Now that I'm done staring into space and wondering how on earth the Chiefs got the snot kicked out of them, it's time to move onto more important issues... namely, the 2nd string LG, Jeff Allen.
Here's a disclaimer for you: I haven't bothered to re-watch Ryan Lilja's snaps specifically, so I can't tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt how he's doing. OL are an odd animal in that you rarely notice them unless they're getting beat. I know I've noticed Lilja for this reason a few times this preseason, but outside of that I cannot speak intelligently on how he's looked. But I don't care.
The reason I don't care is that the Chiefs have a 315-pound beast who is currently lined up to sit on the bench for the season. Don't believe me? Allow me to walk you through his snaps last night, starting at 2:08 left in the 3rd quarter.
Be warned... don't read this if you feel like being content with the current starting OL.
Tries to pull around the C to the right on a running play and is prevented from doing so. That would be a bad start, if it weren't for the fact that the guy who stopped him was #66 of our own team getting SHOVED backward and in Allen's way. It was so awful I'm not even going to take the 2 seconds to find the guy's number.
Not a great start, but stay with me! This was Jeff Allen's worst play of the night. A play in which the only reason he made no impact was because of another OL's failure.
Pass blocking one-on-one against a DT and completely stonewalls him. Seriously, the guy is 4-5 yards away from Brady Quinn when the throw gets off. Domination.
Again pass blocking, this time in shotgun. The C is available to help, but doesn't even get a hand on the DL as Allen stops the guy dead in his tracks like they were playing freeze tag. Domination x 2.
Run play. Allen goes straight ahead and shoves his defender back a yard while keeping him engaged long enough to prevent him from making any impact on the play. Eachus gains big yardage running through a huge hole between C and RG. This was a great block, but a tad short of being worthy of "Domination" status. We'll call it a "positive play" (a totally arbitrary term that I'm making up right now).
Another run play, this one to the left. Allen doesn't do much... other than drive the DT 4 yards down the field and to the right, completely erasing him from the action and opening up a hole my entire family could've walked through with arms linked and gained 5 yards (Eachus does slightly better with a big gainer). Domination x 3.
Quinn fumbles snap. This is the opposite of Domination, but not on Allen (as much as I rack my brain I can't think of a way Allen could've contributed here).
Pass blocking. Another complete stonewall. This time, it's like the defender didn't even try. He did a half-hearted, "I know you're going to dominate me but I gotta make it look good if I want any chance of making the roster" move, was promptly shoved back, and gave up. What a loser, amirite? Domination x 4, with a bonus point for destroying the morale of the opposing DL.
Shotgun pass pro. The DL gets absolutely nowhere again. Our C comes over and tries to help out a little, but he wasn't needed any more than I'd need my son's help squashing a bug. I can imagine Allen in the next huddle saying, "look sport, that was real great what you did there... but Daddy's working right now. Why don't you go help one of your brothers and leave me to it?" Domination x 5.
Run play near our own end zone. Allen shoves his man backward and helps Eachus gain 4 yards. Nice block... but not quite domination. I am highly disappointed, as this breaks his streak of 3 straight "Dominations" on plays that he had a chance. Boooo! I demand more domination, Jeff Allen! I will reward you with a "positive play," but let's not make this a habit.
That's more like it! Another pass play, another DL completely stonewalled. Domination x 6.
Off topic, Hemingway makes a really nice snag here. I hope he sticks around (and I think he will). Looks like a very physical wide receiver.
Another run play, more domination from Allen. On this particular play, Eachus is to run left between inside the LT. The DT lined up across from Allen shoots the gap between Allen and the C. Allen (wisely) leaves that DL to the C and runs into the open... where he proves he doesn't discriminate between LB's and DL and locks onto a 'Hawks LB. It's not even a contest. Eachus runs behind Allen to get more than 10 yards and a first down.
Love this play. And my favorite part is how fast Allen makes a decision and locks onto the LB. I've talked in the past about Hudson needing to work on getting a "hat" on someone more quickly when he's in space. Allen showed no such problem here, and nice speed to boot. Domination x 7.
I'm almost getting sad for the Seahawks DL (of course, I look at the score and that feeling fades quickly). Allen's pass protecting one-on-one and again stops the DL immediately. Someone needs to check that guy for a stun gun or something. Linemen are just FREEZING when Allen gets his hands on them. Domination x 8.
Run play up the middle. In a completely stunning turn of events, Allen is an integral part in opening up a GIANT hole for Eachus to run through for a ten yard gain, completely shoving a DL (or is it a LB? I can't get a great look at the number...) left and out of the play. At this point, Allen's undoubtedly giggling every time one of the 'Hawks attempts to go up against him. I think I saw number 90 crying a little. Domination x 9.
Pass pro. Allen's left without a guy to block, He is clearly very unhappy about this (judging by the back of his head, at least) and helps the C out a little, but no help is really required on a quick throw. No domination. Sad face. He does get a chance to shove a falling DL the rest of the way to the ground, though. So that was probably fun.
Phew, I got worried for a second. Allen APPEARS to actually lose a pass pro battle! The DT makes a semi-swim move to his right (Allen's left, for those who struggle with such things) and gets some penetration. That's a bad Jeff Allen!
But then... Oh, that Scheisty Mcscheisterson was fooling me AND defensive lineman who foolishly thought he'd beaten the Scheister (that nickname may not stick). That's right, draw play to the gap Allen had produced by allowing the DL to "beat him." The charade over, Allen re-asserts his dominance by getting into the DL's pads and shoving him backward. The DL swats feebly and manages to knock Allen's helmet off. Jeff Allen is not bothered by such things. Dominance x 10.
Shotgun pass pro. Without his own man to block, Allen assists the C and makes sure that battle is won, then provides some help to the LT and neutralizes that DL as well. Quinn takes advantage of the stunned DL to run for a first down.
OT... Eachus just BELTS guy on a comeback block. He may be too small to play FB (maybe), but that dude is not afraid to lay his body on the line to make a hit. What more do you want? I bet the guy could put on 15 pounds in a week, right? Then he could lead with his belly. Double win.
Anyways, I can't really call this play dominance by Allen, even though he does a great job helping two of his fellow lineman. So we'll award that "positive play" point for him here.
I actually laughed out loud at this play. allen pulls to the right on a running play, and takes TWO DL out of the play with a wonderfully timed and executed cut block. Just beautiful stuff. It's only a gain of 3, but crap that was fun to watch. That's what zone blocking is all about. Domination x 11.
Pass pro. As always, Allen's guy does absolutely nothing after engaging with Allen. This time, the DL tried a different tactic (as power was failing utterly) and tried dis-engaging and going around Allen. Didn't work. Allen displayed the nimble fit that helped him play tackle in college and stayed in front of the DL. That has to be frustrating for the poor lineman. Jeff Allen does not feel sorry for him. Domination x 12.
Another run play, another stud blocking performance by Allen. He locks onto his DL and keeps him well away from the play. The poor guy ends up losing his feet and falling to the ground. My theory is he faked tripping to avoid the humiliation of getting owned. Again. Domination x 13.
We're in the red zone now. Run staight ahead. SEA (for some unknown reason) backs off the LOS with their LB's and secondary, leaving no one to block. So Allen helps the C absolutely BLAST the DT backward, and Eachus runs for another 10+ yards. It was a GREAT block, and Allen seemed to be the OL that did the most damage... but I can't give a Domination Point when it was 2 on 1. He deserves something though, so a "positive play" point it is.
My absolute favorite play of the game (not that there were a lot of options in such a lopsided blowout, but we're ignoring that right now). We're on the 7 and run up the middle. Then Jeff Allen does what Jeff Allen does...
First, he completely stonewalls and owns his DL one-on-one and helps open up yet another hole for Eachus to run to. Nice... But what happens after is beyond awesome.
Eachus gets slowed and almost stopped by 3 Seattle defenders, with Stephenson in tow trying to help him into the end zone. It's a 5 mine scrum and Eachus/Stephenson are losing the 3-on-2 battle. A 4th Seahawk joins the fray (along with my boy Steve Maneri) and it looks like Eachus will get pulled to the ground just shy. Allen sees this happening as it develops, says, "chill out guys, I got this," chucks the DL out of his way, and SLAMS into the scrum from behind.
The result? HE SHOVES THE ENTIRE FREAKING GROUP INTO THE END ZONE.
Eachus was given the TD, but Allen was the beast that made it happen. Just ridiculous. Domination x 14, with a "Holy crap" bonus.
-At the end of the day...
These were snaps played against 2nd and 3rd stringers. That can't just be ignored. That said, (which is always the classic line for "I'd like to ignore the fact I just stated because it's icky) Allen didn't JUST outplay those 2nd and 3rd stringers. He did a great deal more than that...
In 21 snaps Allen had 19 plays where he had a chance to do something (I'm taking out Quinn's fumble and the play where his own teammate took him out by getting owned).
So in 19 plays we've got 14 dominations in which Allen rules all with an iron fist and makes a fool out of some poor Seahawk. On 4 others, while not being dominant, he makes a positive impact on the play for the offense. That leaves one average play where he didn't do anything bad or good. Out of 19, 1 play where he wasn't a positive.
There was not one play in which Allen looked bad. Not one play where he cost the team yardage. Not one play where he was a weakness in the chain that is an offensive line. Nada one.
Yeah, it's 2nd and 3rd string DL, but that kind of dominance is rare. Even guys who are getting a lot of love (like Jerrell Powe) are still having some good plays and some bad plays. Not Allen. He's doing nothing but beasting every single play.
I don't know for sure how Lilja's doing (like I said, I haven't re-watched his snaps), but I DO know that my "in game impression" of him hasn't been that great the last few games. I know for a fact I haven't seen any kind of dominance from him. I also know that he weighs 290 pounds and has been known to get shoved around by defensive tackles.
We've got one guy playing "meh" on our starting squad (again, from what I've seen. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), and one guy (who happens to be 25 pounds heavier) tearing it up against the "other guys." Call me crazy, but I say the guy tearing it up should get at least a SHOT to displace the guy playing "meh."
Either way, I finally found a positive from the Seahawks game that doesn't feel forced: his name is Jeff Allen, and he deserves a shot at rolling with the 1's.