Don't Kill The Mellinger

Chiefs Rewatch: Reid’s perfect game, Smith’s good and bad and template to beat Chiefs' defense?

Updated: 2013-11-11T20:19:55Z

By SAM MELLINGER

The Kansas City Star

- Andy Reid is pitching a perfect game here. There are good players on this team, don’t get me wrong. But this is not the most talented team in the league and they are undefeated in part, yes, because of an easy schedule and lots of breaks. But he’s making the most of what he has, too.

- Like, for instance, we talk a lot about the aggressive defense and all of that. But look at how the offensive line blocks. They tend to give up much more pressure early than late, which is a sign of adjustments.

- And look at how Jamaal Charles was used. There were times early you wondered if they forgot about him, but as president of the Save Jamaal Charles club I can’t talk about such things. After the game, you look, see 17 carries and 90 yards and think that’s about where they should be.

- Marquise Goodwin is so freaking fast. Seriously. We can talk about Kendrick Lewis taking a bad route on that touchdown, and I guess he did. But that’s sort of like saying you took a bad route when you were trying to run down a Ferrari. That was incredible.

- If we’re just talking about Alex Smith’s arm, I’m not sure how different he is than Matt Cassel (he’ll miss open receivers that he HAS to hit, for instance). That’s the part that the haters will focus on.

- But if we’re talking about the bigger challenge of playing quarterback … well, he’s a very good athlete (that play he made in the second quarter, getting away from what should’ve been two sacks, scrambling to his left and finding Bowe for a third down conversion) and he makes very good decisions (on pace to roughly equal the fumble/interception rate of 2011, his last full season, when he took the 49ers within a fluke special teams turnover of the Super Bowl).

- There’s enough there that you can make your case to love Smith or hate him and feel good about your argument, is what I’m saying.

- All that said, if you’re Alex Smith, and that’s your skill set, you need to have better awareness than he had on that fumble early in the second quarter. Eric Fisher saved him by recovering that ball.

- Which makes it a good time to mention that Fisher played a damn good game, against a damn good pass rush. That potential we’ve been talking about here is showing up.

- Derrick Johnson is an All Pro player at the height of his powers.

- You guys are crazy if you think Bowe’s drop in the second quarter cost the Chiefs a touchdown. Seriously? Should’ve been a first down, but if he catches it, there are three Bills players in front of him and two Chiefs blockers. It’s a short gain. Sets up first-and-goal.

- Mike DeVito played a hell of a game. Maybe his best of the season. Curious to see how Pro Football Focus grades him.

- Spiller’s big run in the second quarter … looked like he made a great read on where Poe was attacking, and then took advantage of some great blocking. Akeem Jordan, in particular, got wiped out by the pulling guard.

- Marcus Cooper keeps playing at a Pro Bowl level. That play he made late in the second quarter absolutely, no-question-about-it saved four points.

- Oh, Dexter. How did you drop that ball?

- The Chiefs missed more tackles against Buffalo than I can remember them missing all season. That’s a concern. C.J. Spiller is a hell of a player, obviously, but that 61-yard run he had early in the third quarter would’ve been an eight-yard gain if Eric Berry (who’s having a Pro Bowl year) wraps up. Kendrick Lewis and Brandon Flowers also missed tackles on the play.

- Of all the lucky breaks the Chiefs have had and will get this season, a b.s. pass interference call on Derrick Johnson (he didn’t REALLY interfere, and the ball was uncatchable) turning into a 100-yard pick-six because Sean Smith blew the coverage bad enough to be in the right spot when the backup quarterback missed the WIDE open receiver and hit the press corner in the numbers … well, that’s going to be tough to top.

- I mean, if Tuel makes the right read and hits a WIDE open Stevie Johnson in the end zone, it’s 17-3 Buffalo. If he just goes fetal position or throws the ball away, it’s a field goal and 13-3 Buffalo. Instead, he goes Cassel/Palko/Quinn/Croyle and it’s 10-10.

- I’m curious to see if the quick drops and reads Buffalo used are the template on how to beat this Chiefs defense and, specifically, the pass rush. To make it work, you need receivers who can get quick separation and, ideally, a running back who can make screen passes work.

- But that seems like a better plan than asking backup tackles to block Tamba Hali and Justin Houston for three hours.

- That roughing the passer call on Flowers in the third quarter, the one that prolonged a drive that eventually ended in a Bills field goal, really was b.s.

- The Sean Smith play kept the game from getting close to out of hand, but it was the Cooper-strip-and-Tamba-pickup that put the Chiefs in charge.

- Marcus F. Cooper is what I’m saying.

- This offensive line has, mostly, been OK in pass protection and bad in run blocking but they do have a knack for getting it done late in games when the defense knows what’s coming. For all the talk about how lucky the Chiefs are getting — and, c’mon, they’re getting SO lucky — this is a valuable and big-time skill.

- Last week, I felt like we didn’t really learn anything new about the Chiefs. This week, I feel like the All-22 video will be especially instructive, so we’re going to have a double-rewatch week. Twitter Tuesday tomorrow, another All-22 Wednesday. Might as well.

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