Report Card: Chiefs vs. Rams

From the Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis

RUSHING OFFENSE: B – It was a struggle for most of the game for the Chiefs to keep a consistent rush going against a St. Louis defense that was playing the run. There was the 80-yarder by Jamaal Charles on his way to another 100-yard game. Then there were 41 other runs for an average of 3.2 yards per carry.

PASSING OFFENSE: C – There was too much pressure allowed on QB Matt Cassel by the protection unit; he was sacked three times on the afternoon and harassed and hit five other times. Cassel also threw an interception on a strange play where WR Dwayne Bowe and TE Tony Moeaki were in the same place at the same time. They don’t draw up plays like that. Bowe caught only two passes and overall, the Chiefs averaged 12.3 yards per completion and just over six yards an attempt.

RUSH DEFENSE: A – Keeping Steve Jackson under control was hugely important in the Chiefs chances to win this game and getting it done opened up so much of their defense. Tackling was much improved over the previous two weeks, as they were wrapping up on tackles. Several times, they made open field tackles to stop potentially big plays.

PASS DEFENSE: A – Rookie QB Sam Bradford had his hands full in this one. Once the Chiefs stopped the Rams running game, that put the game in the hands of Bradford and he does not have the experience or the receiving talent to be able to win those types of games. There were the three sacks from DE Wallace Gilberry and six other quarterback hits. Late in the game, FS Kendrick Lewis was able to snuff any chance with a pair of interceptions.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C – Nothing special going on here. Ryan Succop and Dustin Colquitt were good, but they got nothing in the return game again and in coverage they allowed too much yardage, including a 42-yard punt return and a 30-yard kickoff return by Danny Amendola. Those are two of the longest returns that he’s had this season. Javier Arenas and Dexter McCluster averaged only 9.3 yards on eight punt returns.

COACHING: A – Credit must go to defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and head coach Todd Haley. Crennel got his group playing smart and hard right from the start. They were able to befuddle rookie QB Sam Bradford at times and RB Steven Jackson was kept under wraps. Haley deserves top grades for the way he handled the past week with Matt Cassel. There are times when the Chiefs are silly in the secrecy, but the status of Cassel in the last week wasn’t so much secrecy, as it was playing the cards as they were dealt.

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