So Matt Cassell threw for 15 yards and had a fumble, so Matt Schaublooked like a Hall of Fame QB, so the Chiefs continued with another loss. You were expecting a Madden-like 56-0 win? It's the first preseasongame. One where the coaching staff admitted both before and after that they were going to have very vanilla play-calling. The mass panic regarding this loss is amusingly misplaced.
For the Colts, it was downright ugly. Manning was sacked three times, and the revamped defense looked a lot like last year's version, although the Colts didn't showcase many of their new twists.
Sure, we all would have felt much better about seeing the Chiefs execute the perfect game or at least a perfect first quarter but to expect those results was not to pay attention to what the coaches were doing or looking for in the first game. While the ultimate goal for any game is to win, preseason games are more about evaluating your talent and their execution versus an opponent. Here's what Coach Haley responded when asked about his preference for evaluation being practice or a preseason game:
HALEY: “No, I think you have to have the game. I think the game is very important to the evaluation process as is every day of practice. Like I’ve said, every day these guys are being evaluated and really every night how they are in the meetings. It’s a 24-hour evaluation but the game is a big part of that and will play a big part in how things turn out.”
When the GM makes plain the fact that he would like and expects to have 3-5 more roster moves before the start of the season it should be a strong indicator that they understand there are upgrades needed. The fact that Ashley Lelie was being worked out the Thursday before the first preseason game can't inspire confidence among the wideouts. Also, it's interesting how bland the play calling was for Cassell's series. It wasn't until his third series that they didn't start with two runs, you don't get that predictable in your play calling unless you are trying to evaluate some of your positions within a game situation.
As an article regarding the Patriots from last season points out it's the third preseason game that matters:
The third exhibition game is a bit like the soft opening of a restaurant. You still might be tinkering with the menu, but your customers should know by now what kind of food is being served and whether it's any good.
The play of the Patriots in their first two games, both unpalatable losses, has been tough to digest. New England still has all the ingredients for greatness, but has struggled to find the right mix on offense and defense.
So before we start with the knee-jerk, end of the world prognostications let's see where we are after we play Seattle on August 29th.