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KcMizzou
10-02-2006, 01:36 AM
TEAM FINALLY LOOKS WHOLE

Maybe in a month we’ll know what to make of the Chiefs’ 41-0 shellacking of the 49ers on Sunday.

For now, we just need to accept it for what it is, a vision of what Herm Edwards wants his team to be — complete, physical, intense, sound in all three phases and capable of taking advantage of what the opposition gives.

Judging by the snapshot we saw inside Arrowhead Stadium, Edwards, his coaching staff and the players used the bye week to move past Willie Roaf’s retirement, Trent Green’s concussion, Kyle Turley’s bad back, Mike Solari’s play-calling errors and an 0-2 season.

The Chiefs are done making excuses, tired of feeling sorry for themselves and determined to make something out of this season.

Hosting the sad-sack San Francisco 49ers gave the Chiefs a perfect opportunity to reintroduce and redefine themselves.

For a day, and for the first time in a long, long time, the Chiefs were a balanced football team — dominant on defense, deadly on special teams and methodical on offense. The Chiefs imposed their will in all three phases.

With a road trip to Arizona next on the schedule, there’s reason for real optimism. The Cardinals have more talent than San Francisco, but Denny Green’s boys know very little about winning football games.

More than that, the Chiefs are learning how to win with their current personnel. The 49ers flew into Kansas City with a clear priority: They were going to stop Larry Johnson from running the football and force Damon Huard to win the game.

San Francisco played a 4-4 — four defensive linemen and four linebackers — for much of the game. The 49ers basically dared Green replacement Huard to throw the football.

Huard and offensive coordinator Solari accepted the challenge, but they did it without ever giving up on Kansas City’s running game. Larry Johnson slammed into San Francisco’s stacked line of scrimmage time and time again with little success. The running lanes were so crammed and Johnson’s ability to accelerate so limited that you began to wonder whether something was wrong with L.J. He had 24 yards in 14 carries in the first half.

While Johnson was banging against a stone wall, Huard picked apart the San Francisco secondary, completing 13 of 15 passes for 152 yards and two TDs in the first half. Huard lofted dimes to Eddie Kennison (34 yards) and Dante Hall (13 yards) for scores, and the Chiefs built a 24-0 halftime lead.

Huard’s passing, which benefited from surprisingly solid pass protection, eventually opened running lanes for Johnson. He finished with 101 yards and two TDs in 30 carries.

On a day when the Chiefs produced 41 points, Kansas City’s defensive players were the true stars.

Guess which NFL defense hasn’t surrendered a touchdown in 10 quarters?

The same defense that sacked Alex Smith five times, picked him off twice and recovered two fumbles. The same defense that limited San Francisco to 10 first downs, 165 total yards, forced five three-and-outs and relinquished one, fruitless scoring opportunity all day.

Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson each recorded 1 1/2 sacks. Sammy Knight and Ty Law intercepted passes. Kawika Mitchell and Greg Wesley made big plays. The Chiefs have actual defensive playmakers.

Edwards promised the Chiefs would play defense, and he’s delivered on that promise.

Oh, yeah, the X-Factor, Dante Hall, ripped through the 49ers’ punt-return unit for a 60-yard touchdown.

The effort the Chiefs gave on Sunday is good enough to win next week in Arizona. The following week, the Chiefs head to Pittsburgh and a battle with the struggling defending champions.

Maybe Trent Green will be back for that game. He walked the sideline and coached on Sunday. He looked good. When Green returns, the Chiefs should have an identity and a clear direction. And maybe they won’t be buried at the bottom of the standings.

Sunday’s game made you feel as if the season is far, far from over.


To reach Jason Whitlock, call (816) 234-4869 or send e-mail to jwhitlock@kcstar.com. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com.

tk13
10-02-2006, 02:16 AM
I feel pretty good about the defense, the kicking game, and Damon Huard. As long as the offensive tackles keep improving and playing well, the wins will come. That's probably still the scariest question mark. How are they going to hold up and adjust, hopefully they can build off today's performance. Arizona's defensive line really hasn't collected many sacks at all.

StcChief
10-02-2006, 08:18 AM
Get Ready for road tune game in the desertless Az dome.

Before going to Pittsburg,what I see as the real road test.

Raiderhader
10-02-2006, 08:27 AM
I feel pretty good about the defense, the kicking game, and Damon Huard. As long as the offensive tackles keep improving and playing well, the wins will come. That's probably still the scariest question mark. How are they going to hold up and adjust, hopefully they can build off today's performance. Arizona's defensive line really hasn't collected many sacks at all.



I agree, it is the scariest question mark, but so long as Solari continues to call games like he did yesterday, I think we'll be fine. I would still like to see a couple more screens thrown in the mix, and you can always use more play fakes. Just keep the play calling balanced and call plays that force the D to stay honest, and we should have very few problems with the line.

58-4ever
10-02-2006, 08:30 AM
Arizona is a team in disarray. They have two turnover machines at quarterback, and our defense should take advantage of the younger one that's starting, but may not finish the game.

I can't wait for that Pittsburgh game. I hope we have a lot of max protection packages ready and LJ should be ready to run angry.

jynni
10-02-2006, 08:53 AM
I agree, it is the scariest question mark, but so long as Solari continues to call games like he did yesterday, I think we'll be fine.
I curious to know how much of the game calling was Solari and how much was Trent.

Raiderhader
10-02-2006, 09:02 AM
I curious to know how much of the game calling was Solari and how much was Trent.



Uhm... I just posted something about having some real dandies on this board in another thread, and what do you know.


Trent may have been passing some suggestions along, but make no mistake, the OC was not supplanted by the sidelined QB. Solari wouldn't just hand over the reigns. And Herm would not allow, let alone tollerate, a usurpation.

Iowanian
10-02-2006, 09:27 AM
you know the biggest difference I noticed with Hall yesterday?

He didn't dance.....He caught the rock and Ran.
that was refreshing to see.

Halfcan
10-02-2006, 10:29 AM
Funny how San Fran was an up and coming team OFF/and DEf now they were nothing but a pushover that anyone could have beat.

With the refs screwing them against the Eagles and costing them the game, I figured they would have been a lot tougher.

Fish
10-02-2006, 10:39 AM
you know the biggest difference I noticed with Hall yesterday?

He didn't dance.....He caught the rock and Ran.
that was refreshing to see.

No shit. I was very glad to see that as well. He mentioned in an interview that he was trying to change his mindset this year and do more running and less thinking. Sometimes he just tries to hard to make the big break out of nothing. Seems he's just going right after it so far this year. Hope he can continue to give us great field position.

Thig Lyfe
10-02-2006, 10:56 AM
you know the biggest difference I noticed with Hall yesterday?

He didn't dance.....He caught the rock and Ran.
that was refreshing to see.

True that. He ran straight ahead and moved only when needed. As in, when there was a defender in front of him.

Halfcan
10-02-2006, 11:02 AM
True that. He ran straight ahead and moved only when needed. As in, when there was a defender in front of him.

That reminds me of the sidestep Damon did on that blitzing LB. Looked like he was going to get killed-and at the last minute-stepped to the side while never taking his eyes off the receiver. That was impressive.

Calcountry
10-02-2006, 11:23 AM
That reminds me of the sidestep Damon did on that blitzing LB. Looked like he was going to get killed-and at the last minute-stepped to the side while never taking his eyes off the receiver. That was impressive.Yep, I loved that. :thumb:

RedThat
10-02-2006, 11:52 AM
Arizona is a team in disarray. They have two turnover machines at quarterback, and our defense should take advantage of the younger one that's starting, but may not finish the game.

I can't wait for that Pittsburgh game. I hope we have a lot of max protection packages ready and LJ should be ready to run angry.

One game at a time man. One game at a time. Never underestimate an opponent. any given Sunday.

Mr. Laz
10-02-2006, 11:54 AM
we were just better than them .... top to bottom.


so far this year we've played one of the leagues best teams in cincy and got punked.


played a legit playoff in Denver and played them tough but not quite good enough.


played 1 of the worst teams in the league in the 49ers and we dominated them.


so far we've shown that we aren't a top team or a bottom team ... be interesting to see how we develop as the year goes on.