First, the upset was bad enough with losing yesterday, then I spend a good part of the day becoming more uspet reading all the criticisms of yesterday's game at Facebook related Chiefs pages, as well some here. Criticisms some of which I consider unjust, such as blaming Dwayne Bowe for the loss because of a missed catch.
I am a believer in Dwayne Bowe as a WR, and have been since the Chiefs drafted him in 2007. He was a top WR in college, and the only draftee I hoped for the Chiefs to draft in 2007, knowing we had a desperate need for a top WR on the team. Regardless of his stuggles in 2009, Bowe has not given me any undeniable reason to lose my belief in his abilities, skills, and talents to evolve in to a #1 WR for the Chiefs. Quite the contrary in fact...he has made some incredible and amazing plays I've witnessed this season especially, of which contributed greatly to the Chiefs winning games. It is my humble, and somewhat bias opinion no doubt, that Dwayne has been far more of an asset to the Chiefs team than not.
My memory isn't what it use to be, however, I know that at least twice this season Bowes catches have been recognized by the NFL as being among the top ten of the week. As well, the photo taken of Bowe making a great catch against Buffalo...doing a 360 degree flip while airborne attempting to avoid a tackle...was NFL's top voted photo of the week. I was at Arrowhead for that game, and personally witnessed the amazing airborne athletic flip of Bowe right below where I was sitting. He landed hard, and many WR's easily could've lost control of the ball with such an airborne play resulting in a very hard landing. Bowe not only retained possession of the ball, he bounced to his feet immediately after as if the entire play and his amazing acrobatics had been perfectly planned as such.
I can't recall the last WR on the Chiefs team of which had comparible, and at times amazing, athletic skills and talent that Bowe has brought to the Chiefs. He is exciting to watch on the field. I wish Cassel threw to Dwayne more often! Yes, he misses at times, but so does every WR in the NFL, including the best, even Jerry Rice missed catches thrown by Montana. Every week the NFL highlights great WR plays, and they're praised repeticiously by fans. However, Bowe is recognized by the NFL and a majority of fans barely note or acknowledge him for such. Oh, but let Bowe miss a catch, even if it's a result of a poorly thrown ball, or uncalled interference by a defender...and many fans want to point their fingers at Bowe for losing the game.
Well, consider this fact please, relating to our loss against the Raiders: Bowe made a catch for a touchdown score of which gave the Chiefs the lead once again, with only a few minutes remaining in the game. The Chiefs defense failed to prevent Oakland from a successful drive allowing a field goal tying the game, forcing overtime. Had our Chiefs defense successfully held Oakland, preventing that tying field goal score, then Dwayne Bowes touchdown score wins the game for the Chiefs. I have to wonder...would he have been recognized for such as much as he's been criticised for not making a catch?
Hey, I'm not a GM, nor a coach, nor a player, what the heck do I know about football, I'm just a fan, and an at times emotional girl fan at that, HA! Yet, here I am with a strong and stubborn opinion like I know as much as the pros paid the big money know when it comes to winning and losing, hahaha. What the hell, here it is...my know it all opinion on why we lost the game to the Raiders, and this is just what I remember:
1) We looked unprepared for our opponent overall, just as we did for the Buffalo game. IE: The Raiders defense did their homework and slowed our rushing game, and we didn't have a reliable game plan to fall back on. We relied too much on our rushing game and our rush defense to win the game, as is typical. We need a reliable passing game on offense, and a reliable defense against an opponents passing game to be a balanced and consistent winning team. Our opponents are on to us, they know our weakness'.
2) Our O-line failed many times yesterday, allowing sacks and forcing Cassel to run...which he did well overall, and deserves credit for, but he shouldn't have had to run so much, nor should he have been sacked. They failed to block well opening holes up for Charles and Jones also.
3) Yes, there were some missed catches by Bowe, Moeaki, and Copper. There were also poorly thrown passes by Cassel. Guess what? The best QB's, WR's, and TE's in the NFL make the same boo boo's every week, for one reason or another...be it their own fault, or due to uncontrollable circumstances. That said, yes, improvement is needed in our passing game, both from Cassel and our receivers. Improvement is needed on our O-line, on our defense, on our special teams, even with our coaching too.
4) There were bad play calls yesterday. IE: a pass play called on a 3rd and 1. We have two top running backs both highly capable of rushing for one yard...why call a pass play on a 3rd and 1? If nothing else, why not have Cassel go for it...it's only one yard, and hell, he was having to go for it quite a bit yesterday anyway with a failed O-line on many plays!
5) Our defensive players missed two easily caught balls for interceptions, they did the same in the game against the Bills the week before. Hey, if we're gonna criticise missed catches by our WR's, then we should do the same on defense, it's only fair. A missed catch is a missed catch, regardless of an opponents QB throwing the pass.
6) Our defense missed many tackles, way too many tackles. Our special teams allowed a kickoff return for a TD score as well.
7) There were too many penalties, stupid penalities. Two of those penalties zeroed out 10 points...a 3 point field goal score, and a 7 point touchdown score by Javier's kickoff return for a touchdown. The score should have been 20-0 Chiefs at halftime, but penalities put the score at 10-0. This fact alone could be blamed for the loss against the Raiders.
8) Yes, some were bad calls by refs, but many were fair. As well, Oakland had just as many bad calls against them, so it more than likely balanced out overall. Whose to say that had their not been bad calls we would've won the game, all considered fairly.
Very rarely, if ever realistically and logically speaking...does one player on a team win or lose a game. It takes a team to win, and a team to lose...bottom line folks, that is the reality as I see it in my unprofessional just a fan opinion, HA! :)