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Count Alex's Losses
12-26-2005, 10:57 PM
GRETZ: Redemption for the Defense
Dec 25, 2005, 7:00:00 AM by Bob Gretz - FAQ

The tears were forming at the edges of the eyes of Gunther Cunningham as he stood in the Chiefs locker room with his arm around Kawika Mitchell.

It had been a tough week for the Chiefs defensive coordinator. His group had embarrassed itself at the Meadowlands last weekend and going into the Christmas Eve match up against the Chargers, Cunningham wasn’t sure just how his defense would respond. It had been a battle all season to convince them of his ways, to convince them that they were good, to convince them that when they want too, they could actually be great.

As he always does, Cunningham had pushed and pushed himself all week, working the edges, working the margins, working every angle he could to put the New York game behind his group. He worked the scheme, he worked the meeting rooms, he worked the locker room, he pushed and pushed on the practice field.

The defense gave him the answer he was looking for against San Diego. In the rain, in the slop, in a cold wind from the north, the Chiefs defense stood up and hammered the Chargers. They allowed just 233 yards and but one touchdown. They tackled like they meant it and knew what they were doing. They got back to their ways of shutting down the opposing running game, holding LaDainian Tomlinson to 49 yards and the Chargers to just 80 yards on the ground.

And, they did more than that. They confused Drew Brees all day, and he completed only eight of 19 passes in the second half, with an interception. Antonio Gates who torched the Chiefs in San Diego back in October with three touchdowns catches and over 100 yards in receiving, did find the end zone for the Chargers only score. But he caught just four balls for a total of 52 yards.

Sure the weather conditions helped, but this had more to do with a group of defensive players seeking redemption.

“It ate at us all week,” Mitchell said of the New York game. “I can’t explain it what happened. It just wasn’t us, it wasn’t what we had become. It was important that we come out today and prove that.”

That they did. The Chiefs chances of making the playoffs are very poor. First, they must beat the Bengals at Arrowhead on New Year’s Day. Then, they must get help from the hapless Detroit Lions, who travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers. They also must get the Broncos to beat the Chargers out in San Diego.

That didn’t matter to Mitchell and his defensive mates.

“You know, we didn’t even talk about that stuff this week; all we talked about was getting this thing turned around,” said the Chiefs middle linebacker. “I don’t care about that stuff. I care about this defense going out and getting the job done.”

Defense is about attitude, and the biggest thing in defense is tackling, so naturally tackling is about attitude. The Chiefs defense got its attitude back.

“Man, that was more like it,” said Jared Allen. “We clogged things up in the running game and there wasn’t anywhere for him to go, and then we hit him, tackled him, wrapped him up.”

Tomlinson had 15 carries in the game. He got 20 of his 49 yards on one third quarter run. There was nowhere for him to go. San Diego’s most effective runner was Brees taking off when under pressure (he ran five times for 31 times.)

Brees had trouble throwing the ball because the Chiefs coverage guys did a very good job taking away his first option.

“He likes to throw to the first guy and when you force him to back off that and find somebody else, he gets nervous in the pocket,” said Surtain, who had the interception.

This was a big game for the Chiefs, but it was especially so for this defense. It’s been a struggle all year, which is why Cunningham’s emotions were so close to the surface.

“I’m just so proud of him, proud of all of them,” Cunningham said as he wrapped an arm around Mitchell’s neck. “I know these guys are sick of me.

“But they went out there and got the job done.”

Count Alex's Losses
12-26-2005, 10:57 PM
http://img371.imageshack.us/img371/5411/megarolleyes6gw.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Count Alex's Losses
12-26-2005, 11:00 PM
“I know these guys are sick of me."


We're sick of you too, dipshit.

jjchieffan
12-26-2005, 11:56 PM
Way to go Gunther!! You are still the man.

BigRock
12-26-2005, 11:57 PM
It's going to take a hell of a lot more than 1 game to redeem that outing in NY, but there's no denying that they played pretty well this week. Holding the Chargers to 7 points and under 250 yards is nothing to sneeze at.

jidar
12-27-2005, 02:16 AM
It was a great performance, but one week too late.
We're home for the postseason now anyway.

tk13
12-27-2005, 02:23 AM
I don't know, it was a good performance, but I wasn't surprised really. We can stop you when you play straight up, our defense is good enough to do that now, it's when you start throwing counters and reverses and all that junk in there that we get tripped up. San Diego wasn't able to do that the other day because of the field. I'd like to see us contain misdirection stuff a lot better before throwing too much praise on the D.

Bob Dole
12-27-2005, 04:40 AM
Yo Gunther:

Too bad you're a day late and a dollar short.

Ultra Peanut
12-27-2005, 04:45 AM
If we can interpret the iconography, top to bottom, left to right:

Friendly Old Mr. Sun

Friendly Old Mr. Blood-cheeked Skeletal Death

In the future, love will fall on your head and crush your world, and poetry will prove surprisingly useless

Keep this on hand in case there’s an eclipse

A mirror to remind you that your entire room has this crappy wallpaper

Somewhere, an Eskimo is having a three-way

The chances get worse before they get better

Even woodcut versions of giant celestial nuclear furnaces fall in love

Oh, whatever; just wait a few weeks and paste Bobby Sherman faces in the corner; Mom will never notice.

htismaqe
12-27-2005, 07:12 AM
I don't know, it was a good performance, but I wasn't surprised really. We can stop you when you play straight up, our defense is good enough to do that now, it's when you start throwing counters and reverses and all that junk in there that we get tripped up. San Diego wasn't able to do that the other day because of the field. I'd like to see us contain misdirection stuff a lot better before throwing too much praise on the D.

I wasn't really surprised.

Arrowhead = :thumb:

Away = :cuss:

Chief Henry
12-27-2005, 09:03 AM
Yo Gunther:

Too bad you're a day late and a dollar short.


The intire team was a day late and a dollar short. The teams inconsistency was just brutal all year. The coach's (ingame)
coaching decisions were brutal all year long. :banghead:

the Talking Can
12-27-2005, 09:15 AM
hooray!...failure!....huzzah!

RedNFeisty
12-27-2005, 10:29 AM
I am confused. How is it that a team can come out and play very good ball one game and the next come and look lost then play well again the following week?

The players did not change, the coaching did not change, so why did the desire and ability to play change?

This is what has baffled me on this team. One week they look great and the next they look like pee-wee league players.

Mecca
12-27-2005, 10:30 AM
I am confused. How is it that a team can come out and play very good ball one game and the next come and look lost then play well again the following week?

The players did not change, the coaching did not change, so why did the desire and ability to play change?

This is what has baffled me on this team. One week they look great and the next they look like pee-wee league players.

That's the diference in being at home and on the road.......atleast for this team.

ptlyon
12-27-2005, 10:36 AM
This is just another one of Gretz's feel good articles that gives you the warm fuzzy and something to point back to at the start of next season only to have your heart ripped out and shredded along with all of your hopes and dreams when they fall on their face again next year.

Extra Point
12-27-2005, 10:38 AM
That's the diference in being at home and on the road.......atleast for this team.
BINGO!

Mr. Laz
12-27-2005, 10:40 AM
home and away is all about the brain.


we aren't mentally tough enough (yet) to win on the road.

Rain Man
12-27-2005, 10:43 AM
Cool. Just wait 'til next year.

ptlyon
12-27-2005, 10:45 AM
Cool. Just wait 'til next year.

That's in 5 days. Then what?