Like most of the last 5 weeks, I believed the Chiefs should walk out of the showers and head home basking in the good feelings of adding another win to the book. Unfortunately, 4 of the last 5 weeks, I have had to eat some crow on that idea. After reeling off 5 wins in a row, fans have had to enduring back to back losses interspersed with a single victory. They are 6-4 and there is absolutely no excuse for that. NONE!
First off: Injuries
- Tamba Hali (OLB) – – knee, Questionable, limited practiced Fri.
- Dee Ford (OLB) – back, OUT.
- Terrance Smith (ILB) – concussion, OUT
- Allen Bailey (34 DE) – Knee, Questionable, limited Practice Fri.
- Bert Wilson (WR) – Hamstring, Questionable, full Practice Fri.
Now for me, this looks bad because Hali has not been the player he was and this season has done little to show he can help — maybe one game? I think his presence in the absence of Ford helps the Pass Rush of Justin Houston. The caveat? Houston is not himself either, or at least is not at the top of the OLB heap of pass rushers. I have no idea whether it is lingering recovery from his injury last season or that Sutton’s schemes remain a question. I am inclined to believe the latter.
Allen Bailey is important versus the run as well as the pass rush. The latter not so much as Bailey getting sacks, but keeping the pressure on while others get the accolades. I think Bailey will be ready to go. But then I have erred in my judgements for 4 of the last 5 weeks. Go figure on that. Bert Wilson was FP on Friday so unless he regressed, he also will be ready to play. Still, he is listed as questionable.
The Ides of March? Wait for it.
On the other side off the ball, The Bills have OT Cordy Glenn and OG John Miller, both out for this game. Charles Clay, TE is listed as questionable as are WR’s Jordan Mathews and Deonte Thompson, and RB Mike Tolbert.
The Bills experiment starting Nathan Peterman failed miserably last week. So, Tyrod Taylor is back and they roll with it. They are in danger of sliding out of the playoff picture their own danged selves… so the question becomes, which team will earn this win… the Chiefs are on the verge of blowing up a whole season…a fact which astounds me. The Chiefs are up 1 1/2 games on the Chargers, who have been charging. A loss v the Bills, makes this game, at Arrowhead, the game where we have either already hit the panic button but if we haven’t we surely will should this contest result in an addition to a slide downhill and will be slammed with every fist possible among the fans and pundits. For me? After last weeks debacle it was time to hit the panic button.
Ides of March Result? Wait for it.
I listed several things that Andy Reid and Company should do to stem the tide and turn things around. They did not accomplish any of the tasks that I felt should give them an easy victory. I believe the same recommendations apply to this week as well.
There are so many factors that get us back to March that I think I should review from March Forward.
The Ides of March — so, to whom am I addressing the dagger?
The NFL Draft occurred close enough to it that we know that when Shakespeare used this in the play, Julius Caesar, he was using reference via the soothsayer in warning the powerful “Caesar” of impending doom. Supposedly, the first Roman Calendar was created by King Romulus in 753 BC, divided with the Lunacy of the moon. It divided each month into 3 specifically identified periods begun with a date — Kalends (Kal) the first part of the new moon, followed by Nones (Non) which was the first quarter of the new moon, then the Ides (Id). The last was either the 13th or the 15th of the month and as the calendar was developed it emerged as the 15th day of the (non)lunar month. Well, the NFL draft occurs later of course, the end of April, so why use this term?
Something was going on back in March. It was background, a confidence issue. As early as March 15th Hunt was talking up the sports venues including the Chiefs and of course, MLS(Dallas). Before and after that time, Hunt had addressed his confidence in both Reid and and GM John Dorsey. That confidence was apparently soon to be tested and then end result was Dorsey’s resignation, shortly after the Ides of June. But before that, he re-upped with Andy Reid on a 5 year deal. Huge mistake in my mind.
By March 28th, he and John Dorsey publicly stated that Jamaal Charles would not be retained. This set the stage for what would begin happening on April 27th, the first round of the NFL Draft. The Chiefs traded up to get Patrick Mahomes. They gave away 2 picks and the first round pick in 2018. A huge mistake in my view because with such a powerful draft situation, they could have taken a starting quality corner and probably both an OLB and ILB of similar quality while going after a backup QB and obtaining a RB in the process. Thy could have traded the rest of their picks to accomplish this, thus reducing the cap hit. Don’t tell me that this couldn’t have occurred — you go back and look at when they picked and who was available. You pull one player off the board, trade up for another and then make the next pick.
When you need to give away a pick, you can trade back and still obtain the player that you have targeted, and so on. But GM Dorsey, either of his own decision or being forced to make the selection, went the other way. Well, I’ve gotta go with the former. This is not to say the Chiefs might not have acquired the QB of the future and then some in Mahomes, which is great… but I am getting long in the tooth and want the Chiefs to win the big game — right danged now. This won’t get us to that promised land.
The result? No CB opposite Peters. No ILB and no OLB. They did get the RB and QB but that QB isn’t likely to start until 2018 at the very earliest.
A similar result to 2016’s defensive woes was then about to occur and we have seen the result of this over and over again in 2017. Those top 3 exposures plus Berry being knocked out of the 2017 season completely has given me the purpose of the doomsayer from Sir William.
Does this mean that the Chiefs are “doomed”. Well let me summarize what I think w are seeing, on the defensive side of the ball mostly.
1. Dee Ford and Tamba Hali, neither one, have provided the Chiefs the OLB Pass rush that is needed to be a constant force. Neither will be donning the red n gold in 2018.
2. Justin Houston, appears to have been slower in recovering than I anticipated. He is still a purpose driven OLB but he also has not been the force he has been in the past. Whether this is due to slow recovery, nil contribution by Hali or Ford or Sutton’s defensive scheme failure is not apparent to me. Probably a combination of all 3.
3. DJ inside, has not been himself either. I attribute this to slow recovery and the fact that he has had 2 Achilles tendon ruptures back to back (plus his age).
4. No CB that can be a force opposite Peters.
5. Depending on developing talent at CB, either outside or inside — and that did not materialize.
6. Failure to anticipate that whoever that Corner was to be, he would be targeted over and over again — and the opposing offensive coordinators did just that, go away from Peters, no turnovers and a high probability of success.
7. This exposed Peters as a weak link — he won’t make hits to stop the run game.
8. We did not replace Dontari Poe’s ability to push the pocket into the opposing QB’s comfort zone. That is not to say that Ben Logan is not a good choice… but the scheme doesn’t give us the same action. And that doesn’t give Justin Houston the distraction needed to get free to get after that QB and at least force an error. Nor have Sutton’s schemes given us much room for hope.
9. The cohesiveness that we saw on offense is gone. You fill in this blank the with the cause, ________________ and undoubtedly you will have made a proper analysis at least to some nth degree. As long as you include Andy Reid in that analysis. I think there are 4 factors but I can live with just one: It begins and ends with the Head Coach. Go from there.
So I may have abused the privilege going with the title of this section of the piece as the Ides idea. But I keep going back to Hunt on March 15 in Dallas. The “Ides.” My comments about what Reid should do as HC the remains constant. He is failing big time with his play calling. He is failing in leading the team as the HC. That has translated to a pair of pairs (double losses). I am seeing now the comments from various and sundry observers, maybe Reid this, or that. With that idea, I am on the same page (over and over again). “Let this thing lie down…it’s time we divest ourselves of this Mr. Reid.”
Chiefs 24 – Bills 17. Go figure.
David Bell – Avery, ID
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