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Old 11-28-2011, 10:14 AM  
gblowfish gblowfish is offline
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Ten Things About Last Night's Game

Ten Things About Last Night's Game

10. I took last week off, which was the first actual week of pure vacation I've had in about a year and a half. Saw Mizzou beat Notre Dame in basketball; saw the last MU-KU football game for the forseeable future; did Thanksgiving in a little tiny town in North Central Kansas; even had a date with my wife. We saw "Puss In Boots." Hey, it was all good! Then we wrapped it all up with the second nationally televised Chiefs game in a week, the turd in the punchbowl called "The Tyler Palko Show." I was thinking this morning, what was worse - The New England game, getting blasted 34-3, or last night, having a chance to win with a minute left and losing 13-9? They're both gut wrenchingly bad, its just that the defense played much better against Rapistburger than they did against Brady.

9. On the way to work this morning I heard a Chiefs commercial. The commercial says something to the effect of "Make Arrowhead as difficult as possible on our opponents." I hate to tell the Chiefs PR wanks this, but of the 71,000 plus there last night, around half of those were Steeler fans. Of course, when your team has been in eight super bowls and won six of them, you're going to have a lot of fans. Being a Steeler fan in football is like being a Yankee fan in baseball: You know you're not going to have to wait around long for a championship season. Of course, Clark Hunt could care less whether the 71,000 fans wore red and gold or black and gold, as long as they had green, that's winning as he measures it. The Hunts are about business, not about football. Last night, in the eyes of Clark the Business Shark, business was good. Very good, indeed.

8. Back to Tyler Failco, AKA Tyler Picko, AKA Tyler Pittsko, AKA Tyler Callabaloo. Six picks and a fumble in two games is no way to go through life, son. Wrap your head around this for a minute: Last night's stat line for Palko: 18-28 for 64%, 167 yards, average pass completion approx 6 yards. Also three picks and a fumble lost. Zero TDs. Passer rating: 40.9. Palko vs. Detroit: One pass attempt, Zero completions, passer rating: 39.6. Now, measure that against Cassel's last start against Denver: 13-28 for 46%, 93 yards, average pass completion approx 3.5 yards. One TD, no picks, passer rating: 66.5. So except for Palko's obvious red/black color blindness problem, he's equal to or better than Cassel's last effort. Point is, had Cassel played, he would have been just as bad. Chiefs just would have punted three more times instead of handing the ball over on picks. Same result, drive stalls, ball turned over.

7. One final thing on Callabaloo: His performance was actually better than a former Chiefs first round draft pick. Yes, that's right. In 1985, Todd Blackledge (AKA Todd Sackledge) played a home game against the LA Rams, and the Chiefs lost 16-0. Sackledge threw six picks in that one game. Six picks...in one game. His stat line was 14-32 for 161 yards, almost identical to Palko's line last night, and Palko only had four turnovers. So, if you want to qualify disasters by saying "it could have been worse," I've actually seen worse. But not by much. Oh, and Blackledge's team finished the 1985 season 6-10, which is better than the 2011 Chiefs will finish.

6. I heard several post game interviews this morning. The ones with Kyle Orton were especially amusing. The Chiefs PR wanks have done a great job coaching him on media-speak. He was asked three different questions by three different reporters, all basically asking "Could you have played? Have you learned the offense? Is KC's offense that much different from Denver?" Orton gave the exact same answer to each question: "I'm just glad to be here. I'm trying to learn the offense as quickly as possible. I just want to help the team win." He said the exact same thing to the three questions almost word for word. Here's the scary thing: The Chiefs pick up Orton off the street. And he is, arguably, better than any QB the Chiefs started the season with. Let's look at 2010 lines: Cassel: 15 starts, 58% completion ratio, just over 3100 yards, 27 TDs, 7 picks, 2 fumbles lost. Orton: 13 starts, 59% completion ratio, just over 3650 yards (playing two fewer games than Cassel), 20 TDs, 9 picks, 1 fumble lost. So in playing two less games than Cassel, he threw for more than 500 more yards, had about the same amount of turnovers and a few less TDs. So both guys are basically the same guy. And we picked him up off the street. What does that say to depth at QB, the most important position on the team? Not much, Mr. Pioli.

5. Why did the Chiefs draft Stanzi? They must not think much of him. I have not watched the NBC broadcast yet -I'll watch it tonight when I get home from work- but I noticed at halftime Coach Haley was having a very spirited discussion with QB Coach Jim Zorn. He was jawing with Zorn pretty good, and kept looking over a Palko on the bench. I think Haley was seriously considering benching Palko in the second half, and Zorn talked him out of it. Since we kicked off, Pittsburgh got the ball first to start the second half. I think if we would have gotten the second half kickoff, Haley might have made the change. Stanzi was warming up more seriously during halftime then he did during pre-game. So I think the temptation was there to change, and Haley decided to stick with Palko. Turned out, bad choice.

4. I still can't get a hold on Coach Haley's game management. You fake a punt to continue a drive, then when you get fourth and two with seven minutes left on the Steeler 22 yard line, you lose your nerve, kick a field goal, and you're still down by four; hoping to get the ball back. The defense did get the ball back, but Palko proved to be worse in the two minute drill than normal game time. Either way, you need seven to tie. So why not go for it with seven minutes? If you fail, you give the Steelers a long field, and still have time to get the ball back and try again. Taking a field goal there does you no good. You just lose by four instead of seven. The Chiefs offense has failed to produce a TD in 41 straight possessions. That's staggeringly bad offense from a head coach who is supposed to be an offensive guru. Fail, fail, and more fail.

3. The defense played its best since the Oakland game. I think Pittsburgh came in thinking it just had to step on the field to win. DJ had nine tackles, Hali caused at least three holding penalties and was chasing Rapistburger all night long. Houston played well, as did Kendrick Lewis. The one Steeler TD drive was punctuated by several official calls that sustained the drive. Not activating "The Donald" Washington and having McGraw back helped the pass defense a lot. Steeler receivers were held pretty much in check save for the one TD by a backup tight end. The defense was on the field more than they should have been, yet they held up. Nothing but respect for them, they played hard and played to win. They just got zero help from the offense or special teams.

2. When Troy Head-n-Shoulders got knocked out, the Steeler run defense was compromised somewhat. Still, KC's longest run of the night was only nine yards. That's another big reason Palko was forced to throw so much, no real help from the ground game. That last two minute drill was its own special kind of cluster ****. They mis-managed the clock before the two minute warning. Then Fat Albert gets dinged up, they put in Gaither The Human Speed Bump, who's only contribution to the evening is forgetting the snap count. They pull Gaither, put Fat Albert back in, Pittsburgh uses the interruption to re-set their defense. Then Callabaloo throws into triple coverage to end it. Was it mis-communication? Was Bowe supposed to go long and broke off his route? Who knows? And who cares, really. It just shows how important the QB-Receiver relationship is when its crunch time. These guys looked like they just met for the first time in the parking lot before the game. And if three guys are on Bowe, somebody has to be open somewhere else.

1. The season is toast. KC might steal a win against Chicago, or Oakland, or Denver, but for all practical purposes, it's all over. Coach Haley will not get fired. The front office will blame the whole year on injuries. They'll probably try to re-sign Orton, promise him a shot at starting, and go into next year with Cassel/Orton as the one-two QB lineup. Which will mean more of the same dink and dunk offense. Chiefs will draft a tackle, and talk about how excited they are to go into the year with Bowe, Baldwin, Moeacki, Charles and Dexter McNuthin. It will be business as usual. The most important thing to the front office is, season ticket renewals will go out this week. Nothing like putting millions of dollars in the bank and drawing interest on it for six months. And if you thought a stadium half full of Steeler Fans was bad, just wait until December 18th when the stadium is 3/4 full of Cheeseheads.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:15 PM   #91
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