A Plate of Motown Leftovers

From Detroit, Michigan

The attention always falls on the quarterback in football and right now there’s plenty of people looking at the Chiefs 0-2 start and focusing on QB Matt Cassel.

There’s no question why that’s happening because the numbers for Cassel after two games reflect the troubles of the Chiefs.

“We’ve got to score points,” Cassel said after the Lions drubbed the Chiefs 48-3 at Ford Field on Sunday. That’s an 89-10 scoreboard in two games, with just one offensive touchdown.

“We haven’t been able to sustain drives and we definitely haven’t taken care of the ball. We need to do a better job in that category and I think that will immediately help this team.”

It’s becoming increasing harder for the offense to make a dent when they have lost two of their best weapons in TE Tony Moeaki and now apparently RB Jamaal Charles. Felled by knee injuries, it’s left the offense searching for other answers.

“I think we have to re-evaluate where we are and make adjustments and do whatever we need to do to start heading in the right direction. Obviously, the last two weeks are not satisfactory to any of us.”

After throwing 7 interceptions last year, Cassel has already thrown 4 in two games. He has improved his completion percentage, hitting 63.8 percent of his throws. But he’s averaging just 4.3 yards per attempt and 6.8 yards per completion. His passer rating is now 50.4.


After going through the first game without a touch on offense, FB Le’Ron McClain was part of the scheme for the Lions game.

He ended up running the ball four times for 15 yards, including a 12-yard run. He caught two passes for 12 yards, all 12 of the yards coming on one catch.

“It was fun to be out there with the ball in my hands and trying to make plays,” McClain said. “It’s not fun to lose like we did today.”

McClain’s modest contributions to the offense so far do not match what was expected of him based on his Baltimore career. But with Jamaal Charles likely gone for the season, suddenly there are about 20 to 25 offensive plays that have opened up in the Chiefs scheme and McClain figures to get his share of those.

“I’m not sure how bad Jamaal is, but I hope he’s back and back soon because he’s a great back and a great guy to have as part of your offense,” McClain said.

As to what the Chiefs need to do now that they’ve dug themselves a 0-2 hole, McClain says it’s about taking personal responsibility.

“Every guy needs to go home and look in the mirror and decide if they did everything they possibly could for this team today and during the week,” McClain said. “We give a lot every week, but we’ve got to give more.

“The only people that can get us out of this mess is us.”


In Sunday’s game Detroit kicker Jason Hanson set an all-time NFL record for games played with one team, appearing in his 297th career game with the Lions.

Hanson broke the record he tied last week that once belonged to C Bruce Matthews of the Oilers/Titans.

“Obviously my years are kind of like dog years where for a lineman, that’s an amazing record,” Hanson said after the game. “But I’ll take it. My name’s up there and that’s a special one to say I was with the same team all that time. It feels good.”

Hanson joined the Lions as the team’s second-round selection in the 1992 NFL Draft out of Washington State. This is his 20th season in the NFL, but he’s coming off a couple of injury filled seasons and there was talk of him not returning to the team in the off-season.

“I think being healthy has helped me a lot, not having anything holding me back,” Hanson said. “I wish I would have been kicking the last couple years, especially kickoffs like this (now). I’m healthy now and I’m able to do that.”

Hanson kicked off eight times in the game and five went for touchbacks and he made a 51-yard field goal in the first half. It was his 46th field goal of 50 yards or more and it makes 17 of his 20 seasons when he’s kicked one from at least 50 yards.

13 Responses to “A Plate of Motown Leftovers”

  • September 19, 2011  - Kenny Low says:

    It’s gonna be interesting to see how the team goes about creating opportunities to score points. There is a lot of coaching experience out there. I’m sure they can come up with a way to score.

  • September 19, 2011  - el cid says:

    Haley is a 3rd year head coach. Can he elevate what he does? Doubt it but maybe. I fear the coaching staff has no feel for what to do after the lockout and what you see is them, as a group, with no idea of the first step to take. Paralysis could the the real issue of the Chiefs, not all the injuries, Cassels play, terrible losses. No, Paralysis of the organization, no one makes a move they just sit there and wait for something to happen.

    And that could go on into 2012. Once you stop moving forward, it takes a major effort get it moving again. Like firing Pioli and/or Haley, starting over with the next “can’t miss” GM and HC while the NFL move on leaving the Chiefs in the dust.

  • September 19, 2011  - RW says:

    I think we’re down to the hardcore Chief’s fans doing some navel gazing and either agreeing on the next course of action or not. The casual fans have left the building. I have too long a past hometown history with this team to bolt so, knowing that, will offer up comments and opinions because I care and yearn for another magical mystery tour of 1969 to re-surface.

    I’ve come to respect Cassel, a classic overachiever and good person who is short on talent but long on values and a work ethic that one must respect and I do. Bad news Matt, in that the 2011 NFL is about talent and delivering on same. Cassel could have probably been a star in the NFL 20-25 years ago but the modern athletes have rendered him marginal.

    This is my convoluted way of saying that beyond doing a total makeover of the front office and coaching staff, the Chiefs need to focus on getting the marquee position right, like Carolina this year, then we can fill in the cracks as we will.

  • September 19, 2011  - pharmer says:

    I like Haley and I think that in years to come we’ll look back and say what a good coach he is. Having said that, his approach to the pre season was obviously a bad choice. There should have been more focus on fundamentals. He appears willing to fall on the sword for his guys, and I would hope that his guys would do the same for him. It would be a shame if this year costs Haley his job imo.

    I like Pioli, but it was a huge mistake not to bring in a viable back up quarterback. Cassel should have got the hook on Sunday. I don’t buy into the idea that they should go hunting for lots of high priced free agents, but QB is one place they have to address.

    On paper, it looks like a great coaching staff. However, these guys have to be able to adjust for losses of starters.

    I put this on the players. D has to make tackles. Backs have to hang on to the ball. Cassel has to pull his head out of his….. They need to show some pride. Who’s going to step up? DJ, Brandons, TJones, Bowe, Breaston,this is your time. Be leaders

    I still don’t believe that this team is as bad as they looked the first 2 games. They do have LOTS of work to do to stop the bleeding though. I think that we’ll see a more competitive team this Sun unless DJ (for example) tears his ACL in the first quarter.

  • September 19, 2011  - ED J says:

    Slow dwn el cid no need cleaning house thats what Lions and Redskins been doing last decade. We just need get Qb. Pioli made mistake in bringing him in.

  • September 19, 2011  - aPauled says:

    Cassel seemed to find his groove last year from about the 49ers game thru the Titans game. Great progress before tailing off for the Raiders and Ravens games.

    This year Cassel has obviously regressed. Throws are high and/or behind receivers which are easy pickings for DBs. Without an afore mentioned experienced backup (and a year or two ahead of Stanzi’s development) we are basically stuck with Cassel this year. It’s not only killing the O, but the turnovers and time of possesion are killing the D as well. Hate to target one guys…but seems to fit in this situation.

  • September 19, 2011  - el cid says:

    Here is an out of the box idea, maybe an out of my mind one. If the preseason Haley preparation plan was wrong, then these first two games are really preseason contests from tne Chiefs view of how the team will come together for 2011. Get it, they are in the preseason still. Next week against SD would be their third game and should see the best effort from players and coaches alike. Sure we are two games behind the rest of the NFL but the Chiefs have professional players and at some point in time should strive to reach the level of that. Two more games and they may well be ready to go for the 2011 season????

  • September 19, 2011  - Matt Ticknor says:

    Wheres Larry Johnson when you need him?

  • September 19, 2011  - Aloha Ray says:

    El Cid, I think you may be on to something. As bad as the score was, I saw periods of improvement on Sunday. The defense had a few three and out’s, and the offense clicked at times. I’m not holding out much hope in regards to the W-L record for the season, but I don’t think the Chiefs are as bad as they would appear. I think talent-wise we were in the range of the 12th to 15th best team. Toss in a great-idea-that-turned-into-a-disaster for the preseason plus four critical injuries and all of a sudden we’re in the bottom 5. Unless you think the pre-season plan showed such poor judgment that he should be fired for that, alone, I would give Coach Haley at least two more years. In the meantime, look for the Chiefs to win about four games this year. With that position in the draft we could emerge, after a good preseason, with enough talent to put us in the top ten.

  • September 19, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    I think Ed J may have the answer here. What if Cassel had stopped the Lions during that opening drive when he must have told Flowers get burned for the 1st TD we would have won.
    I WISH the only problem was at QB. Cassel obviously has the talent. We went 10-5 with him being coached by Weis. Now he looks like a deer in the headlights with Zorn.
    This is a disaster from top to bottom, not just at one position. To not recognize that says a lot about the poster.

  • September 19, 2011  - el cid says:

    I would not give Haley the sweat off my…..anyway….. time is to short for Haley to learn to be a HC with the Chiefs. Throw in Pioli as well. That said there would have to be such a fan revolt that Hunt would either fire the two or move the team. An in the stadium empty for the rest of the season and no a renewal of season ticket holders, not going to happen.

    No we will most likely go on like now, complaining about what the team is or was. The “realist” being haters, the sunshine boys just oohing and aahing over the marvels that are the Chiefs, guys like ED J who has determined that only getting rid of Cassel can fix anything or the next guy who does not like another player. And the Hunts will make money, and on it will go infinitium. We are to much into our need for football, just the way it is 19 SEP 11.

  • September 19, 2011  - ED J says:

    Bottom line el cid and cychief be nieve all you want. Is Cassel better than Rivers, Rodgers, Breeze, Stafford, Josh Freemen, Big Ben, Eli Manning,etc. Answer is no. Right now I would rate him at the bottom of the league when it comes to QB. And you can’t win with a bottom of league Qb. So to all those who say Cassel isn’t source of this team’s problem don’t understand football.

    We won 13 I repeat 13games with Trent Green when we had one of the worst defenses known to man kind. Along with no receivers except for our Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. If the organization knew how to draft good defensive players back then and would’ve tried to build defense up we would’ve won Super Bowl. So I guess all the yrs of going through Croyle,Thigpen,Huard, and now Cassel has brain washed some fo you guys into how important it is to have an good to elite QB. I tell you what name me one team with bad QB that is winning this season or last season. You can’t.. We won last yr because Cassel lived off the run game and he did good job of managing the game and not losing it.

    When playoff time came or when we got down early in games he didn’t have what it took to bring us back from 2 score leads. So el cid you can keep fantasizing about the perfect roster but doesn’t matter how many good players you have when QB sucks. ask the 2007 Baltimore Ravens. They had good team but only one 4 games which led to them drafting Flacco in 2008. So keep on wanting perfect roster and saying this or that until we get another Trent Green a guy that can help offense put up points, convert 3rd downs, and get touchdowns in redzone this team is going to struggle against teams that can put up pts or teams that can stop the run game.

  • September 21, 2011  - tuan says:

    hey el cid let me ask you a question, in the lions
    game at one point the D stoped the lions O three or four time in a roll and how many time did matt cassel took the team down field and score ??????

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