By: Drew Switzer
OK, well the first quarter of the Chief's 2009 season is over. One month in and the Chiefs are 0-4. This is obviously going to be a long season. Our schedule is extremely tough in the first half of the season, but does get a little easier over the second half. I am still confident the Chiefs will manage to win 4 or 5 games this year and leave the fans with a good taste in our mouths and some hope leading into an important off season.
I'll start out with the positive things that I see, and I see two extremely good things. We have two, very very good 2nd year Corner-backs. Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr have big time potential to be big time players and perennial Pro-Bowlers. Watching these two over the next several years will be very fun. Tomba Hali is much improved. I think he will thrive in that Outside linebacker/Stand-up D line spot. I do like the look and potential of the defense. On offense, bringing in Bobby Wade has helped our receiving core. Our place kicker and punter are also bright spots. Special teams is important, like defense or offense, it can win our lose you games. So it is important that our kickers are quality pro kickers. That's about where the positives end.
The negative is a little more lengthy and in my mind starts with #7, the overpaid, unproven, lifetime backup (since High School at least), QB who was handed and did not earn his spot. Matt Cassel has been less than impressive. Of our 4 loses, three of those loses were expected as we played 3 of the best teams in the NFL in the Ravens, Eagles, and Giants. The Raiders game (at home) was a game we could have and should have won. Cassel lost that game for us with 2 second half interceptions. Haley is not asking his QB to win the game with throwing the ball. He is asking him to manage the game, not turn the ball over, and put us in a spot to win. Cassel lost that Raiders game. Yesterday, I couldn't count the number of times Cassel over-threw, under-threw, and threw behind his receivers. He missed a wide open TD in the first quarter and it was all bad from there. In the season opener versus the Ravens, the Chiefs scored 24 points behind Brodie Croyle. That not overly impressive but scoring 24 against the Ravens is a really solid performance. Our point totals with Cassel at QB have been 10, 14, and 16. Now I understand our O-line is not very good right now. We need to give our QB, whoever it is, more time. With that said, the best QB play we have had all year was in game 1 with Croyle. I understand that Cassel has potential and had a good season in 2008 with New England. I understand we are re-building and can't go back and forth with who the QB is. I am simply saying that so far this year Brodie Croyle seems to be a better option at QB. Cassel did two things I have never seen a QB do on Sunday. He was sacked on a screen pass and got called for a false start. When you are not a good team, those little things stick out like a soar thumb.
Some will blame the coaching, some the GM, some the O-line, some the D-Line. Some the penalties, the turnovers. All of these things have added up two zero wins in 4 attempts. The most important position on the field is the QB. He can win and lose any game for you. In the only game where the rest of the team dominated their opponents, Cassel threw 2 INTs to lose the game.
So the team is struggling. We all know that. I am a fan, I will always be a fan. We need to give this team, the coaches, the organization time to - and I HATE this term - rebuild. It will take a couple/few/several years. But I have confidence they will get it done.
Another note, I was able to attend the game in person yesterday. I miss the "old days" when there was not an empty seat, the place was the loudest in the NFL, and we had a quality team on the field. However, being in Arrowhead on a Sunday afternoon is still fantastic. Hearing the fans end the National Anthem with "home of the ....CHIEFS!" The smell of BBQ in the parking lot, the large quantities of red clothing. It all makes for a great feeling. Now I just can't wait for them to start winning again. It's simply miserable right now.
What are your thoughts? Is it the coach? Is it the GM? Are we freaking out about nothing b/c this thing is so new? What are your thoughts on the Chiefs through the first 4 games in 2009?