Don't Kill the Mellinger

Columnist Sam Mellinger's thoughts on sports and other important stuff

Chiefs 17, Texans 16: Insta-reaction


10/20/2013 6:23 PM

05/16/2014 10:30 AM

- This defense, man. FAR too much is being put on them -- it’s not fair, really -- but so far they keep answering. We can talk about the Broncos when the Broncos games happen, but right now, man, in a league with nothing but flawed teams there aren’t many with strengths like this to rely on.



that phantom, zone-read-to-nobody fake that Alex Smith scored on.

- The first half was, probably, the offense’s best half of the season. Did a lot of things they need to do, including downfield throws and — especially — involving Dwayne Bowe (four catches for 52 yards on six targets).

- Honestly, the two touchdown drives in the first half are as good as the Chiefs can be on offense. Diversity in the playcalling and playmakers, enough down-the-field stuff to keep defenses from stacking on Sherpa Charles.

- Speaking of the Sherpa, he was terrific. Again. Pro Football Focus will have the numbers soon enough, but I’m guessing he made five tacklers miss, at least. Running backs are supposed to be disposable in the NFL, but Charles is playing as well as just about anyone in the league.

- Anthony Fasano is a terrific addition. We’ve been spending a lot of time talking about how Tony Gonzalez isn’t being traded here, but if Fasano can be effective, it’s another weapon for an offense that needs it.

- After two crummy games in a row, Smith went eight of nine for 79 yards on the 97-yard touchdown drive.

- Overall, without watching it again, Smith had a very Smith day. Made some big plays with his athlete-ness, made mostly good decisions, left some plays on the field that leave you wanting.

- Mostly, he has to make that 4th and goal pass. And throwing out of bounds when Jamaal Charles is streaking down the left sideline against a linebacker can’t happen.

- The offensive line was pretty good, I think, with a few notable exceptions. This is one of those things you always want to save until a rewatch, but Fisher vs. Watt wasn’t the mess it could’ve been.

- I liked the call to go for it on 4th and goal from the one. If you don’t get it, they take over at the 1. Didn’t work out, obviously — Smith has to make that throw — but I like the idea. Especially at home. Advanced metrics agree with me, too.

- This is obvious by now, and

something I’ve written plenty about

, but the offense needs to be better. Whatever problems you have at 7-0 are great problems to have, obviously, but if the offense isn’t going to be explosive they can’t turn it over like that in the fourth quarter, and they need to covert 4th and goal from the 1.

- The Chiefs are having as lucky a start to this season as they could ever hope for, but the dropoffs from Schaub to Keenum and Foster to Tate aren’t enormous. Keenum’s first touchdown pass is as good as you can throw a ball, and Tate is very solid. Not as quick as Foster, but still very effective.

- That fourth quarter interception on the replay, it looked like McCluster broke the route short. Also looked like a bad throw by Smith. Whatever, the Chiefs offense just can’t do that in that situation. Putting WAY too much on the defense.


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