Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chiefs EOS report

Very good - in parts

I was amazed to read the KC Star's evaluation of the Chiefs performance in the play-off game against Baltimore. I know we got beat by a healthy margin, but overall I thought the result flattered the Ravens and did not reflect the Chiefs contribution to the game.

I watched the first part live and after Charles had busted a long run against a seemingly impregnable Ravens defence to give the Chiefs a 7-3 lead I was very pleased. We could run the ball. They were not too good in the Red Zone.

Then things went wrong. Fumbles. Interceptions. We lost.

However, it's a game of inches. Too often the Chiefs missed what should have been a first down with a poor play call or execution. With errors, they forced themselves into obvious passing situations and away from their running game. The defence played well for two downs. Third down looked too easy for Baltimore and they converted too many of them too easily.

EOS report – offence

QB Matt Cassell is still not a shoe-in to be the Chiefs long-term QB. He had a good season operating behind the league's leading running attack. It's not clear if he's capable of leading a team when plan one fails. Juries out.

RB Jamal Charles is (barring injuries) in the team forever. A diamond.

O-line – a solid unit that can both run block and pass block. Can still be strengthened.

Receivers – one area the Chiefs are lacking. Bowe was good, until he came up against a quality defence that was able to double-team him all day. He needs help. I expect the Chiefs to focus on this area in free-agency and draft choices.

EOS report – defence

Three down men are not dominant enough either in stopping the run or getting pressure. Changes needed. I'd draft the top monster nose tackle available.

LB's are not good enough. Baltimore exposed them ruthlessly.

Secondary is the bright spot. We need a top safety. Berry was very good for a rookie and will only get better with help.

Special teams – very good throughout the season.

Overall the Chiefs can look forward with some optimism. Next year's schedule is tougher. This is good, for only against better teams can you measure progress.

Worryingly, the Chiefs won only 2 games against division opponents. This must be addressed. At five and one in the division KC would have been 13-3 in the regular season and one of the top play-off seeds. That's the goal for next season.

Hope the “sophomore jinx” doesn't hit!

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