Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley has made it a point to look at this season in quarters. If you look at the last quarter, the Chiefs are 2-2 which is a lot nicer to talk about than their overall record of 3-9. Bob Gretz has broken down the team’s progress over the first three quarters of the season in a must read. Has the much maligned offense improved as the season has progressed?
The Chiefs have gotten better at converting third downs from quarter, to quarter, to quarter. They have also gotten better with their pass protection; in the third quarter they allowed just 10 sacks in 150 passing plays or one every 15 plays. That’s much better than the second-quarter number of a sack every nine pass plays.
But there have been some important numbers where the performance level has dropped and it’s causing the Chiefs problems. Quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Brodie Croyle completed just 50 percent of their passes in the third quarter. That continues a downward trend that began with a completion percentage of 61.5 percent in the first quarter, to 53.2 percent, down to the 50 percent of the last four games.
Plus, fumbling by the Chiefs has increased significantly. They had 12 fumbles in the third quarter and lost seven. In the first two quarters combined, they had 13 fumbles and lost just two. Those recent turnovers were factors in the Chiefs most recent defeats to San Diego and Denver.
With the Bills and Browns coming up, the numbers in the fourth quarter of the season should go up dramatically. Just like the offense isn’t as bad as they’ve shown the past two weeks, they shouldn’t be considered nearly as good as they will show against Buffalo and Cleveland.
With that being said, I’d love to have seen more progress on both sides of the ball in the third quarter. It did make me chuckle to see the defense registered 7 sacks in the last quarter, just short of the 10 they had all of last season. If they don’t get to 10 in the final quarter I will be severely disappointed.
It was Dec. 16, 1990 against the Houston Oilers. That’s the day Houston quarterback Warren Moon riddled the Chiefs for 527 passing yards, which still ranks as the second-best single-game passing day in NFL history.
And that was against an outstanding secondary, featuring Albert Lewis, Kevin Ross, Deron Cherry and Lloyd Burress, and pass rushers Derrick Thomas, who had 20 sacks that year, and Neil Smith.
Moon, as Cherry said later, just put the ball wherever he wanted that day.
I was 9 at the time, so I obviously don’t remember the game and you know what? Even if only for the sake of not wanting to have history repeat, the Chiefs need to sell this game out. Can you imagine what the already fractured mentality of the Kansas City fan base will be if Ryan Fitzpatrick comes in to a blacked out Arrowhead throws up 300+ yards? Yikes.
Don’t get me wrong, the Chiefs registering a “sell out” won’t help the defense tackle or wide receivers catch the ball. But maybe it’s the dice player in me… Superstitious at all times, even in the middle of a 3-9 season.
When the Bills come to down Sunday, one of their starting cornerbacks could be available only on a limited basis.
Terrence McGee said he is improving but still lists his status as day-to-day. Arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee forced him to miss three games but he played sparingly in last Thursday’s game against the Jets. He didn’t start as Reggie Corner began the game.
“I’m getting closer, but it’s still a day-to-day type of thing,” McGee said. “Whether I start or whether I do what I did last week is still up in the air but I feel like I’m getting better.”
McGee said he will likely play with some pain for the remainder of the season.
“It’s one of those things that’s going to take a while to fully go away,” he said.
Before he had surgery, McGee was averaging nearly 5 tackles a game even though he’s rarely challenged in the passing game. For a Chiefs team that needs as much help as they can get on offense, the Bills being without (or with a limited) McGee would go a long way to helping Matt Cassel get back on track.