- The pattern seems to be that Eric Fisher gets beat early, then tightens up later. From what I can tell, this is a combination of scheme (giving him more help, for instance) and a smart, engaged, talented guy making adjustments.
By SAM MELLINGER
The Kansas City Star
- Andy Reid had 14 years of a track record in Philadelphia, so Im not saying that half a season here wipes that out, but wasnt the biggest knock on him that he couldnt manage a game? Couldnt manage the clock? Wasted timeouts, or didnt use them? Hes been damn near perfect so far, with another won challenge against the Browns and, of course, the won challenge that ended up breaking the Giants game open.
- Derrick Johnson played a MONSTER game, has to be one of the best of his career. All over the field, a wicked combination of speed and smarts and instincts. This is a Pro Bowl player at the height of his powers.
- Each week, it seems, the coaching staff is showing one more wrinkle in getting Dexter McCluster involved more in the offense. Theyre showing a lot of creativity and trust in McClusters talents. Thats something the previous two coaching staffs never really figured out.
- That first quarter pass, on the second drive, Alex Smith just has to hit the pass to Anthony Fasano. He was wide open, wouldve been a touchdown. When the schedule tightens up, the Chiefs offense just isnt good enough to leave points on the field like that.
- Devone Bess played scared against the Chiefs defense.
- There seems to be a tendency for a lot of fans to trash the Chiefs offensive line when it comes to the passing games relative struggles. I dont see it, and actually think this is lazy thinking. Fisher has certainly had some rough moments, but the rest of the line holds up OK in the passing game. Albert and Asamoah have been good, Hudson and Schwartz/Allen have been OK. Overall not great, but certainly not terrible. Looks like a league average line to me, with Reid/Pederson using some quick drops and Smith using his legs to get by.
- The run blocking, on the other hand Charles is running into way too many brick walls. He still hasnt had one of those long runs that have defined his career, and Im sure its an oversimplification, but Im putting a lot of that on the line.
- Heck of a catch by McCluster on the touchdown. Good pocket, too.
- Terez touched on this in his snap count observations, but if the Chiefs trust Knile Davis to not fumble, thats a heck of a thing going forward to keep Jamaal Charles from aging in dog years this season.
- Sean Smith had a rough game, but Im OK with this, mostly because hes been very good this year and also because the way the Chiefs play defense theyre just going to give up some big plays. They rely so much on pressure, and in the process put a lot of responsibility on the secondary (particularly the cornerbacks in press coverage). This gives those guys the opportunity to make big plays, but it also gives the guys theyre covering those same opportunities. Plus, one of those big plays Smith gave up he got picked by a wide receiver coming across the middle.
- Hey, look! The Chiefs ran that shotgun-fake-handoff-to-the-running-back play again, but this time Smith was able to fake handoff to an actual breathing mammal instead of a ghost.
- Sure looked like the Chiefs sort of gave up on looking Bowes way much with Joe Haden locked in coverage. Im actually fine with this, because Bowe isnt close to 100 percent right now, and maybe it can open other options if the other teams best cornerback is occupied.
- There was a pass early in the fourth quarter that looked like a Tyler Palko-type thing live. It was a short pass on a quick slant to Donnie Avery, and the ball was thrown way behind Avery. Watching again, though, you see that if the ball was thrown to Averys numbers it probably wouldve been pick-sixed by the inside linebacker. You never know, of course, but it looks like Smith saw that, adjusted the throw, and was either going to let Avery make a hell of an adjustment for the catch or live to play another down and make the Browns score against the Chiefs badass defense. Tough to fault that logic.
- I know it turned into mud, but I like the idea behind the flea flicker in the fourth quarter. If you remember, it came right after the Browns gave it away on that muffed punt. Now, I dont know if actual facts and statistics back this up, but it seems like those are good times to try to hit a big one.