I'm very surprised by all of the negative comments after this game. It was a horrible loss, that I admit. But after this game I see nothing but promise in the Chiefs future. Cassell I though played well, Larry Johnson is well on the way to being our guy once again, and Bobby Wade is close to being what we need in a second reciever. As for the defensive side of the ball we improved leaps and bounds over last year, and it really showed to me in this game. Having Flower back helped tremendously, and our line played very well.
My player analysis after the jump.
Matt Cassell - I thought Cassell really gave us a reason to look forward to his years with the Chiefs. Those two interceptions were far from horrible decisions, the first was a very good play and while the second may have been trying to push it in too much, it was very close to being on the money. These don't strike me as Tyler Thigpen breakdown type interceptions, but commonly seen mistakes of a good quarterback trying to make plays. Other than that his pocket presence was very good, and I'm really surprised at how good his timing seemed to be with Bobby Wade who just got here. If he moves that well coming off an injury, imagine what hes going to do when that leg feels 100 percent.
Larry Johnson - Johnson really showed what he's all about this year in this game. He hit the holes hard and make his signature one cut runs. I can't wait to see him break a big run, and I know its coming many times this year. The only thing I hope is that Haley sticks with him and continues to give Johnson 20+ carries a game, like he says he really gets into things the more time he touches the ball.
Our 3rd Down Backs - Whether it be Savage or Charles, we have 2 good change of pace backs that can bring another dimension to our offense. Also to side note in here, I though Mike Cox looked better in blocking today, and that reception he had was also nice.
Bobby Wade - He had some key mistakes for us in this game, notably the dropped passes. That aside I was really sueprised that the impact he had with this being his first game for us, I'm hoping those mistakes are just being in a fresh new system, but I saw a lot of promise from Wade.
Brandon Flowers - Having Flowers back was better than expected, he played very well and shows everyone while our secondary will be great for years to come, by far the best player on our defense at this time.
Our D-Line - Our D-Line played very well versus a very good rushing attack. Tyler topped the team with tackles as he should be doing and they did not run well at all up the middle. I was impressed that after getting beat by two screens on third downs when we were blitzing that the next two times Oakland tried the same thing we had two batted passes, the first by Dorsey, and the second by I believe Vrabel. Those really got me excited because after those first two screens I was worried that our blitz would get beat by it all day.
Linebackers - Johnson came up with a sack, which is good, and Vrabel had that good play, but being honest I didn't really watch the linebacker play that much so I can't really evaluate them fairly. I think our line backers are just middle of the pack at the moment though, and I hate that we're still waiting on Johnson to step up and be that guy.
Now for what went wrong in this game. That play at the end of the first half, whether it was Cassell that shouldn't of thrown the ball, or Haley's new system/bad playcall, it shouldn't happen, and I hope mistakes like that don't again. The dropped passes need to stop, again notably Bobby Wade today, and like I said I hope it was him being new in the system, because he showed flashes of being a great second receiver. The penalties were a little much, and many at bad times, the Gilberry penalty at the end really killed us and put the defense in a situation it shouldn't have been in. We need a tight end, thats all there is to it, that big man in the middle could really help us, unlike Arizona Haley doesn't have three great recievers, he has a young guy who could be great, and some potential, I think a good receivingtight end is a high need for us.
We lost this game, we shouldn't have lost this game. We were clearly the better team on the field, but what I take away from this game more than anything is that we are so close to being a good team, and with a few additions a great team. I think Haley will be loved in Kansas City, and I hope he can live through this first year because these next few weeks are going to be rough with the match-ups we have.
(Sorry if this is poorly worded, or just seems like bad opinions. This is pretty much my first attempt at a real write-up, and this will be my first season really WATCHING football, instead of just being a fan.)