KC Chiefs: Fast and the Furious

 

 

 

It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times. We went from unbeatable to almost unable to win. The team comes of out the preseason and pulls off a highly improbably victory against the reigning Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and followed it up beating the now 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles. We continued to reel off victories over the next three games, then basically hit the wall of losses. Games we should have won, we found a way to lose.

 

Something changed over the course of these nine games. We are at the point in the season where we can lock in the playoffs or slide back into the pack. I am sure we all feel the same way about getting the team back on track, so we don’t need to debate that point.

 

I have speculated in other articles on the coaching staff changing up what was working or Andy Reid playing the season like a game, coasting into the finish. I still think there is some truth in this. Rather than continue with what was working until someone stops it, I think they decided to fake out the opposition. If that really is the case, it isn’t working.

 

Whatever is really going on, I think we are at a point in the season where we show who we really are. It is a watershed game at the bye week watershed date. We are coming off the bye and heading into a game against the 1-8 New York Giants. This is a team we should definitely be able to beat.

 

It makes me wonder if we are going to dominate that game in all three phases or find a way to lose the game. I really don’t have a sense of which way we are going to play this week. I do, however, have a couple ideas on things we need to do this week to come out victorious.

 

So, without further ado, here are my “3 Keys to Victory.”

 

Actually, one more bit of ado. I am assuming the team can make their way to the stadium without getting hurt and Andy Reid doesn’t get sidetracked by an all-you-can-eat cheeseburger bar.

 

Key # 1 – Fast and Furious Offense

 

We need the play calling and execution to go back to the type we ran in the early games.  Pre-snap motion from the speedsters. Stretch the field with the wideouts. Run the multi-option run/pass plays.  Alex Smith has been in this offense and the league long enough to know what to do so… call the plays.

 

In addition to the play calling, the players need to execute. We can’t be dropping balls, running bad routes, not opening holes in the line, or turning over the ball. Making the key plays will extend drives and keep the ball out of the hands of the opposition, thus controlling the clock.

 

Another wrinkle we can throw in is the hurry up offense. I don’t think we need to be in it at all times, but we should be situationally aware and go into that mode in certain circumstances. This method of play keeps the opposing team off balance and guessing. Creating confusion on defense is the point with this, so mix it up.

 

Key # 2 – Best Defense is a Good Offense

 

In this case, I don’t mean our offense… I mean we need to go on the attack. Bend don’t break, has been breaking. I don’t know if we are overcompensating for Eric Berry being out, DJ looking slow, Dee Ford’s injury or something else. We have employed a cautious defense frequently and one where we seem to be doing what the offense doesn’t expect. By trying to fake out the competition, I think we are just playing our weakness against them.

 

We need to stop dropping Justin Houston into coverage and turn him loose on the quarterback. Send in Hali on the opposite side on passing downs and Zombo on others. With Houston rushing the QB, we need our DBs to cover for about 3-4 seconds.  Sounds simple, but that probably seems like a long time between the whistles. To help the DBs manage that time, I would suggest pressing the receivers at the line.

 

I believe our defense was better when it attacked more. It can be riskier, but I think the overall results were better. We seemed to get more turnovers, more stops on drives, and more wins.

 

Key # 3 – Return of the Mack…

(and by Mack, I mean the rock to the end zone)

 

Our special teams need to return the ball better. To me that means staying in the end zone on kickoffs we aren’t setup to return properly. It also means better punt returns. We need the team to block better and the returners to use their speed properly.

 

When we return a ball, we need to go right at the coverage and not sideline to sideline. Going sideline to sideline negates our speed advantage. When the returners go straight ahead, with minimal cuts, we create a very fast closing speed.  That means the coverage has nanoseconds to make the tackle or give up a TD.

 

It is also time to finally make another play where we take the ball to the house. If Dave Toub can dial up the right play, we can put a “free 7” on the board.  That is demoralizing to the opposing team and creates pressure on the next 4th down. We start seeing team kick away from the returner or going for it on 4th down. Those play to our advantage also.

 

While we could look at this game as an easy win, I would suggest we consider the proverbial trap game. An opponent we should beat is dangerous. They don’t really have anything to lose and will feel free to try anything against us. If we aren’t careful, we lose this game big.

 

So, I think we need to come in with the intent of playing all out the whole game. No underestimating the Giants. No keeping the playbook closed. No holding back on the big play. Let it all rip. Play like this is the Super Bowl.

 

If we can dominate this game from start to finish and in all three phases, we can get back on track.  Anything less and the questions remain.

 

So, which team do you think we field? What gameplay do we employ? Do we leave the Meadowlands with a W or L? Let me know.

 

Until next week, there’s The Rub!

 

The Rub!

 

 

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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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  • Chiefly Bacon

    What I’d like to see, is Chiefs blow out the Giants so bad by halftime, that they get snaps for the rookies in the 2nd half. Let Mahomes, Kpassagnon, Chesson and Akeem Hunt get some play time. Unfortunately, I think what we’ll actually see is Reid look ahead to the Bills next week. Chiefs will beat the Giants, but they’ll try to do so without showing any of their good plays. This will lead to a close game that just plays into fans fears more.

    • ladner morse

      I don’t know because the Giants are in such disarray that I could see them tanking or in rebellion.

      On the other hand… their players could try to pull together and use the Chiefs game as a statement game as if to say, “see, we’re not that bad.”

      Could easily be a trap game unless the Chiefs put the pedal to the metal.

      • Chiefly Bacon

        Giants are allowing 26.4 points per game (4th worst in the league) and averaging 16.7 points per game (6th worst in the league). This is as close to playing the Cleveland Browns as you can get.

    • That would be nice. Rests the starters and builds experience for the backups.

      I don’t see the coaching staff aggressively calling plays if we get up. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t pop some long TD runs or return some INTs/fumbles/punts/kicks for TD/“s.

      • PaulFromNorthMo

        I’ll take 1 each. lol

  • The Chiefs have the opportunity, and Reid has the history for me to say that the Chiefs will be 7-3 when it is said and done. We fans are hoping for a game with a ruritanian castle on the the rise above the river bend. They have not been playing games over the last 4 that show they, as a team, are on fire for the playoffs, this is where it needs to begin. They should already have 7 wins and failed, for example, v. the Raiders, a game they “should” have won. The Chiefs cannot afford a flat game. Reid, as noted here by Frank, must come out of the Bye week with all cylinders being explosively implemented. I truly believe a good part of this rests on Reid and his prep (coaches and team leaders too)>

  • tm1946

    We keep forgetting who we are dealing with, no, not the NY team. From Clark down to the practice squad… there are waves in motion, not about the play of the players but the mental waves that surround the team. This is not good or bad, just is.

    Why would anyone think Reid would put his foot on an opponent’s neck and run another team out of the stadium…. just not his style. And his coaches seem to support that. Then that is picked up by the players on the field.

    No fear about the Giants, they are bad and should be bad Sunday. That leaves the other team on the field. US. To squeak thru with a 3 point win would not be a good sign…. at least to me. Will take it but it says something about the Chiefs that is not nice.

    PS The Giants could make a last gasp effort for their season…. never under estimate another NFL team during parity. If we lost, doom and gloom would be the pass word for another week. Will not happen.

  • tm1946

    Fun news – A mock draft…. Chiefs took a WR in 2nd, CB in 3rd, and S in 4th…. hope they are all starter quality…..LOL

    • where, TM, did you mock in the linebackers? 🙂

      • tm1946

        Not mine, this was something called “the draft wire” on yahoo… first four rounds. We are only mentioned as an after thought… no #1 and that is where the hot college name went. Also never hear of any of those picked, means nothing of course, I never heard of KPass and look at how well he is playing….hahaha….I really like his potential.

        I favor a stud at ILB, if available with first pick, 2nd round. But that is today, what if some of Veach’s “what is available”s work out to let us move forward.

        • it’s th thought, which had me go mock one at fanspeak. no #1 or #7 Picks. So we will draft, somewhere like 25-32, round 2. I drafted, passed on OG Ivey and took Jordan Whitehead, Safety: He has man coverage skill, good at run support. not as big as Derwin James who went in the draft earlier, but a comparison shows Whitehead can fit right away as a FS. We need one. He will do well in run support and has the potential added value in the kick or punt return game. Both would be immediate type players. I thought seriously about Ivey at OG because I think the Chiefs need to draft tot he OL and DL every draft. LB is my next choice but no one was there for me. Round 3 had me take Tegray Scales, IND ILB. Led the nation in solo tackles in 2017… round 4 I drafted DL Michael Dieter, Wisconsin, 6-5, 325, like that. He is rated #2 OL for 2019 draft, but from what I hear, he is entering the 2018 draft. Big body type player. He fits the OL interior and he has enough athletic ability with his feet despite his size — that fits KC Plus, he can be a bulldozer at the same time. So that’s why I drafted him — could go either side of the ball, he Has strength and power. I can see him as an OG. IN Played center and OG in 2016 and 17 as well. I see it as a growth pick who might train up quickly, intelligent(playbook and offense scheme pick up quickly). Round 5 we picking at the end of the 2nd 100 players. I took CB Donovan TA&M, round 5 pick 40 I think. This is going to be a draft like Dorsey’s 1st one(no #1 pick). I think the Chiefs need to trade a player to get up in the draft with a 2nd pick in the 1st 60 or so.

  • ladner morse

    Giants part-owner John Mara responded on Twitter to a fan’s letter calling for dramatic change now:

    “I have your letter. Nobody is more upset than I am with our performance so far. I learned a long time ago that the season is a marathon, not a sprint, and things can look a whole lot different in December than they do [now]. We will evaluate everything at the end of the season, with a full body of information, before we make any major decisions. In the meantime all we are focused on right now is trying to win our next game. Thank you for writing and for your loyal support of the Giants.”

  • ladner morse
  • tm1946

    Looks like Ford will be getting further tests… not a good sign.

    • Homer Dave

      hehe, Sutton doesn’t believe in a pass rush anymore in any case. LBs are just extra Secondary, silly.

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      Not sure I notice the difference either way.

      • tm1946

        Hope you are sitting down…. local media is already saying – the obvious choice is letting Alex go and keeping Ford…. big time money savings…. Of course, Ford cannot stay healthy or play worth a crap but that is besides the point.

        • PaulFromNorthMo

          That doesn’t surprise me a bit. We have Alex replacement, Hali is done and nobody to replace Ford. We’ll have to see if and how much Veach can do in FA next spring.

          • tm1946

            You just made me sad…. until Ford gets better or is gone I am not happy.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            If it was up to me, Ford would already be on someone else’s team. I’m don’t think we have many options for next year. But if the FO keeps him after next year, they’re complete idiots.

          • tm1946

            Who is Alex’s replacement…. after the preseason, we have not seen Mahomes except on the sidelines…. really want him to learn on-the-job…. whole lot of losses.

            Star said today Hali is not practicing… of course, he has not practiced in over 3 years… so it does not mean that much. Yesterday, Reid said Ford needed further tests, so he will be relaxing Sunday.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            IMO only, the only reason the Chiefs gave up that much in the draft for Mahomes, was to be Smith’s replacement. Again, IMO, it’s as close to a perfect setup as we can get. PM sits and learns for a year, then takes over. Whether it works or not, who the heck knows.

          • tm1946

            I am with you …. only change “learns for a year” to ” learns for several years”. One year of watching Alex will help but several years will help more .

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            I can’t argue with you on that. I just don’t see the money situation letting that happen.

  • Homer Dave

    Andy Reid did mention that Tamba Hali’s knee swelled up a bit and so they’re backing him off right now.— BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) November 15, 2017

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      Sad to say but I really hope Tamba retires on his own after this season.

  • Chiefly Bacon

    Chiefs are bringing Dadi Nicolas off the PUP list. Hopefully this move is based on optimism for his ability to play, and not desperation, because none of the other OLBs are healthy.

  • Homer Dave

    Haha but this won’t matter if Houston is in coverage all afternoon

    Justin Pugh has been ruled out for Sunday vs. Chiefs. We now have Justin Houston going mono-è-mono with “ the best RT in the world”, Bobby Hart. pic.twitter.com/LHuRLXn9Un— Pissed MARA (@EmperorMara) November 15, 2017

  • PaulFromNorthMo

    So now Nathan Peterman is starting for the Bills Sunday. That will be an interesting game to see with the Bills coming to Arrowhead the following week.

    • Homer Dave

      I actually like Taylor but I don’t believe him to be a long term answer. Before this year’s so-far performance by Smith, Taylor WAS Alex Smith 2.0.

      • PaulFromNorthMo

        Yep, the Bills have always seemed as interested in Taylor as the Chiefs have been in R Wilson.

        • Homer Dave

          Hehe, laugh all you want buddy…it’s warranted here at first glance…but if you go and compare Smith’s stats to Taylor’s, they are eerily similar up until this season.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            I’ll take you’re word for it. I’m just saying that the Buffalo brass has done just about everything but pack Taylor’s bags.

          • Homer Dave

            not disagreeing there one bit, I was just noting the similarities in the club’s positions.

          • ladner morse

            There’s actually this other tiny difference in the Bills position compared to the Chiefs: they haven’t been to the playoffs since 1999. BTW… that’s the last century.

            I think that may be the current longest playoff drought.

          • Homer Dave

            that’s a fair point, I was simply comparing QB’s though. Funny thing is though, for years I was convinced that the Chief’s teams were built to contend with and beat the Bills. Like, as if the Coaches/GMs used the Bills as more of a barometer than the rest of the AFC West.

  • PaulFromNorthMo

    Wow, La Canfora is actually picking the Giants straight up. I think he’s so far behind the other “experts”, he’s grasping at straws.

    • Homer Dave

      going for the splash or foretelling that the Kc charter bus breaks down in route from the hotel to the field.