Passing Game Falls Flat

From Arrowhead Stadium

How bad was the Chiefs offense against Buffalo on Sunday?

This bad … after they scored their only touchdown of the game with just over two minutes to play in the second quarter, they never ventured back into Bills territory. In fact, they never went deeper than their own 41-yard line. On that play, Matt Cassel threw an interception.

And this bad … the Chiefs had 38 passing plays against Buffalo. Out of that total, eight lost yardage. That’s two sacks for minus-14 yards and six completions for minus-15 yards.

Ultimately, this bad … they scored just seven points, a number that will give you a chance to win about one half of one percent of NFL games.

“Obviously, we struggled just a little bit,” said TE Leonard Pope in the understatement of the day from the Chiefs. “We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on.”

For whatever reason, whether it was the cracked rib of QB Matt Cassel, the presence of a potential sacker like Bills OLB Shawne Merriman, lack of confidence in the offensive line, the Chiefs offensive game plan did not include going long. Only late in the game, when the outcome was well decided, did Cassel throw anything long.

For the most part, it was short passes, dumped off to the right or left that made up the Chiefs attack. It failed miserably, as they gained just 213 yards. By quarters that broke down to 42, 111, 7 and 53 yards.

“It was something we felt going into this week that we could get the ball out and out flank them a little bit based on some of the coverages we saw them play on film,” Cassel said. “It worked here and there, but at the same time we didn’t get enough shots down field in order to really establish something.”

Second guess the plan? Not Cassel.

“You never second guess,” he said. “You go out there and play. We had a few shots and I missed one down the sideline late in the game. It just didn’t work out that way today.”

About the only time the offense and the passing game was effective was in the second quarter when the Chiefs went to the no huddle and produced their only touchdown drive of the game, a six-yard Cassel to RB Jamaal Charles score.

But even that wasn’t something that excited either Haley or Cassel.

“It’s up to us as a coaching staff to figure out all these basic things, what your guys can do, how you can play them,” said Haley. “There were very few things to get excited about on a day like today.”

Said Cassel: “Anytime you score only seven points, and your opponent puts up 41, you’re not having an effective day. We have to get back to the drawing board in all phases of the game.”

Like maybe some passing plays that gain yardage and don’t go backward.

8 Responses to “Passing Game Falls Flat”

  • September 11, 2011  - aPauled says:

    3.3 Yards per Pass Attempted (36 for 119). That’s horrendous. Seemed like Cassel locked onto Bowe then checked down to Charles/McCluster over-n-over-n-over. This isn’t high school…can’t do that. The Chiefs certainly didn’t take advantage of the speed of Breaston and Urban to stretch the field…even as decoys.

    I’m just blown away how a team that sleep walked thru the preseason can show up for the regular season opener…at home…and be so unprepared and offer so little effort.

    I have been a Cassel supporter but his play and leadership so far this season have “journey-man, backup” written all over it. He’s had enough time…either step up…or step aside Cassel.

  • September 11, 2011  - ED J says:

    Agreed apauled. I haven’t finishing watching last 2 quarters of the game but Cassel played horrible. I too have been a huge Cassel supporter but no excuse for this preseason or no preseason. He’s still locking on to receivers and not surveying the entire field. Also he missed Urban deep wide open on that sack by Kyle Williams. To me its make or break for this guy. Even with Moeaki injuries he has more than enough talent to put up better numbers.

    I mean anytime you see Rex Grossman throw for over 300 yards with his core of receivers he has and Cassel a measley 133 yards with two pro bowl receivers in Breaston and Bowe. Say what you want about different offensive coordinators but its same offense terminology hasn’t changed. So bottom line if we’re going repeat as champs Cassel is going to prove he’s starting QB in this league or just a good backup

  • September 11, 2011  - brainsmasher says:

    That was a team effort. Everybody talks about Tyson Jackson being a bust; but I would label Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas as busts, too. WTF happened to Dustin Colquitt? Is it too late to beg Charlie Weiss not to leave?

  • September 11, 2011  - el cid says:

    Could say every player and every play was a bust but we need to face facts. The way this season was put together, the Chiefs were asking to get beat on.

    Can it be fixed, do not see how. Just have to ride it out and hope for something godd to happen before the bitter end. The 53 we have are pretty much the 53 we will play all year. For whatever reason, the Chiefs decided this team needed to regress to move forward. Fans may have bought into the 10 wins last year, but management and coaches did not. They were searching for guys off the street for help. Example was Becht at TE. No business on a AFC West Champ team but there he was. Colbert another good feeling story but what did he add to last years team. On and on, just ride it out and hope for improvement next year.

  • September 11, 2011  - Bills Run Over Chiefs In Opener, 41-7 | Chiefs Football at says:

    [...] SIDEBAR: Short passing game dies on the vine. [...]

  • September 12, 2011  - PAChiefsFan says:

    Agree with everything above. I still can’t figure out when they were down by 34 points and the game was out of reach why Cassel was still in there. He has sore ribs and is the “best” QB you have on your roster why put him at risk. Get your backups some reps in case they are needed at some point. Made no sense to me.

  • September 12, 2011  - Tim says:

    The game plan was REALLY bad. I know Haley is involved BUT Muir is an O-line coach. I don’t care how many years, etc. he’s been a coach in the league. When you lose the essential element of your passing game (Moeaki), you have to compensate in some way to work the middle of the field. They did NOTHING in the middle. What the heck did they get Breaston for? Urban is overrated. They need to run route combinations that make the opponent cover the middle at least some of the time!

  • September 12, 2011  - Craig says:

    All I can say is thank goodness, Gailey is not our offensive coordinator. We would be in real trouble with him calling the plays.

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