Don't Kill The Mellinger

Chiefs Rewatch: Good coaching, Knile Davis’ ups (and downs), and the beginning of Dee Ford?

Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) and Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey (97) rushed Miami Dolphins tackle Branden Albert (71) in the second quarter at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. on September 21, 2014. The Chiefs won 34-15.
Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) and Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey (97) rushed Miami Dolphins tackle Branden Albert (71) in the second quarter at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. on September 21, 2014. The Chiefs won 34-15. The Kansas City Star

▪ The interior of the Chiefs defensive line played pretty well. Disrupted the Dolphins’ pocket, and made some nice tackles between the, um, tackles.

▪ So much of this was Allen Bailey, who was terrific, again. The same way we saw Dontari Poe emerge last year, I wonder if we’re seeing Bailey do the same this year. He’s less of a high-ceiling talent than Poe, obviously, but a very effective player.

▪ The Dolphins’ tackling, by contrast, was atrocious. Good grief. They’ve got problems.

▪ You know the Chiefs had to have seen something on the Dolphins’ tape to call a reverse with A.J. Jenkins and Frankie Hammond. Andy Reid called a heck of a game (again) so let’s let that one slide.

▪ The offensive line gave up five sacks, but not all of that was blocking. Alex Smith has to do a better job getting the ball out quickly at times. And Reid should make sure there’s always a safety valve for Alex. The quarterback and coach both know they have problems up front, so it’s up to them to adjust.

▪ Speaking of the offensive line, I think they’re making small steps of progress. Some of that is how badly they started, but you can tell there have been adjustments. Particularly in the run game, they’re doing some nice things. Sealing blocks, even getting downfield.

▪ Didn’t notice on a punt in the first quarter, when the refs called a holding penalty on Cyrus Gray, Dolphins defensive back Michael Thomas tried to give the official a high-five. The ref didn’t bite. Nicely done by both sides.

▪ At what point did punt returners start returning EVERYTHING, even inside the five? I blame Dante Hall.

▪ Knile Davis doesn’t have very good lateral quickness, and as a receiver he could use some work, but there is a lot to like about him if he has to take a bigger role. He doesn’t mess around with the ball, always going downhill, rarely tackled on first contact.

▪ By the way, Davis running hard and the Dolphins tackling like drunk frat boys was a good combination for the Chiefs.

▪ As good as he was, Davis REALLY needs to improve as a blocker. He’s a liability in pass situations. I counted two sacks (including the safety) that can be blamed at least in part on him. Maybe another hurry, too. Combined with the fumbling, this is what’s going to hold him back if he doesn’t improve.

▪ Ryan Tannehill would be a frustrating quarterback to root for. The talent is all there. Good arm, athletic, a lot to like. But the decisions are sporadic, and the accuracy is very inconsistent.

▪ Actually, the Dolphins would be a frustrating team to root for. There’s a lot of clueless in their game.

▪ Dontari Poe had a good game. It’s important for him to back up what he did last year, and he’s been disruptive, at times even against double teams.

▪ Dwayne Bowe’s not going to be on this team next year, you guys. Not on that contract, anyway. Which is going to make passing on a receiver in this past draft hurt a little more.

▪ Anybody know if Tamba Hali or Branden Albert were mic’d up? Because I’m pretty sure that would be awesome.

▪ If a player has ever telegraphed that he was going to try to hurdle someone, Travis Kelce did it in the fourth quarter. We’re going to like watching Kelce this year.

▪ It’s really nice to see the Chiefs well-coached again, huh? What a difference.

▪ One of the things you particularly notice is all the different personnel groups on offense. Travis Kelce, at least with his pass catching, is the biggest part of this and we’re all starting to see why internally the Chiefs were so frustrated that he couldn’t play at all last year. This is one of the places where Reid and Smith are a good match for each other, because both are especially good at getting tight ends in good spots.

▪ The Dolphins did a lot of the damage to themselves, of course, but the Chiefs defense was pretty spectacular. Miami’s only touchdown came on a very short field after Smith fumbled. The Chiefs did a good job at the line of scrimmage, but also had their corners and linebackers making plays in space.

▪ Sean Smith is at the top of that list. He played really, really well. He led the team in the (sarcasm font) all-important pregame swag department, I assume because he was playing his old team. When Smith is focused (which I don’t always think is the case) he’s pretty good. I think he’d have had an interception on a deflected pass in the fourth quarter, too, but seemed to tweak his knee and was distracted.

▪ As good as Knile Davis and Joe McKnight both were, if you combined both players best strengths, improved the blocking and added some lateral quickness, well, you’d basically have Jamaal Charles.

▪ When defensive coordinators get a look at the film of Joe McKnight’s first game with the Chiefs, one of the first things they’re going to do is make sure defensive linemen and slower linebackers aren’t asked to cover him in pass patterns. This is a good example of Reid’s coaching, too, of finding mismatches and exploiting them.

▪ Vance Walker should play more.

▪ If Dee Ford becomes the player the Chiefs drafted him to become, I wonder if we’ll look at this game as the beginning.

To reach Sam Mellinger, call 816-234-4365 or send email to smellinger@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @mellinger.

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