View Full Version : Rand: The Chiefs need to keep the power flowing

10-12-2004, 01:46 PM
RAND: Chiefs Need to Keep the Power Flowing
Oct 12, 2004, 1:15:11 AM by Jonathan Rand

The Chiefs have an interesting choice coming up as they get ready to visit the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Do they stick with smash mouth football or go back to Air Vermeil?

The decision could make or break their chances for a turnaround. At 2-3, they’d be back in business. At 1-4, they’d be battling just to finish with an even record.

The Chiefs got off their 0-3 skid and went into their bye week on the upswing because they got back to basics. In a 27-24 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, the Chiefs pounded the ball, controlled the clock and out-muscled a defense that seldom gets out-muscled.

For the Chiefs, this was out of character. It was also highly successful, which begs the question if the Chiefs should keep attacking more on the ground and less in the air.

Against the Ravens, they had 46 runs and 31 passes, a different balance than the 87-96 split of the first three games or 446-536 split of last season. The Chiefs enjoyed all the benefits that traditionally come from successfully running the ball.

They dominated the game far more than the score indicated and kept their defense off the field. It should be pointed out, though, that allowing touchdowns on a punt return and trick pass play kept the Chiefs’ defense off the field, too. Those plays explain why the Ravens were able to stay in the game until their final pass fell incomplete.

One of the most startling developments in Baltimore was linebacker Ray Lewis conceding that the Chiefs physically took it to the Ravens. No doubt that led many Chiefs fans to wonder where their team’s muscle had been for the first three games.

Their muscle had more to do with the game plan than motivation. The Chiefs played the kind of game offensive linemen love – pound the ball and steamroll defenders. That’s a lot more fun for a lineman than trying to keep a pass rusher away from the quarterback.

The running game especially makes sense for a team that has arguably the best offensive line in football and has been thin and banged up at wide receiver.

Yet, the Chiefs have a wonderfully designed passing game and a quarterback who usually knows just where to go with the ball. And do you really want Priest Holmes, the hub of the offense, carrying 33 times a game, as he did against the Ravens? He averaged 25 carries the first three games, an appropriate workload to keep him in one piece.

But indications are that the Chiefs can run more often without running Holmes half to death. Derrick Blaylock, with six carries for 28 yards against the Ravens, earned the chance to give Holmes a few more breathers.

The Chiefs’ balance, obviously, can’t be set in stone before kickoff. Their ability to emphasize the running game depends upon whether their defense sustains the improvement it showed in Baltimore. You can’t keep pounding the ball when you’re a couple of touchdowns behind.

The Jaguars, however, are another opponent with a strong defense and iffy offense. The Chiefs are likely to find themselves in another dogfight in which the most physical dog will win.

The Chiefs’ pass-happy offense has been too productive in recent seasons to put Green’s arm in cold storage. But it’s the right time for Vermeil and offensive coordinator Al Saunders to keep fine tuning their run-pass ratio. Right now their running game, literally and figuratively, is the healthiest part of the offense.

10-12-2004, 01:54 PM
I don't care how they do it, as long as the Chiefs win.

J Diddy
10-12-2004, 01:55 PM
what about style points?

You got to win pretty.

10-12-2004, 01:58 PM
I hope we stay with the same game plan. That is exactly the type of football that I love to watch.

J Diddy
10-12-2004, 02:00 PM
I hope we stay with the same game plan. That is exactly the type of football that I love to watch.

It certainly helps the defense out.

10-12-2004, 02:09 PM
It certainly helps the defense out.

Can't argue that fact at all. And the defense helped out the offense too.

10-12-2004, 02:10 PM
I think they need to mix it up. We have one the best O line in the NFL. They can play smash mouth and open holes for the run and they can protect Green long enough to get someone open down field. I still think they need to find Holmes more for a pass as well. Either way, O and D are going to dominate the Jaguars. Can't wait till Sunday!!!