Game Balls: Chiefs vs. Lions

The Kansas City Chiefs followed up their humiliating 41-7 home opening loss to the Buffalo Bills with an even worse game against the Detroit Lions.  This time the Chiefs fell 48-3, once again failing to be competitive in any aspect of the game.

For the third straight game, a star player went down with an injury for Todd Haley and the Chiefs.  This time it was the league’s best running back, Jamaal Charles, tearing his ACL while trying to reach for a first down along the sideline early in the game.  Charles is likely to join tight end Tony Moeaki and safety Eric Berry on season-ending injured reserve.

After Charles’ injury, things just continued going downhill for the 0-2 Chiefs as the emerging Lions seemed to do whatever they wanted on both sides of the ball.

This is the third season that Haley has been in Kansas City and I don’t know that there has been a worse day during that time than what the Chiefs went through on Sunday.  It’s one thing to get beaten down from the opening kickoff, but topping it off by losing your best player is a new low.

Much like after last week’s game against the Bills, I’m not sure that anyone played well enough to be singled out, but we’ll try our best to find the best of the worst on offense, defense and special teams.

Offense: Jamaal Charles

It’s not often that a running back only gets two carries — both on the first drive — but as has been the case during his short career, Charles had no say about how little he was used.  Though unfortunately it wasn’t his coach holding him back, this time it was a likely season-ending ACL injury.

Though it doesn’t ease the pain of losing him any, it seems appropriate that Charles finished his final game with a 13.5 yard average per carry.

Defense: Tamba Hali

When you are one of the best pass rushers in the league, you are going to get held.  It’s just what comes with the territory as offensive linemen, tight ends and running backs do whatever they can to keep you away from their quarterback.  However, what also is supposed to come with the territory is getting a few of those calls, something that was not in the cards for Hali on Sunday.

Even without the respect other top pass rushers get, Hali went full speed all game and was one of the few Chiefs defenders that harassed Lions QB Matthew Stafford without being called for roughing the passer.  He was officially credited with four QB hits, though Stafford will tell you that number is low.

Hali was on the field well into the fourth quarter even though the game had long been decided.  If the Chiefs can figure out something, anything in the secondary, Hali will be able to keep the defense in games the way he continues to disrupt the pocket.

Special Teams: Thomas Gafford

Well, he didn’t snap the ball over anyone’s head.

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