In evaluating our game against the Ravens, I think shock and awe are the best words to describe every aspect of what I saw on Sunday. Let's be honest. MOST AP fans would agree that in preseason our defense impressed, while our offense was inconsistent at best.
Our QB play was bland and off key in preseason. Our running game faired a little better than did our passing game however. But our D impressed us the most really. We had 3 sacks in as many games in the pre. We were always in the face of the opposing QB.
How completely different things ended up playing out Sunday.
Granted our O didn't even get a first down until late in the 2nd Quarter. Our running game was anemic and pathetic. 11 carries for 20 yards?? That's definitely something to fear. We absolutely cannot have that happen again. No matter who we play, our running game cannot hide behind the passing game. We need to be balanced.
But once our O got in sync, we played respectable. Hell, we managed to put up 24 points against the "amazing" D of the Ravens. That silence a few critics for sure. Even Ravens fans gave us props. Weren't we the patched together team with the A-hole of a coach and tight lipped GM that was ruining our team with his flip flopping of players on the roster?
Hmmm. Now what? Well. Let's discuss that roster flipping for just one second. I have more faith than ever in Haley's decision making abilities after game one. I think it's probably somewhat fair to say that most of us on AP really liked Bradley last year and were baffled to some degree when Bradley never showed up on the starting team in OTA's.
Well, just goes to show how little we know compared to the brass. Turns out, Bradley is not the receiver we once thought him to be. Now I know it's only game one, but Bradley is not a rookie. No excused folks, he's a veteran NFL receiver and should know how to get to the marker..period. Please don't make excuses for him. He's a millionaire receiver in the NFL. There are no excuses. He flat failed us and his team on more than one drive. Potentially, he even cost us the game. POTENTIALLY!! So before you go ape Sh** on me I said "potentially" not definitely.
Now I can see what Haley saw in pre, with Bradley. He's not a physical receiver at all. In fact, he was awful on most plays. Before someone jumps all over that comment, listen to Haley's comments about Bradley (he didn't mention him by name, but we all know who he was talking about), go back and watch the tape again on Bradley. Pathetic.
Those failed first downs are game breakers against a SB contender team like the Ravens. Okay, you can get away with that against Detroit most times, but not the Ravens. Unacceptable. Haley's preseason roster makes more sense now doesn't it?
And Bowe?? Well, he just doesn't drop passes anymore!! Again, credit to Haley. Good job there too! What a difference in Bowe already.
And let's not forget that our "starting team" has yet to play one single snap together yet. Brodie is not starting team. Cassel can't fully participate in practice yet, so our first team still has had no time to get cohesive on offense yet and still managed with mediocre Croyle at QB to put up 24 pts. That should be enough to give you chills. In Baltimore in their house with a D that has had years to gel together as a unit, against our patched up offense with a backup QB we still put up 24 pts. ..that actually happened.
But as big a surprise as that was, our D, or lack thereof was just as much a shocker on the other end. Please please please I beg of you, don't be rediculous Chiefs fan and start defending our D. We were pathetic. Period. We have up nearly 200 yds rushing. And over 300 passing for over 500 yds total offense. There is no kleenex that can fix that tear jerker of a let down.
In the NFL there is never an excuse to allow 200 yds rushing and 300 passing. Ok. I don't care if your the biggest fan ever, there is nothing positive about that. I don't care how long they were on the field. That's the same ol' same ol' from last year. Close but no cigar. Lose another close on in the last 2 minutes...it was DeJa Vu all over again.
However, I strongly believe that by the 5th game of the season we will see what we truly have here as a team. They deserve that much at a minumum. They should be allowed the first 4 games to play as a unit and become cohesive before we pass any permanent judgement. Pendergast's defense was the same last year in AZ.
They finished stronger than they started. They created the most turnovers of any team in the post season. So hopefully we will find our stride defensively by then too.