K.C. Chiefs: Playing To Not Lose

 

 

Over the last 4 weeks we have gotten starting players back from injury. We have played opponents we should beat, at least on paper. The offense and defense look different than the first five games. We seem to have shifted the game plan from playing to win into playing to not lose. That isn’t the DNA of this team.

 

I wrote before about noticing how we aren’t using the speed of our offense the same way. We aren’t putting the players in motion like before. Instead we line up and stay until the snap. This makes it easier on the defense and doesn’t create the confusion we should be generating.

 

We have also seen the effectiveness of Kareem Hunt fall off. I think this is also related to the lack of motion pre snap. We need to get the defense moving so Alex Smith can see where the holes will open. With all of our offensive weapons, we should be generating way more points than what we are seeing.

 

 

 

With the return of Mitch Morse and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, our offensive line should have taken a step forward in pass protection and run blocking. Instead it seems we can’t open a lane for Hunt to get to the second level and the equipment manager is wasting time cleaning Smith’s jersey.

 

Where are the plays that made the team successful the first 5 games? The speed based plays, pre snap motion, multi-option pass/run plays? Attack the defense. Let the players make plays. Where has that gone?

 

On the defensive side, I think it might actually be worse. We lost Eric Berry at the start of the season. That is a tough loss for the team, but should not be the end of our season. Our defense is based on forcing turnovers and making big plays. We aren’t seeing very many of either this year.

 

 

 

The defensive backfield seems to back further from the line each game. Running a nickel or dime formation as much as we have been is troubling too. We are trying the bend don’t break technique, but we bend all the way to the goal line. That doesn’t work. In past years, we might bend to the red zone, but then stopped our opponents. While it doesn’t feel very good to give up so much yardage, not giving up the score… helped.

 

Each week Marcus Peters seems to make fewer tackles and just tries for the strip. Backing off from the line to try and bait the QB isn’t working. Pressing the WR at the line and disrupting routes and timing is what seemed to work early in the season and in the past.

 

 

 

Chris Jones, Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson, & Allen Bailey have been absent. I see this as a weak scheme an not so much a drop off in their capability. More of the sit back and defend instead of attack the quarterback. Jones and Houston should be on the stat sheet with a big play every week, Bailey and DJ should be making plays too. We aren’t seeing either.

 

Based on the results so far this season and the returning starters, I have to place the blame for the slide on the coaching. Are we coaching and calling plays to the strength of our players? That is the job of the coaching staff. Put the players in the best position to make a play. I am not seeing that happen recently.

 

 

 

 

Shot during the game have Andy Reid looking lost, Bob Sutton like a deer in the headlights. It is time to shake things up. Reid needs to start playing to win. He needs to tell Sutton to get that defense on attack and not sit back. If Sutton has a hard time finding the defensive calls for this, then get someone new. I think we all know Reid has a playbook with some nice plays. So, it isn’t that he doesn’t have the plays to call, it has to be that he doesn’t want to call them.

 

 

 

 

Playing a game so close, risks KC falling behind. The team has shown it can come from behind, but it isn’t really built to do that every week. We need to get out to a lead and not look back. The defense needs to put pressure on the offense to perform or make a mistake. It doesn’t take many mistakes to turn the game our way.

 

I don’t like watching our beloved Chiefs lose, but if I must watch it I prefer we go out swinging. Playing weak on defense or safe on offense it maddening. I think our players thrive on going for the big play. So, let’s give them the chance to win.

 

What do you guys think? Are you seeing anything different in this losing stretch?

 

Until next week, there’s The Rub!

 

 

If you are viewing this in Apple News and would like to join the Discussion, [GO HERE.](http://arrowheadone.com/kc-chiefs-playing-to-not-lose/#disqus_thread)

 

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Frank Leggio
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Frank Leggio

Frank Leggio is an operations director living in the Columbus, OH area.He has two sons and a couple of Beagles.He was born in Germany, went to high school in KS and college in CO.
Frank Leggio
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  • Homer Dave

    Hunt had 9 carries is what I read, is this true?

    • Homer Dave

      Yup, Hunt had 9 carries the entire game. Reid went and forgot about the RBs again it looks like. Actually yesterday’s game “looks like” 2016, hehe.

      • PaulFromNorthMo

        Makes you wonder if KH27 got dinged up. Maybe Reid just wanted to start his bye a little early.

        • Homer Dave

          My hope right now is that the team really is in need of a bye week in order to heal up, and after this they can get back on track. KC really did play a murderer’s row schedule wise and too many are acting like they haven’t.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            Yeah, none of these loses were really all that surprising. Away games on a short week are almost always detrimental to the win/loss record. Looking forward, I think we should win 5 out of the next 6.

          • Homer Dave

            the schedule definitely levels out and the (for now) time slots allow the players to get a routine going.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            A big thing on O is getting players used to each other again. There’s been a lot of shuffling on the line the past 2 weeks.

          • Homer Dave

            yup, the o-line needs to be rectified. they will get there I hope…it’s imperative imho.

    • drwillez37

      That’s just awful

  • drwillez37

    Now that the magic dust has washed away we’re back to Earth and back to the OLD WAYS I guess. It kills to see this team and Alex Smith just clam up and subit with little fight, the secondary is soooo bad the rest of the defense is so bad. How does a team that was so fun to watch turn back to a boring predictable dull fest. What happened? how is this fixed? The coached got some s-planning to dooo!!! This is why we bet the farm on Mahomes…no one and I do mean NO ONE saw the start that Alex had coming!!!! That’s was just something to tease us with, what our system looks like with a capable Qb unfortunately that Qb is no longer on the field. Now he’s the one waiting on the bench.

    • Homer Dave

      Oh, I dunno. Reid and Smith brought an entirely new offense out to begin the season and it caught people off guard. Problem now is that people have tape on both the system, Hunt, and most importantly Hunt.

      Mahomes is not going to fix the defense, that’s for sure, and hell…we don’t even know if Mahomes will fix the offense. Thing is, imho, both sides of the ball need fixed and we can throw in that kick-off returns need fixed as well. KC has nobody outside of Hill that can return either with any kind of consistency.

      • drwillez37

        I get that 100%…but I just feel like no one was expecting this kinda play from Smith…but who knows I’m only guessing I don’t like to think guys wouldn’t try you know pride and all…IDK things are ugly I’m upset. Losing 3 out of 4 sucks!!! I’m still a fan I was here during some real ugly years this is still better then that

        • Homer Dave

          The thing that confounds me, like that is real hard or something..lol, is that KC has had a 5 year window with which to make a real push towards a championship. Most team’s windows are more in the range of 2-3 years before attrition/contracts/age and all that catches up to them.

          I’m not done on KC for the season by a long shot but they are going to need some reinventing to make a real push in the playoffs and I’m just not sure the ability to do so is there right now with the talent available.

      • If teams have tape on the offense we started the year with, it isn’t helping much. We aren’t runnig that same offense with all the motion and multiple run and pass options. I would say it is mich more vanilla. So vanilla it is easy to key on Hunt, hide blitzes, have clear defensive responsibilities, and shut us down. We aren’t confusing anyone woth our offense the last 4 games.

        It is like Andy is playing the season like a game. Get out ahead and try to coast to the finish. Unfortunately that bites us sometimes.

        • drwillez37

          Maybe this is the playing possum technique…Reid pretends to forget how to call plays then when playoff time comes we go back to it…that’s just my stupid hoping for a bigger picture to look at…it’s just Andy doing Reid type things. Sutton better be busy these next 2 weeks and get his T.V. glasses ready

        • Homer Dave

          I do think Andy likes to coast too much, but I’m having a hard time agreeing with the tape from the beginning of the season thingy. When other teams start shutting down looks we all know that Smith and Reid go away from all that risky stuff.

          • Perhaps, but I don’t remember seeing any plays shut down with the motion and multi option pas/runs. I don’t see handoffs and shovel passes as risky. I am not talking about downfield passes really, just the motions we were using. I don’t see them and I do see plays that are vanilla shut down.

          • Homer Dave

            See? I view options that are performed behind the LOS as prohibitive as to spreading the field. Sure, when Man is being played sending a WR in motion is beneficial but when Zone is played those are wasted steps- everyone has their prerogatives and whatnot.

            Wanna but a zone? throw a slant- they are zone killers but Reid must not have got the text.

  • Homer Dave

    Just looking over the box score since I couldn’t watch the game yesterday and one thing on the defensive side of the ball is very discouraging at first glance. The tackle leaders yesterday were not the big name guys like Houston and Johnson. Looks like KPL (who I thought did a nice job with what little game I have seen so far) led, then it was all Secondary guys. Elliot ran 27 times yesterday and Prescott ran 3 times himself. The defensive front should have feasted.

    Point being, that while KC’s Secondary can surely use some bolstering, them not having to cover for the front seven could come in handy.

  • Homer Dave

    Hehe, I have seen this play so far….and I’m STILL not sure just how Murray missed it. Could have been a game changer.

    Ball went through Eric Murray’s chest, if I saw that correctly.— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) November 5, 2017

    • drwillez37

      I’m still in denial over that missed catch I swear I heard it hit him but it didn’t…apparently the MATRIX glitches and Witten ended up with the ball

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      That was eerily similar to the one Smith threw past Talib to Hill last week.

  • Homer Dave

    Also, no more Romo, lol.

    Chiefs are now 0-3 when Romo does the broadcasting, coincidence? I Think Not!! #RomoCurse #ChiefsKingdom— Lucky Lowskiano (@LowSki_30) November 6, 2017

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      Absolutely, nomo Romo.

  • Homer Dave

    Positive points that I have seen so far. It looks as if Ragland is starting to get his legs underneath him and KPL plays best when the tether is taken off of him so he can attack downhill. I’m actually beginning to feel better about this defense while they are in a traditional 3-4 instead of 5/10s.

    • tm1946

      Wow, give you a few more losses and we will have a roster of HOF just waiting for their busts to be minted.

      Want to beat the Chiefs in 2017, view the game film… it is all there.

      • Homer Dave

        rather unnecessarily rude in retort as to Hall of Fame hopefuls, and sideways at that.

        I do agree 100% about the tape though. Unless any team keeps ahead of the opponents game planning they are going to have a very hard time winning any given week. KC is no different than any other team in that regard.

  • berttheclock

    Speaking of the return of Morse, David Irving was asked about his sack and he noted Morse tends to lift his heels just prior to a snap.

  • Homer Dave

    and here is why you should never trust a grading system in order to ascertain if so-and-so did a good job in any game. Peters was hit for 4-5 and refuses to tackle if the runner has a head of steam going (Peters abandoning his side is not a boon) . Acker played like trash (even though he did have a couple of good plays sprinkled in there).

    And Smith…lol, naw.

    Grades and stats for every game so far this week:https://t.co/umrNf5jhKE pic.twitter.com/dnyygrcUgx— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 6, 2017

  • tm1946

    IMO, only, we are seeing Andy Reid at his finest. We will have a winning record and probably crawl into the playoffs (please do not say the playoffs are a different animal – this team will get smoked by any team that can execute their offense and the QB can “manage” to control himself. Reid will do enough on offense to win enough to make the HOF but the Chiefs are stuck. Sad but true.

    The individual players are for after the season…. just because we got no options, We dance with the slightly overweight girl we brought to the prom. This roster is not good and cannot/will not change. But we will win enough to remember Reid is a genius.

    • berttheclock

      Keep up the good fight. Interesting to read comments from some who, now, complain about the lack of quality play from various D-backs, but, who not long ago said the Chiefs were set at D-back and did not need to upgrade.

      • tm1946

        It is what it is…. recently called a doom and gloom – er. To me it is about entertainment. I look at the NFL as a side to the movie and tv industry. If it does not entertain me, I say so. Right now, the Chiefs look as bad as any of the loser teams we put up with under Lamar. Only difference is …. I have found there is a whole lot more to do than live or die or be a sunshine boy when it comes to the Chiefs. As for the rest of the NFL, this year have not seen a full quarter of NFL football when the Chiefs were not playing….variety of reasons but valid to me.

      • Homer Dave

        Haha, if only KC could go back and trade in every single draft pick for some player who panned out better but was drafted just a spot or more later. Of course, KC should have the luxury of waiting a year or two to decide who and when that would occur.

        Lordy I love revisionist history.

  • larry mckinney

    Chill lads. At the start of the season, would you have been happy with a 6 – 3 start and a two game lead in the divisions? Yes, the trend is not wonderful, but remember the season has many chapters and players’ efforts are not always consistent. They’re human after all. Someone telling me they’ve read the rest of the book would have to be tm, the glass 2/3 empty fan. I will hold on to the idea that nothing has been decided and that all goals remain in front of us.

    • tm1946

      Well I like the “nothing has been decided” part. But the rest…. well, will be considerate and say, be glad gravity is working today or you would be gone.

      Seriously, the Chiefs are here for entertainment. If you find the last three losses entertaining, I see it. IMO, I see little of anything resembling a professional team… the last three losses. The future? Who knows, but would suggest to return to the team that won 5 games is nearly impossible…. it would require almost every starter to be healed and playing at a level, they are not capable of doing. I suspect there are at least 5 more wins in the future but 10 wins, while nice, means little if a SB is of any interest…. that is entertainment to me.

      • larry mckinney

        I see an ebb and flow. I feel better today than at 1 and 5 in 2015. And this year I felt less confident at 5 and 0 than I did in 2015 after 10 straight wins. The playoffs are conquered by good teams that get hot at the right time. The influx of new players this year allows me some optimism in hoping that this good team could yet get hot. The past is not always a defining prologue for the future.

        • berttheclock

          As George Santyana said, “Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it”.

          But, I have found older Generals in many nations tend to plan for the future by trying to fight the old wars. Those who tend to come up with futuristic visions of fighting are often the younger officers.

          • tm1946

            You sure about Santyana? Never heard of him. Think it may be in either Greek writings or the Art of War… I am wrong most of the time.

            Ref: last paragraph – what happened to the French General staff during WWI, younger want to be generals feed this false true-ism.

        • tm1946

          I like it. could we discuss the influx of new players? Hunt, Ragland, Logan, the kicker, and ____ am sure I missed some but they do not seem building blocks… even Hunt, RBs are known for going as fast as they arrive without supporting cast, you can run him into the ground (sort of like Poe).

    • berttheclock

      Six and three leads a very weak division. This team is not built for the far more important task of winning in the playoffs.

      • tm1946

        Your last statement is telling, at least to me. Reid is a different kind of cat. Ever notice how he seems to get so wrapped up in his chart, he does not know there is a game going on. By winning 10 to 10+ games a year, gets consideration for the HOF and doesn’t not get fired (someone said coaches are hired to be fired). Like the Hunt family, a SB is nice but beside the point.

      • larry mckinney

        But they could be. You may be right, but time will tell. Lots of season left Bert. And three of four teams in division are not weak teams, sputtering, yes. Happily the right team is circling the toilet – yet another reason to be cheerful.

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      Honestly, when the schedule came out, I thought we would be 5-4 at this point. We beat the Pats of course, but lost the other three I thought we would.
      With the league parity, the quality of play just isn’t that much different from one team to the next. records not withstanding (with the exception of the Browns). So many fans think having all these prime time games is a good thing, but with the exception of Sunday nights, I would rather not have them, especially if they are away games. Playing on the road on a short week is always a tough task.
      Even though both our Monday night games were at home, they were followed up by road games on a short week. The NFL schedule makers didn’t really do us any favors this year.

    • Homer Dave

      Thank you Larry. It’s times like these that I remember the last time that KC went in to a serious funk and there was like 1 to 2 people saying to cool our horses. So, in the immortal words of CKAs, and I paraphrase here: “quit yer damn whining everyone”.

  • berttheclock

    I have compared Andy Reid to George Karl. I happened to live in Seattle when Karl was the HC of the Supersonics. Following that stint, he went to Denver and ended up with the Sacramento Kings. Lots and lots of regular season game wins, but, he never could put together a team to win the ultimate championship. Andy Reid is the same type of coach

    • tm1946

      Philly put up with Reid until he had back to back losing season (think that is close to correct) then he got ran. Clark Hunt will not run him if he can win at least 9 games a year…. fans can just sit back and enjoy the ride or not.

      • PaulFromNorthMo

        Reid did get Philly to the Super Bowl, didn’t win it but did get there. It isn’t very hard to name all the Chiefs head coaches that did the same.

        • Frank Rodela

          He also go them to the NFC Championship Game 4 years in a row, the last year being the Super Bowl berth

        • tm1946

          And still got fired. We are having a great regular season run…. give the devil his due. But if you want a SB or a year in, year out dangerous team…. not so much… 10 wins is not a dangerous team…. 8 games at home (in theory) and steal 2 on the road… easy peasy unless you are Cleveland.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            I understand your point, I’m just not sure who is better. Right now we could say we should have kept Pederson, but will he be this good consistently, or does he just have better players.
            Maybe the problem was/is the players Dorsey has given Reid to work with.

          • tm1946

            Who knew Pederson would select a winning QB or could coach at that level…. you take a chance or sit with Reid…. I am at an age where chances are looking better.

  • drwillez37

    Watching that’s disgraceful 3rd and 15 sand the entire defense just standing around like morons leaving a wide open receiver to catch the ball is killing me!!!! That has happened 3 to 4 times a game weekly

  • freshmeat62

    Is someone in the Chiefs offensive huddle wearing a wire? What else would explain the opposing d-line getting across the LOS before the Chiefs? I guess there is the option that they aren’t very good. I had high hopes for them at the start of the season, but man they suck!

    Also since the trade deadline is past, I’d do everything I could to protect the reputation of Peters the rest of the season, and then see what they can get for him in a trade. His value is going down, down, down. Even Romo was telling how he can be beat. The last few weeks I’ve been trying to put a positive spin on him, but he’s getting beat. Him playing off 10-15 yards, all they have to do is throw some 5yd curls, and w/ 2 of those they have a 1st dn.

    • Stan Colbert

      A journalist tweeted that David Irving had watched film and discovered that Mitch Morse does something with his foot right before snapping the ball.

      • tm1946

        Think any Chiefs coach noticed? Doubt it, he is re-enforcements Reid said was coming.

        • Homer Dave

          Could very well have a coach on the sideline cursing under his breath every time that coach sees Morse give a “tell”. The thing about “tells” is that they are performed subconsciously. Even Morse probably doesn’t know that he is giving one.

        • Stan Colbert

          It was on the Twitter feed of Matt Derrick at Chiefsdigest so, I hope so!

    • berttheclock

      Irving said Morse lifts his heels just before a snap.

  • Stan Colbert

    The Chiefs have some great celebrations, though! Look we have always known who Ried is. Put him down for 10+ wins a year, and an earlier than expected playoff loss. They obviously miss Berry. The team seems soft, maybe old, maybe unfocused. The schedule upcoming is a schedule the Chiefs should go 7-1, but these guys are no super bowl contenders.

  • I asked that rhetorical question 3 hours before the game: Why didn’t the Chiefs go up tempo when things stagnate? Playing not to lose. I agree with that. 2nd half of the Denver game, for example. Even then, with about 7 minutes left in the game, they did move the ball but stalled, went 4th and 8. Alex had no one open, tried to force the ball to Kelce and had his 1st INT. TM1946 has it some too: Andy at his finest… Which I have ranted about in the past. 6-3. 3 up in the win column. But we need the team to flow on offense — they are not. WTF defense? C’mon Man(Attn Bob Sutton!!!! It ain’t working).

  • PaulFromNorthMo

    It could always be a lot worse. Our GM could be John Elway, who struggles not to look pissed off. Our head coach could be Vance Joseph, who just looks lost and confused. And we could be discussing our best option of QB between Larry, Moe and Curly.
    Or, we could be playing in our “new” home stadium of 30,000 of mostly our opponents fans.
    Or, we could have an owner planning on moving our team to a different state, an owner who looks as if his family tree has as many branches as a telephone pole.

    • tm1946

      Or we could be NE GM with several SB and no one kneeling before games. Lots of “ors”, guess I am tired of just sitting here, watching Reid and his fiasco for the next 10 years…. 10 regular season wins and nothing in the playoffs…. why…. that is what he does.

      • PaulFromNorthMo

        The thing with the Pats, the GM and HC are one guy. Reid tried that in Philly and that’s when things went south for him IIRC.
        Several other teams have tried to emulate Belichick, but it has never worked west of Massachusetts.

        • Homer Dave

          YUP, BB is an anomaly. I’m sure there is someone, somewhere who could do what BB does but he’s not wearing a HC cap right now.

    • Homer Dave

      PREACH it Brother Paul, PREACH IT!!

      • PaulFromNorthMo

        Haha, I would wager that there are at least 20 fanbases that wish there team was as good as ours.

        • Homer Dave

          and then some unless I miss my guess.

  • Homer Dave

    White is goners

    Colts claim CB D.J. White off waivers, sign CB Denzel Rice to practice squad https://t.co/Tf8jswIFIw pic.twitter.com/91nHmmTbsS— Stampede Blue (@StampedeBlue) November 6, 2017

  • Homer Dave

    It also helps that when you are trying to run the ball that you know, you actually try to run the ball more than say…9 damn times!

    Via Paylor. “Yesterday we didn’t run near as well as we should’ve,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “They were doing some things to try to stop that, but even with that you should still be effective. You can’t go backwards running the football.”
    Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs/article183114801.html#storylink=cpy

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      I’m distraught after that loss…..the winds officially left my sails…..we got beat on offense, defense, special teams, coaching, clock management……they straight up bitch slapped us and took our lunch money.

      • Homer Dave

        Oh my, my man! Your fortitude proved me absolutely incorrect 2 years ago. I ain’t calling you my rock or anything, lol…but you were the one that never gave up during that crap-show of a 5-6 loss spell. Not sure if they will or not, but KC can still turn this around.

      • PaulFromNorthMo

        Distraught? Distraught you say, I say the River of Melancholy is both shallow and narrow!

  • Homer Dave

    Okay everyone, did you all see exactly why that last past from Stafford to his WR over the middle that went high is not a good pass? That was exactly what kind of pass Smith was expecting Kelce to bail him out on time after time last weekend. Sets the receiver up to get killed.

    • Homer Dave

      Nobody is commenting so I’ll fill you all in. The ball went high so the receiver had to jump in order to catch the ball. Thing is, when a receiver has to jump to that extent they usually have to turn around in order to catch the ball, and this leads them to becoming a defenseless receiver. “But Homer Dave, there are rules protecting ‘defenseless receivers’ you say”. Sure there are but that does not make them immune to hard hits at the point of reception while defending a pass.

      • Homer Dave

        sumbitches could at least appreciate my proper parenthetical usage of punctuation. Sumbitches!! lol.

  • Homer Dave

    Toub has competition, 7 seconds to field a Field Goal unit and Green Bay does it….that was fantastic!!

  • Homer Dave

    that was a beautiful pass by Stafford into the “turkey hole”

  • Homer Dave

    wanna trade for a guy on a hot taek, give me Slay Jr. At least he plays aggressively.