From the FanPosts. Many of you know Buffalo Rumblings is my favorite SB Nation blog so the links at the bottom are more than worth your time. -Joel
Greetings, Arrowhead Pride!
Over the past several days, I've been taking my sweet old time - thanks, NFL lockout - reviewing last year's overtime game between your Kansas City Chiefs and the team I cover here at SB Nation, the Buffalo Bills. In case you've forgotten (you probably haven't), the Chiefs squeaked by a winless Bills team on Halloween, winning 13-10 with just a few seconds remaining in overtime.
While it's true that the emphasis of the review was to look at Bills personnel, I thought I'd drop by and offer a few thoughts - from an admitted Chiefs outsider - on some of your team's players. I don't profess to be an expert, and I've only really studied the Chiefs in this one contest (something that will change should the lockout end in time for our two teams to square off in Week 1), but I wanted to share some of this with you anyway. It's all after the jump.
First, I'll state the obvious: Jamaal Charles is a stud. Y'all know that. I also understand that Charles has a ton of respect around the league, not only from players and coaches, but from observant fans. Yet is it just me, or is the bulk of the "best runner in the NFL" rhetoric still centered on Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson? For my money, Charles very much belongs in that discussion. Guy's a freak.
Similarly, though more pronounced, Tamba Hali deserves way more press than he gets. Buffalo was forced to start Cordaro Howard (you don't know who he is, and that's kind of the point) at right tackle, and Hali owned him all day. He got the best of our OK-could-be-solid left tackle, Demetrius Bell, too. Again, in a discussion of the best 3-4 outside linebackers in the business, Hali should be part of the discussion. Maybe it's just my isolation up here in Western New York, but I don't hear enough of it.
Two players that stood out to me in this Week 8 contest were Andy Studebaker and Wallace Gilberry. I don't know if their roles changed or not as the Chiefs' season progressed, but those are two very useful and talented situational pass rushers, and like Hali, they gave the Bills fits. Gilberry in particular was impressive and fun to watch.
The Bills haven't had a good tight end since Pete Metzelaars, so I'm probably quick to oversell a tight end's attributes out of a desperate desire to find even average skill in a Bills tight end. That said, I was really high on Tony Moeaki coming out of Iowa, and he absolutely killed the Bills in overtime of this game, making two huge catches on the game-winning drive. On one play, he lined up in the slot and served as the lead blocker for Charles on an end around, and looked great blocking in space. He's a good in-line blocker. He won't make y'all forget Tony Gonzalez or anything crazy like that, but I think Moeaki's going to start - and excel - for you guys for a long time.
I paid a little bit of extra attention to Branden Albert in this one, because I am trying to see which of the Bills' mediocre defensive end group was best as a pass rusher. I'm really curious to know how Chiefs fans perceive Albert, because I was not overly impressed. Again, I realize it's one game, but he was not great against Buffalo, like Brian Waters was. He was good. But nothing about him really stood out. (And that's not always a bad thing in a lineman, either.)
I'm glad I'm not a Chiefs fan - not because I have anything against the Chiefs (nothing could be further from the truth, save for when they play the Bills, of course), but because I am wholly convinced that Todd Haley would drive me to drink. I'm a bit of a football conservative; that's why I like Chan Gailey. Haley's the polar opposite. I just kind of shook my head as I watched Haley continuously go for it on fourth down, allow Charlie Weis to dial up random passing plays on 3rd & short against a Bills defense that gave up 274 rushing yards in the game, and in general be far more balls to the wall than I'd like a head coach to be. I realize he's working with averages as his rationale, but almost everything went against him in this game, and it kept the Bills in it to the point that he had to call a timeout to negate a game-winning field goal.
Lastly, I'll just say that I feel badly for Matt Cassel. He's got good tools, but there's not been enough continuity for him between Gailey's firing in 2009, Weis' hiring, and now Weis departing. I'm thinking he might statistically regress this year, but that shouldn't be cause for concern. He's still got upside, in my opinion, and if the Chiefs can protect him with defense and their outstanding running game, I think he can play for a long time, and continue to get marginally better.
If any of you are interested in reading through the posts I ran on the Bills' side of things (yes, they contain some Chiefs dialogue), you can check out the links below: