It's that time of the year again. The time to argue. The time to show someone why he/she/it is completely wrong about all things Chiefs. Not so much because it's that much fun or super-entertaining, but because with the Chiefs being the worst team in football ... what else am I gonna do?
Of course, seeing as how wrong I was about this team at the beginning of the year, I don't dare try to argue with anyone else. It's embarrassing. Not in my absolute worst nightmare did I think we'd be a 1-10 team barring injuries to half the starters. I never dreamed that Romeo Crennel would be worse at his job than... than... well, pretty much any other head coach I can think of. I never, ever thought I'd agree with saintschiefsfan that it's time to move on from the two-gap 3-4 system. But... here I am.
So it's become painfully clear I'm not qualified to argue with others at this point. So instead, I'm going to argue with myself. I've decided to try and remain optimistic for two straight weeks, and argue with some of the more depressing thoughts I've had as this season descended into disaster faster than Rick Grimes can impale a zombie with a machete (great show).
So I present... Arguing with Myself.
Depressing thought that made me want to jump in front of a train 1.) Tony Moeaki sucks. His rookie year was clearly a mirage, the dude's out of shape, he's not getting open, and he can't block anymore. So TE is once again a glaring need. I hate everything.
Not so fast, self... I do believe we've had To-Mo sightings as of late. After playing absolutely brutal football for the first half of the season, Moeaki's started showing up. It started in the Raiders game, where he pleasantly surprised me by not being completely awful. Then I noticed him a little more against the Steelers, and even more against the Bengals.
Suddenly he didn't look like he was running in quicksand. Suddenly he wasn't bobbling balls or dropping them. Suddenly he was getting to open spots on the field. The most telling stat? In the first 5 games Moeaki played in this year, he averaged 2.0 YAC. In the last four weeks, he's averaged 8.4 YAC.
What's more, upon re-watching the last couple weeks, Moeaki's blocking has returned as well. He's gone from looking slow, hesitant, and quite frankly terrible, to what we saw his rookie year. If you're able, re-watch the Broncos game. He was blowing guys up and was a HUGE part of the success Jamaal Charles was having for a while.
(Seems like it would've been handy to have another quick back to take advantage of similar holes to the ones JC was running through. If only we had a guy like that on the roster. But nope, instead we'll keep playing Peyton Hillis at RB instead of FB, where he'd clearly be a better fit for us than Nate I'm-a-fullback-who-can't-move-linebackers Eachus, and we'll keep giving Shaun Draughn the ball for some unknown reason. But I digress.)
(Wait, I need to digress from my digression really quickly. What in God's name is Draughn doing returning kicks? I understand that Devon Wylie had a crap return against the Steelers, but he also had one good return. More importantly, his BAD return looked a lot to me like Draugh's standard kick return. The man is just way, way too slow to be a kick returner. You're not using Steve Breaston on the offense, why not let him do it? The fact that we have Draughn back there returning kicks is reason 1,001 why Romeo Crennel should be fired. Anyways...)
I have a theory on Moeaki. Maybe seeing Jamaal Charles come back and look just like himself (along with what Adrian Peterson is doing here in Minnesota... that guy's not human) made me underestimate the impact of an ACL injury on normal human beings. Maybe, just maybe, the "mental aspect" we heard so much about actually IS a real thing, and Moeaki's finally coming back. Maybe, just maybe, our TE position isn't quite lost yet.
(The same thing could be said for Eric Berry. After being ATROCIOUS in coverage and "meh" against the run early, he's been coming along recently. Yes, I know he gave up a TD on Sunday, but when you look at his overall coverage stats they've vastly improved in the last few weeks, and my "eye test" has seen him making more big plays. Still not nearly where I want him to be, but again, I think I may have underestimated the mental aspect of an ACL injury. Well, that and being incredibly misused by Crennel, which is reason 1,002 that RAC should be fired.)
Depressing thought that made me want to jump in front of a train 2.) The Chiefs are completely screwed at CB. Javier Arenas has badly regressed this season, Jalil Brown couldn't cover me and Stanford Routt apparently threatened Scott Pioli's family or something. Ugh.
I have no idea what to think of Javier Arenas right now. I couldn't believe how poorly he seemed to be playing at nickel back earlier this year. And then when I heard that they were playing him at No. 2 CB my first thought was, "Oh crap, this is gonna get ugly. Dude's way too short and has been playing like garbage."
Then... the switch happened, and something weird occurred. He started playing better. Like, lots better. In fact, since the switch, Arenas' stats break down like this...
108 plays in coverage. 17 times targeted. 9 completions allowed. 55 total yards. One TD against him. Three passes defensed. 0 missed tackles.
Now, I'm not crazy about him allowing a completion over half the time he's targeted, but 53 percent isn't too shabby. Now, it's not Brandon-Flowers like awesomeness (he leads the league in allowing a reception 44 percent of the time when targeted), but it puts him in the top 25 of CBs (granted, it's only been three games). So an above average job of preventing completions when targeted.
More impressive to me, though, is the yards per catch. He's giving up just a HAIR over six YPC since being switched to No. 2 CB. That's an incredibly low number, one that would lead the league if kept up. His play against the Broncos was phenomenal.
I think we'd all be talking way more about him had Demaryius Thomas held onto the ball when Denver was at their own goalline: Arenas had him dead to rights, and it would've been a potentially game-altering safety. Watch the ball in next time, Thomas! But overall, Arenas has been playing good football at CB. Good enough that he's earned a "Sorry I didn't believe in you, pal" from me. For now. Hopefully, he keeps it up. Those coverage sacks were fun to watch (you KNOW when Tyson Jackson is bringing down the QB that the coverage had to have been great).
As far as Jalil Brown goes... well, Peyton Manning, with Arenas and Flowers playing lights-out in coverage, turned Brown into something of a whipping boy down the stretch. The last TD drive of the Broncos ruined what had been a solid day for Brown.
He hasn't been nearly as successful as Arenas in his new role, but he's crapped the bed less than I expected. The raw tools are there, and he's often in position. He just seems to lack awareness of when to get his head turned around. Tell me... does that sound familiar?
It shall remain to be seen, but all appearances indicate that we just might be OK at CB. Oh, and one last thing... Arenas is 5'9", that same height as Flowers. This could work.
(now watch him give up something like 300 yards next week. That'd figure.)
Depressing thought that made me want to jump in front of a train 3.) With this QB class, the Chiefs are going to do something stupid... like not take a QB in the first round.
OK, this actually isn't something that I really see as much of a possibility. However, I've seen a growing movement around Arrowhead Pride that's scaring the crap out of me: the "there are no franchise QBs in the draft so we might as well draft Manti Te'o and take a QB in the second" movement. I actually am frightened enough by this line of thinking that I WILL argue with others (all that arguing with myself has given me some confidence... easy opponents will do that).
First of all, we need to stop judging this year's QB group in comparison to Andrew Luck and RGIII. Those guys were two of the best QB prospects I've ever seen. They had absolutely everything you want in a QB, and they had it in spades. It's rare that even ONE quarterback prospect like that is in a draft. I'd submit that RGIII or Andrew Luck would've been the 1-2 picks in almost any draft. So let's just stop that.
Are Tyler Wilson, Geno Smith, and Matt Barkley the prospects those two were? No. But that doesn't mean they aren't potential franchise QBs. Everyone's mancrush Glennon might as well get thrown onto that list too.
But ALL that aside, the Chiefs absolutely, positively, with no question at all HAVE to get the top prospect (whoever the new GM decides is the top prospect). We CANNOT afford to trade down to the middle of the first and take the "remaining guy." Nor can we take a flyer on a guy in the third round and hope he develops.
You know what the difference was between us and Denver this last Sunday? Coaching and quarterback. And honestly, the difference that genuinely lost us the game was the quarterback position. Give the Chiefs an AVERAGE quarterback and we win that game. That's how important the position is. The Chiefs cannot, absolutely CANNOT, afford to go without a legit franchise QB prospect another year.
I get that Te'o looks to be a great linebacker, and that most here aren't fond of Jovan Belcher. But for the love of God, are the Chiefs REALLY going to take a defensive player No. 1 overall when the offense is pathetic?
14.6 PPG. No opening-drive TDs since 2010 (seriously. two thousand and freaking ten!). 400 turnovers (or something. I refuse to even look that up).
If you really think our defense needs help on even close to the same level as our offense, watch the Broncos game again. The Chiefs defense, on three different drives in the fourth, held Peyton Manning and forced the Broncos to punt. And all three times, the offense did absolutely zip with the ball. Watch as the Broncos show zero respect to the passing game and Brady Quinn does nothing to make them pay. It's sad
(And before you blame the line, look at the stats. ZERO sacks. TWO hits on Quinn. That's in 27 dropbacks for Quinn. The man had time. And before you blame the receivers, there was ONE drop on Sunday. Quinn was given everything needed to win. It's time to stop trying to blame everyone else when the problem is painfully clear)
Enough about the receivers. Enough about the OL. Enough about the TE's, or RB's not named JC. If the Chiefs want to improve their offense, they need better QB play. My personal opinion? Draft a QB in the first and the second or third. Double up on your chances. Because we need it that badly. Missing out on even a potentially "good" QB (as opposed to potentially great like RG3/Luck) would be the biggest possible disaster we could have this offseason. I don't care if Teo was guaranteed to be DJ 2.0 (which he's not), we cannot miss out on a QB this year for any reason.
Over/Under/Just Right, potential draft picks
Overrated: The "flavor of the year" LB who emerges every year as a "can't miss" guy
Underrated: OL beef
Just Right: Potential franchise QBs