A Few Thoughts From a Football Weekend

What a great weekend for football fans. Four games in two days, only one real blowout with New England’s drubbing of Denver. A lot of great plays, even on defense.

Some thoughts and observations as the NFL heads towards its Final Four.

THE EASIEST WAY TO WIN IN THE PLAYOFFS? HAVE A TOP-NOTCH QB

No sh*^#@t!

It’s just makes so many more things possible for a football team when the quarterback is something special. That’s the case in New York with Eli Manning, and with Tom Brady in New England. Baltimore has Joe Flacco, who so far has not proven to be outstanding, but he doesn’t tend to cost the Ravens games with mistakes. Out in San Francisco, the rehabbed Alex Smith was sensational in beating New Orleans.

It’s easy to forget Smith was the first player taken in the 2006 NFL Draft. Through injuries and a totally dysfunctional franchise that has been the 49ers over the last decade, he somehow has survived and he was the catalyst to the Niners victory over the New Orleans Saints.

The four winning QBs had an average passer rating of 113. The four losing quarterbacks averaged a 63 passer rating.

WANT TO WIN A GAME IN THE PLAYOFFS? BE ABLE TO SCORE A LOT OF POINTS

Eight games in the playoffs so far this year and the winners have scored an average of 33.4 points per game. The winner with the fewest points was Baltimore, as the Ravens only needed 20 points to beat a third-string quarterback in Houston T.J. Yates. Over the just finished weekend, the winners averaged 34.5 points per game.

Fans of the Chiefs know this by heart. They have lost seven straight in the post-season largely due to the inability to score points. In those games, they averaged just 13.3 points per game. The only time they were able to score more than 17 points, was the 31 they put up in 2003 against Indianapolis. Of course, the problem that day was the defense went south and gave up 38 points.

BUT THE CHANCES OF WINNING ARE BETTER IF YOU PLAY DEFENSE

Look at the New York Giants. In two post-season games, they scored 61 points, only a bit less than this year’s average for the playoffs. New York won because of its defense, which allowed just 22 points in two games.

The Giants defense has been sensational in two games – they’ve allowed only 2 touchdowns, with 6 sacks and 4 takeaways. They’ve allowed only four plays of 20 yards or more. The longest pass play they allowed against QBs Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers was 21 yards.

To win, there had better be some defense involved as well.

SOME FAMILIAR FACES ALONG THE WAY

All sorts of former Chiefs popped up during the four games.

Might the team’s offensive line situation be better right now if they had say New England’s right guard Brian Waters back at the left guard spot he held for so many years with the Chiefs. And in the right guard spot could be plugged the left guard of the Houston Texans Wade Smith. And at center, how about New Orleans Saints center Brian del la Puente. Amazingly, all three were with the Chiefs when GM Scott Pioli took over. Smith was allowed to leave as an unrestricted free agent without an offer from the Chiefs in the spring of 2009. As for de la Puente, he was released early in the ’09 pre-season, and Waters was released at the end of July ’11.

Also spotted in the action in Baltimore was Ravens starting strong safety Bernard Pollard, who had five tackles against Houston. And TE Kris Wilson caught a touchdown pass from QB Joe Flacco.

For the New York Giants, it was K Lawrence Tynes who went 3 for 4 against the Packers. For the Packers it was LB Erik Walden, who was credited with one tackle.


16 Responses to “A Few Thoughts From a Football Weekend”

  • January 16, 2012  - Chuck says:

    I know Jimmy Graham is not 7 feet tall but when he caught that ball on saturday against those short safetys he sure looked like he was 7 feet tall!!!!


  • January 16, 2012  - Niblick says:

    I know the current trend now is to say great offenses and elite QBS now win champonships, not great defenses. I totally agree, but bad defenses can certainly keep you from winning one. IE- The Saints and Packers. You at least need a decent defense. The Packers had one last year when they won. I think they were 5th overall. Look what happened this year. When the Saints won in 2009 they had a decent defense, not great.


  • January 16, 2012  - el cid says:

    Hopefully this last weekend will shut up everyone who says Cassel is good enough. Tebows one win, he had to throw for over 300 yards to pull out an OT win. Without a quality QB, it just makes it so much harder.

    Then there is the DL. So many are “experts” in the 3-4, notice the DL were mixes of 3-4 and 4-3 and SURPRISE, the DL pressured and made tackles and sacks in EVERY game. So “experts” Jackson is not a good backup when he is standing around being blocked by one OL, even though you know the 3-4.

    What is missing/wrong with the Chiefs, look at the playoffs. That is how you are supposed to play. And Pioli is not getting us that need being competitive. SF QB, Smith, 7 OCs in 7 years, had a clue about playing, think Cassel is equal to it?


  • January 16, 2012  - jim says:

    el cid, he may or may not be, but it took Smith those 7 years, 7 OC, and finally one pretty damn good head coach, to get the performance out of him the got this year.I don’t think Smith’s confidence and stability came around till Harbaugh got there. What happens if they give up on him, in say, year four (see Cassell)? Again, not a Cassell bandwagoneer, but just trying to be fair.

    I agree with you completely on your assesment of the DL. I too am tired of the lame excuses of the 3-4 this and the 3-4 that. Damnit, get some quality starters and some depth, and just let it work.


  • January 16, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    jim, your “get some quality starters and some depth and just let it work” applies to the whole damn organization, not just DL. And dumb people like me buy season tickets year after year. Short drive there; often long drive home. Someday we’ll stop buying. Hurt the Hunts’? Heck no, they’ll sell the team to LA. The rich will only get richer.


  • January 16, 2012  - jim says:

    Amen, brother. I was a season ticket holder for 19 years. Sat thru Stephon Page, Gary Sapani, Bill Kenny, Lloyd Burris (who by the way would knock you into next week), etc. And, you’re right, it IS the whole darn bunch.


  • January 16, 2012  - el cid says:

    If it matters, no way will Clark ever sell this milk cow. Sit in TX and count the money.

    As for fans “stop buying”. That is years away. There are corps who can right off the money and never set foot in Arrowhead. For years, we had season ticket holders from all the states. No, they did not attend a game, just turn it over to a ticketmaster type company and put the extra money in their pocket, like Clark. The fact is the Chiefs could play in an empty stadium and not matter to Hunt. As long as the NFL does not get stupid and is the biggest thing going, we are stuck with a team that will always be a loser.


  • January 16, 2012  - el cid says:

    As for me, I am done. Not out of some misguided hate of anyone or thing. I sold my interests and am retiring and cannot generate extra money to spend on being a season ticket holder. I do not intend to retire and get a job, so someone else can pick up my tickets. I have tv and, if and when, they get better I can buy a ticket or two for specific games. Good enough for me.


  • January 16, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    el cid, know what? I bet it’s a lot warmer in your living room than it is in section 325, row 12, seats 12,13,14,15. Good thinking.


  • January 16, 2012  - ED J says:

    My thoughts on weekend proved you can win with Matt Cassel level QB if you have a good to great defense which Chiefs will have going into next season and strong run game with addition of Charles and resigning of Battle along with improve oline additions in offseason we should have then this team should make the jump next season. That’s what I learned from this weekend. I don’t think Flacco or Smith are as good as Cassel at the QB position even though Flacco has much stronger arm. I also think Flacco struggles due to horrible play-calling of Cam Cameron but that’s another story. Either way I learned my team has a chance if we can improve our oline and add nose tackle next season along with depth at tight end, safety, and linebacker.


  • January 16, 2012  - Tim says:

    Bottom line is its very difficult to be regularly successful without a quality QB. The Chiefs have never really been willing to focus on acquiring a really good one in the draft. Their mindset has always been that something else was too important. Our club has failed to address the most important position on the field in their entire history, save once when they got Len Dawson. Yes, we got Montana very late in his career, but just about every other team TRIES to get the most I important position dealt with first…recognizing it is the most important position. The Chiefs have not. Until we make some sacrifices to get one, we will be forever wanting. We’ve always done a poor job of evaluating QB talent whether draft or otherwise. How is it that TJ Yates gets a shot due to injuries & Stanzi doesn’t? Did he have any more of an offseason than Stanzi? The issue is the club’s attitude toward playing a rookie or young QB. Until that changes, we’ll never find one. Just count how many rookie QBs got playing time this year? In the past 3 years? Compare them to us. Are we really any better off, on the average?


  • January 16, 2012  - el cid says:

    EDJ which team ran the ball to win a game in the playoffs? Tebows one win he passed for 300 fing yards, I noted that before. Cassel has accuracy issues, decision making issues and he is as good as who? Flacco or Smith. Geez, how about a dose of reality. Flacco is not much but Cassel is not near a good. For some reason, Harbaugh found the QB in Smith.

    Besides if you want to win a superbowl why, in god’s half acre, would you want to do it the hard way with a backup QB? Why not go for an elite QB to make the journey a little easier?


  • January 16, 2012  - Michael says:

    I agree with both Ed and el cid and Tim to some extent. The reality is Cassel, with an elite supporting cast, can be as good as guys like Smith, Flacco or Sanchez. Smith was a hair-length from being cut and wearing the bust title for the rest of his career, and I don’t think it was Harbaugh’s arrival so much as the team around him getting over the tipping point in overall talent that made the difference. Rogers, Brees, Rothlisberger are now sitting home, as are next tier QB’s like Stafford, Rivers, Cutler, Romo, Schaub, Ryan and Vick. Once again, TJ Yates had one of the best OL’s in the league in front of him, one of the best running games, a guy named Andre Johnson and a very good defense. It makes a huge difference.

    On the other hand, it’s true the Chiefs have addressed the QB position in the draft less than any other team over its history. Blackledge and Fuller are the only number one picks I can think of, and I think Matt Blundin might have been a number 2. And they haven’t spent even many lower picks on QB’s. It’s kind of strange, really, and I have no idea why it’s been like that. Maybe something to do with the team’s identity being based on the ground game and defense? They’ve had limited success bringing in guys from other teams or free agents: Kenney, Green, Montana, DeBerg, Kreig, Gannon, Bono. And then they chose the wrong guy between Gannon and Grbac. But,clearly, the team has been inordinately fearful of getting the pick wrong given the potential payoff. It really is time for the front office to take the diapers off, and man up on this point.


  • January 16, 2012  - Michael says:

    Realistically, what are the Chiefs prospects for landing a QB in 2012? Luck? No way; not going to happen. RG3? It would take probably two number one picks, two number two picks and a player like Glenn Dorsey to the Rams to get the number 2 overall pick. That is a lot, and it’s risky, but I would do the trade, use the 3rd, 4th and 5th round picks on OL, and then hit the free agency market hard for all other positions. In order: OL, DL, RB, TE, NT, LB and S. But,Does Pioli have it in him?

    Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill is an option, and the Chiefs might be able to land him with either their number one pick alone, or a little more if they need to jump in front of someone else to get him. Arizona QB Nick Foles may sneak into the first round because of the premium on QB’s. After that, it’s a group of “maybe” guys like Cousins, Weedon, and Wilson that should go in rounds 2-3.

    The Chiefs could go after Peyton Manning if he gets healthy and the Colts let him go. But, Irsay has said he doesn’t want to see him in another uniform. Have to wait and see. He could be a good bridge to someone they could draft in 2013.

    Other than that, the best bet is to bring someone in to push Cassel to the upper end of his ability; someone like Orton, Jason Campbell or Chad Henne, and then, yes yet again, look again to 2013.


  • January 17, 2012  - el cid says:

    Not sure the Chiefs will never be in a position to get an elite QB from college. When you are in the middle of the pack, you never have the right draft pick and with Pioli’s NE way, you do not give away draft picks to move up.

    What is the answer? I guess free agent, veteran QBs. Not my favorite choice but as long as current management is in place, no realistic option. Brady was found in the 6th round, so Pioli, in theory, could do it again. Besides, Gannon got a superbowl MVP as soon as he left the Chiefs. There may be a sub, retread just waiting for the call from the chiefs.


  • January 17, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    After the Todd Blackledge mistake that might have cost us more the one superbowl win, I’m not sure I want them drafting a QB in first round. Still have nightmares. Morino, Kelly and 4 others.




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