KANSAS CITY MO - OCTOBER 24: Running back Jackie Battle #26 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after touchdown during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on October 24 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Usually I like to post on one topic, but too many thoughts came into my head following the Chiefs-Jaguars game. So I thought I'd be sort of clever (but not really) and post a few numbers that I find to be interesting. Enjoy (or not)!
86 - Could that be Tony Moeaki's two-game receiving totals? Nope. Could that be Dwayne Bowe's total yards this week? Not quite. 86 represents the number of yards the Chiefs have lost in the past two games due to three borderline Pass Interference calls. Three. If that were a Quarterback throwing three passes, he would be averaging 29 Yards per Completion. Wow.
If you're going to cost a team more than 15 yards and especially if you're going to cost a team over 30 yards on one penalty, you better get the call right. Pass Interference needs to be reviewable. You cannot let a team march halfway down the field because of one missed call.
116 - Let's piggyback off the previous point. Given that two of the PI calls were definitely Offensive PI and one of them (against Berry) was arguably so, if all three OPI calls are made, that pushes the opposing team back 30 total yards. So on three calls, the refs may have cost the Chiefs 116 total yards. When a Running Back runs for 100+ yards, that's considered an accomplishment. If a RB were to run 3 plays for 116 yards, that would be a pretty amazing 39 yards per carry. That should tell you how ridiculously, obscenely, insanely bad those calls were.
17 - You guessed it: that's the number of points the Texans and Jaguars have scored on those PI drives. Enough is enough. I know Todd Haley won't say it, nor should he have to, but the refs have to, have to, have to, have to stop screwing the Chiefs over on Pass Interference calls. And the refs have to start becoming accountable for mistakes like this. I'm sorry, but a letter to the team doesn't make me or you as a fan feel comforted. "Oh sorry, we apologize for costing your team 41 yards... AGAIN. We won't let it happen, except for when we do let it happen again, in which case, we will make sure it doesn't happen again until it does happen again.
7 - Number of officials who stood around with their thumbs and flags in their pockets while Jackie Battle got tackled after a Touchdown and a Quarterback, of all people, gets shoved away from the pile. I don't care what the score is. That's textbook Unsportsmanlike Conduct and not calling that promotes that it's okay to act like a sore loser. On a side note, that Unsportsmanlike tackle reminds of the days when I used to play Madden on my Sega Genesis 15 or so years ago. I don't know how many times I would get rung up for Unsportsmanlike Conduct because they would literally let you tackle a guy several times consecutively after a play was over. My other favorite play was to go offsides on an Extra Point and stand in front of the kicker to block the kick. Those were the good ole' days. Anyway, I digress. Regardless, for an officiating crew that was so liberal about throwing flags on ticky-tack plays, they sure were conservative about throwing a flag on that play.
75,000 - Arbitrary number for the fine Matt Cassel would have gladly accepted for defending Jackie Battle after that cheap shot. The commentators said that Matt Cassel should have stepped away from the pile to avoid a fine. I disagree. Matt Cassel needs to find every opportunity to win over his team. Stepping in and backing his teammate, regardless of the consequence, was just what he needed to do. It reminds me of a pitcher who throws a retaliation pitch. I can assure you of one thing: Cassel's teammates saw it and they won't ever forget it.
28 - Third down efficiency % for the first 4 games. 14 for 50 for 28%.
56 - Third down efficiency % against Houston and Jacksonville. I've given Matt Cassel quite a bit of grief this season, but it's numbers like this that prove that he's showing visible improvement. He made a few big third down throws and, quite frankly, he got quite a bit of help from his friends but what Quarterback doesn't? The Chiefs as a team are executing third down plays and regardless of what kind of monster effort the receiver makes, credit always starts from the top and that's Matt Cassel. Good job, Matt.
2 - Number of scores the Chiefs would have been up if Todd Haley chooses to kick a field goal
11 - Number of points the Chiefs would have been up if Todd Haley chooses to kick a field goal. It's also the number of minutes left in the game when Haley made the decision to go for it
89 - Ryan Succop's FG % from 40-49 yards throughout his career, so yeah... good chance he hits that Field Goal
Moral of the story? I love that Todd Haley is this aggressive, but over the past two seasons, he has cost the team as many games as he has helped by being too aggressive. There is smart aggressiveness and there is recklessness. An occasional onsides kick and going for it on 4th and inches is arguably smart aggressiveness. Not kicking a field goal in the 4th quarter to seal a 2-score lead and consistently running high-risk plays like the onsides kick is reckless. I know the outcome turned out fine, but there are only so many times in a season when you can pretty much give away points by taking daredevil risks.
5 - RBs currently on the active 53-man roster. That's a lot.
4 - RBs that should be on the 53-man roster after this week. Look, I like Tim Castille. He's a tough runner and he's a pretty decent receiver for a Fullback. But let's face it, while he didn't play his way out of a job, Mike Cox most definitely played his way into his job. Cox should have been the starter from the get-go. He ended last season strong and this season, he's been absolutely phenomenal. This decision is easy. You currently have too many RBs. Mike Cox is not only clearly the better blocker, he's also a guy who seems to enjoy doing it. You also have two short yardage guys now in Thomas Jones and Jackie Battle. There are too many cooks in the kitchen. I like Castille, but I don't understand what his role is right now
3 - Number of active Tackles on the 53-man roster. I hate this decision. Barry Richardson has been far better than Ryan O'Callaghan, but I sense that he will lose his job only because the Chiefs don't have a backup Left Tackle should Albert fall to injury. I never liked the decision the Chiefs made to cut Herb Taylor. Regardless of how good the guy is, if Herb Taylor is still on this roster, then Albert and Taylor are your Left Tackles and Richardson and O'Callaghan are your Right Tackles. With a young guy with upside like Richardson, the Chiefs shouldn't force a player to be prepared to play two totally different positions in the event of an emergency. But to the greater point, I talked above about how Haley can be a reckless gambler. The Chiefs almost got burned big time when Albert was helped off the field a few weeks ago. It's interesting to me that that didn't open up the dialogue about how maybe they should bring in an extra Tackle on the roster, especially when they have about a bazillion WRs and RBs within their 53.
5 - Number of sacks Matt Cassel has taken all season. What I really liked this weekend was that he not only took few sacks, he also demonstrated pocket presence and slid around the pocket, something I haven't seen a lot of this season. That's another sign that he's progressing.
67 - Number of projected rushing yards Matt Cassel will have by season's end, a far cry from the 189 yards he put up last season and the 270 yards he put up the season prior. Some will suggest that he's being less productive. My opinion is that the 5 sacks and the 67 rushing yards are pretty clear signs that he's getting rid of the football better. I don't care about the lower rushing yard productivity. For Cassel to stay healthy, he can't keep putting his body in harm's way. For Cassel to get better, he has to learn to stay in the pocket, buy time, and find ways to let plays develop (and throw the ball away when there's nothing there). His limited rushing productivity suggests to me that he's doing that a lot better this season.
13 - Number of projected sacks Matt Cassel will take by season's end. That's less than one sack per game and more than 3 times less than what he took last season.
100 - The number of minutes it probably took for you to read this post. Thanks for letting me ramble.