiders only rushed for 67 yards in the 1st half (when we went to halftime, the score was 6-0) and then totally exploded in the 2nd half running for over 233 yards.  To find out the biggest reason why this happened, you only have to look at the time of possession.  From the 2nd quarter on, the Raiders had the ball 27:47 to the Chiefs 17:13.  Nearly 10 minutes longer in the 45 minutes of the final 3 quarters. 

The defense was tired.  It was getting pounded, at one point by 8 consecutive runs, and was not getting rest because our offense couldn't sustain a drive longer than 3 minutes in the final 3 quarters of the game except once (one drive was 4 minutes) with 5 drives taking less than 1:34 off the clock.

The irony of this of course, is that this is EXACTLY what Herm wants the Chiefs to be able to do.  Run the ball, keep the oppossing teams defense on the field for a long time so they are tired late in the game so you can run all over them while your own defense is resting.  But we have been completely incapable of doing so.  Why not?

Is the play calling bad?  That's tough to say.  I would imagine its tough for any offensive coordinator to come up with a game plan that doesn't require the services of an offensive line.

The O-line is completely inept to the right of Brian Waters.  There are absolutely no holes being opened for a running back to get through; whether its LJ, Charles or the new "Slash" player Hagan.  All Chiefs running backs combined for only 34 yards rushing the entire game.  The QBs combined for 21 yards rushing in "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!" scrambles.  That friends, is absolutely pathetic.

McIntosh is completely overmatched by speed rushers coming off the end, often not even getting a hand on them.  At the end of last season some joked that the line was so bad we might run out of QBs.  Today that looked like a very real possibility as Damon Huard was knocked out of the game early with dizziness after taking a hit to the head.

The entire strategy for winning the Chiefs are being built around hinges on the offense being able to effectively run the ball and sustain drives.  When you can do that, this philosophy is a time proven way of winning games.  However, if you can't run the ball, the entire strategy collapses, which is what has happened the last two seasons.

There are other problems aside from not being able to run the ball of course. 

I guess one good thing we can take out of this is that we can be pretty confident that Tyler Thigpen is never going to turn out to be Tom Brady coming off the bench.

Who knows how the game might have gone had Huard not got knocked out, but it wasn't looking good the time he was in.  Jamaal Charles had a good 3 steps on his defender until he had to actually stop and try to come back for a pass that was probably a good 15 yards underthrown.  Then of course there was the interception which was again turned into points for the opposing team.

Reports from training camp repeatedly said that both Huard and Thigpen looked horrible, seemingly competing with one another to see who could throw the most interceptions and it seems like they've carried that competition into the regular season.

It's becoming evident that it really doesn't matter WHO the QB is back there, they are going to be "injury prone" behind our offensive line.

I maintain what I have always said.  There really is no sense in writhing in anguish over any of this.  The team has serious holes and is playing like a team with serious holes.  The problem is there is nothing we can do to fill those holes until next offseason.  There are no QB prospects to be had that could perform better.  No offensive linemen or linebackers that we could get at this point that would be an upgrade over who we have.  We're pretty much stuck until the offseason.

Same goes for the coaching situation.  I know there are plenty of people chomping at the bit to rip into Carl, Herm, Gun and Chan; and if the offense looks like this the rest of the season, we no doubt will be looking at major sweeps in the front office and coaching staff; but honestly there is nothing to be done about it until the offseason either.  We simply have to ride out this hurricane with no hope of evacuation or rescue coming until February.

Don't worry that if you don't sound disgruntled enough that Clark Hunt won't get the message.  He'll get it.  He'll have an inkling when he sees the empty seats at the stadium and no money coming in, but he'll understand it completely when the angry mob shows up outside the gates with torches and pitchforks because the game has been blacked out.  Something Chiefs fans haven't known for nearly 20 years.

Who knows.  Maybe by the 2nd half of the season, they'll get this ship turned around.  Maybe Croyle will stay healthy and finally get comfortable in the new system.  Maybe Herb Taylor or Barry Richardson will get shore up the offensive line and allow some running lanes to come through.  Maybe Gailey will get into a groove in his play calling and the Chiefs offense will finally start being able to help the defense out.  Or maybe they won't. 

Regardless, these are the cards we're dealt and we've no choice but to watch the game unfold.  Just make sure you have a good stress relieving activity set up for after the game...

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