Monday, September 10, 2007

Scoutin' Those Chiefs: Week 1's 20-3 Loss @ Houston

While very little of it, there was good to be found in yesterday's Kickoff Weekend embarrassment at Reliant Stadium. There was also bad. And yes. There was ugly. In fact, yesterday's "contest" could in fact be a top-tier candidate for a variety of Clint Eastwood re-makes. The question is which film do you choose.

You could say the game was a little like "In the Line of Fire," wherein one man, in the form of 53ish, gets paid to take the bullet for a so-called president. You could evaluate those four quarters as either "Any Which Way You Can" or "Every Which Way But Loose," wherein the two halves appear an even-keeled fight, but ultimately the onlookers know which guy comes out on top. I personally will stick with "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," however, and illustrate what I think were appropriate plays/developments for each category.

The Good

Damon Huard and his poise in the pocket. Sure. I know the guy's no Peyton Manning or Brett Favre. He's got football smarts and composure, though. His passer rating of 53.6 does little justice to his second-place AFC finish (behind Manning) in that category last year. (Editor's Note: That stat is to be taken with a grain of salt, considering Huard started only half of the contests.) You simply can't pin the two interceptions he "gets credit for" in Houston, though. He made good throws when he had opportunities to, and threw the ball away on at least one occasion when he did not, a decision that likely would not have been made by young backup Brodie Croyle. Huard also spread the rock around to each of his offensive playmakers and showed no signs of being rattled, even after he was sacked thrice by the Texans D.

The First Two Series of the First Quarter

The Chiefs kicked off to open the season. End result: three and out. When they got the ball back, Huard orchestrated a 15-play, just-shy-of-13-minutes drive to get his squad into what Herm Edwards is now calling the gold area. (Note: Just call it the damn Red Zone, dude. Please. I'm. Begging you.)

The Receiving Corps

Yes. Eddie Kennsion pulling a hammy on the first play of the season blows big time. But he'll be fine. The scary side of that was that Samie "Know What I'm Sayin'" Parker immediately becomes the number one. But you know what? Samie played to keep his job throughout camp, and it appeared to do him some good. He made some great first-half catches and toned down his first-down celebrations some. Some. Dwayne Bowe, elevated to the two slot, also made some nice grabs. Mm-hmm. I know. He dropped some, too. I'm guessing he'll work those kinks out real quick, though. And finally, this has to mean that Bobby Sippio gets called up from the practice squad. Snippets from HBO's "Hard Knocks" indicate that Sippio was cut because of his lack of speed. We know he's got great hands. Let's test his speed in a regular-season game, though. Shall we? We've got nothing to lose, especially if Eddie's out for several games.

The Offensive Coordinator

I told TLR that this game would be a big test for one Mike Solari. Big in that he needed badly to show his evolution from predictable signal-sending in his rookie campaign, especially considering that the next month of defenses will be brutal. They come in the form of Da' Bears (on the road), Minnesota, San Diego (on the road) and Jacksonville. Solari threw some different looks into yesterday's game and I hold him accountable for getting so many guys in the mix.

The Bad


This team was far from any definition of "team" I've ever read in the pre-season. Now they're forced to fix that fast. As Herm wanted, the 53 is a great mix of youth and veteran, but they must gel and not waste any more should-wins in doing so. Damion McIntosh and Will Svitek did a reputable job at left tackle yesterday. Now it's time for John Welbourn and Kyle Turley to hold their own and show they're pro offensive lineman, not performance enhancing suspendees and tatooed musicians with former anger management issues. Let's buy our quarterback some time, over there in right field. Whaddaya say, boys?

The Secondary

Overall, this defensive squad is decades ahead of those Dick Vermeil's staff used to field. We saw pressure up the middle yesterday from the interior or the D-line and a linebacking corps that was all over the place. We've decided to start our two young safeties, which is good, but they made good plays and got burned yesterday. And our cornerbacks may show them the ropes, but they too get burned and that's because they're aging. Rapidly.

Justin Medlock

After the draft, I screamed about it. I cursed the idea. I questioned everyone in organization. I ranted about it here on these StubTubes. Why. Why we took the second-best kicker on the board in the fifth round of April's draft is beyond me. Reports over the TalkRadios is that Mr. Medlock has been cut and one John(?) Rainer out of Green Bay is en route. This would be the guy that Mason Crosby out of the HoG's fave CU (House of Georges nom de plume: CU's a bunch of dicks, but not as lame as the Fightin' Irish 'cause they cheat and whatnot), the best kicker on the board, beat out. This just in: He kicked a game-winner to beat the Eagles yesterday.

The Ugly

The Ugly boils down to one category.

I'll say it once and likely never, ever say it again. I like this guy. I really do. He seems to be a nice guy and a good motivator. He also seems to be smart. Eighteen games into his stint as H.C.I.C., I've seen little evidence of him being a smart football coach. Smart. Football. Coach. Say them together. I don't think he has all the pieces. This is evidenced by his mini-head-coaching staff that has twice the employees it takes to run a 7-11 during the graveyard shift. This is evidence by repeatedly taking a knee with enough time on the clock to execute perhaps two plays. Oh, and this is when we're trailing. Aargh! This is evidenced by a series of utterly ridiculous coaching challenges. I sincerely believe he does it with no rhyme or reason. Seriously. I watch a play, then the ensuing 16 replays, and as sure as the sun, Herm does the opposite of what I'd do. Yeah. He'd say that's why he's the head coach. Sure. I got it. And finally, it's evidenced by a stubbornness to move away from things you know well when they are not working. Period.

Soldier Field in six days...mmmm...dee-lish.


Unknown said...

Alright HoG,

I know y'all love ol' God-complex Goodell, so let's see what he's got.

The Patriots are cheaters and were caught red-handed (allegedly, of course). This is their second allegation in two seasons, to my understanding. I think their was an incident in a game versus Cinci as well.

Let's assume they're guilty, that's always more fun.

Is Goodell gonna get his shwastistamp out to sign off on their punishment? Should he?

The Pats should lose two draft picks for this, and they should be rounds 1 and 2. Their is no place for cheating in this game. Such behavior cannot be considered good "conduct" and Right-wing Roger needs to produce.

Whaddya think, boys? Should they be forced to take a loss as well. Hell yea!

Unknown said...

Solari had MONTHS to prepare for this matchup.

He scripted 15 good plays to start the game, and then fell apart.

This was NOT a solid performance on his part. He was hurt badly by Kinnison's departure.

If we're callin' drawplays creative, then you've nailed it.

I loved the first drive. The rest sucked balls.

I'm only halfway through the article, and will comment again, I'm sure.

blairjjohnson said...

First of all, I don't even like red. Second, I didn't use the word creative, and I didn't see one draw play run in that game. It's time to get down off of your soap box, TLR.

Unknown said...

Coaching = results

Sunday's results:

Losses 1
Points 3

Fire Solari

-- TLR

Cecil said...


Solari could be Charlie Weis, Paul Brown and Bill Walsh rolled into one (hideously ugly) package. It wouldn't matter. That offensive team you've got is, um, offensive.

Will Svitek let Mario Williams in for two sacks. Kennison is injured. You've lost nearly all of the actually good linemen you had, and your quarterback's deal with satan was clearly a one-year affair.

LJ is great, but when everyone knows LJ is the only real threat--no ding on T. Gonz, but he needs a worthwhile quarterback to make a difference--everyone will gang up to rip LJ's head off.