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JuicesFlowing
08-17-2008, 01:33 AM
August 16, 2008 - Bob Gretz |

From Arrowhead Stadium

It wasn’t like the Chiefs offense didn’t go out and move the football Saturday night. They racked up 345 yards in total offense and they ran the ball with great efficiency.

But they couldn’t find the end zone until the last 15 seconds of the game. Thus, they dropped pre-season game No. 2 to the Arizona Cardinals 27-17.

Unlike their opener last week in Chicago when they were able to find the end zone three different times, the Chiefs had trouble getting the ultimate payoff. Twice in the first half they moved the ball inside the Cardinals 20-yard line, but had to settle for a pair of field goals. They returned two more times in the second half, but they were only able to squeeze in a touchdown after the game’s outcome was in little doubt.

“I like our offenses ability to control the clock,” said head coach Herm Edwards afterwards. “We’ve just got to get some touchdowns down there.”

Just as they did last week in Chicago, the Chiefs took the ball first and moved down the field. The offense picked up three first downs and RB Larry Johnson carried four times in the possession for 15 yards, including a nice 8-yard run off right tackle. Eventually the drive stalled and K Nick Novak drilled a 32-yard FG to give the Chiefs an early 3-0 lead.

Facing a pair of Pro Bowl receivers in Arizona’s Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, the Chiefs rookie cornerbacks made themselves knownl. On the first play, Cardinals QB Kurt Warner went long to Boldin, but CB Brandon Flowers broke up the play. On third down, CB Brandon Carr broke up a throw from Warner to Fitzgerald. In between those plays, LB Derrick Johnson forced a fumble by Arizona RB Edgerrin James that was recovered by the Cardinals.

“They came right out and threw at me,” said Flowers. “I was expecting it. Coach (Edwards) told me it was coming my way before the game. They caught some balls, but we made some plays.”

And they kept that No. 1 Arizona offense out of the end zone in the first quarter. But late early in the second quarter, Warner took the Cardinals down on a 13-play, 78-yard drive that ended with RB Tim Hightower scoring over his right side on a 4-yard run. K Neil Rackers missed the PAT kick and Arizona had a 6-3 lead.

Later, the Chiefs put together a long possession, using 12 plays, moving 53 yards and Johnson was very active in the drive, ripping off runs of 9, 18, 4, 8 and 1-yard. RB Kolby Smith added a 15-yard run. Johnson took a direct snap from center and picked up 3 yards on a third-down play that gave the Chiefs 1st-and-goal at the Arizona six-yard line. But the drive stalled there and K Connor Barth came on and kicked a 35-yard field goal to tie the score at 6-6.

“We were able to run the ball and that’s something we came into the game wanting to do,” said Edwards. “That was a good sign.”

Johnson, who finished with 61 yards on 14 carries agreed.

“We needed to go out and do that,” he said. “They were coming down with eight guys in the box and we still were able to make some plays. That’s something we are going to have to do throughout the season.”

Arizona came out of the half-time locker room and put together an 11-play, 70-yard drive directed by QB Matt Leinart. The Cardinals picked up five first downs and Leinart was 5-for-5 passing, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to WR Steve Breaston. Rackers made the PAT kick and Arizona grabbed a 13-6 lead.

Rookie RB Dantrell Savage changed the momentum with a nice 45-yard kickoff return that gave the Chiefs possession at the Kansas City 43-yard line. A eight-play, 35-yard drive ended when Novak drilled a 40-yard field goal that made the score 13-9.

That kickoff return was the first of several big plays from the 5-foot 8-inch rookie out of Oklahoma State. He carried the ball three times for 12 yards, caught two passes for 19 yards, added three kickoff returns for 99 yards and a pair of punt returns for 18 yards.

That’s 10 touches for 148 yards.

The Cardinals answered right back after Novak’s FG, with RB J.J. Arrington getting it started with a 78-yard kickoff return. On the first offensive play, QB Brian St. Pierre hit a wide open FB Tim Castille in the left flat and he went untouched into the end zone for 24-yard TD pass. Rackers PAT kick gave Arizona a 20-9 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Chiefs had a scoring chance early in the fourth quarter, but a 46-yard FG attempt by Barth hit the right upright.

“That hurt because it changed what happened later in the game,” said Edwards.

Another thing that changed the flow of the game and the outcome came when Arizona added a late TD when FS Dennis Keyes picked off a high Thigpen pass and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown.

But just like he did last week against Chicago, Thigpen was able to bounce back from his mistake. He moved the offense 60 yards on six plays as the drive ended with a 14-yard TD pass to WR Sergiori Joachim with 15 seconds left. Savage scored the two-point PAT for the 27-17 final score.

Croyle was 7 of 13 passing for 38 yards. Thigpen was 16 of 27 for 174 yards with one TD and one INT. Doing their work in the second half WRs Kevin McMahan and Maurice Price were the Chiefs leading receivers. McMahan had three catches for 41 yards and Price had three for 34 yards.

Defensively, LB Wes Dacus was the leading tackler with five and DE Turk McBride contributed a pair of sacks, along with a forced fumble. DE Johnny Dingle also contributed a sack.

#30

DaneMcCloud
08-17-2008, 01:38 AM
I find it absolutely hysterical that all of the KC Beat writers treat this game as if it were a regular season game.

Horrible, terrible ****ing writing.

The ABSOLUTE worst.

And J-Whit, you suck.

ChiefsCountry
08-17-2008, 01:39 AM
I find it absolutely hysterical that all of the KC Beat writers treat this game as if it were a regular season game.

Horrible, terrible ****ing writing.

The ABSOLUTE worst.

And J-Whit, you suck.

Newspapers unfortuanely are trying to become more like sports radio, trying to use the shock and awe approach.

Douche Baggins
08-17-2008, 01:42 AM
I find it absolutely hysterical that all of the KC Beat writers treat this game as if it were a regular season game.


Herm does, too. The missed field goal "hurt?" OH NOES!

TEX
08-17-2008, 07:45 AM
I find it absolutely hysterical that all of the KC Beat writers treat this game as if it were a regular season game.

Horrible, terrible ****ing writing.

The ABSOLUTE worst.

And J-Whit, you suck.

My gosh, Gretz, the "Mouthpiece for CP," is simply stating that this team CAN'T SCORE TD's in the Red Zone on a consistent basis and there is not enough improvement yet over last year. He's also spot on in that it's not enough now and if it stays like this (as in years past) it won't be enough when the regular season starts.

How many times have we seen a problem area show itself in preseason and remain a problem throughout the regular season? And how many times has said problem been a priority during the following offseason.? He's not being too critical at all IMO. There is a message and Gretz nailed it.

Wile_E_Coyote
08-17-2008, 08:33 AM
Some more Gretz, the KCChiefs.com edition
http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2008/08/17/not_enough_improvement/



<TABLE style="BORDER-RIGHT: white 2px solid; BORDER-LEFT: white 2px solid; WIDTH: 894px; HEIGHT: 100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=center border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD style="WIDTH: 894px; BORDER-BOTTOM: white 6px solid; HEIGHT: 600px; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #fff"><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD id=mainbody style="PADDING-RIGHT: 10px; PADDING-LEFT: 10px; WIDTH: 675px">Not Enough Improvement

Aug 17, 2008, 7:36:51 AM by Bob Gretz (http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/bob_gretz/) - FAQ (http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2004/01/19/bob_gretz_faq/)


http://www.kcchiefs.com/media/images/9DC2AEB4DDC7446E9A3B0FA4D6D22E7C.JPG?0.6292204740489509

There were a lot of positive signs that came from the performance of the Chiefs first teams in pre-season game No. 2 Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium.

Larry Johnson ran well. So did Kolby Smith. Brodie Croyle got protection when he threw the ball and young Herb Taylor continued to get better. The defense got their hands on the opposing quarterback. The young cornerbacks made some plays against top-notch competition. Dustin Colquitt continued to be outstanding and the Chiefs may have finally found themselves a return man for the kicking game.

However, a familiar problem showed itself, and it kept the Chiefs from being able to say their performance against Arizona was a step forward.

Until 15 seconds remained in the game, the Chiefs could not find the end zone. It wasn’t like they didn’t have chances. In five different possessions, they pushed the ball inside the 20-yard line of the visiting Cardinals. Five visits to the scoring zone produced: field goal, field goal, field goal, interception and that late touchdown.

The Chiefs don’t want to see a fourth quarter pass from Tyler Thipgen to Sergiori Joachim being their only touchdown. They want to see them coming off the hand of Brodie Croyle into the hands of Tony Gonzalez, or Dwayne Bowe, or Will Franklin, or Devard Darling.

By the time the game was over, the Chiefs had 345 offensive yards. Last year in 16 games, the offense was not able to top that number in 13 games. So Saturday’s total was a significant number. But as Chiefs fans have come to understand, offense isn’t about yards. It’s about touchdowns and it’s about winning. The Chiefs weren’t able to get that done against Arizona.

It’s not like offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is keeping things under wraps. The Chiefs showed a lot of different formations and plays against the Cardinals. TE Tony Gonzalez was one of the guys the Arizona defense zeroed in on early, so Gailey has him moving all over the place. Very few times did he line up as a tight end. Most of the time he was in the slot, or flexed off the line, or he lined up as a wide receiver. He was everywhere and caught just one pass for four yards.

But that’s no big deal at this time of the year, especially with an offense that’s still putting together the pieces of a new scheme. Gailey showed different aspects of the attack. Three receivers were on the field much more than we saw last week. Several times, Gailey had two backs and three wide receivers, without a tight end of any kind. They even ran the direct-snap play they’ve been working on in training camp, as Larry Johnson took the snap directly from center Rudy Niswanger.

But those five times in the scoring zone, they did not compute:
On their first trip, a screen pass on 3rd-and-7 to Kolby Smith didn’t come off quite the way it was drawn up and gained just four yards. They took a Nick Novak FG.
They were 1st-and-goal at the Cardinals’ six-yard line. Croyle threw his first down pass into the stands when no one popped open, but Gonzalez was flagged for offensive pass interference, a 10-yard penalty. A screen pass to Johnson was blown up on second down and then Johnson lost a yard on a third down draw. Another FG.
In the fourth quarter, Thigpen drove the offense to a first down at the Arizona 18-yard line. But on third down, his pass to Bobby Sippio was tipped and landed in the hands of Arizona safety Dennis Keyes who returned it 84 yards for a touchdown.
On their last visit, Thigpen led t he Chiefs on a six-play, 60-yard drive and his touchdown pass to Joachim.That doesn’t get it done in August. It won’t get it done in September-October-November and especially December.

Defensively, there were some mental mistakes that will have Gunther Cunningham scowling, like leaving fullback Tim Castille wide open in the left flat and watching him catch and run 24 yards for a touchdown. But overall, the defense was OK. They had four sacks on the night. They gave up only two passes of more than 20 yards. They popped the ball lose several times as Arizona had three fumbles. The Chiefs recovered none of those.

Colquitt was remarkable again, averaging 57.5 yards on four punts. Rookie mini-back Dantrell Savage really showed his stuff not only on offense, but on special teams. He ripped off a 45-yard kickoff return and handled a pair of punt returns flawlessly.

All that good stuff gets lost when a team can’t score touchdowns.

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Ari Chi3fs
08-17-2008, 09:19 AM
I loved the 45k-50k fans that were there... probably more than will be there in Nov-Dec though. heh.

Deberg_1990
08-17-2008, 09:34 AM
They even ran the direct-snap play they’ve been working on in training camp, as Larry Johnson took the snap directly from center Rudy Niswanger.



So how did this play end? Did LJ run it or throw it? Was it ugly or did it work?

OnTheWarpath58
08-17-2008, 09:42 AM
Newspapers unfortuanely are trying to become more like sports radio, trying to use the shock and awe approach.

Yep.

Everywhere you look, doom and gloom.

Negativity is the first order of business for sports media.

KCUnited
08-17-2008, 09:43 AM
So how did this play end? Did LJ run it or throw it? Was it ugly or did it work?

LJ ran it, 3 yard pick up for a 1st.

KCJohnny
08-17-2008, 09:44 AM
So how did this play end? Did LJ run it or throw it? Was it ugly or did it work?

I think they used it to convert a 3rd down.

OnTheWarpath58
08-17-2008, 09:45 AM
I'm curious as to why Gretz thinks this is a "familiar problem."

It's not familiar to THIS offense. Just last week, the offense got into the end zone THREE times. Apparently, he's already forgotten.

Comparing this offense to ANYTHING Solari's did shows his ignorance.

KCJohnny
08-17-2008, 09:45 AM
Well, with all the talent at RB, let's go back to Marv Levy's single wing attack.

KCUnited
08-17-2008, 10:21 AM
I personally hate trying to run a screen inside the 20, we tried it in the 2nd half and it got snuffed out resulting in the TG penalty. The next play was an attempted dump off to LJ that Croyle threw too hard. The next play was a run that went nowhere. Definitely a disappointing series inside the 20.

TEX
08-17-2008, 10:26 AM
Yep.

Everywhere you look, doom and gloom.

Negativity is the first order of business for sports media.

Losing 9 in a row and finishing 4-12 will do it to you...

morphius
08-17-2008, 10:40 AM
I'm curious as to why Gretz thinks this is a "familiar problem."

It's not familiar to THIS offense. Just last week, the offense got into the end zone THREE times. Apparently, he's already forgotten.

Comparing this offense to ANYTHING Solari's did shows his ignorance.
but it is consistent with a Herm offense...