The Good, The Bad, The Ugly on 28 Sep 08: Chiefs 1-3

The Good

– Larry Johnson returned to form and pounded the rock for 198 yards, and a greater than 7 ypc average

– DJ showed up and made 5 tackles, forced a key fumble, and got on INT

– Carr got the first INT for our CBs for the season

– Demorrio Williams energized the defense in his first start at WLB; I don’t think Donnie Edwards will be getting that starting spot back (which means he might be able to replace Pat Thomas at MLB, eh?)

– The O-line helped keep Huard’s uniform relatively clean, and gave him some time for long throws, as well as sealing the perimeter and/or opening holes for LJ’s long runs

– We held Denver’s rushing attack to 94 yards, Selvin Young to less than 50 yards, and Brandon Marshall to well under 100 yards receiving

The Bad

– We gave up 361 yards and 60% on completions to Cutler; then again, he’s a very good QB  (Bonus fact: more than half the time, QBs get 300+ yd passing games in losses)

– A 4-1 turnover ratio should probably have resulted in more than a 14-point margin of victory; this team still has to improve to be a truly good team

– We allowed more than 100 yards receiving to Eddie Royal

The Ugly

– We left TonyG 2 or 3 yards short of the TE yardage receiving record; one obvious place to have thrown the ball to Tony was on our 1-10 from the Denver 43 with 2:04 on the clock.  The clock will stop at the 2-minute warning whether or not it is complete; but the play resulted in a 34-yd run for LJ, so I’m not complaining

– Huard just missed Bowe on several long completions; throwing just about a foot too far toward the sideline in each case;  bring those balls one foot in toward the center of the field, and Bowe has 3 more catches, approaches 150 yards, and the Chiefs have 4 more points

– Albert went out with a serious injury; the early word is it was a dislocated elbow, and no prognosis for his return was given

Reasons for Optimism

– The O-line is improving.  Huard was sacked only once, and had time for long passes without getting hit on numerous others

– Demorrio Williams provided a spark at LB, and DJ showed up to make some huge plays; if we continue to get this level of play from our LBs, we become a decent team that is still on the rise

– Our D-line was very active in stuffing the Bronco rushing game; Dorsey, Tyler, and McBride combined for 7 solo tackles: speaking very generally, that’s 7 rushes stuffed at the line of scrimmage, putting the Broncos in 2nd or 3rd and Long situations (which makes the job of stopping the opposing team much easier)

– Hustle is evident in all phases of the game; it stood out most in McBride hustling downfield to not only hit the WR, but knock the ball loose for a Chief to recover

– For anyone who hates Herm as a coach, you cannot separate the way the team played today from Herm’s coaching.  As these players continue to improve, we will see more inspired play, more dominating performances

Reasons for Pessimism

– Huard was our starting QB; he isn’t the future for the Chiefs, and we still don’t know if Brodie Croyle can do as good or better

– This was the team at its best; the Raiders or Atlanta game might have been the team at its worst, but the odds are that we will not be able to match this performance for the rest of the games this season

Key Takeaways

– We aren’t 0-4 at the end of the game this week; it feels nice to have a win and end that losing streak!

– the right side of our O-line has improved and is no longer the worst in the league; in fact, we might have vaulted all the way to “above average”, but we’ll need to see the same performance a few more games (and against better pass-rushing defenses) to be sure

– As a group, our LBs are no longer sub-par; I’m saying this for the third time, but it can’t be said too often: Demorrio Williams provided a huge spark with his enthusiasm and performance; the unit played more disciplined and effectively as a group than they have all season; if this keeps up, the LBs will no longer be a weakness (but should still be a target for early draft picks in the upcoming off-season)

– This team will still struggle at times this year; this is one game, and one shouldn’t assume that we’ve turned the corner with just one win; but right now, there is reason for optimism for next year

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