Despite going 4-12 last season like our beloved Kansas City Chiefs did, Atlanta Falcon fans are feeling pretty good about this game. You know when your team isn't very good and a worse team comes on the schedule and you're like, "Finally, we'll get back on track this week"? That's the Chiefs this week for the Falcons.
Beyond just "The Chiefs are a bad team" reasoning, the Falcons also have another very good reason to assume confidence this weekend - DE John Abraham and the Atlanta pass rush.
John Abraham, formerly coached under Herm Edwards in New York, already has four sacks on the season and is undoubtedly licking his chops to get after Tyler Thigpen this weekend. As Bob Gretz noted, the Atlanta pass rush is a major reason why Tyler Thigpen is getting the nod this weekend over Damon Huard.
Let’s be honest, if they move Abraham over to the left side and have him rush against RT Damion McIntosh, then whoever is playing quarterback for the Chiefs is in trouble. Better to have somebody with some mobility, who can get away from that kind of pressure. Huard can’t do that. Thigpen can.
Thigpen, despite his other shortcomings, is relatively more mobile than Damon Huard meaning he can avoid the pass rush. Then again, who isn't more mobile than Damon Huard?
Let me take one second to talk about Thigpen's touted mobility. I guess I don't see why it's such an asset for him. Thigpen did make a few plays with his legs last week against the Raiders (1 rush for 6 yards and a few dodges) but I would hardly call him a mobile quarterback. He's only seems "very" mobile compared to Damon Huard, who is practically a statue in the pocket. Compared to Huard, Thigpen is younger and less stiff. Croyle has a bit of mobility too when he needs to use it. Thigpen isn't Donovan McNabb or Michael Vick when it comes to running the ball. He's more like...Steve Bono.
Plus, does mobility matter if the pocket dissolves a half second after snapping the ball?
Abraham will have his choice of going up against Branden Albert on the left side of the line or Damion "Sackintosh" McIntosh (I hate nicknames like that but this one is too good) on the right side. Albert should be able to at least partially contain Abraham but I'm quite concerned about Abraham literally running past Damion McIntosh on the right side of our line. We saw the Raiders' defensive ends do it last week and I don't think McIntosh has improved much from last week to this week. The man is Chris Terry version 2.0 and I don't want to remember those visions of last season.
Abraham's three sacks in the Falcons opening game against the Lions was undoubtedly bolstered by the fact that the Falcons got up 21-0 on the Lions within twelve minutes of the game and forced Detroit into passing attack mode. But a quickly declining Damion McIntosh won't be much of a match for John Abraham. The Chiefs will need to set up more help on the right side of the line for McIntosh and that will have a serious affect on their game plan. We will have to either put another tight end on the right side or commit fullback Mike Cox to that side on almost every down. The Chiefs are already short on talent and to have to overcompensate on one side is a terrible point to have to concede to he Falcons.
The game changes necessary for the Chiefs to contain the Atlanta pass rush will spell bad news for KC. I predict that the game will be won or lost on the right side of our offensive line. And right now I don't have much confidence the Chiefs will win that battle. Thigpen's mobility will not be as big of an asset as people are making it out to be and the Chiefs will suffer dearly on Sunday.
To sum up this rambling, Tyler Thigpen's mobility is overrated and will hardly help him avoid a solid Atlanta pass rush. I hope I'm wrong.