Chiefs Vs. Ravens: Notes On The Game

From the FanPosts. -Chris

We'll see what we'll see, here.  After following all 4 of the quarterly threads, now I get to actually see the game, and take some notes while I'm at it.  This is one situation where I freakin' HATE bein' sawed-off - whence the term "elf" is thrown around.  Remember that illustrated version of The Hobbit?  Remember the picture of the wood elf king?  All legs and the short trunk?  Heh.  That's me.  Makes it tough to see over my laptop screen, while I'm watching the game. 

Let's see, now.  This Air Desk is pretty nimble.  How about I kinda scoot the easy chair around a little, like so,   Now, slide the desk around.  Oops.  It's snaggin' on the end table.  Unggh.  Huuhh!  Friggin' thing!  Tilt.  Don't MAKE me get up!  Now.  Is turning sideways like this going to give me a neck cramp?  Hey! I never noticed, but this Air Desk, with its flat metal pedestal catches it when I knock the cherry off my cigarette when I'm moving furniture from a sitting position. Here goes.

Fittingly, the first carry is to McClain, in single set-back, which I hyphenate, because of the twinge I always get from saying "lone setback," which can be taken to mean "the only guy on the field, who sucks."

"Not much there," the announcer says, but I saw 2 positive yards when they stuck #44 back there, by himself, and everybody and his dog is saying "Run." Of course, all the dogs are slobbering, so it comes out more like "RUNF!" but I digress. Cassel just feeding Bowe the ball. I think they're trying to polish his technique in the "What do you do at crunch time and your ballers have to just go and get it?" Nice the way they caught Smith with his back turned on that first one. Bowe looks quicker off the blocks and better with his cuts, this preseason. Give him some work. Get some film on him, and then get a look at somebody else. In a real game, I'd hope that 2nd pass to Bowe would be headed towards Breaston, insead. Defense was anticipating to Bowe, and the open guy was in the slot.

Charles shows on one play why he's an elite talent. He knifes through the nonexistent hole like a certain HB, who used to follow Parcells around, name of Martin, I believe. Moeaki drops a catchable ball. Maybe his forte is goin' after the ball, but not so much one comin' straight at his chin. Moeaki was also controlled by Jarrett Johnson, #95, a 260-pounder who denied Jamaal the gap McClain led him through. Still, looks like if KC wanted to, they could run Jamaal around this big, but not superfast front, and block up the DBs, no problem, for big yards in space. Interesting that they're slamming it inside the tackles (or just off tackle) so much. Even more interesting is that they're GAINING yards, when the past two years, those runs would've been for a loss. Team appears to be making progress.

Charles appears to be taking the inside path, even when (if telephoto isn't fooling me) it appears to be pretty well blocked-up for the outside run. I think they just wanted to see if there'd be room inside of Lilja's kick-out block, when he pulls. Baltimore has some BIG-ass LBs, but I think in a real game, they're giving up some speed to do it. Speaking of slow defenders, Mt. Cody doesn't look like he has any kind of weight problem. No wonder we got Kelly Gregg. Good for us and good for them, looks like.

Whew! Not even done with the 1st KC possession! On the rookie, Jimmy Smith, he sure looks good out there. Give him some experience, and look out. He's every bit as physical as D-Bowe and is really making him fight to get free. They're throwing at him, anyway.

Chiefs get a pretty deep kick. Well-covered. I can see the new rule making uber-return men a little less valuable, but I see nothing taking away from needing good coverage.

Baltimore's first possession. (It'll get less detailed (or not) as I go along, here. So much to say about just a handful of plays, and these first couple series are most likely to pit #1s versus #1s. Anyhoo, KC's starting front 3 is very good. Jackson and Dorsey BOTH look quicker than last season, and I'm not saying this just because Baltimore is sorta hurting at OT. On that completion to Ray Rice, it was #56 and #59 in there. No excuse not finishing the tackle in that 2-on-1 and I think the blame is on #56, treating it like it was HIS job to make the tackle and not THEIR job to make the tackle. Pretty bush league, on DJ's part, imo

The downfield coverage prevented the 1st by inches, but that defensive play was well-designed and executed by everyone except Derrick Johnson. I think this play typifies why DJ spent time in the KC doghouse. Yes, you're a great athlete, blah blah blah, but don't give that guy ANY chance of escape. Forget about personal glory and look for it, instead, in understanding what your TEAMMATES are GIVING you. A little more discipline and control on DJ's part, and either HE gets Rice for a short gain or Belcher gets Rice for a short gain. Also of note: Studebaker took the inside twist, and spent the crucial part of that play on his hands and knees. RT and RG did a nice job on the switch and Studie was stoned by the RG.

Nope. It IS a first down. Next play is another nice gain, again laid at the feet of overpursuit by DJ. C'mon. That one's no gain if you just keep yourself under some control. Vrabel would've made that tackle. It's not ALL about speed. Make it HIS job to get PAST you, rather than your job to go and get him, in that situation. Tyson Jackson made the stop, but not before Michael Oher gets under his pads and pushes him back for 5 or 6 yards. Heh. Announcers talking about what a great cut it was, but even after injuries started slowing me down, the ONE guy I could ALWAYS avoid was the idiot running at me. It was those guys who steadily closed in on me and waited for me to commit who got me every freakin' time. Stuff like this gives me buyer's remorse on the DJ contract.

Wow. That post to Boldin was an easy completion they just missed. But Studebaker bit HARD on the play fake, even though he was in no position to make the play and the rest of the D was going to bottle it up, anyway. Studie should've taken a bee-line to Flacco, but he never even turned his head. Look for a demotion and a promotion to take place at DOLB. Studie's been at it too long to be that slow in his recognition. With the OLB coming at him, Flacco would've had a hard time getting that ball down to where it looked very catchable (Both replays edge-on, so it's not totally clear to me how far in front of Boldin that pass was. Judging by Flowers' reaction, it was way out in front.), the way it did. With the 2-on-1, any underthrown ball would've been a likely interception by Flowers or Lewis, imo. Yeah, the guy was open, but that bootleg worked FAR too well against the D, in general, and Studebaker, in particular.

OK. There's the challenge play. I guess I skipped over the slant to Boldin out of the bunch formation. Chiefs basically put themselves in a "local 2-on-3" to their disfavor. Easy pitch and catch. Chiefs MUST FINALLY find an answer to the bunch formation. I think I'd rather see those DBs try to deny the ball in the first place, rather than sitting 20 yards off the line with their thumbs up their asses until being asked to make a solo tackle on Boldin at full speed. Lewis didn't look GREAT on that, but he forced Boldin back inside AND brought him down when he cut it back. I've seen Boldin make mincemeat of MULTIPLE DBs in that same situation. So, in actuality, that was some pretty damn good open-field tackling by Kendrick Lewis, imo. I just would've preferred that they had made it tougher than KC made it for anybody in that bunch to be given so much room so close to the line.

Now back to the non-fumble. Jackson is a fine athlete. Top-notch body control, avoiding risk of spearing Flacco, he kept his eye on the ball, and when Flacco blew it on the recovery, Jackson was alert and quick enough to instantly make that ball his. If this is the Tyson Jackson I'm going to see all season, then this is going to be one helluva fun season.

I'm seeing a lot of Berry down the field. Not nearly as nosy up at the line as last year. Seems they expect that the front 5 (or whichever 4 of 'em they need) are going to take care of business up front. Ouch. Lewis leaves his feet and the quicker man misses the bigger, slower man, who simply sidesteps. Still affected the accuracy of the throw, though. Might be Flacco's Achilles heel: Rhythm thrower.

This is more the Flacco who played Pittsburgh after trouncing us.

After the FG, Chiefs are running right at these guys and getting positive yards. Nothing huge, but positive yards. This is NOT a battle being fought on KC's side of the LOS all day.

Uh, Matt. When there's a lone fattie running right at you, and you're in max protect against the other 3 guys, and one of THEM isn't within 10 yards of you, take a chance. Go ahead and pivot away from the out-of-control fat man and roll away from him. Fat man moving in the opposite direction is NEVER gonna catch you, and you can survey the field. This is what I want Zorn to be able to change in Cassel's game. I realize Bowe in a come-back route with a 1-on-1 is a hot route, but things just aren't that fuckin' hot, OK? Calm down. Give the pattern a second or two to expand and try to find the guy who uncovers, and if it doesn't, you've got running room outside, and you have that extra couple seconds to wait for the expansion. It's not just surviving the blitz, but staying calm, when the blitz is just a figment of your imagination. Know what you're seeing oout there.

I might excuse this on the grounds of just wanting to make doubly sure that Cassel stays healthy. I can buy that. But the fear that Baltimore puts in you is greater than Baltimore, itself. You partake of that fear, and they ARE a great defense. See it for what it is, and they're giving you all kinds of opportunities. Baltimore's team speed doesn't look that great, to me.

OK. I'm gonna keep watching and take a break from the verbiage. Maybe I'll come back to this. And we haven't even gotten to the Houston-Sheffield part of the game, which I gathered was pretty exciting...


OK. There's the crappy block by Dex against the blitzing DB. This is exactly what I'm talking about. Cassel could easily have flipped the ball to Dex, instead of sending Dex to the turf with yet another un-amazing block. Dex is a guy who can beat any two guys in the open field, and you're having him stand in and whiff. Hell. Any time you need Dex as a blocker, your play design sucks. Decoy or weapon. Stick to that. He's a guy who's either with the ball or is threatening to get the ball. And, in spite of all our love for the complete tool kit at HB, I'm pretty sure that using him that way is just as good as having a lesser athlete who also happens to block well.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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