Aug 10, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs guard Jon Asamoah (73) warms up before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 27-17. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
Ay, ay, ay.
Boy, that game escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast. Leon Washington killed a guy.
Did he throw a trident? This play actually wasn't the slightest bit funny at the time, when you see Eric Berry go airborne, flip over, land, and then proceed to check his knees to make sure they're neither Willis nor McGahee.
The return of the Griefs.
How can this team be so hopeless when it comes to the preseason? I was hoping they turned a corner after that first week, but now it seems more like the Cardinals were ready to skip town after scrimmaging with the Chiefs for a couple of days. It's almost as if preseason victories are as elusive for this franchise as postseason triumphs.
But it's not just that our Chiefs are losing. It's the way they are losing. Here's a sample of scores that KC has lost by AT HOME since January 1, 2011 (pre, regular, and postseason): 44-14, 31-3, 41-7, 25-0, 30-7, and 31-10.
Those tallies would not have flown under Vermeil's reign. They definitely wouldn't have occurred with Marty at the helm, or even Gunther for that matter. So what has happened?
Worst fear as a diehard Chiefs fan - We are losing (what was once) an enormous homefield advantage. Some of the magic still remains (tends to show itself for primetime games). But what I'm concerned about is the next generation of fans. The fans who refer to the Vermeil era as "the glory years." The fans who consider Friday night's type of loss more customary than egregious. The fans who will compare the Chiefs to the Royals (and do so somewhat convincingly). Ugh.
Lets light that candle...
The Best & Worst w/ His Dirkness:
Worst penalty in football - Pass Interference. Good lord, I could speak days on end about how much I hate this penalty. I'm telling you, it is ruining the NFL. Some of the calls that lead to 40 and 50 yard gains each and every week are just plain pitiful. You can't just hand out free yardage like that. It's too valuable. It's an outbreak of epidemic proportions. Something has to be done about it. My suggestion would be to create a major and a minor pass interference penalty. Major infractions are spot fouls, while minor infractions are 10 yards. Perfect solution? No, but a hell of a lot better than what we've got. If the NFL still had a Commissioner instead of a big-brother-wanna-be-mall-cop, then this probably would've already been solved.
Best person to blame for this malfeasance - Peyton Manning. It was he and the Colts who complained religiously about the Patriots defenders roughing up their wide receivers back after the 2003 AFC Championship Game. It's gotten worse every year since then.
Worst kept secret in the NFL - The Kansas City Chiefs don't have a vertical passing game. It's always kept this team down. There's a lack of speed on the outside with Dwayne Bowe and Jon Baldwin. There's a lack of strength in the arm of Remarkably Average Matt Cassel. And it seems like whenever a defense figures this out, the Chiefs offense has no solution (think every Raiders game the past four seasons). Obviously, the Chiefs can't change their personnel for this season, so what's the remedy? Is it as simple as throwing a few jump balls to either Bowe or Baldwin early in every game to at least keep the defense honest?
Best reason to remain optimistic - The Chiefs weren't running their regular season offense on Friday night. They appeared to be emphasizing their passing game, specifically getting the ball to their receivers on the outside. Despite the addition of weapons in the passing game, this offense will still skate or die with their running game. So don't freak out. Yet.
Worst Draft pick - Donald Stephenson. I write this with little-to-no idea if Stephenson has lived up to his billing so far this preseason. It doesn't matter. The Chiefs took the offensive tackle from Oklahoma with the 74th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Seattle had the 75th pick and selected Russell Wilson III. Oy. Do you have any idea how excited I'd be right now if the Chiefs had Wilson and he was playing this well? Lets just say I'd be looking for Ray Finkle, and a clean pair of shorts. That dude has it. IT! He just seems to know what works out on the field. And how to lead. He has effectively replaced Seneca Wallace as my biggest man crush in the league. Meanwhile, so long as the Chiefs re-sign Branden Albert this offseason, then barring injury, Stephenson shouldn't play a single offensive snap as a Chief under his rookie contract.
Best offense on the field Friday night - The youth team in purple. Sorry Russell, but the option attack on display at halftime was executed to perfection, capping their drive off with an option pass TD that brought the house down. Sadly, this was my favorite part of the night. Well, that and this guy.
Worst nomination to give out to a Chief - Training camp superstar: Jalil Brown. That was a seriously brutal first quarter for the bright spot from St. Joe. Wow, the Chiefs need Brandon Flowers back in action. I can't believe how quickly the Chiefs cornerback situation has gone from a strength to a weakness. Speaking of which...
Worst play - Javier Arenas missed tackle on a short 3rd and 15 completion. Am I the only one who doesn't want Arenas on the field with the defense, like, ever?
Worst player to see out on the edge - Andy Studebaker. Blech. Good thing Michael Turner runs a 5.4 40 nowadays. And he still might beat him to the perimeter.
Best sign that shouldn't go unnoticed - Justin Houston has been solid in pass coverage this preseason. I figured the Chiefs would always be at a slight disadvantage on defense with both Tamba Hali and Houston being the pure pass rushers they are. In theory, that would leave all coverage duties to the secondary and other two linebackers. But now, hopefully, Houston can add to the versatility of this defense.
Worst personalized jersey that I still can't quite figure out - #03 "Mdlfinger" jersey.
Worst personalized jersey that ended up growing on me as the night wore on - #81 "Sikcness" jersey.
Best option for the people of Kansas City on Friday night - Tecca Nina. My sources tell me he dropped bombs.
Best way to ignite Arrowhead Stadium - Sack. Maybe it's the years of conditioning from watching Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith wreak havoc on the opposition, but the scene following a sack, and the subsequent plays that follow, are pure pandemonium. Arrowhead at its finest.
Worst penalty in attendance - Roughing the passer. There's nothing worse than yelling your face off, pounding the seat in front of you, only to see your team's third down stop result in, what always seems to be, a bogus hit on the QB. So deflating.
Best nose tackle on this team right now - Jerrell Powe. My man finally got some snaps against the first team on Friday night, and he didn't disappoint. Powe held his ground on a number of running plays, and even stuffed the RB with what's quickly becoming a signature big hit out of the former 6th round pick. He's my starter for Week 1.
Worst performance of the night - Jon Asamoah. What's the deal, my friend? You got straight clubbed on the opening drive, leading to an easy sack. Later, on a running play, you got driven into the backfield and lost your leverage, resulting in a big tackle for loss. You mad, bro?
Worst trend to see - A perceived lack of hustle from Stanford Routt for the second game in a row. Not diving for the interception last week. Not diving to tackle Robert Turbin on his 25 yard touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Hopefully, Routt just ain't down with the preseason.
Best tweet of the game - "Elaine Dancing > Cassel celebrating #chiefs." From none other than Bob (Loblaw) Fescoe!
Best feeling in the world - Sprinting through the concourses of Arrowhead Stadium to my seat. This has become something of a tradition for me. Right between the tailgate that I don't want to leave and the game that I can't wait to start, there is this instant of pure, unadulterated adrenaline that overtakes me. And I must run.
Keep fighting like Lil' Nate Eachus,