Cleveland Game Reactions
I was commenting with all of you in the official game thread. And perhaps it was me expecting our win streak to end sometime at the hand of some team playing good football on any given sunday, having an unusually detached viewpoint of the game, but I was actually a little shocked at many of the reactions by CC members in that thread.
First my thoughts on the game though:
The chiefs really came out strong, and i dont know if it is because we're showing new stuff, are coming out energized, or chalk it up to andy reid's initially scripted plays, but the offensive effort was dominant. The unit was playing with synergy - the offensive line was giving smith plenty of time, and when the browns came with big blitzes up the center, well executed screens with great blocking ahead in the secondary. Mixing in Anthony Sherman with some carries proved productive. Run blocking generally was pretty good, allowing even cyrus gray a gaping hole for a near 10 yard gain.
D came out of the gates with big pressure and had 3 initial 3 and outs.
Then the adjustments from the browns came.
OL efforts by the browns generally were stout today as they had all the answers against the relentless chiefs pass rush. It wasnt until late in the 3rd quarter that campbell saw any real pressure. But the key to the browns success wasnt simply a stout offensive line effort. Campbell played much better than I think any one would give him credit for. Aside from a few crossing routes which were drastically underthrown, campbell generally showed excellent efficiency, getting the ball out early and accurately. Fast wide receiver threats running good routes are a tough thing to cover perfectly every single time. Sean Smith was burnt on more than one occasion and let up a few big plays down field including a 30+yard td strike.
Defensively, adjustments had to be made in order to contain the checkdown option which was otherwise gashing the chiefs for yards as the secondary was pinned deeper downfield covering the browns deep threats and using man coverage. Campbell made a few of his own adjusments breaking out for drive sustaining runs when the pressure was close and there was no one open. This Browns offensive unit came out slinging in an all-out offensive assault to win this game. We took the best of what the browns had to offer considering Hoyer's injury. I personally respect their efforts they displayed in todays game.
Offensively for the chiefs, the very things that were a success for them in the first half were apparently abandoned in the second half. Rather than going for play action on second and 10 pinned deep in their own endzone, chiefs hand off to charles for a 3 yard run, forcing a predictable 3rd and long pass which fell incomplete. Did I seriously catch a chiefs fleaflicker? I personally view these types of play as desperation to get offensive production where play design is otherwise very poor or has been figured out and has not been able to counter. One would say this has been a very painful theme to watch recurring throughout the chief's cinderella season this year. A complete lack of adaptive abilities by the offense to continue moving the chains. The chiefs 2nd half offensive production has been a league joke throughout the year.
Another horrifying continuing trend is the complete ineptitude of the offensive line's rush blocking. I cant bear to watch fisher get sidestepped one more time giving up a sack in the process. The only way I could be more horrified by the situation is if he was this inept playing LT as well. But Fisher cant take sole credit for allowing 6+ sacks this game as the whole offensive line was completely abused as smith took pressure through the center all game long.
Bottom line comes down to this. The chiefs do not have a superstar receiver corps and have average speed at best. There is no way any QB in this league can be productive if they cant even set their feet on a 3 step drop due to constant penetration in the backfield. Smith isnt completely blameless as it became clear to me his desperation began to show late in the game by holding onto balls he would have otherwise thrown away much sooner earlier in the game. He was playing against his typical style to try his best to stay productive and make a play. Unfortunately he wasnt able to continually outrun the nearly untouched pass rush.
Some notes about the community's game-time reaction.
This is a pretty big disclaimer here, You guys are all my brothers in arms as chiefs fans so i cant really ever hold much against you, but the complete team write-off happening as early as the second quarter was pretty awful to watch. Both sides of the team were being completely slammed as lazy and worthless for what i thought to be rather impressive displays of effort.
The defense wasnt lazy today. it wasnt having an awful, completely off day. D. Johnson was still a beast today making excellent back field and open field tackles. Hali and Houston brought the heat on nearly every play and were every bit as ferocious as any other game theyve ever played. Sean Smith got gashed a handful of times at CB but otherwise i didnt see anyone slacking or laying down. I get that at this point you have a certain level of expectations of execution of a "#1" defense in the league, but you all really need to learn to identify what is bad play and what is good play by the opposition. Jason Campbell rarely held onto the ball longer than 3 seconds through the first 3 quarters and found excellent productivity once he started finding his marks. The Defensive scheme had to make coverage adjustments which allowed a different set of opportunities that the browns began to exploit in the second half. This isnt a bad defensive effort, this was a much unexpected responsive offensive effort that proved to be rather productive. Saying that this defensive corps gave up at half time is a bit of an insult to these players considering the effort they displayed on the field. We've all seen games the defense has given up on in recent seasons, but this game was definitely not one of them.
Alex Smith is NOT the sole blame for this offensive incompetence in the second half. Alex Smith of all the guys on the team is the LAST guy to give up on the field, and hearing people say he quit and hes lazy is just an embarrassment. It was quite clear he became desperate and frustrated late in the game to take it on himself to attempt to simply MAKE A PLAY (let alone a positive play). This is evident by the number of sacks he took late attempting to hold on to the ball long enough to try to do something with it, even though there was realistically never any chance to do so. You cant have guys jumping gaps and guys missing blocks all game long and expect a QB to have a productive day. Alex has way more good throws than bad throws, and none of the bad throws cost his team the game today. Id say generally speaking, my observations of his play with the chiefs are pretty consistent in that regard.
Seriously am I the only one who thought that the browns simply brought a great football game with them to town today and they all played really well? Everyone expected us to win this game and we did, but we all sound like we just lost the superbowl with our collective abandonment in the game thread today.
i guess thats all, i hope we are able to put together a more flexible offensive plan for next week, and I cant find much reason to think the OL well some how miraculously 'arrive' sometime this season if it hasnt yet, but here is hoping we can still find ways to win games despite some of our obvious flaws as a team.
Thank you for an excellent post! It reminds me a bit of a comment made by General Longstreet while on a speaking tour several years after the Civil War was over. He was asked what had been done wrong that made the South lose the war and he responded with...."Well the yankees had a lot to do with it".
Yesterday, the Browns had a lot to do with it. AND WE STILL WON!!!! Their QB was SHARP after the first few series. He got his passes off quickly and accurately. Their D-line simply outplayed our O-line in the second half.
IMO the real question is WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED YESTERDAY?????
There are a lot of possibilities....
1) Any given Sunday.
2) The Browns aren't a bad team and simply "wanted" the game.....wanted to be the team that beat the only unbeaten team in the NFL.
3) And of course there is the possibility that the talking heads have been blabbering about....."The Chiefs are only winning because of an easy schedule".
Let me be clear how I feel.....
It was #1 & 2 above. The Browns played about the very best game they are capable of and in the end, the Chiefs were simply the better team.
We must not forget that we were 2-14 last year. And while that helped us in the draft, I don't see anybody from the draft that has turned the Chiefs around. Our high draft picks this year are NOT responsible for the turnaround. The turnaround is in our coaching staff. Our players are playing FAR better than they did last year. And that is all on the coaching staff. Good talent with GREAT coaching will trump great talent with lousy coaching damn near every time.
Yesterday we faced a team that played FAR better than we expected. The Browns came out DETERMINED to knock off the only undefeated team in the NFL.....and they damned near did.
But in the end, our defense made a 20-17 lead stick and our offense tossed in a FG at the end to make it 23-17.
Our offense got us a lead and our defense shut them out for the last quarter and a half of the game and that is why we won.
I don't know if we can do that to the Donks, Colts, Bolts and the better teams in the NFC, but we are going to find out soon enough.
MEANWHILE......The Chiefs are 8-0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's funny how the last two weeks, each opposing team has made a switch at QB and their teams responded by coming to Arrowhead and playing better football than they had in previous games. Hence the close scores of both games against the Texans and Browns.
The primary concern is regarding the Offense having its struggles & it makes one wonder what's going to happen if the Chiefs get to the post-season and the Offense hasn't still put it together. Will it be another one and done and "wait till next year"? Chiefs fans have been waiting 20 years for that "next year". I still believe the Offense is a year away. The Chiefs need playmakers and they need their O-Line to become more dominant.
fans will get upset, this is the chiefs, the team that has let the fan base down for some time now. It's in the back of the head of every fan that something is going to go wrong and mess everything up. Playoffs will come around and if kc is in it everyone will be worrried they'll lose. KC has been down this road before but the roles reversed on offense and defense (2003). Alex gets some of the blame (if he had placed the ball better to the WR's, they'd have 2 TDs, Avery was streaking down the sideline if the ball was placed better, and i think one of the TE's got over thrown just a tad bit) but the majority of it goes to the o-line. I have no clue whats going on with the WR because i don't look down the field to see how open they are.
That's a really good observation, brd. The conclusion I've come to is this...Teams are catching on to how well the Chiefs D coaches/players are watching film. So, to counter this, the teams with good backups are making changes in the middle of the week to jack with Sutton's game plan. Titans, Texans & Browns have now all done this and had success, but did not get the win.
Originally Posted by brdempsey69
Thanks man. I watched both the Texans and Browns ( via NFL Game Rewind ) in their games that they suffered blowout losses the week before they played the Chiefs, and I can tell you for a fact that both suffered from poor QB play in those blowout losses & when they made the switch, it made them entirely different teams.
Originally Posted by Eydugstr
Bills up next..then much needed bye. Hopefully we can pick up a WR or TE before trade deadline
No doubt there. I know how thin or goofy my idea must sound, but three teams in a row have done it. It's been a wild year so far, all those teams had their reasons (and decent backup QB's) and with most of those teams struggling to keep their heads above water...Guess my point is this, if they can jack with us in any way, shape, or form...yep, they'll do it.
Originally Posted by brdempsey69