I am throwing this post up after only one view of the game last night, so most of my observations are initial reactions or gut feelings. I would not normally do this, but with the cutdown coming this afternoon, I figured a thread on winners and losers from last night would be a good conversation topic. As Joel posted yesterday, one key to figuring out the cuts was to see who did NOT play in last nights game. I, however, will look more at the on field antics that led to some "risers" and "fallers" in my book.
There have been some good individual comments on along this theme throughout the game threads and other posts, but I thought this might consolidate the conversation. To start things off, here are my three winners and losers:
Winner #1: The Chiefs rushing game. Starting the game with 10 rushing plays and finishing with almost 250 yards rushing was outstanding. The line looked solid, our YPC were high, and everyone got in on the action. That said, one player (who I didn't even think was still in the mix) made a statement in my opinion, and that was DiMarco. Eachus and Draughn both played well, and before last night's game I expected the Chiefs to start the season without a FB, but DiMarco changed my mind. IMO, the back-up RBs go Gray > Eachus > Draughn, and I expected two of them to make the roster. I now predict that Cyrus finds his way onto mystery IR, and DiMarco takes one of the two remaining backfield spots.
Loser #1: Everyone in the Chiefs secondary south of Stanford Rout on the depth chart. Wow. Not only did no one shine, but it became a game of finding the "least horrible corner back." Our 2nd team secondary could turn Ryan Leaf into a pro-bowler. Choosing one "biggest loser" is tough, but I'm going with Washington. Sure, most of us thought he was gone already, but in a game where the UDFAs were playing that poorly, he could have made his case. He didn't.
Winner #2: Steve Maneri. He is my new underdog man crush for the season. If the competition was close between him and O'Connell, I believe he locked it up last night, with both his blocking and receiving. A Boss, Moeaki, Maneri TE corps sounds like a team strength to me.
Loser #2: The Chiefs back-up O-Line. Specifically Donald Stephenson. I know we can't cut a third round draft pick after his first camp and pre-season, but I saw some huge negatives from him last night. I wouldn't be surprised if Stephenson's poor performance has caused Mims his job, as the Chiefs staff goes fishing in this last round of cuts for a veteran B/U tackle, which bumps Mims off the bottom of the list. Color me not impressed.
Winner #3: The Chiefs Run Defense. Sure, Green Bay had no reason to run as they shredded our secondary all game long, but when they did run, it didn't work. There were lots of standout players in this regard, but in terms of "bubble" players, I would have to say Edgar Jones stood out in my mind as a winner. We don't know how many LBs the Chiefs will keep, especially with all of the injuries to our secondary, but Jones made his case last night.
Loser #3: This is my long shot call: Ryan Succop. Sure, his miss was from 54 yards, but his chip shot just barely made the uprights. My bottom line is this: whenever Succop comes into the game (even on little 30 yarders) I find myself crossing my fingers in front of the TV thinking, "please don't choke." On a team that preaches consistency like Pioli and Crennel do, that worries me. Did he lose his roster spot? No, of course not. Did he shorten his leash going into the regular season? I think he did.
Se let's hear it AP, any predictions, or winners/losers from last night?