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Tribal Warfare
10-17-2010, 01:41 AM
Chiefs’ chance at improving passing game on the road could come this week against Texans (http://www.kansascity.com/2010/10/15/2319315/chiefs-chance-at-improving-passing.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

It’s a stretch to call the Chiefs an offensive powerhouse in any sense of the term, yet relatively speaking that’s what they are when they play at Arrowhead Stadium.

They’ve been positively meek with the ball in their two road games, including last week’s 19-9 loss to the Colts in Indianapolis. The Chiefs don’t have an offensive touchdown in those two games, having been limited to six field goals from Ryan Succop and an interception return for a score by Brandon Flowers.

It’s an issue for the Chiefs this week because they play Sunday against the Texans in Houston. The Chiefs need to plan on scoring some points to win. The Texans are in the NFL’s top 10 in both scoring and total offense.

“Every time you’re playing offensive football it’s an 11-man operation, so it’s not one specific problem,” offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said, speaking to the Chiefs’ offensive woes.

The touchdown by Flowers allowed the Chiefs to survive last month’s game in Cleveland, but they lost for the first time of the season last week when neither the defense nor special teams bailed them out with a touchdown.

The Texans have significant defensive shortcomings. They allowed at least 24 points in each of their five games and are last in the league in pass defense.

But the Chiefs have given no indication they can take advantage. They needed a potent passing game for the first time this season in trying to come back in the second half Sunday, but they failed to deliver.

“Based on the season so far, their weaknesses are our weaknesses and their strengths are our strengths,” guard Brian Waters said. “It will definitely be a grudge-match type of football game.”

Chiefs coach Todd Haley was asked twice this week whether he had confidence in the passing game. He gave contradictory answers, but even when saying he believed the Chiefs could be successful with a passing game plan, his words came across without much conviction.

The Chiefs planned to run as often as practical last week, but their runners faltered in the second half, leaving Weis little option but to order quarterback Matt Cassel to pass frequently.

That plan failed to produce more than a field goal in the second half in large part because Dwayne Bowe dropped a pass in the end zone.

“Going into the Indianapolis game last week, we knew we wanted to run the ball, and we wanted to be physical,” Cassel said. “We wanted to take care of the ball. That was something we preached all week long. At the end of the day, we didn’t make enough plays.

“One thing we’re really trying to concentrate on this week as an offense is third down. That’s an area we have to get better at. I think we were one of 10 (against the Colts). You have to be able to convert, you have to be able to stay on the field and maintain drives.”

In road games, the Chiefs convert just 24 percent of their third-down plays, which is far below the league average of 38 percent.

“On third down, you’ve got to put yourself in position where you’re not in third and long,” Weis said. “Last week we were in third and 10 or more four of the 10 snaps we were in third down. That’s not the way you want to play, so first- and second-down production come into play.”

Another problem is that the Chiefs are having to attempt too many field goals.

They’ve scored a touchdown just 30 percent of the time they’ve gotten inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, again far below the league average.

“Obviously, the No. 1 thing we’re trying to do around here is run the football,” Weis said. “The easiest way to score is to go ahead and run it in.”

If the passing game is going to get well on the road, this would seem to be the week for it. The Texans aren’t playing well in the secondary, allow many big pass plays and may play today without Mario Williams, their injured pass rusher who missed a lot of practice time this week.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the Chiefs will get away from what they do best, which is hand the ball to Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones.

“I think you’ve just got to be careful a little bit and go at it from a statistical standpoint because you have to take into account the teams they’ve played and what their strengths are,” Haley said, referring to the Texans. “I know at least from what I’ve seen, they’ve played some teams that can really throw the football. Like I said we saw Indy this past week, but Dallas, I know they can move the football up and down the field through the air, Washington obviously looks like they move the ball up and down the field through the air.

“I don’t think you can just look at it from a statistical standpoint. You have to study the tape, and you have to look for weaknesses that you can potentially exploit with your own personnel and your own strengths. First and foremost, I’ll always push playing to our strengths and what our players as a whole, offensively, defensively and special teams, that I feel like we do the best.”

Shogun
10-17-2010, 01:46 AM
This has been made an article every week since Matt Cassel has been QB. Fun Fact.

Sweet Daddy Hate
10-17-2010, 02:27 AM
yay.


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