Leftovers From Houston

From Reliant Stadium, Houston

The situation was third down and two yards to go for the Chiefs offense at their 41-yard line. They held a three-point lead and there was two minutes, 36 seconds to play.

The decision to pass in that situation has apparently become the second-guess decision of the week for Chiefs fans after the team’s 35-31 loss to the Texans.

Rather than run the ball for those two yards, the coaches called for a throwback screen to TE Tony Moeaki. The idea is that the flow of the play goes right, save for a couple of offensive linemen and Moeaki. QB Matt Cassel then throws back to his left side. When it works it’s a nice play. When it doesn’t, the arm chair quarterbacks are irate.

In this case it didn’t work. The pressure on Cassel forced him to release the ball before everybody was in their proper places and he ended up throwing it just over Moeaki’s head. As the picture above shows, it was just out of his grasp.

The incompletiont forced a fourth down and more importantly, it stopped the clock.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak was one guy happy with the decision.

“I was a little surprised that they would do that,” Kubiak said after the game. “It saved me a time out and got us the ball back.”Β Β 

That it did. P Dustin Colquitt’s punt ended up in the end zone for a touchback and Houston’s offense took over at their 20-yard line with 2:22 to play, two timeouts, plus the two-minute warning. Nine plays later they scored the winning touchdown.

Kubiak also had this to say about the Chiefs offense:

“They present some problems formation-wise and those players with the way they run that college-type stuff.”

College-type stuff? Not sure where Kubiak’s going with that one, but the winner can say whatever he wants.


Welcome to the AFC Worst.

Actually, make that the NFL Worst.

The Chiefs have lost two in a row after yesterday’s 35-31 decision against the Texans. Yet they haven’t lost any ground in the division standings.

That’s because the AFC West is the NFL’s worst division at this point of the season. The quartet of Chiefs-Chargers-Broncos-Raiders have a combined 9-14 record. No division has won fewer games. Now division has lost more games. Even the always bad NFC West has a better record at 10-12. Here’s how the division rank:

  • AFC SOUTH – 15-9 (includes a victory and defeat from tonight’s Tennessee-Jax game.)
  • AFC EAST – 12-9.
  • NFC EAST – 12-11.
  • AFC NORTH & NFC SOUTH – 11-11.
  • NFC WEST – 10-12.
  • NFC NORTH – 10-13.
  • AFC WEST – 9-14.

Here’s the problem for the teams in the AFC West – they all have to play the AFC South. So there’s the top division in the league playing 16 games against the worst division in the league. Right now the AFC West is 2-6 against the AFC South.


You figure the Chiefs are 3-2 yet are still two games up in the loss column over everybody in the division. So just how many games would they have to win to make the playoffs?

Since the NFL went to the eight divisions with the 2002 season, there have been 64 division winners. The average number of victories those teams had was 11.6.

The average number of victories the AFC West champ had in those eight seasons was 12. The fewest victories to win a division since ’02 came in the AFC West with San Diego in 2008. Te Chargers 8-8 record trumped the Broncos 8-8 record.

Only five of those 64 division champs won nine games.

Forgetting the rest of the division and what they might be able to do, if the Chiefs got to 10 victories it’s hard to see them not winning the AFC West. That means they would have to go 7-4 in the final 11 games. Depending on getting the “right” victories, they might be able to win the top spot with nine, which would require them to go 6-5 over the rest of the season.

Based on the first five games, that 6-5 doesn’t seem unreasonable.


Kubiak never struck me as a whiner. But he did work a long time in Denver, so some of that had to sink in with him.

Even after his team’s victory, Kubiak was pouring plenty of whine, and it was over his LB situation after losing DeMeco Ryans for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. Combined with other injuries at linebacker and the Houston defense was struggling.

“I’d have to stand here all day to explain to you what it’s like to suit up four linebackers and end up with three for a whole half,” Kubiak said. “Then, try and play nickel and they went to a big package to run the ball on us knowing we were out of people, which is smart on their behalf. We were all out of whack and just trying to hang on.

“We’re not playing well on defense. We’re struggling. We’ve got to tackle better, cover better, and we got to do everything better. We’re really struggling and I can’t hide it from myself or anybody.”


Todd Haley selected Jamaal Charles as the extra captain for this game. Charles was one of seven Texas natives on the Chiefs roster and he’s hometown of Port Arthur is not far from Houston.

Charles even called the flip of the coin. He called tails, it came up heads. But the Texans deferred and the Chiefs offense started the game with the ball anyway.

Flipping the coin was President George H.W. Bush. The 41st President of the U.S. was struggling a bit physically. He was taken to midfield in a cart, and then had to use a cane to get himself into place for the flip. Several times, he had to grab the arm of an assistant who was standing next to him.

15 Responses to “Leftovers From Houston”

  • October 18, 2010  - Jimbo says:

    My emotions reflected on Sundays loss.

    The Chiefs almost won a game they were not expected to win.(except for us die hard fans) The game was exciting & entertaining to say the least. My initial emotion to the loss was deflated, simply deflated. I did not want to watch the post game show & I did not want to hear Mitch & Len discuss & analyze of how or why we lost the game. ( like I normally would do)So I turned off the TV, then the Radio & then I did something I rarely do. I immediately took off my Chiefs jersey.

    I was home alone at the time, my wife was listening to the game on the truck radio. She was helping our niece move to another town. She actually called me all excited right after the D-Bowe touchdown giving us a 21-7 lead. She’s not the biggest Chiefs fan in the world, but she wanted to share her excitement with this Chiefs fan. Anyhow instead of cursing, screaming or pouring myself a stiff drink, I went outside & started draining our little swimming pool in preparation of taking it apart & storing it for the winter.

    My reactions after the loss where not my normal emotion. Nor was the way the Chiefs played & the hope & confidence that did not diminish in me, until the final play. No pain, no sadness & no anger.I simply felt totally & utterly deflated.
    Go Chiefs.

  • October 18, 2010  - el cid says:

    Now what you mean. We have bought into the team having 3 wins and a chance to be something special. Did not happen against the Colts and now Tx. Oh, well, there is next week and we are 3-2 but sort of a sour taste with this loss.

  • October 18, 2010  - Kiowa says:

    One play to get that 1st down and they had rammed the ball down the Texans throat all day so it made sense to run it. But I also see Weiss’ thinking and throwing the D off by passing it. Either way, this team is growing and Cassel stepped it up after all our harsh criticisms last week so hopefully he keeps growing. The D did a good job but got stung hard by a great passing aattck.

    I am not sure why Flowers was not covering Johnson more cause he burned Carr a bunch of time! Having Flowers on him most likely would have made the difference to getting the big W.

    Lots of room for optimism still so let us hope they come back with their heads up and pound the Jags!

  • October 18, 2010  - dan in joplin says:

    Kubiak “college-type stuff”???? well, mr. kubiak, that college-type stuff was all over your defense, so what does that say about you & your D????
    Jimbo, I felt the same way you did! I am a little better today and maybe I’ll get a little better tomorrow, you know just get a little better each day….. :) Seriously, there is still a sense of accomplishment w/ this team even in the two losses. We can still win the west even thought the intent is still building for the future (sorry el cid)

  • October 18, 2010  - el cid says:

    Right dan, the future is now and I cannot buy into “pie in the sky” and we will all love each other some day in the future. They may pull it off and be a consistant upper level team but (and it is a cheap shot) more than likely they will not because most teams do not.

  • October 18, 2010  - Petey says:

    I understand the call, but hated the call. Get the ball to Charles out wide and take your chances. I also hated the call on 4 and 2 in the 1st quarter, even though it worked. I also hated that Cassel threw that ball to Vrabel 120 MPH when it looked like he could have run for the first down. It’s easy to second guess, but I can’t believe we ran that play.

  • October 18, 2010  - Todd says:

    No one expected us to win this game. (Die hards hoped for a win, at best). We dominated the entire game, until our defense just got too tired. Offense looked great most of the time, which is what we were all dreaming would happen. When I saw the score out here in Seattle (I have to watch later on NFL.com’s game rewind), I was amazed that we played and scored that high. I was also surprised with how many points Houston had. I never expected to come home and think, “Wow, don’t we have a defense?”.

    I’m calling this game a speed bump. If the defense had played as well as the last 4 games, we’d be celebrating another win this week.

    I’ve said it here before: I’m predicting we’ll end up 3-1 this quarter.

  • October 18, 2010  - Edward says:

    Agreed Todd will win the next 3. I looked at the loss like this. Now we don’t go in to Jags game all cocky thinking we’ve accomplished something. Now will be more focused because if we would’ve won I saw Jags and Bills game as trap games if we would’ve won against the Texans. Either way Jags are in for a beat down Sunday and I’ll be in Arrowhead to watch it. Bills will be up next and then the hated Raiders. So we have a solid chance of being 6 and 2 by the end of the second quarter.

  • October 18, 2010  - TDKC says:


    that, get a little better every day, line made me laugh.

  • October 18, 2010  - Michael says:

    It is easy to second guess, so I guess I will. My favorite play to hate was the call to pass to Copper on 3rd down inside the five yard line. Coppper is your best option in that spot? Well, when they work you’re brilliant, otherwise you’re a dumbell.

    I don’t like to look down the road to much when it comes to the upcomiing games, trying to predict wins and losses. Each game and each opponent are unique, and most come down to a handful of plays that swing it one way or the other.

    Jags are up next. You know they’re going to try to run it; so the KC run D better regroup quick. Didn’t like the looks of it against the Texans; gave me flashbacks to last year. Toss that game out, and get back to playing like they have of recent.

    Hope the home crowd is into it. The Chiefs need that Arrowhead Avalanche coming down on the Jags next Sunday.

  • October 18, 2010  - Jonathan says:

    Jimbo and el cid I know what you mean because normally on Sundays after games I like to read online the Star and Bob but it took until 9:45 this evening before I finally mustered up the courage to read what happened. This really hurts even more than last week because the Chiefs could be 5-0 with some luck and 3 1/2 games in front on the pack with an excellent chance of putting away the rest of the division. I’m confident that they will bounce back and take out some frustration on their next few opponents.

  • October 18, 2010  - Kiowa says:

    We may have got a small break for the Jags game with their QB getting knocked out in the Monday night game!

  • October 19, 2010  - Nick says:

    Mr. Gretz-

    I am curious what you think Kubiak meant when he said “college-type stuff?” I know that you said you weren’t sure what he meant, but I assume you had a chance to see, or hear him say it and what would be your best guess as to what he meant by it. Thanks and I really love your coverege of the Chiefs, visit this site daily.

  • October 19, 2010  - RW says:

    Couple of points come to mind:

    “The Play” selection to toss a 2yd pass to Moeaki was good in theory when TX was expecting a run. That play would most likely work more times than not, especially against a stacked defense. The failed plays always get second guessed, the successful ones called insightful. Human nature. I’m not second guessing.

    As to Kubiak running his mouth about the college offensive of the Chiefs, perhaps he’s subliminally putting a message out there that he’s available for a NCAA gig? Poor form, Kubiak, but, (and here it gets old school), having worked under the Rat at Denver all those years, why are any of us surprised with this comment?

  • October 19, 2010  - Justin says:

    This was a terrible loss but who among us did not see the Texans pull out a 17 pt comback against the Redskins? I think we all knew better and hoped against hope that our 14 pt lead was better than the Skins 17.

    This loss was painful – excruciating given the PI call on Flowers – but lets not forget they gave us reason to hope and we have lacked that for so long it was not surprising we got caught up in it.

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