Brandon Flowers is tied for second in INT's among all DB's in the league.
The Chiefs front seven is good for sixth amongst all defenses in run support.
The Chiefs lead the entire league in rushing (RB controversy aside)
Todd Haley is an early candidate for coach of the year, and most importantly the Chiefs are a surprising 3-0! Which, may I add, ties only the Steelers and Bears in leading all teams in victories thus far in 2010.
With that I say, happy bye week week chiefs fans, and a happy one it is indeed! The bye guarantees that we are undefeated in the first quarter of the season and promised the lead in the AFC West until week six. Welcome to another edition of NaNz-Sense, all fluff and rainbows aside let's get down to business. If you're here to read about.
- How awesome our off season free agent acquisitions have been
- Why Tom Brandstater needs to be our QB#3
- A racial run down of Hawaii and what it has to do with Packers Safety Nick Collins and
- My weekly run down of the game (kind of) at hand.
So, How Bout Them (New) Chiefs!
Scott Pioli was clearly in over his head when he came to Kansas City. His hiring was simply an impulse move by Clark Hunt to try and sell some tickets to fans of a dying franchise. Pioli successfully gave the mirage that in New England, he had a huge hand in building the three time Super Bowl champs, and champions of the last decade of the National Football League.
We all know the Patriots were Bill Bellichik's doing. It was his football expertise, his talent evaluation, his ability to create diamonds in the rough, his football team. Bellichik is New England and all it's glory. Pioli cannot possibly believe that this, Todd Haley fellow is by any means enough of a head coach to continue to cover up for who is obviously being exposed as the luckiest coat tail rider in the NFL. Scott Pioli, lock up your executive of the year awards, hide your super bowl rings, and expext no more success of the kind. This is Kansas City, and there is no semblance of Bellichik here.
At least, that's what the skeptics were saying a year ago when the Chiefs started off the season the exact opposite of how they did this year, 0-3. The team was in disarray, Todd Haley had lost the locker room, there were bust signings left and right, all of the rookies were contributing next to nothing, and the Chiefs were absolutely getting rolled over by their opponents. Things were looking bleak then, and there wasn't much to be happy about, as was evidenced by almost empty stadiums and poor performances.
Fast forward a year. I don't think there is a single spectator nor fan that anticipated that the Chiefs would look this good. Yeah, we showed marked improvement and had a strong off-season, but 3-0? Nobody can honestly say they called that? Somehow, Pioli and company have managed to fire on all cylinders this year with bulls eye after bulls eye, in coaching staff additions, free agent acquisitions, and most evidently, the draft.
Perhaps what has shocked the more than casual fans (like those who follow Arrowhead Pride religiously) the most, is how well this free agency class is starting to work out. At first thought I could not honestly think of a single free agent that we signed in the off-season that is not paying off huge dividends for us thus far. We all know about how awesome our rookies have been, but let's not forget the other half of the off season, free agency.
Shaun "Nutcracker" Smith, DE/NT
If you told me that the Kansas City Chiefs signed a guy who, at the age of 29, had been on more professional football squads (one of them being the UFL powerhouse Las Vegas Locomotives) than Tyler Thigpen had beaten as an NFL quarterback, I'd say he's just a practice body.
If you told me that he was going to turn into a major contributor in turning one of the leagues worst defenses into the #6 rush defense in the NFL after the first quarter of the season, I'd say you've been injecting Kool Aid directly into your blood stream.
Yet here we are at the end of our first quarter and that is exactly what's happened. All that aside, Shaun Smith's contributions have been outstanding. Smith is the type of player you can count on to bring a high level of play and coveted versatility. By bringing in Smith we have effectively upgraded both the NT and LDE position. Going over the game tape of our "Monday Night Football" bout with the Chargers, it's almost not fair how fresh Ron Edwards and Tyson Jackson were considering the Chargers had been driving on the Chiefs all night. In Smith we have a weapon, an effective rotation guy that can keep the defensive lines performance at a high level even when our #1's are out.
For whatever reason, Smith's wisdom of the game earned him a spot as a "coach" this week.
Ryan Lilja, RG
Originally released by Kansas City in order for the Chiefs to implant a power blocking style of play, Lilja joined the Colts, where six years later Lilja faced the same fate. Well, after three games I can happily say, "In your face Bill Polian." The Colts have struggled to find a legitimate RG and have faced offensive line woes, while Lilja has been playing solid as a Chief.
I'm no offensive line expert but if Bewsaf's (awesome) posts are any indication, Ryan Lilja has been a solid option through three games against two of the better 3-4 defensive lines in the league (49ers and Browns). Lilja sustains pass blocks and is money if he can get to the next level in the run game. He's striving in our zone blocking scheme and was one of the "coaches" this week, a credit to his knowledge of technique and execution.
At the young age of 28. Kansas City Chiefs fans have a good amount of future to squeeze out of this signing. I'd imagine when Waters retires in a year or two, we'll see Lilja shift back to his natural position at LG and Jon Asamoah will step up at RG. Suddenly, a line that has been in so much embattlement has a future thanks to Mr. Lilja.
Casey Weigmann, C
I don't think anyone was opposed to this signing. Rudy Niswanger was horrible as our starting C, and Weigmann, in his age, was a solid option and a proven commodity as a C in the Zone Blocking scheme. Victim to the same fate as his line mate Ryan Lilja, the Broncos opted to go MUCH younger and bigger along their offensive line, boasting two rookies and one of the worst running games in the league. So, with confidence I'll say, "In your face Josh McDaniels."
Weigmann has been a solid "filler" this season, while we look for a future replacement. He's been playing at a decent level, you can complain about your line when your Quarterback is getting a decent amount of time in the pocket and your running game is the best in the league.
Also a "coach" this past week.
Thomas Jones, RB
When we brought Thomas Jones in for a work out I figured, "Unless we offer him a huge contract, this guy is leaving town without a contract." I mean, he had to have known about the hole that is the Kansas City Chiefs right? Surely he wasn't about to take a back seat role to one of the leagues young up and coming play makers in Jamaal Charles.
Then this happens.
Since then, Jones hasn't done much except cement himself as the #1 back and tire out defenses so our most dangerous weapon, Jamaal Charles, can have field days on them. Jones' punishing running style provides this team with a dimension that we haven't had since Larry Johnson regressed. When you factor in his ability to pick up the rush effectively in pass coverage, he's pretty much everything that Jamaal Charles is not, in a good way. Our offense has finally formed an identity after three years of futility, and thanks in part goes to Thomas Jones.
Here's some fun facts
- Thomas Jones (72.3) averages more yards per game than LaDanian Tomlinson (69.3) who the Jets signed for exactly $500,00 more than the Chiefs signed Thomas Jones for, days after Thomas Jones joined the Chiefs. Many believed it was a slap in the face move by the Jets.
- Thomas Jones and LaDanian Tomlinson both have one rushing touchdown. Shonne Green has none.
- Thomas Jones (72.3) averages more yards per game than double his "replacement" Shonne Green (35.3) does.
You have to wonder if the Jets cutting Jones loose was a year or two premature to this point. If the argument was money, they shot their foot there, if the argument was age, Tomlinson is only a year younger than Jones. I get the differnt types of back argument but there aren't much fans and analyst who won't tell you that Tomlinson has lost his luster and has regressed to nothing more than a short yardage situation back, that can catch out of the backfield.
Jones was, (surprise surprise) another "coach" this week.. Trending?
Jerheme Urban, SWR
Basically, signed on "The Todd Haley Connection" and potential that we haven't gotten a chance to see yet. Thusfar it seems like Urbans "season ending injury" was more a stunt to keep Urban as the 54th man on the roster.
Time will tell if this signing was worth anything, if Urban can develop into a solid option in the Slot, I don't know what opposing coordinators are going to do when we put out a three wide receiver set with Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster in the backfield. Talk about a head ache.
Oh and guess what? Yeah, he was another "coach" this week.
I'm Officially Starting the Sign Tom Brandstater NOW Wagon.
For those of you who don't know him. Tom Brandstater was just cut from the Colts practice squad, which was odd considering the Colts already had an open spot on their practice squad roster.
Possibly Bill Polian baiting Scott Pioli to prod bad information from a former Colts player? Maybe. Pioli has shown a history of doing just that, signing free agents from tough teams that his squad will be facing at some point in the year. Is it to get tips on the upcoming game? Almost certainly. Has it ever been confirmed? Nope.
Either way, Brandstater has been a bit of a mystery in both of his tenures with the Colts and Broncos respectively. He shows an outstanding amount of potential, he's got a rocket arm, and some accuracy to build on, with some years in an NFL system he could turn out to be a "student of the game" sort of rock star. Still he has managed to get cut in favor of more raw prospects with both clubs he's been a part of. Tim Tebow (inadvertently, but I believe the Broncos went into the draft set on walking away with Tebow.) in Denver and Curtis Painter, who by the way, Brandstater absolutely demolished in the "QB of the future" battle this pre-season, in Indianapolis. Click on some of those videos and see.
Like I mentioned above, I wouldn't put it past an NFL GM as wise as Bill Polian to feed the Chiefs Brandstater, knowing that he had never caught on to the offensive scheme, or completely manipulating the information Brandstater gives us to work as an advantage. Either way, we still have Ryan Lilja, who started six seasons for the Colts, to prod for information.
Throughout both his college and short NFL careers Brandstater has shown everything you would look for in a true NFL quarterback, unfortunately he's also shown every red flag you look for in a bust.
After coming on strong in a restricted role in his redshirt freshman season at Fresno State, Brandstater became the Bulldogs starting QB his sophomore year. Brandstater started hot, in his start running the Fresno State offense seamlessly, despite losing most of what made the Bulldogs offense potent in previous years, in several senior players and their renown coordinator Frank Cignetti. So great right? Success through adversity, leadership in uncertainty? Not quite.
After losing to then ranked Oregon, Brandstater went on a six game slide, eventually losing his job at the half in rout to then WAC conference powerhouse, Hawaii Warriors. Brandstater didn't start until two weeks later. Brandstater would eventually show some consistency in his junior and senior years, with the emergence of running back Ryan Matthews. Although he relied heavily on his run game and strong defensive performances, Brandstater showed very raw talent in his three years starting at Fresno State.
I've always believed that five things make a Quarterback worth looking at.
- He has to be at least a three year starter coming out of college
- He has to have an all time winning record as a starter.
- He has to have beat a tough squads and crushed bad ones.
- He has to have a proven work ethic.
- Most obviously, he has to be able to throw the deep ball.
If your QB has confidence (1-3), expects to win (2-3), the arm strength to get the ball deep (4), and the willingness to put in the extra work that any NFL QB needs to (5). It's very possible that the rest of the "building process" is cosmetic. Classroom study, mechanics, and breaking bad habits.
Brandstater qualifies (sort of) for all of the listed, as far as I know. Not that my list is worth a damn.
I'm not necessarily saying that he's the next Tom Brady, but I do love his skill set as a developmental guy and as an "Emergency Quarterback." Signing Brandstater to come on in the "Emergency Quarterback" role wouldn't count against our 45 man roster on game day, and would fill a position that you really should have filled when your second string QB is Brodie Croyle.
If he turns into another option at QB that's fantastic, if he stays at the same level he is now, at least it's a higher level than Tyler Palko. Seriously what could it hurt?
I think It's Ridiculous That Nick Collins Has To Apologize but that Jerk In the Stands Doesn't
If you don't know about the incident, Following the Packers loss to the Bears on monday night, a fan taunted Packers Free Safety Nick Collins, using racial slurs and explicit language. Collins responded by getting into a shouting match with said fan, then throwing his mouthpiece at him.
Too bad for Nick Collins, the whole thing was caught on tape
Now, just like ESPN does, the whole thing has been blown out of proportion, and because of jerks like me that follow the story, they keep bringing it up regularly on sports center and ESPN News.
Look I know as a celebrity he is held to a higher standard, and is expected to hold himself to a sort of a role model sort of image. But who does that to a player? Especially after such a disappointing loss to a division rival.
People will say, "Well he was probably drunk and didn't know what he was doing." I HATE when that is a proper response to a situation. Like it's a legitimate excuse for someone to act like a complete jerk just because they're drunk. Seriously? If you can't hold your alcohol and stay composed, you need to stop drinking. If your saying stupid things when your drunk, it's almost always a reflection of how you actually feel.
I'm Hawaiian, and although it's a lesser known conflict, in Hawaii, Hawaiians are at a higher rate to be accused and convicted for crimes. Accordingly, because I'm somewhat of a "Moke" (definitions 1-3, but minus the weed and alcohol. You can tell which ones were written by "Haoles") when I'm out with my friends, we get watched every time we go into ABC stores or other tourist heavy spots.
Basically, I understand how much a racial slur can hurt. Especially if your in Nick Collins shoes. where you have done everything you could possibly do to execute your God given talents and become successful.
Nick Collins wasn't right to get into that situation, and it wasn't right to throw his mouthpiece like he did. Still, he came out and apologized publicly to the fans, the organization, and more importantly, the fan. While I may be speaking too soon, I'm sure if that man made an effort to mail a ticket stub and an apology letter to either Al Sharpton or ESPN, he would get some air time. But nothing. Nobody is right in the situation, but what this man is doing, by staying silent is just wrong.
Time To Wrap It Up, Weekly Game Preview
It was hard for me to decide where to put this, this week or next? I have an entirely different approach planned for next weeks edition so I decided to insert this a week early. A lot could change, and a lot of Colts players mentioned here could not even be playing when we face them, but I'd assume it's pretty obvious that if a Colts player mentioned misses time with injury it would only benefit the Chiefs.
The Top Three Things The Chiefs Need to do to Win This Game.
I'm trying to find a good system for this section, so it'll get to a point where I just fill in the blanks. I'll try listing three things we can do to win the game, and the reverse of each of these is obviously what would lose the game. I'm not going to post a score prediction or who I think will win because those are worthless. Tell me what you think
1. Run the Ball Well
Pretty obvious. The Chiefs biggest area of strength is their rushing game, and the biggest area of emphasis for any Colts game is keeping Peyton Manning off the field. I'm going to expect a heavy dose of Thomas Jones if we're ever leading this game. Short, four yard carries that kill the clock, and effectively keeps the ball away from the Colts' best defenders (Dwight Freeney/ Jerome Mathis) and attacking their weakest area on defense (DT/ LB core).
Jamaal Charles will probably be used much like he was against San Diego, except he has MUCH more home run ability against this defense if he can get up to the second level between the tackles. Without Bob Sanders this run defense is suffering.
Don't buy it. They stopped Ahmad Bradshaw behind the porous Giants line, and the Denver Broncos league worst (okay their 30th of 32) rushing offense. Also both squads were playing catch up for most of the game and had to abandon the running game in the second half.
2. Put Pressure on Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning has been one of those QB's that is almost impossible to bring down. When you get pressure off of the edges, he steps up into the pocket, when you push the middle of the line, he's able to get rid of the ball on the run. Basically Manning is hard to bring down.
The key will be to force Mannings hand before the Colts wide receivers can get too deep. More often than not; Manning will be able to get rid of the ball, and he will be able to connect with his wide receivers. What's key is making sure those completions aren't able to develop too heavily on the third level of the defense.
We don't want Manning to be able to pick on our rookie safeties, we want those passes below their zones, Kendrick Lewis and Eric Berry have enough closing speed to get to the ball quickly, and help force three and outs. Also Derrick Johnson, and our corners should be able to keep it close to the vest and end completions before too much YAC is compiled.
As Brandon Flowers is starting to rise to "shut down corner" status, he'll get his best test of the season in Reggie Wayne. Wayne is a well rounded receiver and when he gets going the Colts are dangerous. Stopping Reggie Wayne means stopping the Colts big play ability.
Then you have a whole different kind of monster in Dallas Clark. The Chiefs have seen success against some of the leagues best TE's, shutting out Antonio Gates (as much as you can shut him out) and Vernon Davis. Taking out Dallas Clark keeps the middle of the defense solid, and provides the defense some wiggle room to stop all of the Colts #2 WR's.
The more than casual Colts fan will tell you that Denver shut out Reggie Wayne and was not able to stop the rest of the offense despite having one of the better secondaries in the NFL..
Don't buy it. Despite having one of the better secondaries in the NFL, the Broncos also have had a hard time getting pressure on the QB. They've managed only two sacks against porous lines like Jacksonville and Seattle. Also the Broncos options at ILB aren't as good in coverage as Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher.
- It'll be hard to stop Peyton Manning, the Colts have had our number in the past. Our biggest asset on defense is our run defense, we're going to need to see big games from young players in order for us to make Manning look human.
- I wanted to do an entire section on how Romeo Crennel consistently made Peyton Manning look human, but I think AP poster and renown badass Aiken_Drum did a great job of stealing my thunder If you haven't read his post in the recommended fan posts secion, I'd recommend you do (see what I did there?).
- Tony Moeaki is going to need to have a huge day if we're going to be able to have a balanced offensive attack. The Colts linebackers are, less than stellar, and their going into this game without Bob Sanders. Moeaki will have a lot of opportunities, but can he execute?
- I'm pretty much going to start every Colts player possible on my Fantasy Football team. every week I've started a player against the Chiefs, (Malcolm Floyd, Frank Gore, SF Defense) they came out and absolutely sucked. A friend of mine signed me up for FF and I don't care for it, honestly I prefer real football, and I'd take a Chiefs victory over a "Shiny Rainbow Dynamite" victory any day.