Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Triumvirate of Kansas City Chiefs Thoughts

Wanna know what it felt like to attend the exhausting, near-tie, ultimately-victorious Chiefs game against the Bills on Sunday?? Check it.......

For anybody who is unaware, I kinda like the Chiefs.

Before getting to the Triumvirate (which I believe means an old wooden ship), a few quips from what Football Outsiders had to say about the Chiefs (on Nick Wright on Wednesday). (Football Outsiders runs league trends and statistical analysis and knows way more about the NFL than any person you'll ever hear on ESPN. Fact). On to the highlights....

  • The Chiefs are the 2nd most likely team to make it to the Super Bowl right now (Giants are #1)
  • Ranked #1 in adjusted defensive rankings
  • Second best chances of any team to make the playoffs in 2010
  • A 50/50 chance that the Chiefs would earn a bye week in the 2010 playoffs


The DE-FENSE: I feel like I'm not hearing enough people shower praise upon the Chiefs defense for the victory over the Bills on Sunday. Yes, the Bills are terrible. No, there is no such thing as a "gimme" in the NFL. Yes, a win is a win. No, our team's confidence wouldn't have been high if we had lost to a winless team. And yes, this win could prove to be crucial come December/January.

Four different times the Bills moved the ball inside the Chiefs' 42 yard line with a chance to win the game. That is dangerous territory, and more often than not, a team scores at least a field goal once it has advanced that deep. Lets take a look at what happened on those four pivotal drives.....

  • End of 4th quarter: Quite possibly the worst pass in NFL history, courtesy of Ryan Fitzpatrick, finds its way into the Error Bearer's hands for an interception and end of regulation.
  • First drive of OT: After a facemask penalty, the Bills advanced to the Chiefs' 43 yard line, before idiotically throwing two incompletions (HAVE to run the ball there). They followed with a 3rd down run before punting.
  • Second drive of OT: Bills advance to Chiefs' 37 yard line, before (stop me if you've heard this already) idiotically throwing two incompletions (yea...). Forced with a 51 yard field goal attempt, Rian Lindell squibbed it off the uprights. Game continues....
  • Third drive of OT: Following Succop's crazy missed field goal (not his fault), the Bills drive to the Chiefs' 42, before the Bills not-so-idiotically (clock was winding down) throw three incompletions, with the third resulting in an intentional grounding (thank you Mohammad Hali!). Punt.
That is some seriously clutch defense. Didn't hear enough about it this week, and wanted to make sure they get the credit they deserved from this guy.

Haley's Strategery: Am I the only one that LOVES what Haley is doing on 4th downs? He is risking short-term results for a long-term mentality. He's setting a tone for the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs, which goes something like this: Don't fuck with us. We're gonna do what we want, when we want. The Chiefs are building a reputation of a borderline crazy team. People fear craziness. They fear not knowing what we're gonna do.

Yes, it might cost us a game in the regular season at some point, but it also might gain us a strong advantage in a playoff game, when a defense is on their toes not knowing what to expect. Plus, tons of people way smarter than myself (or anybody reading this blog) claim that going for it on 4th down is oftentimes the right decision. Kent Babb of the KC Star wrote an article that touched on it, but it was too much for him to handle, and has since backed down. I'm sticking with it. 

Our coach has balls, and could possibly be on the cutting edge of the new NFL. We should all live on the edge alongside him and embrace it.

Chiefs Offensive Line: The Kansas City Chiefs' offensive line is not getting enough credit. Much maligned after 2009, they have played at an outstanding level this year. The Chiefs are #1 in the NFL in running the ball. But, there not only the best this year. Take a look at the #1 rushing teams from the past 10 years.....

  • 2000- Oakland- 154 yards per game
  • 2001- Pittsburgh- 173 ypg
  • 2002- Minnesota- 157 ypg
  • 2003- Baltimore- 167 ypg
  • 2004- Atlanta- 167 ypg
  • 2005- Atlanta- 159 ypg
  • 2006- Atlanta (they had Mike Vick)- 183 ypg
  • 2007- Minnesota- 164 ypg
  • 2008- New York Giants- 157 ypg
  • 2009- New York Jets- 172 ypg
  • 2010- Kansas City- 190.4 yards per game!!!
They have the highest total of any team in the league from the past 10 years as of now! It wouldn't even be close except for the aberration that is Michael Vick with the Falcons. In fact, the all time record for team rushing yards in a season was set by the New England Patriots in 1978 with 3,165 yards (197.8 ypg). The Chiefs are on pace 3,046 yards as of right now. That is amazing!

And yet, I hear everybody praising JamaAL Charles and Thomas Jones, while the big uglies are doing thankless work up there.

That isn't all though. The Chiefs also rank #2 in the NFL in sacks allowed (after ranking 27th in 2009), only trailing the Indianapolis Colts by one measly sack. Credit goes all the way around for that statistic, from Todd Haley and Charlie Weis, to Matt Cassel, to the offensive line.

So remember when you're watching the Chiefs battle the Raiders on Sunday to praise Branden Albert (matured nicely into a solid LT), Brian Waters (The Godfather), Casey Weigmann (the difference maker?), Ryan Lilja (highly underrated pull blocker), Barry Richardson (we might have something here), and even Jon Asamoah (only adding to the 2010 Draft class).

His Dirkness


Anonymous said...

Excellent article. Enough said.


Loren said...

i think every chiefs article written this year should have a big asterisk next to it because of the schedule.

His Dirkness said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Then you gotta give our 2005 team a big asterisk, because we were one of the best five teams in the league, but had the league's toughest schedule. Plus, we've played in the best division of the past 20 years. Not debatable. All cyclical baby!