Good read from PFF
stole this from a post i read on another forum so credit to them finding it.
While the final score says otherwise, the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t make life easy for the Atlanta Falcons in this one. At the half this was a nip-and-tuck game with both offenses clearly on top of the opposing defenses. At that point the two teams had combined for 37 points, 454 yards and both quarterbacks had shown excellent command of their offense. Costly turnovers in the second half set the Chiefs back however, and allowed the Falcons to set up what proved to be an unassailable lead by the end of the third quarter.
Despite the score line, there were reasons to be cheerful and fearful for both teams as the season begins, with one performance in particular exciting Atlanta fans more than the rest. The Chiefs had their own players who stood out, so with that in mind let’s take a look at the key performances from both sides in this Week 1 matchup.
Kansas City – Three Performances of Note
Improvement from Cassel
It’s easy to look at the stat sheet and put the blame of this loss at the feet of Cassel, however a closer look at his play on Sunday shows that it’s not time to start the Brady Quinn calls yet. His second interception of the game came from a poor throw and an even worse decision, but the first came from a tipped pass and he had a very good first half. He completed 21-of-31 aimed passes throughout the game, while being the victim of three dropped passes. The horrific interception notwithstanding, he limited his mistakes for much of the game and his greatest weakness to work on moving forward is ball location, his decision making this week was solid for the most part. He was inefficient in the second half and he wasn’t at the standard of an elite quarterback, however it’s worth pointing out that it was his highest graded game since Week 16 of the 2010 season and, after a horrible 2011, at least showed enough to give Chiefs fans optimism this year.
It may just be one game, but we got to see signs on Sunday that Dexter McCluster could be an exciting weapon for Kansas City this season. Looking dangerous out of the slot, he pulled in six of nine passes thrown to him for 82 yards. His best play of the game came on 2nd-and-9 with 12:35 left in the third quarter. Working against Robinson in the slot, he made the reception in front of the cornerback 14-yards downfield before spinning free from him and using great balance to gain a further seven yards. Ever since he entered the league fans, both Chiefs’ and neutral alike, have been excited about the potential McCluster has as an “X-Factor” in the Kansas City offense. To this point in his career that potential has only been realized sporadically, but this game saw the Chiefs make better use of McCluster than they have in the past and he responded with one of his best career games. It may only be Week 1, but Kansas City fans will be eager to see this form continued to complement the threat of Dwayne Bowe on the outside.
It went without saying before the game that the Chiefs were going to miss PFF’s fifth-highest graded corner in 2011, Brandon Flowers, as he sat out through injury. It was further highlighted however, with a poor outing for the Kansas City cornerbacks. While Stanford Routt (+1.1) did make a nice play pressing Jones to the sideline to prevent any chance of a completion with 10:58 left in the first quarter, to go along with a forced fumble later in the same period, he still gave up a reception on the other three passes thrown into his coverage. Opposite him, Jacques Reeves (-2.4) couldn’t handle Atlanta’s top two receivers, giving up a catch on all five passes thrown to Roddy White (+2.3) and Jones, including a touchdown to the latter with 8:56 left in the first quarter. Kansas City fans will be desperate to see Flowers return to the field quickly. It should come as no surprise that the Chiefs have no-one else of Flowers’ level on the roster, but the drop off without him was alarming this week with the Chiefs’ corners never looking like getting close to the Falcons’ top two receivers.
- The Chiefs rotated their backfield a lot with Peyton Hillis, Jamaal Charles and Shaun Draughn all seeing at least 19 offensive snaps.
- Derrick Johnson gave up a perfect quarterback rating to throws in his coverage, allowing five receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown on six attempts.
- Matt Ryan completed 75% of his passes and threw for two touchdowns when blitzed.
With two touchdowns to highlight an incredible performance, Julio Jones set the standard for what could be a spectacular season.
I watched Atlantas preseason games long enough to watch the starters go out and they had been solid from the get go. They are a very good team that just happened to come in and win the game they were supposed to. To be honest I am impressed we put up the fight we did after the way our preseason turned on us and being handcuffed by injuries and suspension.
This team will get better as the season goes on and our key players begin to return. I am holding the Ravens game as my measuring point for how we are actually doing. We "should" be at full strength with enough time to have the new personnel acclimated. 2010 they whooped us, I want to see if we have gotten better since then.
i had huge hopes to put a payback whooping on the ravens but i watched their whole game lastnight and i think they are a more dangerous team than atlanta.. I'm not so optimistic now. I think they pound us pretty bad. but i have been surprised and wrong before.
I'm holding my predictions for this team until after buffalo. We'll see if we right the ship on defense with tamba and hopefully flowers back. Then i'll know more about where we are at
The Ravens looked sharp last night for sure, watching them come in and play at the level they did and being one of those teams year after year in the playoffs made me choose that game.
Our roster is greatly improved since the last time we met, granted they haven't exactly been imploding their roster. Given the way the first half of that game went I always wonder if Charles had not been injured how that could have ended.
I have zero respect for the Bills and lay the result of the last meeting 100% at the feet of Haley.
if we can even hang with the ravens i will be stoked and happy
The reason i pick the bills is cause this franchise historically has a hard time with the bills no matter if they suck or are good. Hence why if we go in there and pound them like we should i think we got something on our hands and this team is rounding the corner. There are a few teams that this franchise struggles with historically, Bills and ravens are 2 of those teams.
Chiefs waived lb Sheffield today.