Houston on Offense - Brought Leggett on the blitz for first sack of the year on 3rd and 11. Generally good pressure on the QB. Secondary seemed late to make their breaks, with plenty of hats deep to prevent the TD, but nobody making any plays on the ball.
KC on offense - Positive yards on every handoff to LJ. Not huge, but I get the sense that if they keep knockin' on the door behind Waters, LJ would start having his way more and more. Nice pass to Copper for the initial 1st down. Very precise and clean. Ball was there when he came out of his break. 1st and 10, Cassel has the ball coming out quickly. Copper drops the ball in traffic.
Houston ball, after a great punt that McGraw downed at the 5. 1st play from scrimmage, student body right by Houston, student body left by KC to mirror it. HB takes one step and cuts to the left. Hali is beaten badly to his out-side. I'd say "outside," except the HB only cut as far as the right hash, and Hali couldn't even stop THAT, because he was mindlessly following Dorsey down the line. Very bad play by Hali. And Jarrad Page, too, since he was coming in from that same side and missed the tackle. Who has the contain? Nobody, apparently. 2nd and 4, Schaub play fake, Easy completion to Andre Johnson, between Flowers and Pollard and in front of Page. Flowers played it to keep Johnson from getting past him to his out-side. This is very passive coverage. The kind I hate. Color commentator says the LBs have to get into better drops, but the LBs (Mays, in particular) honored the play fake BIG-time (Actually delivering a hit to an empty-handed HB 3 yards past the line of scrimmage) and there was no drop at all, let alone "not deep enough." I think that if you're going to spend 2 or 3 hats on the one guy (Andre Johnson), then SOMEbody oughta be playing him aggressively and another guy provide over-the-top insurance, rather than everyone patrolling a zone and twiddling their thumbs. Sometimes it just looks like they're defending strips of turf, with no regard for where the receivers are. Houston tries the end-around. Hali beaten to the outside, again, biting on the fake, but Page comes up, forces the ballcarrier back toward the middle with a missed tackle, and Hali recovers in time for a good stop for minimal gain.
Houston o-line is getting very good push against the KC front. HB isn't even having to make a cut until he gets to the now-vacated line of scrimmage.
The injury to Pollard took place a few plays before anyone really noticed. It was on an earlier play, when his right leg got doubled-up underneath him at the 4-minute mark. That helmet tap at the goal line was the least of Pollard's problems.
On Houston's TD run on 3rd down from the 2, Hali is lining up like a 4-3 RDE, and Jackson is on the opposite side of the line from him, with 3 linemen between them. This is NOT a very good short-yardage formation against double TEs. Hali is smothered by a double team. Easy TD.
KC ball - Battle has plenty of room to the left side. Gain of 7. Run close to the same play again, Niswanger and Goff are badly beaten (as is Cox) and Battle is met in the backfield. The man who met him had his bell rung. Commentators say the left side collapsed, but Albert and Waters both sealed their opposite numbers to the outside, and opened up the A gap from THEIR side. It was C, RG, FB who got run over.
Chiefs running low-risk-to-QB passes only. Punt.
Houston ball, end of 1st quarter.
Tyson Jackson in at RDE. 1st down, they block and run it away from him. Weak side holds up well. So far, the biggest weakness in the run D appears to be the cutback to the weakside. 2nd and 13, Jackson works his way up field fairly conservatively, gets his hands up, and Schaub sails the ball over the receiver's head, because Jackson gets a hand up and makes it a tough throw. 3rd and 13, Hali moves to the left side, Jackson edges inside a little bit. Hali's overeager, neutral zone infraction. Studebaker on the right side. 2 down linemen: THE TWO ROOKIES! Excellent push up the middle, collapsing the pocket, and Hali and Studebaker converge convincingly from the edges. Got it done with 4 guys, narrowly missing the sack. Pass is completed, but there wasn't time to get the ball far enough downfield to convert the 1st.
KC ball - Cassel can't find anyone on 1st. Battle rips off a 9-yard run on 2nd. Ryan drops a pass that hits him in the chest.
HOU Ball - Now it's Boone at LDE, Edwards in the middle, and Dorsey at RDE, again. Excellent series. 3 and out. Only thing I don't like is the big cushion by both corners on 1st and 2nd down. On 3rd and long, MAYbe.
KAN ball - Again, Battle rips off 5 yards on 1st. Less productive on 2nd down. 1st down by penalty. Muffed snap.
HOU ball - Chiefs make a good stand, with Dorsey and Jackson at DE. Not sure if that's Edwards or Tyler at the nose at this point.
KAN ball - Bowe makes a couple catches. On 3rd down, Croyle is twisted down by Conor Barwin, after Albert is badly beaten, and Croyle doesn't step up to avoid the sack. That one sure tested Croyle's right knee, the way he went down. Pops right back up.
HOU ball - Beisel and Belcher are now in at LB, and Tyler's at the nose. So is Mike Brown. Studebaker is helped off the field. Don't know if he took a shot to the ribs, had his bell rung, or what. Looks like there's room up the gut against this D, now. I'm thinking Edwards DOES make a difference. A lot of switching in and out of players and shifting around. Looks like Jackson's back on the field. Did I miss something, here? Down to #2s and #3s, now.
Kan ball - Chiefs are running pretty much exclusively spread with Croyle in there and the #2s on o-line (Albert still at LT). He's throwing mostly to curl routes. Doesn't need to lead anyone, but he's throwing well from the pocket to a stationary target. Nice little scramble to his left. Hits a stationary Bowe. Misses him by 10 feet, but Bowe reacts and makes the leaping grab. Still haven't seen Croyle hit anybody in stride. Is this his great scoring drive? There's a good, quick seam route, hitting Rodney Wright. Gets the FG try under 50 yards, with 3 secs.
That's the first half.
2nd half: Not much to say. I'll probably watch it more carefully, later, to have something to say about McBride, and others.
Brodie CAN hit the deep crossing route. Stupid grounding penalty, though.
Great catch by Bowe. Croyle fastened on him the whole play. Bowe was just bigger and taller and able to go up for it, but nobody was fooled. Against #1 D, Croyle prob'ly telegraphed too much.
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