The Kansas City Chiefs have another chance to redeem themselves today where they failed miserably two weeks ago at MetLife Stadium but this time vs. the New York Jets. When the season began the Giants were projected to be Super Bowl contenders while the Jets were projected to deserve the first pick in the 2018 draft. Now, the Chiefs face a tougher test in the Jets but they’ve already lost to the Giants.
The Common Misperceptions
Some may feel that the Chiefs need to come out fired up if they want to succeed. However, a more accurate take of the Chiefs recent offensive woes is that they need syncopation. What has betrayed them is any “coordination” from one person to the next. Yes, they need to execute but execution doesn’t tell the whole story, e.g. a WR could properly execute a route into the flat but… end up standing in the exact same spot that another WR is standing to receive the ball… just like Albert Wilson and Tyreek Hill did last week. It’s less about the team looking foolish — which they did — than it is about knowing and following your role within the schematic of a given play.
Many have criticized the Chiefs offense for being too complex but Albert Wilson is in his 4th season with the Chiefs and Tyreek Hill has already shown he’s a fast learner. Some can claim a “lack of focus” but the plays called are all within a game-strategy the players were aware was going to be followed a week (at least) prior to the game. It’s been speculated that Eric Fisher has looked like he was trying to help his line-mate out, Guard Zach Fulton, last week but that’s precisely an example of what I’m referring to… exposing what happens if each player doesn’t do their own assignment. When I say “assignment” this is less like, “Oh, Joe didn’t do his assignment for Math class, he might fail this weeks exam” … and more like, “Oh, Joe didn’t take care of his assigned job on this house construction, and now we’ve finished building the whole house without any plumbing.”
Another misconception is that the Chiefs must “dominate” the offensive line of scrimmage. I have news for you, the Chiefs don’t “dominate” anyone with their offensive line. I must confess when I say this, they’re not meant to. The best they can hope for is to… out-finesse other teams. That’s their real goal. More than any position group on the team… the offensive line must be exacting in their performance from play to play. This means each starter on the OL must know which foot to use when taking their first step on any given play. How to keep their weight balanced over their feet and shoulders. Positioning is everything for them. Plus, it’s not just about positioning of their own body but in juxtaposition to each other. To do that, they must always know who’s going to take which defender. That’s why you see so much pointing going on as the OL approaches the LOS. They’re not just identifying Mike LBs or defenders who might be about to blitz, they’re trying to get their assignments straight.
In recent weeks we’ve seen the normally dependable RT Mitchell Schwartz take a deep drop only to have an OLB cut inside to get an angle on Alex Smith and… we’ve seen LT Eric Fisher not take a positive and hard jab-step backwards with his left foot to stay in front of a speed rusher and… we’ve seen Zach Fulton too slow of foot to get his feet-and-body in the right position on a DT taking an inside route to the QB. The list goes on, so if the Chiefs are going to turn it around on offense, their OL must be technically sound. Together. Consistently. There have been too many failed drives lately due to one misstep or another by this group and the reason for QB Alex Smith’s happy feet may be that the OL have had so many sad feet.
We’ve Heard it All Before
The N.Y. Jets… HAVE A SUSPECT OFFENSIVE LINE, and consequently, the Chiefs DL should have a good week against them. Until the Chiefs DL actually produces pressure on an opposing team’s QB, then there is no “should have.” I’m a fan of the CB Darrelle Revis signing and if he’s any good at all — and my guess is he will be more motivated vs his ex-team mates — then the amount of time the DL has to “get to” the QB, Josh McCown in this case, should be enough to make a difference. Marcus Peters, Steven Nelson and Darrelle Revis have the potential to be an excellent trio of coverage CBs but… seeing is believing at this point in the K.C. Chiefs season.
My Game Day Prediction
I’ve noticed a pattern in the Reid-led-Chiefs over the past several years and that is… when backed into a corner (except for the playoffs), they doo well. This appears to be one of those times. While this is not a do-or-die game, I think the Chiefs are due… as opposed to being doo-doo. I think the players are out to set the record straight this week and the Chiefs come out on top: Chiefs 24-Jets 13.
So, what are your predictions? Or, do you think this will prove they are more… doo-doo than simply due?
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