Chiefs Run Defense Is AWOL

From Arrowhead Stadium

That was not Jim Brown running through the Chiefs defense on Sunday.

It was Jerome Harrison, a little-known backup running back in his fourth season out of Washington State.

Against the Chiefs rush defense of the last month, a Jerome Harrison can look like a Jim Brown.

Harrison ran for 286 yards, a Browns franchise record and the third best running day for a back in NFL history. He also scored three touchdowns and took the heart out of the Chiefs and their hopes for victory.

With the man himself watching in Arrowhead, Harrison, his FB Lawrence Vickers and his offensive line simply steamrolled the Chiefs defense. But then, that’s been happening a lot lately. In the last three games, the Chiefs have given up 796 rushing yards to Denver, Buffalo and Cleveland.

The Browns ran for 351 yards, more than any opponent has ever gained against the franchise in 50 seasons of play.

“I don’t think we tackled as we need to tackle,” said head coach Todd Haley. “One of our keys going in was our front line must win that battle. From my vantage point, it did not look like that battle was won and when you lose that battle, you generally lose. I saw a lot of movement on their part and our guys going o ne way, the wrong way, too much of the time.”

Harrison had a 71-yard run for a touchdown, a 28-yard run for a touchdown and runs of 17, 14, 14, 11 and an eight-yard TD run.

It was power football at its finest and the Chiefs couldn’t do anything to stop them.

“It was the way our guys up front blocked,” said Browns head coach Eric Mangini. “They were consistent, they maintained their p ad level, they had good drive. It was being shoulder to shoulder, getting the first move, being able to come off the linebackers and eliminating their ability to penetrate. It was being a big, physical, tough team and that is what I want.”

It certainly isn’t what Haley wants from his defense. The Chiefs are allowing an average of 162.6 rushing yards per game now. That’s 796 in the last three games. That’s an average of 265.3 rushing yards allowed per game. In the first 11 games, they were allowing an average of 134.5 rushing yards per game.

This run defense is obviously going downhill. They were without DE Glenn Dorsey, who sat out the game with his knee injury, but there’s no way one man made that much of a difference.

Sunday’s game was man-to-man, old-school football and the Chiefs were found wanting.

“I think you have to be physical,” said LB Mike Vrabel. “We can draw up a million defenses and it doesn’t matter. There comes a time when a few of those plays hurt us early in the year and they came back repeatedly.”

As for what’s happened in the last three games, Haley says it’s about how the defense is fitting together.

“We know we have to fit perfect on defense,” he said. “Our margin of error is not one that we can get away with it. There are some teams that can get away with it, but we can’t. They had two tight ends in there a bunch of the time and we were just unable to fit and make the plays to keep their forward progress down.

“No one thing going into this game was stopping the run and making them beat us throwing the football.”

Jim Brown was at Arrowhead for the game and he was raving about the man who broke his club record for rushing yards in a game.

“He was a man today,” said Brown. “He made his cuts, his acceleration was tremendous. He broke some tackles, h e made some people miss. When he got in space, there was not catching him.

“I’ve been talking to him as much as I can talk to and trying to help in every way I could. To see him perform and see the offensive line open up those kinds of holes, it was just a great day.”

13 Responses to “Chiefs Run Defense Is AWOL”

  • December 20, 2009  - TimR says:

    This margin for error discussion is bs! The lack of a professional effort by Tyson Jackson should be embarrassing to the organization. He obviously has the body & athletic skill. So far, he has no heart. He’s cashing checks. Watch the tape.

    The other embarrassing lack of fundamentals is displayed primarily by our ILBs. They’re HORRIBLE at coming “downhill” into the hole to stop the ball carrier. They get to the gape then let they guy cut up in there & make their move. The other HORRIBLE display of fumdamentals is their ability to be somewhat consistent at shedding blocks. Our safeties aren’t much better.

    I don’t want to hear any more about how much of a veteran Mike Brown is. What a horrible lack of awareness on the Quinn bootleg!

  • December 20, 2009  - Lenny says:

    No kidding, where were the safeties on that play. This game convinced me, Pendergast needs to go.

  • December 20, 2009  - arrowhead1978 says:

    Yea and they should have kept Pollard..

  • December 20, 2009  - big vess says:

    Yeah to me Pendergrast should be fired tomorow along with the special teams coach. But he will not be I think they will fire Krumrie , Gibbs and find some assistants from some where else after the season is over. I am going to give Haley and Pioli two years to turn this thing around but I will say so far they have failed when it came to this past draft in choices. We could of had either Aaron Curry or Orakpor from Texas he has 11 sacks for the 49ers. So far Jackson, Williams,Occonnell are misses. Pioli and Haley better find the right choices in the draft if they do not want the lynch mob to get bigger next year. Man just think Orakpor on one side and Hali on the other . DAMN!!!!!!!

  • December 21, 2009  - Red Robin says:

    yea big vess i feel ya pain we missed bad in the draft..they slept on good pass rusher and a good Lb next yr i see 5 win’s then we regress to 4 the yr after…and then we will be rebuilding with a new coach and a new scheme ..5 more yrs of pain..i think if we where doing somethings right we could live with the L..but all phases you dont correct that in one year..hey but i hope iam wrong

  • December 21, 2009  - ThunderChief says:

    When I saw Harrison get the ball against a 9 man Chiefs front and run through it with a simple cutback at the line of scrimmage, easily shaking off a few ‘Matador’ tackles and on to about a 65 yard TD scamper, I knew then the Chiefs were doomed to take another one in the L column.

    You can’t stop a guy with a NINE man front? Even the 2008 or 2007 sorry Chiefs could have done that much. The Chiefs are playing in the bigs with AAA players on defense.

  • December 21, 2009  - KC#9 says:

    I didn’t like the Pendergast hiring when it happened and it is looking worse every day. We reached for Tyson Jackson and inexplicably kept Krumrie, the worst coach on a bad staff. This is embarrassing!

  • December 21, 2009  - Husteak says:

    I’m sick of the “margin for error” BS myself.
    Just say: Our players Suck, and we Suck as coaches.

    Haley is GARBAGE!!!
    His coaching staff is GARBAGE!!!
    Has anyone out there seen a play this year where you felt the Chiefs executed well? I did a little on Defense early in the year, but other than that…I haven’t. Yes players must execute, but you would think that good coaches could get bad players to execute every once in a while…Our offense looks confused on EVERY PLAY!
    There is NO Question that our Defense has REGRESSED this year… Do good coaches allow their teams to REGRESS???? Hell NO!

    Most of our starters would be 2nd team on a GOOD football team.
    Tyson Jackson is GARBAGE!!! Mr. Velcro himself. The number 3 pick overall??? GARBAGE!!! Pushed around ALL YEAR like a little boy playing a big boy’s game…and getting his ass kicked EVERY WEEK. The Browns couldn’t wait to start running right at the #3 pick overall in last years draft.

  • December 21, 2009  - Rick says:

    Husteak agree with you about defense but I think ever since we let Johnson go we are a better offensive team. Our numbers are up. Cassell was very good yesterday. Made one bone head decision that was almost intercepted but other than that played good enough to win. He has 4 interceptions the week before. Chambers catches the pass at the goal line take away one interception on the next play. Tipped ball at end of game!! Tipped ball on other interception. Made one bonehead pass last week also. I think unlike many I am sure Cassell will be ok. Everyone was hollering for years DRAFT A QUATERBACK AND DEVELOPE THEM. Cassell is probably playing as well as Trent Green did his first year but on a much worse team. His receivers catch the ball and he would be completing 64% of his passes instead of 54%!!! I am willing to give Cassell an opportunity to lead this team.

  • December 21, 2009  - el cid says:

    I have ragged on Jackson since his draft but WE ARE ALL WRONG ABOUT HIM. I tivoed an interview and, folks, if what he said was true there is not a chance in hell he could be successful this year if ever. I played a 3-4 for two years in college and NEVER heard a DE instructed what he said about what was expected of him. He is not being badly coached, he is being lied to, to be as ineffective as possible. I was wrong and so are most of you. This is being done on purpose.

  • December 21, 2009  - Jim says:

    Enlighted us all as to what Jackson was told as to what was expected of him instead of leaving us all hanging on baited breath. lol I really have a hard time believing that ANY team or coahcing staff would take their #1 draft choice and purposely set him up for failure. Explain again to all of us why this is happening????? (Then don’t forget to say up late and put out milk and cookies on Thursday night).

    Back to Sunday — We got zero to minus push up field on a regular basis from Edwards, and the ILB either got squeezed inside or they let their outside arm get controlled. Gotta keep the outside arm free to do damage. When this wasn’t happening, they were over running the run lanes. More times than not they (LB’s) were taking on the blocks with the wrong shoulder. This is all coachable techniques and fundamentals. Everyone is busy ‘mock drafting’ certain players, but I’m gonna say it one more time – It DOESN’T matter who we get till the RIGHT coaches are in place.

    Explain to me why THIS (right coaches) is not rational thinking??

  • December 23, 2009  - neckstomp says:

    Haley wasn’t hired til after the SB. He kept the worse members of Herm’s coaching staff – on his new staff. Probably because he couldn’t get anyone else to leave their current team(s).

    I had hoped to see weekly/monthly improvement in the head coaching development, and I have seen a bit, but not what I hoped for. Canning Gailey was not the wisest move for this team, this year. That showed a lack of experience and judgement, by Haley. Should have kept Chan for one year, and in the off-season – made his coaching staff upgrades.

    Pendergast is a dud as is Krumrie. Hire a new Def Coordinator and Off Coord – I’m thinking Crennel and Weis. Then get the fck out of the minutia of coaching all the things your assistants should be doing, and start acting like a head coach.

    I was willing to give Pioli and Haley this first year without b*tching – (too much). They really inherited a crappy squad, but this off-season I want to see some wheeling and dealing and drafting the best athletes available. Albert is a natural NFL guard. Put him on the right side of center and let’s get some road graders back on our offensive line of scrimmage.

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