Welcome to yet another new feature here on the blog — The Red Zone Film Room. Each week, I plan on breaking down a few plays from the previous week's game, supplemented by insight from the players and coaches who participated in them.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
I'll also pass along any trends and stats I dig up as I sit down and analyze the film and gather research from across of the web in an effort to help you become as knowledgeable as possible about the Chiefs.
Now, with those pleasantries out of the way, let's dive into the offense-only edition of the film room. Today, we'll take a look at Junior Hemingway's first career NFL touchdown, Eric Fisher's introduction to the NFL, and a play that shows Jamaal Charles' versatility as a receiver.
Hemingway's magic moment
With the Chiefs facing a first-and-goal at the Jaguars' 3-yard line in the first quarter Sunday, second-year receiver Junior Hemingway had a hunch the ball would come his way — he just prayed it would actually happen.
“Alex called the play,” Hemingway said. “I had an inside post on that and read the coverage. It was Cover 2, but I know Alex had to go through his progressions. So he went through his progressions, the flat was covered and he came back. I just had to make sure I was there at the right time and he put the ball in there and I made the catch.”
Watch the route develop here, and keep an eye on Smith's eyes, too. He looks for tight end Anthony Fasano — and possibly receiver Dexter McCluster — to his right, then comes back to Hemingway over the middle.
See? Smith went through his progressions and Hemingway was where he was supposed to be at just the right time and also gets bonus points for leaping high to snare the pass and hold onto the ball on the way down.
“It was split safeties, they were playing Cover 2 and I kind of just ran into the void,” Hemingway said. “He put it up where he could go get it and that's all she wrote.”
Fisher doesn't fold
Eric Fisher allowed three quarterback hurries and a sack on Sunday,
His first bad snap came on the third offensive play of the game. He's going against Jaguars defensive end, who fires out of his stance in a Wide 9 technique. In the third still, you'll see Fisher was bull-rushed and pushed back into Smith, who managed to get rid of the ball into time to avoid a sack.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid didn't miss the play.
“Well, Jason got him on the first one, on the first pass rush,” Reid said. “Jason is one of the better pass rushers in the National Football League, but then he just settled down after that.”
Indeed. I watched every offensive play, and from what I could tell, it was one of three quarterback hurries Fisher gave up all day. One of them was a sack, in which Babin sped past Fisher's outside shoulder and chased Smith — who had already been flushed out of the pocket by the pressure — down in the backfield.
In all, Babin pass rushed Fisher 13 times on Sunday, and Fisher held his own all but twice (defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks had the other pressure vs. Fisher).
The education of Fisher, who also seemed to be a tad slow to react on a handful of stunts, will continue Sunday, when Dallas Cowboys sack master DeMarcus Ware comes to town.
Charles the Quick
Here's a brief breakdown of one of my favorite plays from Sunday, and I suspect its something Chiefs fans had better get used to. It's Jamaal Charles playing wide receiver!
The play starts innocuously. Charles lines up behind a fullback, Smith makes a call — it looks like he saw a weakness in the defense — and the Chiefs' offensive formation shifted, as Charles jogged out wide to the sideline like a wideout. Let's just say it confused Jacksonville.
A linebacker finally runs out to cover Charles, and at this point, Dwayne Bowe — who is located on the other side of the field — knew there was no way Smith would be coming his way.
“We said 'Man, if you get a linebacker out there he's going to throw it, he's not even going to worry about my side,'” Bowe said.
This was Charles' play, all the way, and No. 25 delivers, beating Geno Hayes with a sick move on the line of scrimmage and hauling in a 15-yard gain on an inside slant.
It was a thing of beauty, even to Bowe.
“He ran it, flattened it off, caught it,” Bowe said.
It's also something you can probably expect more of. Reid has a history of putting his running backs to work in the passing game, and Bowe thinks Charles is ready for the workload.
“Even though his main job is definitely to run the ball, we've got a lot of pass concepts for him that he's learned and mastered well,” Bowe said. “He's going to be hard to stop from running and catching the ball, so that's one thing we look forward too.”
Other offensive musings
• Alex Smith attempted 34 passes, completing 21 of them. Would you believe that of those 34 passes, only one went longer than 19 yards? It was the overthrow to tight end Anthony Fasano, the one down the numbers, that the Chiefs tried on their first play of the game.
One thing also worth noting — Smith completed passes to nine different receivers. Not bad.
“I think the more guys you can utilize the more pressure it puts on a defense,” Reid said. “If you have to cover everybody, you can't favor one guy and that's always been part of this offense. Move it around and give everybody an opportunity.”
This is an important quote, I think, particularly for those concerned about Dwayne Bowe's four-catch, 30-yard effort. He was targeted six times, but it sure sounds like Reid is going to spread it around good this year.
• If you read The Star's snap-count observations, you probably noticed that rookie running back Knile Davis logged 15 offensive snaps, five more than fellow backup Cyrus Gray. But as far as I could tell, eight of Gray's snaps came on third down, and three of those even came in the first half when Charles was healthy, so it looks like he's carved out a bit of a role for himself.
“We mixed it up a bit,” Reid said. “You saw Knile in there, he was in for a few snaps. We're using Cyrus in some third-down situations...you could say he's a veteran. He hasn't been at it that long, but he's been at it longer than Knile.”
To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.