Don't Kill The Mellinger

Chiefs-Browns rewatch: Derrick Johnson, Andy Reid, Knile Davis, Sean Smith and the offensive line

Updated: 2013-11-01T17:51:45Z

By SAM MELLINGER

The Kansas City Star

- 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.

- Andy Reid had 14 years of a track record in Philadelphia, so I’m not saying that half a season here wipes that out, but … wasn’t the biggest knock on him that he couldn’t manage a game? Couldn’t manage the clock? Wasted timeouts, or didn’t use them? He’s 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. They’re showing a lot of creativity and trust in McCluster’s talents. That’s 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, would’ve been a touchdown. When the schedule tightens up, the Chiefs’ offense just isn’t 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 game’s relative struggles. I don’t 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 hasn’t had one of those long runs that have defined his career, and I’m sure it’s an oversimplification, but I’m 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, that’s 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 I’m OK with this, mostly because he’s been very good this year and also because the way the Chiefs play defense they’re 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 they’re 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 Bowe’s way much with Joe Haden locked in coverage. I’m actually fine with this, because Bowe isn’t close to 100 percent right now, and maybe it can open other options if the other team’s 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 Avery’s numbers it probably would’ve 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 don’t know if actual facts and statistics back this up, but it seems like those are good times to try to hit a big one.

- This Chiefs defense turns into mutant ninjas from the future in the fourth quarter.

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