If the Kansas City Chiefs want to hand the Houston Texans their third straight home loss, they will have to continue avoiding negative plays. As Josh Looney points out, few have done that better over the first quarter of the season than Todd Haley’s crew.
The Chiefs have done a remarkable job at eliminating the negative plays this season. The squad is the third-least penalized team in the NFL, has allowed the fewest sacks in the league and, overall, has committed just 17 negative plays (the 2nd fewest in football).
That all amounts to one thing: smart football.
Kansas City has minimized its mistakes and capitalized on its opportunities, finishing each of the first four games even or positive in the turnover department and posting a 27-0 scoring differential off turnovers. Success has come this season by the Chiefs not beating themselves on gameday; a trend critical to winning games on the road.
It will be interesting to see if Ryan O’Callaghan gets back into the lineup and the Chiefs are still able to avoid negative plays the same way they have throughout the first quarter of the season. Not because he isn’t the better option at right tackle than Barry Richardson — I think he is — but because he has been away from the game for so long.
Richardson has done a very impressive job filling in for O’Callaghan this year, but if the incumbent is a little rusty, that could lead to both penalties and sacks.
Trouble adjusting to the speed of the game? Just give a little tug on the jersey. Get a little confused while communicating with someone else on the line? Down goes Cassel.
If O’Callaghan gets the call, I think he will not only be ready to play but help in both the running and passing attack. But it is something to keep in mind whenever he gets the call to re-join the starting lineup.