From Arrowhead Stadium
It was an unusual scene when the captains of the Chiefs and Packers met at midfield for the pre-game coin toss.
Representing the Chiefs was the team’s 2010 NFL Draft class of seven players. Eric Berry, Dexter McCluster (right), Javier Arenas, Jon Asamoah, Tony Moeaki, Kendrick Lewis and Cameron Sheffield (in street clothes) went out to represent their team.
It was the idea of head coach Todd Haley, who has raved about the intangibles of the group since the first day they walked into the building.
LITTLE GUY HAS ANOTHER NICE NIGHT
McCluster continues to make things happen, whether on offense or special teams. Now, if he can just keep his teammates from getting penalties and taking away some of his yardage.
Against Green Bay, McCluster carried the ball three times for 37 yards, two of those running plays coming out of the Wildcat formation. He did not catch a pass, but he returned two kickoffs for an average of 21.5 yards. All this was in limited work over the evening.
In the pre-season, where he essentially only played in three games, McCluster:
- Ran for 108 yards on 17 carries, a 6.4-yard average.
- Caught seven passes for 40 yards.
- Returned two punts for a 9.5-yard average.
- Brought back five kickoffs for a 30.8-yard average.
EVEN MORE WILDCAT FOR OPPONENTS TO SEE
When they got the ball to start the third quarter, the Chiefs pulled out the Wildcat formation with McCluster handling the ball. On first down, McCluster ripped off a big run down the left side, only to lose a large part of the yardage to a holding call on FB Tim Castille. On the repeat of first down, McCluster ran for nine yards and a first down.
On the next play, McCluster took the snap and handed off to WR Jeremy Horne on an end-around going from left to right. Horne had forward progress for four yards, but when he was walled off by the Packers defense, he reversed his field.
Horne ended up losing 12 yards on the run and the Wildcat went back in the box and was not seen again Thursday night.
NOW THAT’S A BIG FULLBACK!
When he lines up at nose tackle with his 300 pounds, Derek Lokey is actually considered a bit underweight for the position.
Not so when he lines up at fullback, something he did last week against Philadelphia and he was out there again against Green Bay on Thursday night.
“I’ve been campaigning for it,” Lokey said after the game. “I did some of that when I was in college (University of Texas) and I’ve been trying to get them to give me a chance.”
So far Lokey has done nothing but block; he’s not touched the ball either in a handoff, or as a receiver. Haley wants to see if he can catch the ball. Lokey says give him a chance.
“I can catch the ball,” he said. “Give me a shot.”
Ed Hochuli, aka Mr. Muscles, and his crew worked the game. Despite the fact that only the Kansas City area and Milwaukee-Green Bay were getting the television broadcast, Hochuli made sure he got plenty of TV time. No referee/crew chief among the league’s officiating crews turns on his microphone and speaks more than Hochuli.
There were two replay challenges by the Packers, one in each half. Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy lost the first one, when an on-field ruling of an incomplete pass was upheld. But in the second half, McCarthy challenged the placement of the ball after a running play by Kregg Lumpkin. The officials ruled him down without crossing the goal line. But after McCarthy threw the red flag, the review showed that Lumpkin had the ball in his possession when he crossed the goal line, thus it was a touchdown.
In the second half, Haley threw his red flag on a possible Packers fumble that on the field was ruled down by contact. Hochuli went under the hood and came back with a decision not to change the call, costing the Chiefs a timeout.
Overall, the Chiefs were flagged for five penalties for 42 yards. There was an offensive pass interference call against WR Jeremy Horne that wiped out a seven-yard gain by McCluster. On the first offensive play of the second half, McCluster ripped off a 27-yard run out of the Wildcat formation. But C Rudy Niswanger was hit with a 10-yard holding call, wiping out 23 yards of that play.
There were three fourth quarter penalties on defense. CB Jackie Bates was called for an illegal contact penalty, giving the Packers a first down. DE Alex Magee was hit for five yards on an illegal use of the hands. Late in the period, CB Travis Daniels was hit for a 12-yard defensive pass interference call.
- Punting â€“ Dustin Colquitt punted five times for a 45.2-yard average. His net average was 39.8 yards and his long punt went for 61 yards.
- Kickoffs — Ryan Succop kicked off four times, sending his kicks to the goal line, goal line, five-yard line and then a surprise mortar kick that went to the 26-yard line. Only once after a kickoff did the Packers begin the possession outside the 20-yard line.
- FGs & PATs â€“ Succop missed from 51 yards when he hit the left upright. He came back and kicked a 26-yarder and made all of his PAT kicks
- Returns â€“ On punt returns, Arenas ripped off a 44-yarder to start the night and finished with two returns for an average of 23.5 yards. On kickoff returns, McCluster had two and Javarris Williams one and they averaged 21.3 yards between them.
- Coverage â€“ Darn good night for coverage units, as they held returner Jason Chery to a 9-yard on three punt returns and then a 16-yard average on kickoff returns.
PERSONNEL AND PARTICIPATION
A dozen members of the Packers did not dress for the game, including starting QB Aaron Rodgers and starter RB Ryan Grant. Also out were starters LT Chad Clifton, DE Cullen Jenkins, OLBs Clay Matthews and Brad Jones and CB Charles Woodson.
For the Chiefs, they had five players who did not participate: CB Maurice Leggett, OLB Cameron Sheffield, G Darryl Harris, RT Ryan O’Callaghan and OLB Tamba Hali. Starting for O’Callaghan was Barry Richardson, with Andy Studebaker stepping into the starting lineup for Hali.
Also, WR Chris Chambers was dressed but did not play in the game. Chambers was a limited participant in practice last Tuesday and no obvious injury is apparent with the veteran. But his nightw as over before it even began.
Honored in pre-game ceremonies was Kansas City’s “Mr. Music” Tony DiPardo. Along with his wife and family, DiPardo was taken to mid-field in a wheelchair where he was honored with a special trophy and tribute on the video boards.