Falcons Fly High Against Chiefs, 40-24

From Arrowhead Stadium

It was certainly no way to start a football season if the color of your jersey was red.

On a sun-splashed first afternoon of the 2012 NFL season, the Chiefs were badly smacked by the Atlanta Falcons 40-24 on Sunday.

Prodigal football son TE Tony Gonzalez returned to Arrowhead for the first time since he was traded in 2009 and helped the Falcons scored 23 unanswered points and run away with an easy opening victory.

With four starters off the field because of suspension and injury, the missing were notable in the Chiefs defensive effort. They forced three turnovers by QB Matt Cassel, allowing only two first half scores and controlling the game’s tempo.

Throughout the afternoon and evening we will be posting stories. Here’s our coverage:

27 Responses to “Falcons Fly High Against Chiefs, 40-24”

  • September 9, 2012  - R W says:

    The main difference??? Dimitroff/Blank vs Pioli/Hunt. No contest. THAT is the real storyline of this game..this franchise.

  • September 9, 2012  - ChuckXX says:

    I really hate to say “I told you so” but “I told you so”. See my post before the game even started. Too many holes in our defense right now. You don’t win many football games by giving up 40 points. Can’t really put all the blame on Cassel. We really need Flowers and Hali back badly. We only had one sack and almost no pressure all day on Ryan.

  • September 9, 2012  - ED J says:

    RW chill seriously difference in game were all injuries on defense. Not oweners or GM. If Falcons had lost a bunch starter on defense like we did and we were more healthy team would’ve been different game. The loss of Hali and Bailey hurt more than loss of Flowers, Lewis, and Toribio. We jus couldn’t generate a pass rush even the few times we got good coverage. Its bad when unatheletic Matt Ryan scrambles for 24 yards and a rushing td. Says all you need to know about pass rush today.

  • September 9, 2012  - R W says:

    Keep slruping that koolaid. It might even open your eyes.

  • September 9, 2012  - ED J says:

    I’m not slurping any koolaid just stating the obvious. Dont overreact after 1 game in which defensively injuries took our ability away from it being a competitive game for 4 quarters. I’m confident when Hali comes back this next Sun against Bills defense will look totally different and you’ll be drinking kool aid sooner or later.

  • September 9, 2012  - ED J says:

    Besides Hunt and Pioli aren’t going anywhere so either embrace it or find another team because just like arrowhead on the helmet Hunt not going anywhere except that or move on period

  • September 9, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    I’m glad no other teams had injuries that prevented some of their starters from playing today. I’ll reserve judgement on how our season will go but we weren’t even competitive on defense and got blown out once their defense began pressuring our offense. I wish I could say otherwise but I’m not overly impressed with our start at home or our prospects at this point. Would that it were as simple as the formula in Ed’s head but I suspect RW’s onto something.

  • September 9, 2012  - Tenand6 says:

    Dick Haley said Matt Cassel was “real average.”

    He’s right. Cassel can do well on short passing plays given our skill players. But, that’s not enough. With Cassel, we can’t have turnovers and we can’t play from behind. Oh yeah, and his protection must be outstanding.

    Todd Haley wasn’t the Chiefs biggest problem. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he’s with the Steelers. My point is, let’s clear away all the distractions. Even with the injuries, the Chiefs should not have been run out of their own stadium.

    We needed a real QB today to pick up the slack. Scott Pioli decided years ago that Matt Cassel was his man. That’s an error in judgment. That’s a shame because he has improved the roster. Scott Pioli has refused to admit that in a quarterback-driven league that Matt Cassel is a good back up.

    Maybe things will improve in the weeks ahead with a healthy defense, but this team needs to find a better QB. Someone who doesn’t need a perfect roster to hide his limitations.

    That being said, in this division, the Chiefs should win 10 games.

  • September 9, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    I guess I forgot to mention our special teams gave up a huge return and missed an easy field goal at a key juncture in the game. Other than those things it was a swell game. The good news coming out of the game is as Tenand6 indicated, we’re still in the AFC West.

  • September 9, 2012  - el cid says:

    I would suggest a few things:

    1. Cassel is the starting QB, and Pioli has made sure that will not change.

    2 Pioli and Hunt are here for the long run, anyone notice the empty seat in gold and with 11 min to play fans leaving, not that any of that matters.

    3. Pioli got his man in Crennel and Daboll, like them or not, they are here for the long run.

    4. Stuff the Chiefs running attack, you win.

    5. The defense is as bad as it looked in the preseason. Stars out of game but defenders were trailing in man to man by as much as 5 yards.

    6. Cassel can give you one half of really go passing but eventually he will end up ineffective.

    7. Draft picks are dropping out, did Baldwin set foot on the field – where are all those who said he is good enough to replace Bowe? Where are you guys?

    8. Everyone said “we are a running team” Guess you forgot to email Daboll, he had Cassel passing all over the place.

  • September 9, 2012  - DanO says:

    Why can’t we time our crappy years like the Colts?

  • September 9, 2012  - napahank says:

    El Cid,

    1. Cassel played outstanding today. His first half throws were not dink and dunk. Even the announcers raved at his accuracy, receiver selection and location.
    2. Why pay BIG money and not stay…probably corporate seats.
    3. We have already seen what Crennel can do with all his players in (remember Pittsburg and G.Bay last year)? Daboll is still learning the players and who can he trust (just like last year in Miami)
    4. Pass on first down and you loosen that up.
    5. Biggest problem. Rewatched game and Reeves couldn’t keep up and Elam couldn’t get there fast enough (BTW Jones/White are the best tandom in NFL)
    6. Maybe true but keep it close or ahead and watch him this year.
    7. Even announcers were befuddled concerning Baldwins absence.
    8. In the rewatch, I noticed that they played a lot of 8 man fronts against us then sometimes dropped the safety back at the last minute.
    XXX.One last tidbit. Announcers remarked how “different” the offense and defense schemes were for Falcons with both new OC & DC. KC didn’t have ability to really game plan from historical game film.

  • September 9, 2012  - el cid says:

    Napa, check the stats on Matt, QB rating of 74, for the WHOLE game he was substand. I did enjoy his first half but the team played the whole game, he seems to have missed the 2nd half.

    I understand the Chiefs sold season tickets at a rate less tha 80%, not that I care all that much.

    As for Crennel, nothing happens in a vacuum, his great defenses were supported by good offenses. We seem to be a bit short on both sides at this time.

    As for giving Cassel another year to “watch him” why not we have not been in the playoffs but one year in over the last 10, what the heck who needs good football.

    Lastly XXXX, look at Atl and Chiefs, GM about the same length from the same team and what do you have. Atl is using the first HC hired, and playoffs every year…..and ….Pioli has, what has he accomplished, a better roster and not a lot of wins to go with it?

  • September 9, 2012  - aPauled says:

    I didn’t recognize the QB for the Chiefs in the first half. That guy could play! Unfortunately Cassel is who he is…inconsistent. When the O needed a pick-me-up to maintain some momentum, Sucuup blew a very makeable FG. That put the pressure directly on Cassel and he again proved that he can’t shoulder that burden, turned the ball over 3 times, and here we are with 15 to go hoping that the running game can carry the team in a throwing league. Uhhhhhh….

  • September 9, 2012  - ED J says:

    All you guys make good points. Cassel does need step up lets see if he improves of course of season. I’m not going totally kill the guy because its one game lets see if he improves. He did good job working middle of field in 1st half. Then in 2nd half when Falcons looked like they were putting more bodies in middle of field Cassel should have worked ball outside numbers more to Baldwin, Bowe, and Breaston. Interceptions and fumbles were inexcusable I don’t need see that again ever. Either way Chiefs fans need be happy because for 1st time in long time we’re in a win/win situation.

    Why do you ask? Because if Cassel doesn’t perform better and start putting up more pts on offense and be more efficient in passing game for 4 quarters then we will see Chiefs draft QB in 1st rd next yr. If he does live up to expectations I have for him this season then we’ll have a good yr and end playoff losing streak. Either way its win/win.

  • September 9, 2012  - ED J says:

    But I will put 55% of this lost on defense because they didn’t force a punt till 4th quarter. Getting Hali and Bailey back will help improve our pass rush. YOu can’t take player of that caliber and think its not goin make impact. Flowers hurt too but even when secondary had good coverage receivers got open because all time Matt Ryan had in the pocket. This team must find must find better pass rushers behind Hali and Houston. Even more important don’t think Dorsey going be back unless he improves over course of yr in his pass rushing ability. We need a guy at very least that can push the pocket. I know 3-4 def ends suppose take on blocks to allow OLB to get after QB but their are time where they need be the ones that get penetration and put some pressure on QB too. Like a Justin Smith or JJ Wyatt.

  • September 9, 2012  - Craig says:

    Atlanta Stacked the line in the second half and bet that Cassel could not beat them. They were right.

  • September 9, 2012  - Craig says:

    Is anyone as disappointed as I am in Tony dunking on his old team?

  • September 9, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    You Cassel-haters are so boring.

    The entire offense looked great in the 1st half. The 2nd half the O-line ran out of gas and were huffing and puffing. Albert didn’t touch the guy that caused the fumble. O-line conditioning is Herm-like.

  • September 9, 2012  - Tenand6 says:

    It would be great to have a quarterback who made plays and not excuses. I don’t care about offensive coordinators. If a QB has protection and good skill position players, he should be no less than 65% with completions and very few interceptions.

    This is a near West Coast offense. A few more passes to the backs and we have high percentage plays and guys who can get yards after the catch. There are too many receivers to cover.

    We really should thump Buffalo next week.

    No excuses.

  • September 9, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    I’m home. I’m tired. My knees and ears are sunburned! I really hoped what I saw in preseason was just smoke. I’m afraid what we saw is what we get.

  • September 9, 2012  - ED J says:

    Cychief I’m Cassel supporter but what was disappointing about about the game was to see him look more like Palmer than Cassel. All the 2nd half turnovers back to back to back drives was over the top. To watch him force ball to Mcluster across the middle in tight coverage. Then to watch him hang on ball too long which he got hit from back and fumbled. Then to watch him throw ball across his body. He should be beyond plays like those. When you make 63 million contract your QB has to step up. Too much talent on this offense for us not to be more efficient and potent on offense and at very least be able to go toe to toe with Falcons.

    Yeah not having Hali and Flowers out really set defense back but Cassel needs to take care of the ball. That is what he’s been known for in past. His 1st half performance needs to be something we see for 4 quarter not just an half. I’m watch coaches tape tonite to see if he didn’t work ball to Baldwin Bowe or Breaston enough in 2nd half because they wasn’t getting open or is it because he just was taking chance challenging receivers one on one.

  • September 9, 2012  - TWC says:

    Maybe Pioli can get four more years just like President Obama. I’m sure both need more time for their plans to really work.

  • September 10, 2012  - el cid says:

    TWC, would prefer to keep politics out of footballl, but “more time” and I may be dead from old age before the great dawn.

    Last point for me about the game….Is it safe to say Flowers has more than a bruised heel, has not been on the field since training camp? Where the heck did Baldwin disappear? I do not recall seeing him the entire game, anyone?

  • September 10, 2012  - Tenand6 says:


  • September 10, 2012  - txchief says:

    Hello fellow Chiefs fans. Just drove back home from the game and spent a good deal of time listening to 810 and 610 after the game and on the way out of town.

    I have to say that I am totally amazed by the amount of negativism and lack of any hope from the radioheads and the alleged Chiefs “fans” that called in to the stations. For a town that supposedly loves the Chiefs, all I heard was alot of bilious, petty cheap shots on the team, coaches and management/ownership. The uninitiated might have thought that there were a bunch of Donks and Raydurz fans on the radio. What has sucked the life out of KC?

    I’m no fan of Cassel, and he definitley showed his inconsistency when one compares the first half to the second. The meltdown in the second half was not his alone, as the Falcons managed to shut down the running game and force the Chiefs to throw the ball. The absence of Hali, Flowers and Lewis, along with a limited DJ prevented the Chiefs from disrupting the birds elite passing game, but there are more serious weaknesses at Arrowhead.

    I have supoported Pioli consistently on this forum, but the team’s failure to correct the QB position has been his greatest failing. After watching Peyton Manning play on Sunday night, the sting of Manning signing with Denver hurts even more than could be imagined. The Chiefs roster with Peyton would have transformed the team into instant contender.

    I previously thought that Dan Snyder was a fool to bet the farm to draft RGIII. In retrospect, that is exactly what the KC must do to elevate the franchise. The lack of a true franchise QB has haunted the Chiefs for decades.

    Pioli has performed just like my own accountant/financial advisor. What he says sounds good, but I have just been filling a hole with money without any growth or improvement. Are you listening Clark? Another year with Pioli will be just like another with Barry Sotero. We will all be effed.

  • September 10, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    FYI- Anyone watching the raidas vs chuggers game. Tenn haley’s special teams coach Hoffman is at Oakland now. Notice how his back up long snapper is single handedly costing them the game.

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