Ugh. What a terrible game for the Kansas City Chiefs as they lose to the Miami Dolphins, 31-3. Things seemed to be going well early in the game and then....boom. Miami just took care of business and embarrassed the Chiefs sending the KC fans back home early.
Here are my notes during the game. You can see my mood go from "Hey this isn't so bad" early in the game to "My god this is horrible" as the game goes on. We'll have more from the locker room later this afternoon.
1. The Chiefs first drive ends in a field goal. They really mixed things up on this drive -- four passes and 10 rushes (including a nine-yard scamper by Matt Cassel). The total drive was 14 plays for 53 yards and it took seven minutes and 49 seconds off the clock. Cassel ended the drive 4-of-4 for 30 yards. It's sort of disappointing it ended in a field goal because they were moving the ball well early.
Through one drive, I'm feeling better about this game.
2. The Chiefs are down to their third safety on the depth chart. Eric Berry had a season-ending injury in Week 1 and Jon McGraw is out this week so the Chiefs turn to Donald Washington, who's starting this game at safety in McGraw's place.
3. Dexter McCluster's replaced Javier Arenas on kickoffs. No surprise there.
4. Early observation: Brandon Marshall is a huge part of the Dolphins' game plan. He caught the first two passes of the game and was targeted on the third play. The first one was a six-yarder against Brandon Carr and the second one was a deep pass (30 yards) down the right sideline. Marshall had a few steps on Brandon Flowers.
5. The Chiefs catch a couple of breaks early in the game. First, Reggie Bush took a handoff and maneuvered his way through the defense for a huge gain bringing the ball inside the five yard line. But...teams that are winless usually make dumb mistakes, which the Dolphins did with an illegal shift. That, combined with an illegal hands to the face for the Chiefs, erased the play. Do-over. Second, Cassel was NOT called for a safety when he threw the ball away in his end zone as the officials said Dexter McCluster was in the area. I think they got away with one there.
6. Kendrick Lewis....almost another interception! Kendrick Lewis had a pick-six against the Oakland Raiders, a pick and a fumble recovery against the San Diego Chargers and almost had another one as Matt Moore targeted Marshall on a deep pass. He had the ball in his hands but was slammed to the ground hard and dropped it. On the sidelines after that, the trainers were examining at Lewis.
7. The Dolphins are doing their best against Tamba Hali. They've been double teaming him, which is a good strategy by Miami. The Chiefs, though, are moving him all over the place. On a third down in the first quarter, Hali came right up the middle against the Dolphins offensive line.
8. The Chiefs defense suddenly looks ordinary. The Dolphins didn't have a lot of trouble driving down the field 47 yards in six plays in just under three minutes. The Chiefs defense has given up just two touchdowns since the second half of Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts. Another disappointing stat related to mthis touchdown? It was only Matt Moore's second touchdown pass of the season.
9. Brandon Marshall's first quarter stats: three receptions for 56 yards and a long of 30 yards. I count six targets for him.
10. Early in the second quarter, Matt Cassel is your leading rusher. Three attempts for 17 yards two minutes into the second quarter. This isn't a good thing -- he's getting flushed from the pocket and not finding anyone open.
11. The Chiefs defense no longer looks ordinary -- they look bad. 21 yards to Charles Clay. 22 yards to Charles Clay. 35 yards to Anthony Fasano. Three plays, 78 yards in one minute and 39 seconds, Miami gets their second touchdown. That's a fullback and a tight end lighting up KC's secondary. And it's Brandon Flowers who's getting burned -- 21 and 22 yards by the fullback and a 30-yard reception by Marshall all came against Flowers.
12. Jared Gaither sees some action. But it's for the wrong reason -- Brandon Albert went down with an injury.
13. The Chiefs' cheerleaders are wearing camo pants. Sweet.
14. First half observations. First, the Chiefs pass defense was lit up on both Miami scoring drives, particularly Brandon Flowers. The Dolphins ran the ball just four times in the first half. Four times! Second, the pass protection is a major issue as Cassel has been sacked four times and it seems he's running for his life on every play. I think it's a combination of the line and Cassel on those plays. Third, KC's success offensively is coming through the air, whenever Cassel has enough time to throw.
15. Worst stat of the first half: Chiefs had the ball over 20 minutes to Miami's nine minutes and KC ended with just three points.
16. Was that a fake field goal? Anyone know what the Dustin Colquitt fumbled snap, run forward and get tackled move was? It looks like someone was supposed to come behind Colquitt for an end-around, possibly. Or it was just a bad snap. I'm not sure.
17. How to have a breakdown, Chiefs style. Third and five, give up a 27-yard pass and hit the quarterback late for an unnecessary roughness on the same play. Then you allow Matt Moore to hit Brandon Marshall for a 14-yard touchdown. Ugh.
18. First loud boos of the game come as the Dolphins take a 21-3 lead.
19. Paid attendance for the game: 72,263.
20. Your cue to leave the game: Reggie Bush's 28-yard touchdown run that made it 28-3.
21. Steve Breaston is your breakout receiver today. I predicted before the game that Bowe, Baldwin or Breaston would have 100 yards and a touchdown. So far, it looks like Breaston has the best shot with 98 yards today. He had a terrific catch where he stayed in bounds near the sidelines, made his man miss and ran down the field inside the 20-yard line.
22. One of the bad parts of this loss is that the Chiefs are making Reggie Bush look like a dynamic player. And he's definitely not.
23. By the way, don't believe the stats after this one. For example, Dwayne Bowe had 49 yards on two fourth quarter catches when the game was already sealed. He was a non-factor when it mattered, catching one pass for eight yards in the second and third quarter.
24. Yeremiah Bell has three personal fouls this game. First was the (questionable, in my mind) hit on a defenseless receiver (Dwayne Bowe). Second was a late hit on Dexter McCluster. Third, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (on the same drive as the late hit). Maybe he gets fined this week.
25. This is the best game of Matt Moore's career. Check out his previous career highs here.
26. The players have been chippy all game. Fights were consistently breaking out in this game and multiple personal fouls were called. These teams, apparently, do not like each other. Or the Chiefs were just frustrated.
27. Major problems I take away from this game: Cassel was scrambling all over the place -- is that his fault or the offensive line, or both? The secondary was torched by Matt Moore -- Matt Moore! The Chiefs didn't generate much of a pass rush. The Chiefs need to be 100 percent focused on the task at hand to be even competitive -- they weren't against the Dolphins.
Give us more of your observations about this loss.