What a bizarre game that was. Todd Haley and the Chiefs bucked conventional wisdom with both hind legs by playing some of their starters the entirety of the game on Thursday night, while the Packers stuck to the script, removing their starters (those that played) after one drive. A lot of fans out there didn't care for the strategy, but was it bad for the team or is it simply a fear of change?
Lets get to the bottom of it…
Chiefs v. Packers: The Best and the Worst:
Best part about Haley's strategy - It put the team into a competitive mode. I think too often a team lulls their way through the preseason without ever worrying about the score (and nor should they), and it has a carry over effect into Week 1 of the regular season. This strategy could pay off with an early game advantage against the Bills this upcoming week.
Worst part about Haley's strategy -
The effects on the team IF Haley was preaching to the team that they needed to win this game. Looking at the game on a superficial level, you would say that the Packers backups defeated the majority of the Chiefs starters (even though the Chiefs dominated them statistically, 5 turnovers will sink any ship). If Haley was telling the team the score of this game was important all week, it might leave them somewhat demoralized, thinking they lost to a bunch of backups. Losing Tony Moeaki for the season.
Best outcome - Matt Cassel and the first string passing game getting into a rhythm. Even if it came against players that won't make an NFL roster. The passing game is all about rhythm, and the starters had none of it coming into this game. 15 of 17 later, hopefully Icy Matt has some blisters on his fingers.
Worst outcome - My complete loss of faith in the offensive line. Barry Richardson seems like a lost cause out on the right side. I celebrated when Jared Gaither was inserted at RT in place of him (seemed to only be practicing at LT), and then he gives up a sack on his second play in the game. And if the right tackle problem wasn't bad enough…
Worst part about the worst outcome - The inability to open holes in the running game, specifically the 3rd quarter. There wasn't a player I had heard of in the game for the Packers, while the Chiefs had 3/5 of their starting offensive line in the game, as well as Jamaal Charles, and struggled to even gain positive yardage on most plays. The offensive line is, undoubtedly, my biggest worry heading into the regular season.
Best line of the night - "Now wave to your parents" - Referee Mike Carey to the Packers' honorary captain tyke at the coin toss.
Best moment of the preseason - Dustin Colquitt's fake punt pass to Terrence Copper. It was so unexpected and such a perfect time for the call. It was beautiful.
Best Chiefs return man - Javier Arenas. Dexter McCluster's punt return against the Chargers in last year's Monday Night opener will live forever in Chiefs history, but the simple truth is that Arenas is a better returner.
Worst problem to rear its ugly head - Jamaal Charles's fumblitis. I feel like I might be the only person a little bit worried about Charles heading into the regular season. God Jam Charles has been reduced to Gosh Jarn Charles this preseason. Running backs come and go all the time in the NFL, and I hope we haven't already seen the best of him.
Best Chief heading into Week 1 - Dwayne Bowe. This could be the best version of D-Pro-Bowe we've seen. He put on a clinic of how to catch the football in this game. The double heel tap in the end zone was brilliant. The pop up catch on his back showed his tremendous ball skills. And his catches on slant routes shouldn't be taken for granted. An absolute array of acrobatic acquisitions from Bowe.
Best celebration - Bowe's stankyface after the booth review confirmed his TD reception. I couldn't tell if it was aimed at Tyler Palko or at Thomas Jones tugging on his shoulder pads, but it was priceless.
Worst thing that can happen making every throw off your back foot - Pick six.
Best thing that can happen making every throw off your back foot - Masquerade as an NFL backup QB for an entire preseason.
Best radio analysis of the week - Nick Wright's breakdown of the Rams running directly at Tyson Jackson. This slipped past me last week, so I decided to keep an extra eye on it this game. Well, it didn't take more than one play for the Packers to attack the same way, manhandle Ty-Jax out of the way, and waltz their way to a 23 yard gain. Tip of the hat to you, Nick.
Best sighting in the stands - The Cheesehead Sombrero, which doubles as a potential great nickname for a Packer of hispanic descent.
Worst sighting in the stands - The 'Baldwinning' jersey. Somebody actually spent money on that.
Best stat of the preseason - LeRon McClain 2-2 on 3rd and one's. The Chiefs ranked dead last in such situations in 2010. McClain was brought in to get these yards. So far, so good.
Best postgame realization- The preseason is OVER! No more debating the meaning of meaningless games. From here on out, everything matters and everything counts. Hallelujah!
Get your game faces on this week Chiefs fans. Nobody should be leaving Arrowhead Stadium with a voice on Sunday. Things about to get real…