After watching film of Saints and Chiefs last 2 games here's my breakdown on what it will take to come out of the bayou with a win by the Chiefs. Offensively this team needs to eliminate the turnovers. Right now Chiefs rank 5th in total yards on offense, 5th in rushing, and 10th in passing. However, the team currently ranks 25th in points scored. So we are moving ball but turnovers are killing drives. Well before you say well Joe most of those yards were earned in garbage time. Understand this at the end of the 1st half of the Atlanta game the score was 20-17. Then to follow was a missed field goal in the opening drive of the 2nd half. Then 3 straight turnovers. In the Bills game we had 2 good drives before Cassel fumbled and stalled one drive. Followed by Hillis fumbling on the goal line before halftime. So 2 weeks in a row the Chiefs have had back to back turnovers that have killed really good drives. Right now we sit -6 in giveway/takeway ratio which is last in the league. You can't win giving other team extra possesions
Personnel wise Daboll needs to start Baldwin opposite Bowe. I'm still wondering how 1st rd pick performs in camp and OTA's and goes from starter to 4th receiver on the team before a regular season game is played. I mean didn't we draft Baldwin to be #2 receiver. He performs in Bowe absence in camp had solid 3rd preseason game against Seahawks and hits the bench only getting few snaps through 1st few games. Fans keep asking where is Baldwin? Problem is you can't perform unless your QB is targeting you and you get on the field. Finally late in the Bills game we got glimpse of how dynamic Bowe and Baldwin can be playing opposite each other. Both guys made big plays down the field in tight man to man coverage against Bills corners late that game. Daboll needs to insert this guy into starting lineup to give team a down the field threat and he's a guy that can take advantage of the inexperience Saints have right now at the corner position. Sometimes I think Daboll gets lost in trying to feature too many guys. Remember who your stars are Charles, Bowe, Mcluster, and up and coming Baldwin. Everyone else from Moeaki to HIllis are role player dial back on those guys feature your stars.
Defensively we need come out of the soft coverage. I mean seriously Romeo have safeties way too far back in coverage almost 15 to 20 yards deep. Not to mention corners are also playing 5 to 10 yards off the receiver. He needs bring the coverage up and play a little more press coverage. Part of reason Bills were so successful last week was because even when we had pressure. We didn't disrupt Bills receivers from running their routes which made it easy for Fitzpatrick to just dump ball off to open guys in open space because corners and safeties were so far back that when they finally tackled the receiver . The receiver had already ran ball 10-15 yards down the field. Romeo must trust playing his corners in man defense. Saints going use Jimmy Graham and give us a heavy dose of Sproles who can make same kind big plays Spiller made against us last week. On 3rd downs and redzone situations we need try to take away Sproles and Graham. Breeze will try to force balls to those guys in 3rd down and redzone situations. Most of his interceptions have came off force balls thrown to those guys. So accounting for them in 3rd downs and in the redzone will be critical. We also need jam the receivers at the line of scrimmage to allow Hali and Houston time to get pressure on the QB.
Which brings me to my next point. Hali and Houston need wreak havoc Sunday, but back end of the defense must help the front end of our defense. If we're not disrupting routes with press coverage then it will be similar to what we saw Ryan and Fitzpatrick do the last two weeks. They just will make quick throws to open receiver in space and well you know the rest. Bailey being updated to full participant in practice should will add another rusher up the middle of pocket something you need to do against short QB. Most short Qbs like Breeze, Vick, and Wilson don't like pressure in their face it takes away thrown lanes in the pocket.
The personnel move I would make on defense would be take Berry out of the nickel linebacker position when we go to our sub defense. Right now we have Berry playing sort of hybrid linebacker/safety role where he plays next to Derrick Johnson in the sub defense as extra linebacker. All he does is blitz or help in run support. Basically same role Jon McGraw played last yr. To me this is another mismanage of a player by our coaching staff. Why do you have your most athletic safety on the team role being reduced in sub defense to blitizing the Qb in and helping in run support. Doesn't make any sense. Berry is too athletic to be reduced in this role. Its like asking Hali to drop back in coverage every play instead rushing the passer. Sunday he needs to be roaming back end of the defense where he can help make plays in the secondary and also maybe match him up 1 on 1 with Jimmy Graham in man coverage. With Jalil Brown now being recovered from his groin injury(listed as full participent at practice). Hopefully Romeo moves Berry back to patrolling back end of the defense and maybe we use Jalil Brown in that role. Even then I wouldn't use that sort of dime defense where we currently have 6 defensive backs (Berry, Elam Daniels, Routt, and Flowers) 4 down lineman (Hali, Houston, Ropati, Poe) and 1 linebacker (derrick Johnson). If Saints come out in 3 wide we need go with more traditional nickel defense and maybe bring in Greenwood or Siler to play where Berry is now and have Travis Daniels replaced by Berry on back end of the defense. Allow him to use his speed and athleticism to take away plays over middle and create turnovers something we haven't done so far this yr.
So their you have it Chiefs fans if we can make those few changes in personnel, defensive schemes, protect the ball and feature our star players on offense this team can pull off the upset in the Bayou Sunday. Enjoy the game.