This game is what awesome uses as an adjective to describe itself. This review may be a tad delayed, but what the hell...it's the bye week. What else are we going to do? Seriously? Anyone have any ideas? I am lost without the Raiders. I guess I'll just sit around and root for Steeler injuries on Sunday. Oh wait, that would be wrong and unsportsmanlike.
Okay, let's just get into the bullet points:
- Stat of the Game: The Chiefs had 5 3rd and 1 plays. Not one of these resulted in a first down. That is crazy good--especially considering the quality of the run game they faced. Insert arrogant and annoying Chief fan voice here, "We average blah blah yards per carry. We are the greatest running team ever."
- Oh yeah? Well you can't get 1 yard when you need it. The Raiders stuffed it with such ease that the Chiefs "genius" coaches didn't even try to utilize that "unstoppable" run game on the last two 3rd and 1s, instead choosing for play action passes. Those failed too.
- The offense sucked in the first half, but it was close. It was little miscues that kept them from getting any rhythm. Hell, if Jacoby had just caught the long pass alone, the entire perception of the first half would be different. Still, it was something on every possesion that killed the O. Like DHBs drop on the first play, one of the kajillion penalties or McFadden's fumble. Also KC's D played the screen passes really well.
- The Wildcat was a great wrinkle, until McFadden tried to throw it. Did he really think that had a chance to be complete? Keeping that one from getting picked was the best play on the ball DHB has ever made.
- Cable made some questionable calls in the first half. Most notably the fake punt and the challenges. I don't have a big problem with these though. When he is making mistakes they are aggressive ones. And this is the very aggression that the whole team is picking up on. "Just Cut Loose" is the teams new mantra. Cable wants his team going balls to the wall every play and he is coaching that way and this team is developing that killer instinct.
The Penalties: There were some ticky-tack calls in this one, but still. Could you cut down on some of the penalties guys? 3 neutral zone infractions? Really?
Another blown D: The blown Nick Miller call was brutal and it almost cost the Raiders the game, but it didn't have to be that way. They had almost stopped KC until they forgot to cover D. Bowe. What the hell was that? It looks like it was probably Routt's job, but how do you miss Bowe on the outside? It's not like he snuck out there. These blown defenses are not as frequent as years past, but even just one of these is too many.
- Kirk Morrison: His greatest legacy may now be as the man that netted the draft pick that ended up being Ford.
Speaking of Bowe: I am glad he is a Chief. He came up big on Sunday...for the Raiders. Sure he had the TD, but the Raiders handed that to him. Bowe could've ended the game with a 3rd and 11 back shoulder catch that would've been good for a first down and essentially allowed the Chiefs to run out the clock, but he dropped it. In Bowe's defense, he was a little out of catching position after pushing off Stanford Routt.
- Brandon Flowers: Elite Corner...Hahahahahaha...I mean...Hahahaha. Our 4th round rookie just made you look silly. What was with his D in OT? He was lined up outside of Jacoby like he was guarding the sideline or expecting inside deep help. When Ford ran a streak, Flowers was screwed. All Campbell had to do was throw it to the middle of the field and there was no way Flowers could close in time.
Okay onto the Balls Awards:
We've got big:
Dick and the D-Line
This is one bad ass group of players. It all starts with Richard Seymour. Seymour is costing opposing Guards money, because he is making lots of them look like they don't belong in the NFL. Seymour made two huge plays in the 4th quarter. The first:
9:36 4th Quarter 1st and 10--Chiefs first offensive play after falling behind by 4.
The Chiefs try to chip Seymour with the RG and then block him with the C. Only he is not having it. He tackled Thomas Jones for no gain. Seymour calmly gets up walks towards The Black Hole and gives the "X" symbol with his arms. As if to say, "I am a bad man and we are a bad ass group and this is what we do." I loved this display of calm rage. It set the basis for a 3 and out that really looked like it was going to seal the game, but we all know what happened next and this led to his next huge play.
2:28 4th Quarter 2nd and 8--Raiders let the Chiefs out of a hole by giving up a 12 yard run on 1st and 20.
Seymour makes the RG look so bad here, I am not sure if he thought he was going to receive help blocking him. He didn't and Seymour almost takes the hand-off and stops Jones for a 3 yard loss. Setting up 3rd and 11 and then the eventual punt.
Seymour was not alone. The entire D-line played great. Tommy Kelly is bringing it and he actually ended up with an actual game ball from his coach. Shaughnessy and Houston did a great job of sealing off the edge on the run and they were all consistently applying pressure on Cassel.
Nnam isn't the only one with:
Before the season started, losing Nnam to an injury was my biggest fear with this team. This was still an above average group of corners without him. I thought CJ played awesome. The first PI is as good as d a DB can play. He also help set the second half tone when he laid out Chambers and then broke up the slant play two plays later. The Chiefs thought they were going to be able to expose CJ. The Chiefs thought wrong.
Routt played his usual solid D (I know, it still sounds weird to me too). And Ware did way better than a 7th round pick should when being thrown onto a man-to-man island.
Campbell is one resilient bastard. There were so many times I had written him off in this game. The first half certainly wasn't entirely his fault. The WRs didn't help him, but he was getting hit, he was missing throws, people were dropping his passes and he looked bad. He hung in there though and he saved his best throws for last.
A perfect example: JC missed a wide open DHB on 2nd and 11 on the last drive in regulation. This was an easy throw and it would have been a big gainer. This was just another time that I thought the game was over. Next play though, JC threaded the needle to JLH for a huge first down.
Then there was the OT throw. A great throw. He hit Ford in stride. He led him to the open part of the field, which made it easier for him and Ford and...game over.
On the day, I thought JC's deep passes were excellent. He underthrew Ford early on the flea flicker, but I am giving him a pass on this one. It was wet and as he caught the flick he hesitated. I don't think this was the kind of hesitation that plagues Campbell as much as he had to get a decent grip on a wet ball to chuck it deep. And yeah he underthrew it, but he threw a wet ball 60 yards. It's not like this was due to bad aim.
This was a ridiculous display of awesomeness. I've got nothing to add that hasn't been said.
Hey Everybody, I Found My:
Welcome back the the NFL JLH. Higgins finally made some plays and one was huge and it was over the middle in traffic.
I Know How To Handle My:
Barnes caught his first TD more cleanly than most of the passes to the WRs get caught. It was a short throw, but it had a decent amount of zip.
Check Out My Versatile:
I felt this was Wimbley and Groves best all around game. They did a great job of holding the edge on the run and Wimbley even made a nice pass defensed play on a big 3rd and 1. Both men closed out well when the backs did catch the ball outside.
Two clutch kicks and the choke label from the AZ game begins to fade away. Life is more fun when it is easy to like Seabass.