A return trip to Kansas City for Jimmy Raye proved to be a dismal experience. Sunday, his San Francisco offense looked horrible in losing to the Chiefs by 21 points.
Then Monday morning, Raye gets the boot from the Niners, this despite comments from head coach Mike Singletary after the game that Raye would be his man for the rest of the season. Something changed on the flight home or bright an early this morning in the Bay Area, because Raye is out of work and quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson has been promoted to the position.
Spotted in an elevator headed to the locker room after the game, Raye appeared a bit shell shocked by Sunday’s events. According to 49ers players, the Chiefs defense was calling out San Francisco plays before the snap. That does not mean the defense can stop the play, but it’s always nice when you have a good idea of what’s coming at you, whether it’s run or pass.
There was an obvious problem with the Niners offense against the Chiefs. Some of that is credit to the defense that played a very good game. But when the quarterback throws 42 passes and went back to throw a total of 47 times, and he only targets TE Vernon Davis six times, then something is out of whack.
All of football, but especially at the NFL level, is counter-punching, figuring out what your opponent is doing to you and then reacting to that. Nobody knows that more than Jimmy Raye, but for whatever reasons the 49ers couldn’t get it done on Sunday.
IN THE HOUSE
The Chiefs announced a paid attendance of 68,188 and the game was on local TV with apparently no possibility that a blackout would be enforced.
But there were a lot of empty seats scattered around the stadium. The high priced club seats had plenty of empties, but scattered throughout the upper deck were clusters where five to 10 seats were unoccupied.
One thing for sure and that’s the parking lots immediately around the stadium were full, most about an hour before kickoff. Those that came, came to tailgate.
GRIGS MADE IT
Although he was in a wheelchair, Bill Grigsby was at the stadium for the pre-game ceremonies that honored him. He was joined by his saint of a wife Fran, and other members of his family. Also with Grigs at midfield was the Chiefs Radio crew, led by Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson.
Sharron Hunt Munson presented Grigs with a plaque from the team and a video presentation was shown on the big screens inside the stadium.
TWEAKING THE NICKEL
Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is always tinkering a bit, especially with his nickel defensive schemes. The Chiefs base nickel on Sunday against San Francisco had CB Javier Arenas, S Jon McGraw and DE Wallace Gilberry coming on the field, with NT Ron Edwards, DE Shaun Smith and ILB Jovan Belcher coming off. Later, it was LB Demorrio Williams coming in for DE Glenn Dorsey to rush the passer.
NT Anthony Toribio got his most extensive playing time since he was claimed on waivers from the Packers in the first week of the season. He was given credit for two tackles.
Leading the Chiefs tacklers was Belcher, who finished with 10 total tackles on the afternoon. All of those were against the run as he continues to develop into a good run stopper in the middle of the defense.
CHINESE FIRE DRILL
The first quarter ended with the Chiefs facing a 4th-and-1 at midfield. As the teams huddled up during the break, the Chiefs got creative. First, they sent out the punt team. Punter Dustin Colquitt was lined up as if he was about to take the snap. The Niners responded with their punt return team.
But as the 90-second timeout was coming to a close, the Chiefs ran their offense onto the field. San Francisco tried to respond but it was mayhem with two units trying to get on and off the field. That’s when Singletary called for a timeout. Advantage Chiefs.
During the timeout period, the Chiefs again sent out the punt team. And again, they ran the offense on the field. The problem was they didn’t time it very well, as the television timeout was not over and officials stopped them from snapping the ball.
Eventually, everything was ready and the Chiefs went ahead and ran the play, as WR Dexter McCluster too a handoff and went for four yards.
The Chiefs used the Wildcat formation on three plays in the game, including the razzle-dazzle play that led to a touchdown pass to WR Dwayne Bowe.
RB Thomas Jones was the Wildcat all three times. On the first two plays of the second quarter, he handed off to McCluster for four yards and a first down. On the next play, he ran it himself for three yards. That’s when Matt Cassel came back on the field.
Then in the third quarter it was the shotgun snap, end-around, lateral back and pass from Cassel to Bowe for the score.
That’s three plays for plus-52 yards.
OUTHOUSE TO PENTHOUSE
Since the 2000 season, there have been nine teams that started the season 3-0, after starting the previous season 0-3. The Chiefs joined that group on Sunday. Here’s the list:
- 2000 β New York Jets, finished the season 9-7 and out of the playoffs.
- 2001 β San Diego, finished 5-11 and last in the AFC West.
- 2003 β Seattle and Minnesota. The Seahawks went 10-6 and made the playoffs and the Vikings went 9-7 and missed the post-season.
- 2004 β Jacksonville and New York Jets. The Jaguars went 9-7 and did not make the playoffs and the Jets were 10-6 and made the playoffs as a wildcard team.
- 2005 β Tampa Bay, finished 11-5 and won the NFC South.
- 2008 β Buffalo, finished 7-9 and last in the AFC East.