who is to blame for the first half defense against SD and a bonus ''rant''

The Kansas City chiefs dodged a major bullet against the San Diego Chargers Sunday by staging an epic comeback for the ages. The offense moved the ball at will in the second half. The defense completely shut down the Chargers offense in the second half. You may see a reoccurring theme here....''second half''. As good as KC was in the 3rd and 4th quarters of that game, they were equally as putrid in the first and second quarters , so much so that it has overshadowed what was a tough and gritty win of a division rival

There has been a lot of finger pointing the past few days as to what and who went wrong in the first half of that game. The blame has concentrated mainly on defense even though the offense was equally ineffective on that day. I have to be honest, I shut off the TV and tried to sleep off my hangover . I woke up and hit my Direct TV score button to see how bad the carnage was. To my shock, the score read 33-27 Chiefs. I could not believe my eyes. Have any of you ever woke up but felt like you were still dreaming? I swear I that was how I felt reading that score. It was a good thing I DVR'd the game to watch again

So I was going to erase the game off my direct TV box when it hit me, why not look and see what went wrong in the first half on defense and who was to blame. I have never broken down a game before, so this will be interesting .Full disclosure, this is from the live broadcast. this isn't an all 22 view of the game. So keep that in mind. Also keep in mind that it is just my observation. I am giving you what I see as it comes across the screen


First Quarter Drive one

First and ten at SD 25(11:51)

Chiefs start out in their nickel formation. Allen was in the slot with Eric Berry ''covering '' him . Woodhead moves out far left drawing Gaines with him leaving Berry trying to cover Allen playing ten yards off. Rivers got the match up he wanted and fires it to Allen on a slant . March falls on him as he goes to the ground. The ball was literally out of Rivers hands in 1 second. There was no chance of a pass rush. I think Woodhead going in motion confused KC exposing Berry into one on one coverage with one of the best possession receivers in the game. Gain of 14 on the play

First and ten at the SD 39 ( 11:21)

This looks like a zone stretch play to the right but was shut down immediately by the front 7 . Poe split his blockers, Howard beat his block, DJ filled his gap and Bailey came in to clean up the play with multiple defenders in pursuit. This was the best the DL looked in the first half. Gordon didn't have a chance and was dropped for a 2 yard loss

Second and twelve at the SD 37 (10:40)

This was a WTF moment. Bailey gets turned like a door and gets taken out of the play entirely and Poe gets pushed out off the ball. But what the hell was Sorenson doing? He is lined up as basically the Mike backer and when Woodhead comes up the middle, he gets out of the way of the block to Baileys side. Had he just stood his ground he would have dropped Woodhead for a 3 yard gain. Either he was afraid of the blocker or that was just a horrible, mind numbingly dumb read by Sorenson. Poe does get off his block but not in time to make the play and Howard drops Woody after a 6 yard gain

Third and six at the SD 43( 9:56)

This was actually a well designed blitz by Sutton. Chiefs crowd the line and show blitz . Sorenson comes unblocked up the middle and stumbles. He grabs Rivers ankle . As he is falling backwards , he hits Williams on a drag . But that isn't what kills the Chiefs. Ron Parker takes a bad angle and misses the tackle which enables Williams to steam ahead for 20 extra yards . I just have to say as a side note that Rivers made an amazing play. Fans complain that Alex often gets no time to pass in the pocket.Well,here is Rivers with instant pressure up the middle and is still able to find the open guy. That is what separates the good from the great . Had Sorenson not stumbled that play would have been a sack

First and ten at the KC 24 (9:18)

Nice little counter run by Gordon here. Ford gets blasted back way out of the play ,March tries to fill the B gap and gets engulfed leaving Gordon with a nice hole to run threw which he does with authority. Parker with another missed tackle and Gordon shrugs off Gaines until finally Zombo brings him down after a gain of 17. Missed tackles by Parker has cost us at least 25 yards on this drive.

First and goal at the KC 7 (8:35)

This one was comical. Allen draws the P.I on Peters at the goal line who was playing 10 yards off into the endzone!. Have you ever seen those videos of when the Berlin Wall came down ? You know when neighbors and families hadn't seen each other in decades and they embraced each other when they finally got to meat again? That is what this was like. Peters literally bear hugged Allen like he was his long lost brother. The ball went out of the end zone . That was as easy a P.I call as these refs will ever get

First and goal at the KC 1(8:27)

This was just smash mouth football 101. Trap block, RG blocked Poe, LG swung around and got March, DJ was taken out by the OT. DJ looked like he was holding his lane forcing Gordon to step to the through the other gap which there was no one there and Chargers easily score the TD

Results, 6 plays , 3:24

2 passes 47 yards (on P.I call)

4 rushes 22 yards TD


our DL was nothing to brag about on that drive. They weren't getting off blocks and were for the most part getting erased. But that is why you have LB's and safeties for. The LB's were a complete non factor. I don't know where DJ was , but I seldom saw him around the ball. March was getting owned in the run game. The pass rush had no chance. There were only 2 passing plays (not counting the penalty) and Rivers got the ball out in 2 seconds or less. But the real culprit were the safeties. Almost ever play on that drive was made possible by bad safety play, bad tackling, bad coverage , bad decisions, bad footing . Ron Parker was public enemy number one.Just a bad first drive all around especially by our safeties


Drive 2 -1st quarter

First and ten at the SD 20(5:57)

Play fake , Rivers has some time and fires it over the middle to a wide open Allen on an in route . Nelson was on the coverage and was playing off man. Rivers had a pristine pocket to throw in and there wasn't a defender even close to him . Gain of 15.

First and ten form the SD 35(5:17)

Just your basic I formation. DJ makes a nice plays and trucks the FB 5 yards into the backfield. Zombo with some nice contain and makes the stop. Howard gets neutralized. Poe spins like a marionette SD working on the left side of our defense now. Gain of 5.

Second and five from the SD 40 (4:34)

Rivers in the shotgun .Looks to Woodhead who was covered by March. Goes across to the other side where Allen was on Gaines and fires incomplete. This is how you play Allen. Gaines was on him tight and Allen had to come back to the ball where he was forced to make a hard catch that was dropped. Good coverage by Gaines .Pocket held up well with Zombo doubled but it looked like he was starting to make a push. An extra second / second and a half and Rivers could have been in some trouble there .

Third and five from the SD 40(4:29)

Chiefs in their dime package . Allen on a quick slant with Peters in coverage on the outside .Peters plays press man and tries to jam him. Peters slow to recover as Allen isn't phased by his jam and Allen catches the ball for a 9 yards. It wasn't bad coverage by Peters. But it just shows you the strength Allen has to just swat away Peters attempt at a jam without even losing an momentum.. Ball was out too quick to judge the pass rush although Ford was stonewalled and not going anywhere

First and ten from SD 49 (3:49)

Rivers under center one back set. Howard flies threw the line 5 yards deep . Unfortunately , Rivers already has the ball out to Benjamin on a bubble screen. Berry comes up to make the tackle but is blocked by the LT. Zombo holds his lane and hustles to tackle Benjamin for a gain of 8 .Good hustle by Nick Williams . Good discipline and pursuit by Zombo. He saved the first down

Second and two from the KC 43(3:11)

Woodhead straight up the gut to the first down marker .Ford gets spun around this time by Gordon. That was his play to make. DJ hustles to get there but it is too late . Bailey holds his ground well. Parker just kinda standin around not doing much . Zombo blatantly held with no call.Gain of two

First down and ten from the KC 40 (2:32)

Looks like there was some confusion from the start. Zombo appears to see something and raises his hands in the air. March shoots the gap and misses the tackle in the backfield . He had Gordon dead to rights . Bailey ends up on the ground. Poe blocked one on one and gets spun around (I feel like a broken record saying that ) Gordon somehow keeps churning and Nelson has to come up and finally make the stop. When your corners have to come up in run support, you know you are getting owned up front. Five hard earned yards on the run.

Second and five from KC 35(1:48)

SD with a 5 receiver set. Zombo just completely blows by the LT but ultimately losses his footing and slides by Rivers just missing him. Rivers is amazing. The rush didn't even phase him . He steps up and throws short to Gates who would have been dropped for no gain had DJ made the tackle. March makes the stop for a gain of four. Ford makes a rare appearance in the backfield (albeit after the throw was made) . Chris Jones makes an appearance for the first time

Third and 1 from the KC 31 (0:59)

After a timeout, SD was at it again. Jones flies into the backfield but with no RB in sight. . Gordon running with a purpose. Running very hard. plows through the defense for a first down . Chiefs D getting tired now

First and ten from the KC 27 (0:14)

First run out of the shotgun for SD. Dj runs right past Woodhead like he didn't even see him.Looked like the whole D was caught off guard by the snap.. Fatigue setting in. No urgency, Zombo misses a tackle. Peters pushes Woody after the play. Parker with the worst arm tackle of the year candidate. March clearly frustrated. Sloppy sloppy tackling out there. Twelve yard run . End of the first quarter

First and ten from the KC 15 (15:00)

Not sure what the hell happened on this play. This just looked like a busted play. Rivers fakes to Gordon and KC doesn't bite and he just heaves one up out of the endzone intended for Henry. Maybe he thought KC was going to bite on that? Bizarre

Second and ten from the KC 15( 15:00)

No contain. Zombo had a chance but misses a tackle . Looked like Poe tried to stunt inside . DJ again misreads where the hole is supposed to be. Parker gives no effort on the play .March dives for Woodheads feet and of course misses. Berry makes the stop but not until SD gets 9 yards .

Third and goal form the KC 6(14:06)

Another counter draw play.DJ falls for the misdirection. Jones fails with an arm tackle. Gordon runs threw a Berry tackle for a TD

13 plays , 80 yards TD, 6:51

Runs 7 for 42 yards and a TD

Pass 6 for 38 yards


That was brutal to watch. The Chargers had a methodical, Chiefs like drive for the score. There wasn't anything fancy about what they did. It was just smash mouth football. Maybe Melvin Gordon is the second coming off Walter Payton, IDK. But he was terrible last year and now he looks like an all star. Lots of missed tackles. Zombo plays hard. He did a good job until the final few plays. But he has played better than I expected so far. Poe looks like hot garbage. Where did thiese spin move come from? Has it always been there and I just never noticed it? That was just bad defense all around. And it gets worse before it gets better


Second Quarter Drive 3

First down at the KC 38(11:26)

Hand off goes to Woodhead and he is dropped for no gain by Zombo . Poe was starting to follow in backside pursuit. Zombo does a nice job of disengaging from his blocker to make the play

Second Down and ten at the KC 38(10:52)

Poe bull rushes the guard back to Rivers and Howard beats his man and closes in but it is too late . Rivers unloads it to Allen who ran a little hook route and caught the ball in front of Peters who was playing off. This was where Peters started to get frustrated as he got a facemask penalty called on him for 15 yards. The two jawed back and forth . Whether it was press or off man , Peters didn't seem to have an answer for Allen . Zombo again showed nice pursuit and was there to clean up the play

First down and twenty at the KC 17 (10:32)

There was a holding penalty that negated the Gordon run on the previous play. Hali came for what I believe was the first time in and was immediately in the backfield . Of course, that might have something to with SD setting up a screen. Bailey looks like he sees it but is too slow getting over to stop it. Gaines made a hell of a play. He saw it while he was in coverage and came up to make the tackle. Gain of seven on the play.

Second down and thirteen from the KC 20(10:09)

Rivers fires it quick to Gates who sneaks and sits in the zone and catches it for 8 yards. Gates attempts to juke March but March doesn't fall for it and drops Gates after the catch was made. He had a free release off the line. Not sure why that is

Third down and five from the KC 12 (9:26)

another quick slant on Peters this time it is Benjamin doing the damage. Peters runs into Johnson trying to make the tackle and both fall down. Lucky break because how many times have we seen guys get injured on that play? No pass rush to speak of

First and goal from the KC 4(7:54)

This looks like a blown play. Woodhead sneaks out of the backfield past Zombo. and runs an out to the back of the endzone wide open for the TD. Zombo was just standing there while no one shaded coverage to that side. Peters threw his hands up. I don't know if that was because he was pissed at Zombo or he thought he was picked on the play. Either way , it was a 5 yard TD catch

6 plays 38 yards TD (3:32)

3 rushes for 7 yards (one negated by penalty)

5 passes for 37 yards TD


That drive was doomed from the start due to great field position for the Chargers. The Chiefs didn't help themselves by a penalty on Peters who added 15 yards . The Chargers decided to exercise the short passing game . Rivers got the ball out of has hands on timed throws that had KC flustered. They slow bled the Chiefs defense for the score


SD drive 4 second quarter

First and ten from at the SD 6(3:39)

Gordon up the middle for three yards. DJ under cut him in the hole and his momentum carried him forward for a few yards. Nice play by DJ

Second and seven from at the SD 9 (2:58)

Just a simple comeback Route by Allen. Peters playing him in tight man . Doesn't press him this time. Allen could have been called for a push off here, but it wasn't super obvious. Peters with another flag thrown at him but it was picked up. Peters then starts mouthing off to a Chargers OL which is never smart considering he outweighs you by over a hundred pounds. He then starts getting into ot with Rivers who is a notorious trash talker. It is surprising Peters didn't get hit with any taunting penalties on the day as he was running his mouth all game. Peters was sat after this play. Ford almost comes close to touching Rivers and Hali really pushed hard to get threw but again Rivers with another quick throw

First and ten at the SD 17 (2:35)

This is the play that made DJ White famous . Woodhead lined up wide , Rivers delivers a low throw and White comes up with a crushing hit from ten yards deep. What a play by the rookie. Many fans say that was the play that changed the game. Then again, Allen gets injured a few plays later

Second and ten at the SD 17(2:27)

Chiefs bring a blitz with March but it isn't close to getting there. Howard loops around the tackle and hits Rivers on his shoulder pads right after the ball was delivered to Gates who ran a shallow cross. Credit to Gaines for getting off his block and making the tackle or else that might have been a big play. Gain of 8 on the reception

Third and two at the SD 25 (2:27)

Chargers in a bunch right formation. Rivers with an instant throw to Allen who is out wide. Allen catches the screen with no KC defender on him.Peters just stands there as Allen catches the ball and runs for a first down . He gets lost in traffic and doesn't make the tackle. Peters is really vulnerable it seems to these short routes . Rivers is looking for these routes to come open

First and ten at the SD 36 (2:00)

A lot of things happened here. Holding on the Chargers ,illegal contact by Nelson. Pressure by Hali and Ford hits Rivers as he unleashes the ball to Woodhead who is tackled for three yards . But the big news was Allen got injured on the play. This was the momentum changer for the game. The Chargers weren't the same and KC got new life.

First and ten at the SD 36(1:53)

One of the first times the Chargers let a play develop.No pass rusher other than Hali pushing the RT backwards( he still plays so hard). Rivers steps up and throws underneath to Woodhead for 8. LB's are just playing in zone coverage to prevent big plays from the backs.

Second and two at the SD 44(1:13)

OMG!!! Peters actually had good coverage !!! Rivers in another clean pocket under throws Tyrell Williams. on a go route.

Third and two at the SD 44(1:08)

Another shocker. Gates defended on the play by Eric Berry. Chargers punt for the first time

Final Thoughts

This idea that Rivers had all day to throw as a myth.Lots of quick reads /throws under 2 seconds. There was no way KC could have mustered a pass rush under those circumstances. . There were a few times that had Rivers held onto the ball a little longer that he would have been in some trouble. So I fell slightly better about the pass rush. The coverage was a disaster. You can tell SD watched the NE game from last year and had the same game plan. They slanted routed us to death. That is disturbing

It is also disturbing that our DL couldn't get off blocks. Poe in particular looked bad . Zombo surprised me . He had a few mental mistakes out there, but he also played hard . He wasn't the disaster I remembered and did an Ok job of setting the edge. But wen your LB's don't make the right call on which holes to fill and your DL can't get off blocks, it doesn't really stand out unless you watch for it.Gaines also held up well in coverage and showed toughness as a tackler. Not sure I want him doing that though based off his injury history . Rub routes were a major issue for us in 14 . This year these slants are going to be a major problem for us to stop . It needs to be a point of emphasis in practice this week. That and tackling. Tackling was abysmal.

The good news is we play Brock Osweiler Sunday. Sutton has made a living beating up on mediocre QBs as DC for the Chiefs. this defense can and needs to get right against Houston


Why cutting KeiVarae Russel is a big deal

They say winning is the deodorant that covers up all that stinks. When you win nothing else matters, nothing else is important. Mistakes often go unnoticed so long as the scoreboard shows our score is greater than the other teams. You can't point out mistakes because ''look ,look, we are a winning team'' ''who cares man'' ''are you some kinda hater or somethin'' '' why don't you become GM if you can do better'' That is dumb fan speak. The one thing I never want to be is a dumb fan. I'm sure you could read those comments readily if you go to the 2010 archive

Dorsey and Reid have created a winning culture in KC for the first time in many years. They won the first playoff game for KC in over 20 years. That buys a lot of collateral around this town who isn't used to winning football like other cities. So of course when you point out the obvious that a third round pick shouldn't be cut this early, you get the obvious trolls who have 16 comments in 4 years coming after you. These are the same people who disappeared when Pioli and Haley bombed after the 2010 season . In their eyes, you can't praise the good this team has dome while also criticizing the bad. It's an either or situation. That isn't how life works .

There is a even flow, a good and a bad to everything in life.Why does that stop with a football GM who has been here only 4 years? Why is Dorsey beyond criticism? What has he ever won here?

What happened today is almost unheard of. The Chiefs cut third round pick Kaivarae Russel one game into his rookie season. Oh sure, you can name a couple instances in which that happened. But it is usually tied to the Raiders or the Browns or some bottom wrung moribund franchise none of us want to be associated with .

This was an epic fail on the part of this scouting dept. There is no other way around it. You scouted this guy for months and now you get him in here and quickly decide he can't play. Who was in charge of scouting that player? A keep hearing a third round pick doesn't mean anything. Oh really? What would this team be without Justin Houston , Allen Bailey, Travis Kelce, Knile Davis, Dustin Colquit, Chris Conley, Jamal Charles? How many games are we winning ? Because those are third round picks ladies and gentlemen. A third round pick needs to at least be a contributor on the team. We don't have an Aaron Rogers on this team to make up for draft blunders. we need all the help we can get

Dorsey's drafts have been up and down. His fourth round picks (not including this years crop) have all failed . Ford looks like a bust . He wasted 2 picks on QB's who most saw as under talented players. You can't be 0-fer on all your 4th round picks and now cut third round players if you want to build through the draft. Good luck trying to do that.

''But But But The Ravens had some busts , the Pats had some busts , Seattle has some busts''. You know what else they have? Lombardi Trophies. And we aren't going to get to that level by constantly whiffing on picks you should make Joelhad a greay quote today in an article published about this. We wre all in arms that we lost our third round pick in tampergate Looks like Goodell managed to take away our third round pick afterall

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.