So the first preseason game is in the books. We lost by 10 points. If you will recall, that is a greater margin of loss than ANY of our preseason games last year. The worst loss in preseason last year was to the Rams by 8 points. Wait a minute, the RAMS? Yeah, the RAMS.
Last year in the preseason, when we didn't have Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas, Eric Berry, Jon Asamougha, Colin Brown (injured), Tomas Jones, etc. etc. we were able to stay within 10 points of the likes of Houston (we lost 10-16), Minnesota (we lost 13-17), Seattle (we lost 10-14), and St. Louie (we lost 9-17).
Do any of you think we are a better team this year than last? I know many of you do. If that is true, what does it mean that we have improved yet we lose our first game in preseason by more points than we lost any of them last year?
I submit that while we as fans are absolutely apopletic about the result of last nights game, it means exactly what it meant last year--nothing. This was the first time since the Chiefs played the Donkeys in the final game of the 2009 season that those same Chiefs have taken the field against someone other than a Chief.
I saw one post where the poster said that he has watched every preseason game this year and we performed the worst so far. SO WHAT? So far their have been a total of 4 preseason games played (besides the Chiefs game). That is a huge frame of reference--sheesh!
What did you expect? Did you expect that our Chiefs who won all of 4 games last year, would take the field and look like world beaters? Did you expect that the first play from scrimmage would be a TD pass to D Bowe? Did you expect that the first punt/kick off return would go all the way with a rookie from Arkansas holding the rock (this DID almost happen ya know)? Did you think that these Chiefs would play their very first preseason game and look like a Super Bowl Champion in mid season form?
If you did, shame on you. Weren't you there the last three years to see those 10 wins and 38 losses? Weren't you there (in person or on AP) during this years training camp? Haven't you noticed the lack of positive feedback about how the team has gelled? Haven't you noticed that most of the positive feedback that we have DID receive has been proven accurate in the losing effort last night?
Some of the statements that have been made about 'how poorly' the Chiefs played last night would lead one to believe that the level of expectation was way too high. The Falcons went 9-7 last year and missed the playoffs because they were in the same division as the Saints who won 13 games. If your expectations were like these below, then you did let the Koolaid take over.
1) If you expected Thomas Jones and/or Jamaal Charles to have a 100 yd rushing game, shame on you. The Falcons D was 10th against the run last year and they have made some off season moves to improve that. Jones went down with a stinger early on and Charles flashed his prowess quite well. Moore looked better than Williams (especially when he fumbled). The o line had it's troubles but if you will look at BEWSAFs post about what kind of blocking was going on, you will see that what we did in the first couple of series changed drastically later in the game and corresponded to a much stronger looking running attack.
2) If you expected to see Matt Cassel throw for two TDs on his first two series, shame on you. I submit that we still don't know what our passing game will look like at all. The fact that Palko was on the field during the time of the game when the pass will be more heavily utilized means that we won't see how effective it is going to be until we start playing regular season games. Weis was trying to use the run to set up the pass. Part of the beauty of the EP offense is rushing to wear down the defense so that later in the game you can make those passes downfield and score. I say that Palko making those long passes was part of our overall game plan, especially when we are behind going into the fourth quarter. Don't you find it interesting that Bowe's number wasn't called at all? Remember, this was Weis's first shot at calling plays and watching our players actually go against competition. He will start every game trying to establish the run. Call it making excuses if you want but the reality is, you can't fix it if you don't know what's broken. You have to have some live game play to really get the feel.
3) If you expected to see Dexter score on every pass he touched, shame on you. I think Dexter was a bright spot on our offense. I couldn't be happier with what he did and the closest comparison to him I can think of right now is Sproles with the Bolts. He is going to be an explosive player for us and a lot of fun to watch.
4) If you expected to see DJ making picks and returning them for TDs, shame on you. DJ looked like DJ last night. I saw nothing that would tell me that he is any different than he was last year. This bodes poorly for our defense because LB is one of our biggest challenges. I saw Mays make more plays than DJ did and Vrable was still in there making plays and around the ball. Overall, I thought our front seven was improved from last year. BTW, if you expected to see our front seven stop Michael Turner, shame on you. When he is healthy he is one of the top 10 backs in the league. Asking the 31st ranked run defense one year ago to contain that in their first preseason game is a little ridiculous. Actually, Eric Berry made a couple of great tackles and it was more than quite obvious to me that he will be worth what he is getting paid. The guy read the plays coming at him so well, I was really amazed. He's quick, he hits and he is where he needs to be consistently. I look forward to seeing him playing for us for a long time to come.
5) If you expected Succop to make 50+ yard field goals every time he gets that opportunity, shame on you. He hit the left upright on one and pulled the other slightly off line. 50 yd field goals that are made in game situations are the exception and not the rule. Succop had plenty of leg. Many teams kickers can't even get the ball to the cross bar from 50 yds. Succop will be fine.
There is more but the point is that these Chiefs are NOT a championship caliber team that is working on the finer points of their game during this preseason. These Chiefs need EVERY snap, EVERY down and EVERY minute of this preseason to become an average team. That is what I expected.
If they can become average this year, we have every chance at winning 10 games. It is going to be an uphill battle because of the mix of youngsters and talent level on our team. We have the coaching and the schedule to make a little noise this year and that has been the fun of the off season smack talking. Every game this year is going to be a monumental struggle and hopefully these Chiefs can come out on top more often than they come out on the losing side, but this team is not going to blow anybody out of a game. This is why I likened these Chiefs to the 1980 Kardiac Kids Cleveland Browns. If they pull it off, it will be a rollercoaster every game!
Honestly, I am surprised at the overall down attitude I am seeing in the posts. I would have EXPECTED a bit more of an even keel with a little more analysis instead of all this Henny Penny the sky is falling stuff.
Anybody want some Koolaid? All I need is one excuse to start mixin'!
Ok negative Nancy's, come on and tell me how wrong I am!!