The loss to the Raiders was a tough one to swallow but there are some positives to take from this game.
First, for all of us who were waiting for the D line to start showing up: this was the game. Tyler and Dorsey lead the team in tackles. Too often we have seen our leading tackler be the safeties or corners and that's not a good thing. We held Oakland to 67 yards rushing. Considering that McFaddden tore us up last year, the D is really starting to come around. Now we just have to maintain for a full 60 minutes.
Second, This was Matt Cassell's first game. With the exception of the two picks, he showed something we haven't seen in a QB in a while: The ability to bring your team back at the end of a game. As Coach Haley pointed out:
Chiefs coach Todd Haley on QB Matt Cassel's performance (24 of 39 for 241 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs): "Considering the injury he's playing with, I thought there were a lot of positives with Matt. At the same time, he's the quarterback, and he can't give the ball to them at any time. That's never going to be all right."
Third, the time of possession was flipped from last week. KC had the ball for 38:39 compared to the Raiders 21:21. We had 409 yards of total offense.
Granted, we still lost and to JaMarcus Russell (who is arguably the worst QB in the league) of all people. But anyone who has been watching the transformation of the Chiefs from the start of the Pioli / Haley era had to know that this would not be a quick turnaround. Just remember 2 games does not a season make. I hardly think folks around the league are ready to count out Tennessee who is also 0-2 or are ready to coronate the NY Jets AFC champions just because Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan are 2-0 and beat the Patriots at home.
Coach Haley knows they have work to do and he mentioned as much in the postgame:
As to where the 0-2 Chiefs go from here with a rugged four-game stretch coming up against the NFC East, coach Todd Haley says the fix is simple. "The big solution is, 'Let's be a little smarter. Let's find a way to score some points and not hurt ourselves and take points off the board on our own.' That will solve a lot of problems."The Chiefs hurt their chances of beating Oakland with too many blunders. "Nine penalties, two turnovers, three really with what happened at the end of the first half -- that's not a smart team," Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. "So we are going to go back to work. This will be a smart team."
This will be a long season and one with growing pains. However, we know the GM is constantly looking to upgrade the talent and the coach will be drilling the fundamentals into the players. I'm anxious to see how we fare against the Iggles. I think by the end of the year, the record might not be great but I think we will have a winning foundation to build on for the future and that's not something I would've said after the Herm / Carl era.