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.