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Tribal Warfare
09-19-2009, 02:53 AM
Chiefs hope to get their running game going against Raiders (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/1455058.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

Todd Haley didn’t have to search for a positive regarding the Chiefs and their floundering running game from last week’s season opener in Baltimore.

“They didn’t fumble the football,” Haley said, managing to keep a straight face.

But Haley was right that their ability to hold on to the ball might have been the only thing the Chiefs did right with the running game against the Ravens. They gained 29 yards, their worst rushing game in two seasons.

For Sunday’s game against Oakland at Arrowhead Stadium, Haley is looking for more from the running backs than no turnovers.

“The Baltimore Ravens defense is and has been one of the top run defenses in the league,” Haley said. “That being said, we need to run the ball better than we did in that game every single week. There can’t be a week where we have an off week like that.”

Yet a sluggish running game might be something Haley and the Chiefs have to live with. After rushing for more than 2,000 yards in nine of the 12 previous seasons, the Chiefs were well below that the last two years and are off to another slow start this year.

The Chiefs had trouble with the running game in the preseason, except when they played against the Rams and their backup defenders. That’s why the running-game results weren’t shocking to Larry Johnson, who gained just 20 yards in 11 carries.

“They knew I was the only one to get 100 yards on them for a long time,” Johnson said, referring to a 2006 game in which he ran for 120 yards against Baltimore. “Of course their ears perked up at that. I talked to (Ravens linebacker) Ray Lewis after the game, and he told me they were game planning for me the whole time.

“It was just one of those games where it was tough sledding and you just put your head down and get as much as you can. That type of game, you’re just glad you were close or in it for that long. This week, we’ll try to do better.”

They won’t do better against the Raiders unless the Chiefs do a better job of blocking for Johnson and Jamaal Charles. The Raiders, who acquired Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour in a preseason trade with New England, allowed just 77 rushing yards in last week’s loss to San Diego

“I think we’re improving,” Oakland coach Tom Cable said. “Richard adds something to it. The most important thing is it really puts it in perspective what team defense is all about. He comes from that. That certainly has been the way of New England. We’re trying to develop a similar mentality here.”

In Baltimore, the Chiefs handed the ball to a running back on 16 plays and lost yardage on five of them.

Johnson stumbled and fell in the backfield on one such play, causing him to lose a yard. On the four other plays, a Baltimore defender beat a different Chiefs blocker to get into the backfield and either make the tackle or force the runner toward defensive help.

Brian Waters, Mike Goff and Rudy Niswanger were the guilty offensive linemen. Wide receiver Mark Bradley missed a block on Baltimore safety Ed Reed on the play after Bradley caught a 50-yard pass from Brodie Croyle.

“There were just a couple of plays where we were one block away,” right tackle Ikechuku Ndukwe said. “It wasn’t four of five guys messing up. It was just one guy on every play and that can get you beat.

“One of the biggest things about offensive line is time. You’ve got to play together. It’s going to take some time. We definitely didn’t play well enough.”

Three starting offensive linemen — Waters, Niswanger and Branden Albert — were starters for the Chiefs last season. Goff joined the Chiefs during the offseason and practiced with them throughout training camp.

Only Ndukwe, acquired from Miami in a preseason trade, is new to Kansas City.

Haley designed a conservative game plan for the Chiefs, intending to keep the game close and hope the Chiefs could make some plays in the fourth quarter to win. While that strategy worked well enough, he probably didn’t do the running game any favors with his play-calling.

Ten of the Chiefs’ first 12 first-down plays were runs.

“There’s always something the play-caller can do,” Haley said. “The situation dictated a lot in that game. We kind of had a game plan we were going to go with. Would I have liked less three-and-outs? Yes. Would that have helped our running game? Probably.

“I wasn’t perfect, by any means.”

salame
09-19-2009, 02:56 AM
I miss the smash mouth running days

Raised On Riots
09-19-2009, 03:02 AM
I miss the smash mouth running days

I miss Marcus Allen.

Smash the pile, move the pile, run down field, pass the ball etc. This team needs some talent.

LaChapelle
09-19-2009, 07:33 AM
#26

Chan93lx50
09-19-2009, 08:09 AM
I miss Marcus Allen.

Smash the pile, move the pile, run down field, pass the ball etc. This team needs some talent.

Ahhh yes, I loved and 1 yard situations with Marcus. That guy could find the crack on a gnats ass a run through it.

JuicesFlowing
09-19-2009, 08:55 AM
I miss the days when we had an angry LJ and Priest in the backfield ... those were good times. LJ made the comment: "I call us the Church Backfield. Priest prays over them, and I bury them." That's my favorite quote ever.

ThunderChief
09-19-2009, 08:59 AM
Something has to happen and be the go-to reason for Chief's victories. Whether that's running the rock, dinking and dumping, the D against the run or whatever, the team has to establish a consistent identity they can lean on for close wins. Currently, they're still searching for this.

Perhaps that identity will take center stage this week against Oakland.

Reerun_KC
09-19-2009, 08:59 AM
I miss the days when we had an angry LJ and Priest in the backfield ... those were good times. LJ made the comment: "I call us the Church Backfield. Priest prays over them, and I bury them." That's my favorite quote ever.

Back when the Chiefs had a line and LJ weak ass didnt have to run hard....

now Donnell Bennett part Duex, is a pussy fall over back...

Reerun_KC
09-19-2009, 08:59 AM
I miss the smash mouth running days

Why?

CaliforniaChief
09-19-2009, 09:29 AM
I love Teicher's headlines. I'm waiting for tomorrow morning's to be:

Teicher: Chiefs hope to score more points than the Raiders.
Teicher: Chiefs hope to beat the Raiders.
Teicher: Chiefs lost to the Ravens last Sunday.
Teicher: Chiefs play their home games at Arrowhead Stadium.
Teicher: Chiefs and Raiders are old rivals.

Something like that.

JuicesFlowing
09-19-2009, 09:32 AM
I love Teicher's headlines. I'm waiting for tomorrow morning's to be:

Teicher: Chiefs hope to score more points than the Raiders.
Teicher: Chiefs hope to beat the Raiders.
Teicher: Chiefs lost to the Ravens last Sunday.
Teicher: Chiefs play their home games at Arrowhead Stadium.
Teicher: Chiefs and Raiders are old rivals.

Something like that.

LOL well said ....

JuicesFlowing
09-19-2009, 09:34 AM
Something has to happen and be the go-to reason for Chief's victories. Whether that's running the rock, dinking and dumping, the D against the run or whatever, the team has to establish a consistent identity they can lean on for close wins. Currently, they're still searching for this.

Perhaps that identity will take center stage this week against Oakland.

Maybe so. I'm not sure they have the talent to do this though. We'll find out though.