Reviewing the stock report after the Kansas City Chiefs over the Colts and as they look ahead to the Jaguars this weekend ...
The AFC’s leading punt returner is now the Chiefs’ most dynamic deep threat and the Chiefs receiving TD leader with four. Hill has developed sooner and in more areas than we could have hoped. If the trend continues, the sky is the limit for the fastest player in the NFL.
Why sign a guy like Nick Foles? For this exact situation. Foles stepped in twice for Smith while he cleared concussion tests and doctors looked at the cut on his ear. The offense didn’t really miss a beat, and in some ways it was more dynamic. Foles showed off his arm and mastery of the offense, and the Chiefs rolled to victory on the road. I still don’t believe there’s a QB controversy at this point, but it’s a great situation for the Chiefs to have a reliable veteran backup.
Andy Reid and John Dorsey
The team looked well prepared, focused and relentless. That’s three games in a row where they had a strong game plan, executed and took care of business. Credit Reid for the mental toughness and Dorsey for the improved depth of this team. As guys went down with injuries (Alex Smith, Parker Ehinger, Spencer Ware), the next man (Nick Foles, Zach Fulton, Charcandrick West) stepped up. The team didn’t get discouraged or let up.
What else can we say about Mr. Ford? 3.5 sacks this week to vault him into the top five in the NFL. It wasn’t JUST the fact that he sacked the QB on four plays, but HOW he was able to do it, and the effort he showed throughout. Ford looked strong and relentless, getting to the QB from both sides of the defensive formation, using inside and outside moves.
Ford now has 10 sacks in his last 10 reg season games. Yesterday his sacks came on twist, ROLB edge rush, LOLB edge rush, and inside counter— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) October 31, 2016
We’re all hesitant to anoint him, but Ford is now stringing together multiple games where it appears he’s arrived. Double digit sacks and a featured role opposite Justin Houston now look likely, instead of wishful thinking.
The Chiefs focused on getting Kelce the ball early and often (10 total targets), and it paid off in a big way. Kelce had his first game of the season with 100-plus yards and a TD. It wasn’t just Smith and Foles slinging it in Kelce’s direction. Andy Reid was able to scheme him open with some great route combinations that left Kelce running free in the Colts secondary.
His first NFL sack was a monster play. It’s not just what you see in the box score that indicates Jones is on the rise. The Chiefs top pick is impressing people around the league with his combination of size, speed and technique.
Others who are trending upward: Jeremy Maclin, Ramik Wilson, Daniel Sorensen, Phillip Gaines
Chiefs RB depth
With the most productive back in NFL history now on IR, and one of the NFL’s best this year with a concussion, the Chiefs once-deep running back group is incredibly depleted going into the Jacksonville game. Knile Davis has been cut twice since his release, and Darrin Reaves is available on the Chiefs practice squad, so the team does have options. They also added Bishop Sankey from New England’s practice squad. This is certainly a position to watch this week, as the Chiefs try to piece together a running game featuring Charcandrick West.
The good news: Harris made a spectacular 12-yard catch that was almost a touchdown. The bad news: the rest of his game was frustrating to watch, and netted one total yard receiving. Specifically, that first quarter play where Harris caught a screen and ran backwards away from his blockers and lost four yards was brutal.
Another missed field goal ... and this one was a chip shot ... in a dome. Also, the very poorly and ill-advised onside kick that led to the Colts first touchdown of the day. I don’t blame him for the decision (which was bad, in retrospect) but, Santos’s execution was terrible. The Chiefs MUST be able to rely on the kicker for a playoff run.
Others who are struggling: N/A, it was a good game for the Chiefs overall
Nothing about this game changes Smith’s standing with the team. He’s still the guy, and looked good early on when feeding the ball to Kelce. The only question now becomes his health. Even if he didn’t have concussions, he certainly got beat up vs the Colts. We’ll see if it becomes a longer term issue, or if he’s back to being the guy some love to hate.
Nelson hasn’t been terrible this year, but he’s giving up a lot of catches. We’ve seen this explanation before: he’s always right there, but the WR catches it anyway. I don’t have the data handy, but it would appear opposing offenses are targeting him often with DJ White injured. Nelson is the weaker link of the CB group that includes Peters and Gaines. Nelson has been a solid tackler and a physical corner, but in order to make the next step he needs to be able to locate the ball in the air and make plays on it and be a little stickier in coverage.
Berry has had an OK season so far. He’s been part of some big plays, but mostly he’s just been around the ball in run support and quiet otherwise. It’s reasonable to think that he needs to make more impact plays himself in order to justify the contract he’s asking for.
Others who are who we thought they were: Dontari Poe, DJ, Spencer Ware