Defense Continues Inconsistent Play

From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

In the first half, more than a few people inside Lucas Oil Stadium watched Colts QB Curtis Painter work the Indy offense and wondered whether Peyton Manning had actually snuck into the huddle wearing No. 7.

For 30 minutes, Painter was hot, and he was picking apart the Chiefs defense, throwing for big plays and giving the Colts. It was almost Manning like as he found WR Pierre Garcon for a pair of TD passes, including a 67-yard play. There was another 37-yard pass to Garcon, 26 to WR Reggie Wayne, then 23 to WR Austin Collie that almost ended up in the end zone.

Then it was half-time, and it all ended. The glass slippers Painter wore in the first half, turned to wooden clogs because the Chiefs defense played better football.

“It was all us,” said ILB Derrick Johnson. “I’m not going to take anything from him (Painter) because he made those plays. The problem is, we allowed him to make those. When we came in at half-time, it was all on us. We had to play better.”

That they did. In the first half, they helped Painter look like a new Manning. In the second half, they made Painter look like a QB who was making just his second NFL start. Here are the numbers:





































What was hard to understand was why the Chiefs did not come with more pass rushers or blitzers against Painter. Only once did they knock Painter to the ground on 27 pass plays and they never came close to sacking him. OLB Justin Houston had the only touch on him.

The Chiefs seemed intent on trying to confuse him with coverages, but in the first half they apparently only confused themselves. Garcon was wide open on his 67-yard TD play when CB Brandon Flowers bit on a pump fake and moved toward the center of the field where there were already people in coverage.

“That was my mistake,” Flowers said. “That was just the way things went early. I saw him pump and I saw a receiver going down the middle (TE Dallas Clark) and I moved in that direction and he dumped it over my head to Garcon.”

The first Painter to Garcon touchdown came because of bad communication in the secondary. It was 2nd-and-goal at the Chiefs 6-yard line. Painter sent a trio of receivers out right and they lined up in a bunch. The Chiefs were in their sub-defense and Javier Arenas was playing up on that side, while Flowers was back. There were no other defensive backs keyed to that side of the field, as SS Jon McGraw was playing inside in what amounts to a linebacker position.

Simple math tells you three against two are not good odds, and Painter quickly threw to Garcon, who stepped behind the other two receivers who provided cover. Arenas went for him, but got blocked out of the play and Flowers couldn’t get there fast enough.

“I’ve got to take my hat off to Curtis Painter,” said Chiefs head coach Todd Haley. “He was throwing the ball unbelievable there early. There was some tight coverage. Obviously we blew a coverage or two, but a lot of those throws were tight quarters really.”

The Chiefs tinkered with their defensive personnel for this game. McGraw was back from his shin injury and was inserted back into the starting lineup. OLB Andy Studebaker was in the starting lineup, replacing rookie Justin Houston, who was moved to the sub-defense as a pass rusher, replacing Cameron Sheffield.

“I welcome any opportunity to play,” said Studebaker. “I think all of us were a little slow getting out of the blocks but we got back into the game and I think we got things rolling in the second half.”

5 Responses to “Defense Continues Inconsistent Play”

  • October 9, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    I also kept wondering why we weren’t trying to put more pressure on him throughout the game. He was picking us apart in the first half. Thankfully the D woke up in the second half and played a lot better.

  • October 10, 2011  - Tim says:

    Bottom line is the strategy to confuse an inexperienced qb isn’t as good as putting the heat on him when his receiving corp is bigger, faster & better than our DBs. This should be an elementary evaluative decision. Almost any NFL qb will be anble to find a guy open if given enough time. He did. Enough said.

  • October 10, 2011  - leonard says:

    The point here is that the game is 60 minutes. The Colts were fired up in the first qtr, and the Chiefs finally weathered that and had a reasonable score by halftime.

  • October 10, 2011  - ED J says:

    Agreed Tim i think.Romeo.approach was ok. I mean their are time yoU can confuse young Qbs with coverages but Painter made some good reads. Give Romeo credit though he made.adjustment at halftime and it worked. Thats good coaching you make adjustments

  • October 10, 2011  - ED J says:

    Another thing Flowers is having an awful season. He’s been getting torched all yr. I litsen to Trent Green on podcast today with one of the guys on between the lines they was talking about how Kevin Harlan mentioned that Fitzpatrick Bills Qb said Flowers was the guy they wanted to go after in that game. Also they wanted to avoid Brandon Carr. Bottom line is he has new contract he better step his game up. He’s been getting burned last few games and we play Raiders and Jacoby Ford gave him the business last yr. So he better step his game up.

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