Chiefs Stumble To Pre-Season End, Losing 17-9

From St. Louis, Missouri

The first thing that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon should do Friday morning upon his return to the state capitol in Jefferson City is call Washington.

Nixon should immediately appeal for emergency relief funds from the federal government pinpointed to help the disaster that is professional football in the state of Missouri.

A major stinker was Thursday night’s game between the Rams and Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis grabbed the 17-9 victory to finish the pre-season with a 3-1 record. That may be more games than the Rams win during the regular season. First-year head coach Steve Spagnuolo has a struggling team with few offensive weapons, a banged up quarterback and a defense that’s working hard.

Sound familiar? The Chiefs earned the defeat and they finished Todd Haley’s first pre-season at 0-4.

It also makes them 8-39 in games played in the calendar years 2007-08-09.

“I talked to my father this morning,” Todd Haley said. “He knows the numbers better than I but he told me a lot of good teams haven’t won a pre-season game.”

That’s true. But then, the Chiefs are not a good team. They are not even close at this point.

There was some good play out of the first-team defense, as they gave up one TD and did a great job against the run. The Rams kept RB Steve Jackson under wraps, but in the first half they managed just 40 yards on 15 carries and in the game they were able to push those numbers only to 76 yards on 32 carries.

“There were some encouraging things out there today, most specifically the defense,” Haley said. “They did an excellent job. We gave up one touchdown and early in the game, they played hard, they got their hands on the football. I thought we were very good against the run game.”

In some ways it seemed the Chiefs offense took well to the change of coordinators with Haley calling the plays from the sidelines. They got big “chunks” of yardage, with four different plays that went for 40 yards or more and two of those were in the running game. TE Sean Ryan had a 40-yard catch, WR Ashley Lelie a 43-yard grab, RB Larry Johnson had a 41-yard run and RB Dantrell Savage ran 70 yards.

But there were no touchdowns. Actually, there was a touchdown but it was nullified by a holding call. It was the only time the Chiefs actually got close to planting their flag in the end zone.

“You can’t go zero for seven on third down in the first half, especially when some of those are in the red zone,” said Haley. “You can’t have penalties in the red zone; we had a touchdown called back because of a holding call there. We can’t have sacks in the red zone. Kicking field goals instead of scoring touchdowns, that usually gets you beat.”

While the running game is showing signs of life, the passing game continues to be ineffective and unproductive. Brodie Croyle started for the injured Matt Cassel and was erratic. Tyler Thigpen relieved him in the second half and was awful. Matt Gutierrez moped up and completed 50 percent of his passes. On this very bad night for Chiefs quarterbacks, that was actually very impressive

The Chiefs offense had a different play caller for this game, but they had the same old problems of not being able to get the ball into the end zone. In the first half, they had three very good opportunities thanks to the big plays of Ryan, Johnson and Savage, yet they had to settle for three FGs on the scoreboard.

Only once did a play actually reach the end zone, as Savage followed up Ryan’s 40-yard catch and Johnson’s 41-yard run with what looked like a touchdown on a sweep right. But the play was nullified when Ryan was called for holding. On the next play the Chiefs were flagged for delay of game. Croyle threw a pair of passes into the end zone for WR Dwayne Bowe, but they were off the mark.

Eventually, Succop kicked a 31-yard FG that gave the Chiefs a 3-0 lead.

In the first quarter, the Chiefs No. 1 defense got after Rams QB Kyle Boller and did not allow RB Samkon Gado much in the way of running room. In the two possessions where he ran the St. Louis offense, Boller was sacked by ILB Corey Mays and OLB Tamba Hali. Gado carried six times for 17 yards before leaving the game late in the first quarter with a limp. No injury information was provided by the Rams.

The Chiefs offense kept getting backed up in the battle for field position by Rams punter Donnie Jones. Their second possession of the second period started at their two-yard line. But then Savage hit them with the longest run the red and gold has seen for some time from a running back. On pure second and third effort, Savage broke through the right side of the Rams defense and took off down the right sideline. Savage had gone 70 yards before CB Bradley Fletcher pulled him down. Give credit to WR Mark Bradley for a big block that sprung Savage, as he picked off S David Roach.

While pre-season records for the Chiefs were not handy at the Dome, but the last regular season run that was longer was by WR Derrick Alexander who went 82 yards on an end-around against Pittsburgh in 1999. The last regular season run by a running back that was longer was Joe Delaney, who had an 82-yard run in the 1981 season.

The play started at the Chiefs two-yard line and Savage was tackled at the St. Louis 28. The offense got a first down and moved the ball to the 15-yard line. The next three plays were a one-yard run, an incomplete pass to Bowe in the end zone and on third down Croyle was sacked. Succop came on and nailed a 40-yard FG and the Chiefs led 6-0.

Brock Berlin then directed the St. Louis offense on a 15-play, 85-yard drive that ate up 7 minutes and 29 seconds of the second quarter clock. The score came on a six-yard TD throw to TE Daniel Fells at the goal line and he backed in against the Chiefs defenders for the score. Josh Brown’s PAT gave the Rams a 7-6 lead.

The Chiefs had one more offensive chance in the first half, when S DaJuan Morgan made a great diving interception of a Berlin pass that gave Kansas City the ball at the St. Louis 23-yard line. Croyle threw incomplete to WR Quinten Lawrence down the middle, Savage gained one-yard on the right side and then a scrambling Croyle got six yards on a 3rd-and-9 play. Succop drilled the 34-yard FG and the Chiefs held a 9-7 lead at half-time.

At the half, the Chiefs had 208 yards in offense, compared to just 143 yards for the Rams.

St. Louis finished the game with just 252 yards, but they scored a touchdown and got another TD from their defense.

That came near the end of the third quarter when Thigpen’s pass was picked off by CB Quincy Butler and was returned 28 yards for a “pick-six” touchdown. The PAT kick gave the Rams a 14-9 lead that they never lost.

Thigpen’s next two possessions went three plays and out with eight yards of offense and then three plays for one yard and another interception. As he was about to be tackled, Thigpen threw one up and CB Justin King ended up with the football.

Later in the fourth quarter, Rams K Josh Brown added a 37-yard FG and that was the final score, 17-9.

22 Responses to “Chiefs Stumble To Pre-Season End, Losing 17-9”

  • September 3, 2009  - Anonymous says:

    We should have taken the fifth for thigpen

  • September 3, 2009  - Donnie says:

    0-4 Preseason out of a Team that went 2-14 last year and 4-12 Cant be A Good Sign Specially after Pioli and Haley Pushing for Wins in this PreSeason!!

  • September 3, 2009  - CK says:

    Can thiggy play Wide receiver??? If not, trade him for a bag of peanuts or cut him.

  • September 3, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    I like :roll: s NEW offensively potent Chiefs… 3-16 was it on 3rd down plays? 0-1 on 4th down? Yup, ‘check’ is sure a nice change from that old Chan Gailey feller…

    :roll: “I can take any 22 guys from off the street and-”

    Chief fandumb: “OH SHUT-UP!!!”

    :roll: “go 0-4…”

    :lol: “What do you think Herm?”

    :razz: “Beautiful Rin – just like we called it!”

    :lol: & :razz: “Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh!!!”

  • September 4, 2009  - Blake says:

    The key point being that the Chiefs starters have looked pretty good this preseason. The Chiefs starters a much better than the Rams, they also looked better than the Vikings. The Seahawks not so much but there were a lot of injuries in that game. The scrubs are the ones losing the gmaes for us.

    Will Savage or Morgan make the roster? What about Lelie or Lawrence.

    Bob when are you doing your final roster predictions? Friday or Saturday? hopefully friday

  • September 4, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    heh heh heh

    :lol: & :razz:

  • September 4, 2009  - Lucas says:

    The Chiefs right now lack depth. Blake is right the starters haven’t really looked that bad, just turn off the second half because its always ugly. Fortunately, the Chiefs starting defense is leaps and bounds better than last seasons and the starting offense will be watchable.

    About the roster. They don’t have room for Savage. He has played his heart out and I like him, but unfortunately I just don’t see any way he makes this team. Dejaun Morgan, however, may have played himself onto this roster as a backup. He really has great talent and athleticism. I don’t know who would be on the losing end but I think Haley will find a way to keep him on just because he is the first sign of life from a defense who give/take ratio is less than impressive.

    Lelie will be a starter in my opinion and Lawrence will be a special teams player. Lawrence has had a poor preseason in general but has a lot of potential. He is very fast and if he can hang on to the ball I would think he will be a punt return man unless someone a bit more attractive pops up in the next week.

    Don’t be surprised if this sign happy offense picks up 3 or 4 possible starters in the next week.

  • September 4, 2009  - Rip 'em a new one says:

    re: The first thing that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon should do Friday morning upon his return to the state capitol in Jefferson City is call Washington.

    Nixon should immediately appeal for emergency relief funds from the federal government pinpointed to help the disaster that is professional football in the state of Missouri.

    A well crafted and poignant lead-in statement, Bob. My compliments.

  • September 4, 2009  - Some Guy says:

    How about your boy Croyle, eh Rin?

    He looked terrible against the Rams, whereas “the 63 million dollar man” Matt looked good against a much superior Vikings defense.

    Lucas, Blake, you guys are right about the starters looking good. LJ’s looked great, and so has Charles. I actually liked the play calling better in this game as well. It’s hardly Haley’s fault that Croyle and Thig made terrible throws all night, and players made a few bonehead plays in the red zone.

    I’m just REALLY hoping that Cassel is ready come week one. Just imagine an actually ACCURATE passer making some of the throws that Brokie and Thig screwed up last night… there’s a couple of td’s right there…

  • September 4, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    “Lawrence has had a poor preseason in general but has a lot of potential.”

    - so did Justin Medlock…

    “He is very fast”

    - but his 9.5 foot speed takes a back seat to his 15.5 hands & 25.5 awareness…

    “and if he can hang on to the ball I would think”

    - ‘yeah but, almost, just missed, woulda, coulda, shoulda’…translation: “IF ifs and buts were but candies and nuts”…

    “he will be a punt return man unless someone a bit more attractive pops up in the next week.”

    - Medusa could do better… ‘Q’-ball will lose a game for Kaycee (not that they need any more help via him or the rest) if they keep him ‘trying’ to make him a returner – he is NOT a kick returner – he is a player with speed/quickness…and nothing else.

    :lol: & :razz:

  • September 4, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Croyle looked GREAT aginst the Rams. Led the team to a TD – except another of :roll: & :shock: s “any 22 will do” hand-picked types – as TE Ryan – had a holding penalty.

    Brodie excelled DESPITE a “Chicklets & Clippers” inspired KC offensive line (Alleman and Nudukwe). Croyle is without question the finest QB on the Chiefs. mutt ca$$el is just a dog- mongrel – in comparison.

    :lol: & :razz:

  • September 4, 2009  - Some Guy says:

    Wow, obviously no point in using reason and logic against someone who called Croyle’s performance last night great, but never gave Cassel props after the Vikes game.

    By the way, Rin, that “any 22″ guy (Ryan) and LJ were the reason that drive went the way it did. Not Croyle. Thanks, though, for proving once and for all that you have no interest in actually being reasonable, but only want to have an opinion that makes you “stand out”. Kind of like those really annoying people that only like weird Indie movies and won’t listen to popular music because they have self-esteem issues and want to look “smarter” than other people. News flash; your opinion on last night’s game is wrong. Croyle missed multiple easy (relatively speaking) throws.

    If you want to call Croyle great last night, fine, everyone’s welcome to an opinion. However, don’t be a hypocrite and say Cassel didn’t play well against the Vikes. You see, he ACTUALLY led a TD drive :) , whereas your boy has nothing but an excuse.

    It’s simple, if Croyle was “great” last night, then by definition Cassel’s superior performance in his only real action this year was “great” as well.

  • September 4, 2009  - Todd Haley says:

    I was and am a horrible coach. And I have diarrhea because of my :( crappy O.

  • September 4, 2009  - Some Guy says:

    Oh, I almost forgot to mention this; Mark Bradley should start opposite of Bowe. He’s just as good a receiving option as any other potential number 2 WR we have, and he’s CONSTANTLY making blocks. I mean constantly. Every game He’s in you’ll see him make at least one great block to spring someone for extra yardage. That’s a rare thing in a WR, and could really help our running game.

  • September 4, 2009  - ILChiefsFan says:

    Croyle: 5 of 16, 50.3 QB rating. Brodie’s a better QB than that, but you can’t call that a great performance.

  • September 4, 2009  - Todd Haley says:

    I am the architect and excreter I mean creator of :( crappy O.

  • September 4, 2009  - B in SC says:

    Actually, I thought Brody looked okay. Zip on his passes and, unfortunately, had to take several hits and bounced right up. He just hasn’t played enough to get his timing down. He did throw a strike to Ryan on the long completion.

    Defens was okay, but without the starting QB and RB it’s hard to tell.

  • September 4, 2009  - Garbo says:

    “What do you think Herm?” What was Harms record for the two years here? Hee Hee……..


  • September 4, 2009  - Todd Haley says:

    And WHAT is that stench? Oh, it’s me the Head man in charge of this my :( crappy O team.

  • September 4, 2009  - Nick L. says:

    Please do not feed the animals (animal..RTT)

    Thank You!

  • September 4, 2009  - Stiv says:

    Please do not feed the animals (animal..Nick L.)

    Thank You!

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News