The 75 Percent Solutions – Chiefs at ¾ Mark

Through 12 games of the 2011 season, the third quarter has been the least productive for the Chiefs. They’ve scored just 37 points.

The third quarter of the entire season, games No. 9 through 12, were equally as dreadful for this team, as they went 1-3, while scoring just 32 points and two touchdowns in those four games. When we look back on the ’11 season it will be the third quarter where the season sank into the mire of mediocrity.

Hardly seems like a point in the season where anything would be considered good or worth mentioning. But we are nothing if not resolute around here and we honored the best and worst of the first two quarters of the season. Here’s how the last three weeks went in our eyes.


Overall performer – ILB Derrick Johnson turned in what might have been his best performance of the year against the Chicago Bears, with his 13 tackles and one sack. Plus, he knocked Bears RB Matt Forte out of the game with a great tackle right on the knee. Johnson wasn’t trying to hurt him, but it was a textbook tackle. There have been a lot of those types of plays for D.J. this season. Of a dozen games, he’s finished on the plus side 10 or 11 times. One of his least effect games may have been against Pittsburgh, but he rebounded last week.

Offensive performer – RB Dexter McCluster there’s a bit of “damning with faint praise” to say a player is the best player on an offense as bad as the Chiefs, one that scored two touchdowns in the last quarter of the season. McCluster has been the team’s leading rusher (35-179 yards) and third leading receiver (13-108) with one of the touchdowns. He averaged 12 offensive touches per game in the last four. The important thing for the Chiefs offense is that McCluster had a 32-yard run and a 38-yard pass completion. In this offense, those are big plays.

Defensive performer – OLB Tamba Hali continues to be one of the most consistent players on the Chiefs roster, and the third quarter was no different. He’s been tops rushing the passer, but he’s also done a very good job on playing the run on the edge. He’s not a one dimensional player by any means. A lot of defense players had a good month, but few were better than Hali.

Rookie performance – OLB Justin Houston has pushed his arrow higher and higher in the last quarter, as he wrapped up those four games with 23 total tackles, 3 sacks, 4 QB pressures and 2 passes knocked down. DE Allen Bailey continues to get opportunities in the sub-nickel defense and CB Jalil Brown has gotten a few more plays in the defense, along with his special teams plays.

Assistant coach performance – Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has done an exceptional job of overcoming the loss of SS Eric Berry, and taking the defensive roster that’s not necessarily deep in talent and turning it into a tough, hard playing bunch. They’ve been able to go out the last three weeks and take away the No. 1 offensive threats on each offense they faced.

Play of the quarter – Hail Mary full of Dexter against Chicago. Teams practice the jump ball mass every week, year-after-year, and they get the opportunity to pull it out maybe two or three times a year. The chances for success are something less than 50-50. So when the play hits, it’s a big deal and it certainly was for the Chiefs at the end of the first half vs. the Bears. It worked this time with great execution by the offense.


Overall performer – RT Barry Richardson’s arrow has been pointing down most of the season. He’s allowed more sacks than any blocker on the offense and he’s given up 32 pass rush pressures. That’s more than double any other member of the offensive line.

Offensive performer – TE Leonard Pope has joined with Jake O’Connell and Anthony Becht to make the tight end position a far, far image from what it was before starter Tony Moeaki was injured. Pope has added nothing as a receiver and his run blocking has not been up to what he did last year. Plus, he’s one of the most penalized players on the team.

Defensive performer – FS Kendrick Lewis has struggled in the last four games, especially against Pittsburgh. Lewis has played through a lot of injuries, including last week’s game in Chicago where he graded out pretty good considering the time he missed with his injured right knee.

Rookie performer – WR Jonathan Baldwin on Halloween/Monday night against San Diego seemed to have his breakthrough game – 5 catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. But since then he’s hardly been a factor in the offense, catching just eight passes for 76 yards in the last five games. Last week in Chicago, Baldwin caught one pass for seven yards.

Offensive line coach Bill Muir – The Chiefs offensive problems have largely results from the offensive line playing poorly over the last four games. The problems have been more on the inside at center-guard, than outside at the tackles. But the problems have spread to the passing and running games, as the Chiefs have allowed 15 sacks, have scored only 2 TDs in the last five games, neither in the running game and they’ve given the ball away eight times.

Play of the quarter – Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski touchdown pass for New England. A real back-breaker of a play that came when the Chiefs defense did not communicate and the coverage was lost on the big Patriots tight end.

9 Responses to “The 75 Percent Solutions – Chiefs at ¾ Mark”

  • December 8, 2011  - Tim says:

    The “not so Best” observations of Muir & the interior O-line were known at the end of last season. No surprise. Neither was Barry Richardson or Pope.

  • December 8, 2011  - Chuck says:

    How is Tamba’s hand????????

  • December 8, 2011  - el cid says:

    Battle might have been a better choice than McCluster as Jackie has stepped up, as much as he was able at RB. Much better than I expected.

    Also the slam on Lewis at S was surprising. He is out there on an island with McG and Sabby beside him. Add the injury and thinking to much, not the best atmosphere for success.

    Lastly, Baldwin might be a case of an unkown being noticed after some success and him having to figure out how to play with defenses preparing for him. Don’t most rookie WR go thru this?

    But all well and good, just my opinion.

  • December 8, 2011  - ED J says:

    I would’ve put Casey wiegman as offense more so than Baldwin. His numbers Baldwin dropped because of Popgun Palko. So has production of Bowe and Breaston. Wiegman on the other hand has looked old and slow and is getting beat by defense tackles I’ve never heard of. If Richardson didn’t look so awful at right tackle the spot light squarely would be on him. Secondly I would’ve put John McGraw, Washington, and langford at safety over worst defensive perfomance over Lewis. McGraw missed bunch tackles in Tebow game. Langford got beat for game winning touchdown on weak pump fake by Tebow. How many blown assignemnt has Washington had all season.

  • December 8, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Tim is right. Wer’re having the same conversations now as when last year ended. Next year’s draft has to focus on the offense. Linemen and a running back would be nice. I know a lot of people don’t agree but I don’t see reaching the top level without getting a first round quarterback. Two more home games this year and we’ll be there and my voice won’t sound right for a couple days afterwards. But, Clark, after sending me my $3.000 bill for next year tickets you are, evenually, going to have to show me a little bit more commitment and a lot more improvement.

  • December 8, 2011  - el cid says:

    John, I am honestly at a loss at drafting with the Chiefs. Pioli’s choices other than Berry and maybe Baldwin leaves me scratching my head. Altho the Houston seems stronger than I thought capable.

    That said I do not see a QB in the next draft. The OL is so weak, Cassel is Pioli’s boy (most famous trade), and not sure the Chiefs value a top level QB. While I agree with your and others comments, in general, I do not see Pioli and his plan matching what the fans think or want.

  • December 8, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    el cid, I respect your comments all of the time, but I’m reaching a point where I’m running out of the mood into “waiting untill next year”. I’ve been here since 1965. Thought the Superbowl win in ’70 was the beginning. How did that turn out John, not real well. We go to games, yelling our voices away, while most are setting there just watching. Come to think about it $3,000 buys a great TV and my living room is a hell of a lot warmer than the parking lot of Arrowhead. No wind, too. Clark, are you listening?

  • December 8, 2011  - ED J says:

    Hey guys I feel most of your points. I think o-line is two key players away from being a good oline. One would be center. Where I’ve stated many times he’s just getting push around against run and past so the move for Hudson to center will help. Another flaw in Wiegman’s game is he isn’t ensuring that oline assignments are being carried out. Its center responsibilty to call out where everybody should block on their assignments. Especially if he noticed something in defense he’s seen on film. Too many times Sunday on run plays I see Wiegman block no one and guys come free because Bears overloaded blitz on left or right side of the line. In 1st half we ran a lil toss play to Battle where the oline block down opposite Peppers and he came free to hit Battle in backfield. So Wiegman is becoming liability both physically and mentally.

    Richardson would be other culprit but i’m beating dead horse. I think this team needs to draft tackle and another guard both can be addressed in 2nd or 3rd rd. As I said before upgrading QB can’t be ignored anymore. We must draft Barkley or RG3. I think both guys are stellar Qbs worth trading up to get. Jones I would draft if he falls to us I love his talent but he needs little more work than the other guys but if he fell to us he’s the only other Qb I wouldn’t pass up. Outside of those 3 I don’t think any of the other guys are better than Stanzi. So if all else fells and we can’t get either of the 3 we need draft a bookend left tackle move Richardson to right. From there we just need draft some depth at guard and tackle. I think Lija can be solid at left guard couple more seasons. Hudson would be huge upgrade at center next yr. I like Albert but he’s not bookend left tackle he’ll be better served and would probably emerge as more elite tackle if he’s move to right side. He just not consistent enough to play left.

  • December 8, 2011  - ED J says:

    Breaking news Charlie Weis just announced as Kansas University new head coach. I said all along i felt Weis just didn’t want to coach in NFL anymore. Especially as offensive coordinator. Most people tried create this huge rift and Haley ran guy off. I kept saying it had nothing to do with that more to do with fact he Charlie just wanted to be in college game. Well after only 1 season as FL offensive coordinator he’s Jayhawks head coach.

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News