Ever felt like this before? I think it safe to say that we all did heading into today's game. The high powered juggernaut that is the Green bay Packers, seemed inevitably poised to tear through Arrowhead like Godzilla in downtown Tokyo. We tuned in today, whether out of routine, or to get a laugh, or possibly even to see if Aaron Rogers, QB extraordinaire, would set any new NFL records. One thing was for certain, not many of us thought we stood much of a chance against the defending Champs.
The Noon day was muddled in sporadic sunlight, giving way to shades of dreary grey's and blues. The perfect setting, against the perfect team, at the perfect time. Emotions stampeded like Buffalo across the turf. And we watched, nervous skeptics, as our Home team took the field. The chills of the day rose and fell with our hearts in our throats with each snap Aaron Rogers, QB extraordinaire, took.
As the game unraveled, our Defense stood their ground. Our offense moved the ball to a degree, but still struggled to find the endzone. The result? Another half of field goals. 6-0 Chiefs, that was the score going into the half. Surely the Pack Attack would make some adjustments and come out, guns blazing. And sure enough, Rogers marched his team down the field and made it a 6-7 game without much delay.
Fear, and the overwhelming dread of no-way-we-can-pull-this-off-itis abounded. But then, Green Bay lost RT Derrick Sherrod, in a nasty looking leg injury. After having lost Brian Bulaga earlier in the game, the Pack's OL was struggling to find an answer for Hali and Co., because dangling from his neck every play still resulted in 3 sacks.
Time was ticking and the dread slowly began to give way into a NO-WAY!-WE-MIGHT-ACTUALLY-PULL-THIS-OFF itis (such is the life of a fan, it's sad, but true). Minutes felt like hours, and yet, there we were, on the precipice of winning. And not just winning. But winning against the best team in the league. The undefeated Champions. The guys who haven't lost since last year and score an average of 30+ points per game. The team sporting Aaron Rogers, QB extraordinaire!
And then we won. And Romeo Crennel, in his first game as Interim Head Coach, got the Gatorade Bath, and will now probably die of pneumonia. That part was a joke. But in all seriousness, it is highly likely. Do you want to know what else is likely? That this game was a game. Just one. Meaning this single game did not solve all of our problems. It does not decide that Crennel is automatically the next Head Coach. Or that Josh McDaniels is coming to Kansas City in any capacity. Or that we're throwing the bank at Orton and professing him as our own personal Tim Tebow and Savior.
But....did you like what you saw today?
What to take away from the game?
Despite being held, hung, and tripped in almost every play, with guys dangling like ugly green, and yellow chains, draped around his neck, Tamba Hali still managed three sacks. Our anemic offense under the guidance of
Beardless-Neckbeard Kyle Orton, who threw for 299 yards, with 0 turnovers, racked up 438 total yards against the Pack Attack. Our OL didn't allow a single sack...let me repeat that, OUR OFFENSIVE LINE, DID NOT ALLOW A SINGLE SACK, against a unit that boasts the likes of BJ Raji, Clay Matthews, and Charles Woodson.
The Chiefs managed to possess the ball for a total of 36:11, picked up 23 First Downs, I'm not making this up, and made plays (even Leonard Pope, minus the bumble-fumble break he caught) when we needed them the most. Kyle Orton hit 10 different receivers, Le'Ron McClain saw time running the ball for a change (and I liked it). McCluster didn't fumble, and even Thomas Jones looked like a vision of his former self.
On the flipside, our Defense tallied 4 sacks for a total loss of 22 yards. Hali, Houston, Bailey, and Johnson kept Rogers (yeah, the QB extraordinaire) busy all day. Our Run D allowed 102 yards, and kept Rogers (who averages 311 passing yards per game, with a 120.1 passer rating) to 235 yards and 1 passing TD.
*(In my mind, from my perspective, that's impressive. Considering the career year Roger's is having, this is an exceptional stat to think about and take pride in. Our D held against one of the most elite QB's of the year. That, to me, is extraordinary)
While this feat of slaying the giant Cheese-Head was a great one, we still showed signs of struggles. 7 penalties for 55 yards (looking at you Special Teams) is still too high. We struggled immensely inside the redzone, and were forced to settle for Field Goals. And on one such opportunity, with the chance for yet another Field Goal, we opted to go for it on 4th and 1 and fell short, resulting in a turnover. But to be fair, I think that was a good call and Crennel didn't try it again.
What to take away from all of this?
We didn't turn the ball over. We managed the clock, fought a tough battle, and came out victorious. Although we saw many good things from our team today, and I think it is safe to say that Romeo Crennel truly has the support and respect of his team, this is only one game. We still have two more to go.
Will we be able to replicate today's successes and build off of them? Learning from our mistakes, tweaking those pesky things (redzone, special teams, penalties) that can give us the extra advantage in the final bits of this season? We'll find out soon enough. Just as we'll find out soon enough who our next Head Coach will be. Or whether Kyle Orton will be retained. Or Scott Pioli. Or etc, etc, etc, add nauseum.
For now, the only sure thing we have, is that speculation will still run rampant throughout AP. Even more posts will pop up now with half a paragraph, and a poll, predicting who's our next Head Coach and whether Kyle Orton is our QB of the Future.
Like it or not, we're all Chief's Fans. And no matter how you look at it, glass half-empty, or glass half-full, I think it is safe to say that for one day, we can all agree that today was a good day. I can't speak for anyone other than myself, but I'm looking forward to seeing whats in store for us next week, and beyond. Cheers,