Coaching, Officating and Outcome, All Bad!

Is it time for a real hard look at the Chiefs defensive coaching staff?

Poor coaching, horrible officiating and a bad outcome describes the Chiefs vs. Chargers Thursday night game.

Starting with the officiating.  I am not sure how some of the NFL Officials have the courage or the audacity to deposit their checks after a game like Thursday night.  They were equally bad for both teams.  The holding calls and pass interference calls made against both secondarys were so inconsistant and just plain mystifying.

I can’t remember when the officiating has been this bad.  It’s the inconsistancy that is so frustrating.  Get it right or stay at home.

Defenisve coaching mistakes, for the Chiefs, is the norm when it should be the unusual.  Players out of position regularly can’t be just a personnel issue.  If coaches are doing their job they should make sure, as a unit, the players know where they are supposed to be and when.  The defensive coaches on the Chiefs staff are failing miserably at this.

If the Chiefs defense was just average, they would be the Super Bowl favorites.  By the end of this week, the Chiefs may be dead last in team defense.  These trends will stay the same unless changes are made.

The most fustrating thing to watch is the Chiefs offense score four touchdowns, with no turnovers, and loose the game.

Are the players at fault, in some cases yes, but don’t use the excuse the players are so bad they can’t compete.  Even average players put in the right position will be successful.  The Chiefs simply aren’t doing that.

Based on the outcome of this game the Chiefs have to travel to Seattle and take on the Seahawks, who have a lot to play for.  They are a dangerous team this time of the year.  If the Chiefs want to win the division, get a first round by and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, then they have to beat the Seahawks.  A tough task!

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The Outdoor Quarterback

 

Chiefs vs. Chargers

The Chiefs vs. Chargers Thursday Night Games is must see TV

The upcoming Thursday night game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the LA Chargers may be the game of the week for the NFL.

The Chargers defense has improved since the opening game of the season against the Chiefs.  On the other hand, the Chiefs offense has become unstoppable and continues to put up historical numbers.

This will make the second game in a row where the Chiefs will face one of the better defenses along with, in my opinion, a future Hall of Fame quarterback, Philip Rivers.  Philp Rivers has always played very well against the Chiefs and with the Chargers current momentum, I don’t see anything to change that.

With injuries to both the Chargers running backs, Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, it could slow down the Chargers offense.  However, I have a feeling both running backs will play Thursday night.

The return of Joey Bosa to the defensive lineup will allow the Chargers defense to put more pressure on Patrick Mahomes than they did in their first meeting.

The Chiefs defense must pressure Philip Rivers in this game.  Recievers Mike Williams, Keenan Allen and tight end Antonio Gates, will challenge the Chiefs secondary.  The Chiefs can only hope they will get Eric Berry, All Pro Safety, back in their lineup for this game.

Injuries to Tyreek Hill and Spencer Ware might hamper the Chiefs on offense, but Coach Andy Reid always finds a way to incorporate other players.  He will do this again Thursday night.

The real key to winning this game, for either team, will be the play of both offensive lines.  Which ever team protects the quarterback best, will most likely win the game.

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The Outdoor Quarterback

Would You Rather Be Lucky or Good

Lucky breaks was the theme of this past weeks NFL games.

 

Would you rather be lucky or good, because several teams were very lucky to have won their games this past week.  Miami Dolphins are at the top of the list, then the Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders and the Chiefs just to mention a few.

The play that ended the game between the Dolphins and the Patriots was a combination of luck and poor decisions on the part of the Patriots.  Why would you put your tightend at the safety postion on the last play of the game when the quarterback was going to have to throw the ball 70 yards to the endzone for a chance to win?  The Miami quarterback does not have the arm strength of a Aaron Rogers or Patrick Mahomes.  So why take the risk of not having someone deep that could run down a player if necessary?   A catch, a couple of laterals, then it was a foot race to the endzone.  The only one who was in position to make the stop was the Patriots TE, Rob Gronkowski.  In other words, a Hummer catching a Ferrari, not going to happen!

In the Cowboy’s game against the Eagles it was just a case of bad luck on a great play in the overtime that allowed Amari Cooper to catch the deflected pass and score the winning touchdown.  Cooper just was in the right spot at the right time.

In the case of the Chiefs win, it was a case of a great player making two exceptional passes on two fourth downs, that allowed  Kansas City to pull out a win against a very good Ravens team.  The luck part in both of these receptions was, none of the defensive players tipped or deflected the ball.  Tyreek Hill made the adjustment, caught the ball, then just out ran the defenders to the sideline.

The Steelers were another team that was just unlucky.  The place kicker slipped on the turf with no time on the clock for a game tying field goal.

There were other lucky or unlucky moments for several other teams, but these really stood out.  The old saying, “I would rather be lucky than good”, couldn’t have been more profound than in these games.

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The Outdoor Quarterback

The Young Guns Are Playing Well

How good will these young guns become?

The young guns or the new kids on the block are living up to the hype!  Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen are playing at very high levels for first and second year starting quarterbacks.  Looking back at the start of some of the current super stars, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson, these veteran quarterbacks did not have the early success, with the exception of Wilson, these young quarterbacks are experiencing.

I think the reasons are simple.  When the teams made the commitment to draft them early, they understood the need to surround them with a strong supporting cast, both on offense and defense.  Adding better offensive players is obvioous, but improving the teams defense and their productivity is as important.  By creating turnovers, improving starting position for their offense and getting the oppnents off the field on third down, makes life easier for young quarterbacks.  In the NFL, field position is everything.  I don’t think there is anything worse for a young quarterbacks in the NFL than having the feeling and attitude that winning or lossing is all their shoulders.  With the transition from college to the NFL, they just aren’t prepared to deal with that kind of pressure.  When teams can take any undo pressure off a young quarterback, they tend to play relaxed, play with confidence and become more productive, Baker Mayfiled is a prime example as well as Jared Goff.  Both the Browns and the Rams added key players to their defenses and offenses.

As far as Patrick Mahomes, the best thing that happend to him was the luxury of playing behind Alex Smith.  He leard how to become a quarterback in the NFL.  Also, the Chiefs had put together one of the best surrounding cast of offensive players in the entire NFL.

These young and upcoming quarterbacks are going to fun to follow for the next several years.

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Good Guys Do Get Hurt!

Stranger things have happen in the NFL, but I would need to see it!

Yesterday one of the good guys in the NFL, both as a  player and person, suffered one of the most horiffic injuries you can imagine.  Tragically Alex Smith, Chiefs former quarterback, broke both is tibia and fibula.  An injury like that is not only painful but demands immediate surgery.  For fans watching it was nausiating.

I vividly remember watching the Redskins game when Joe Theisman had a similar injury.  Both Joe’s and Alex’s, who I know personally, injuries made me sick to my stomach and caused me to break out in a cold sweat.  Having seen both of their injuries when they actually happend, made me think about how many times I had been in a similar position and nothing happened, just extremely lucky!

The fact that Joe’s injury happened 33 years ago to the day, is just incredible.  How about this note, Joe was at yesterdays game.  You don’t think it brought back nigtmarish memories?  Spooky doesn’t do justice to this coincidence.  Both played quarterback for the Redskins!

There isn’t much you can say, sometimes good guys get hurt.  In this case it was a real good man.

Thinking about you Alex!

The Outdoor Quarterback

Chiefs vs. Rams

Chiefs vs. Rams could be the best Monday Night Game ever!

This coming Monday night game features the 9 – 1 Chiefs vs. 9 – 1 Rams.  A lot of football fans are calling this, potentially, the best Monday night game ever.  Only time will tell.

What do the Chiefs need to do to win this game?  The obvious answer is to score more points than the Rams!  All joking aside, the Chiefs can not afford to turn the ball over in their side of the field.  Defending the run may be the real factor in this match up.  The Rams have the leading rusher in Todd Gurley and the Chiefs have the leading passer in Patrick Mahomes.  The Rams need to pressure Mahomes and the Chiefs need to limit Gruley’s yards per carry.

To prevent the Rams from getting to Mahomes, the Chiefs offensive line will have to play their best game of the year.  The Chiefs will also have to run the ball effectively to set up their play action pass offense.  One other important aspect that can not happen is for the Chiefs offense and defense to go conservative.  They have been winning because of the free wheeling offense!  They need to stay that course.  The Chiefs defense must defend against the run.  Make Jared Goff, the Rams talented young quarterback, beat you with his arm.

Like the Rams, the Chiefs defense must put pressure on Goff.  If the Chiefs can get Goff uncomfortable in the pocket, get him out of his rhythm, then the Chiefs have a very good chance of winning this game.

I am confident that the Chiefs offense will move the ball, what I am not confident in is the Chiefs defense stopping Todd Gurley and the Rams running game.

It should be a great game and I am glad it is being played on a good field!

The Outdoor Quarterback

Chiefs Lucky to Win!

You can’t take any team lightly in the NFL!

It was a good thing the Chiefs played the AZ Cardinals.  If they had played any other team, with maybe the exception of the NY Jets, they would have lost.  They were lucky to have won that game!

Pass protection was horrible, 5 sacks on potentially the league MVP.  At least in my opinion Patrick Mahomes is one of three contenders, Todd Gurley  and  Drew Brees are the other two.  Make no doubt about it, the Chiefs are where they are today because of the play of Patrick Mahomes.  Up until this game against the Cardinals, the offensive line has played very well, but the NFL does not allow for any team to take another team lightly, just ask the Falcons, Patriots, Jaguars and Eagles.

The glaring issue is still the Chiefs deffese.  From my prospective watching the game in person, whoever is resonsible for calling the defensive plays, fronts, coverages and blitzes, are totally confused or have no clue.  When I can see from the stands that no one on the Chiefs defence is in postion to cover a back to the  single receiver side (TE) you can assume the apposing quarterback can see the same thing.  Sure enought the back runs a swing route and no one picked him up.  The back catches an uncontested pass for a touchdown.  I can assure you, when they ran that play in practice, he was never that open!

In the NFL you have to put your players in position to win every play.  It then comes down to are your players better than your apponnets on that play.  You can never allow your defense to be so out of postion that they don’t have the opportunity to succeed.    This has happened time after time this year.  Sometimes you get beat because someone, on a particular play, is better than you or your defense.  But to be put in situations where no matter how well you play the play, you can’t defend, and it is frustrating and demoralizing.  If it weren’t for an instinctive play by Justin Houston, when he intercepted a screen pass, the Chiefs could have easily lost this game.

Sometime changes are needed to get to where you want to go!

The Outdoor Quarterback

Looking Good So Far!

I can’t see anyone stopping the offensive engine of the Chiefs, at least for now. Keep the foot on the throttle.

I know it is only three games into the 2018 NFL season, but the Chiefs look good so far, at least on offense.  Patrick Mahomes is the real deal.  Playing like a seasoned veteran.  I am really impressed with his poise under pressure, nothing seams to rattle him.  The stage doesn’t appear to be to big for him either.  He is seeing the whole field very well and reading coverage’s quickly.  I can tell you that being in the system for one year and playing behind Alex Smith has taught him what it takes to be a professional NFL Quarterback.  It is one of the major factors in Patrick’s early success.  Having thrown 13 touchdown passes to nine different players with no interceptions is impressive, and not to mention historical!

Now for he Chiefs defense.  Talking with former Chiefs defensive players, they are literally embarrassed with the Chiefs performances to date.  It amazes me, and them, that a defensive team can give up points as quickly as the Chiefs do, particularly when they have a 21 or 28 point lead.  The Chiefs have several good defensive players so that convinces me, and all my fellow Chiefs alumni, that the play calling on defense and the overall scheme is not up to the level of playoff teams.  There is a time and place to play soft and keep plays in front of you, but I am not sure the Chiefs know when that is.

The only thing that could stop the Chiefs offensive machine are injuries.  If this team can stay healthy, I look for them to win 11 games and make the playoffs.  How far they go is up to the defense.

The Chiefs Kingdom  is on the Patrick Mahomes bandwagon, and rightfully so.  I know I am!

The Outdoor Quarterback.

Preseason Done, Thank God!

It will take three regular season games for most starters to be in game shape.

In all the years I either played played professional football or have been associated with the NFL, I have never seen such terrible performances by virtually every team I watched, including the Chiefs.

The other part of my observation was, several veteran players, starters specifically, haven’t played a complete half of football, in total, in the four preseason games.  My question is, how are any of these players going to be in game shape come the first regular season games?  The answer: they aren’t!  If you disagree, just watch the sidelines of the first half of the opening regular season games.  Watch how the offensive players look and act after a long drive.  Check out the defensive players after a 10 play drive by their opponents.  They will be bent over hands on hips and towels around their necks.  I promise the most popular guy on the sidelines will be the trainer with the oxygen bottles.  Now with the limited practice time the players have, due to the current CBA, none of them can get in the shape and condition they need to be in without substantial playing time in preseason games.  From what I saw this preseason, there were more than usual missed tackles, dropped balls, bad throws, players who couldn’t finish plays and just overall inconsistent play.  In my opinion it will be that way until about the third week in the regular season.  That’s about how long it will take for most of the players to get in game shape.

There is light at the end of the tunnel: fantasy football is just about to start.  Fantasy Football does make the season much more fun to watch.  Now if I could just pick the right players this year, the season will be far more enjoyable.  Two years in a row my top pick in the draft got injured in the first game and was out for the entire season.  Is that bad luck or terrible drafting?

The Outdoor Quarterback

Honor The Contract!

Julio needs to honor at least one or two more years of his existing contract.

Since coming into the league, one of my favorite players, and has always been my number one pick in fantasy football, Julio Jones, is absolutely wrong holding out for an extension on his current contract.  I have always been, and will always side with the players, for getting as much money as they can.  But in this situation Julio needs to play and honor his current contract for at least one or two more years.  The Falcons gave him a great deal with a substantial amount of guaranteed money.  Now that a few other receivers have signed contracts making more annual salary then he is, Julio feels he needs to hold out and not honor his current contract, which still has three years remaining.  He wants a new deal making him the highest payed receiver in the NFL.  With his guarantee money (signing bonus) and his annual salary, he is right there with any of the new contracts being signed.

The Falcons just secured Matt Ryan to an incredible contract.  That means Julio has his quarterback in place for several years, a huge security blanket for him.  Why not go to the Falcons, tell them he will honor his current contract and work towards an extension including more guaranteed money.  That will help the Falcons get other pieces of the puzzle put together to complete their team.  I have no question that the Falcons will be contending for the NFC Championship this coming season.  Distractions like this, with arguably their best player, can become a real problem for the organization.  He will get his extension, no question.  If he just waits to see what some of the other outstanding receivers sign for, Julio can set the mark on what the top receiver in the NFL will be paid.

How does it go, pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered!

I am still going to make Julio my top choice in fantasy football.  If I could give him any advice it would to be smart, continue to prove to the Falcons you are the best wide receiver in the NFL and that winning the Super Bowl is all that matters and is his top priority.  That will get their attention.

The Outdoor Quarterback