The seventh-year defensive tackle has been one of my players to watch since training camp in St. Joseph. As each game becomes more significant, he continues to impress as a reliable run stopper. Gordon's stats won't pop out at you but watch him on any given play. The journeyman lineman, who was has been in and out of football for years, has found himself a productive spot in Kansas City.
The Chiefs needed a defensive lineman when fan favorite Shaun Smith was allowed to walk to the Titans. Although Smith's statistics were significantly better than Gordon's at this point, I would argue that Gordon has made just as much of an impact, if not a bigger one. As much as I would love to champion Gordon for the future, the Chiefs need to find a long-term replacement for the aging Kelly Gregg. Many, including yours truly, thought fifth-round draft pick Jerrell Powe was the answer but as long as the rookie continues to not suit up on Sundays, I have to assume that the position is still up for grabs.
Failing to capitalize on San Diego mistakes
The San Diego Chargers did everything they could to hand the Chiefs this game but when the Chargers made the mistakes, the Chiefs were unable to make San Diego pay. Of the Chargers' four turnovers, the Chiefs turned the ball back over on three out of the four following possessions. The other Chargers turnover resulted in a first-quarter touchdown pass to Jonathan Baldwin.
The Chiefs have now notched back to back wins with a lot of luck from the football gods. In all reality, the Chiefs were dead in water with two minutes left in the game and somehow turned their fortunes around. But if the the mystery of the fireworks doesn't occur the Chiefs lose a game that never should have been close. Luck is always nice to have on your side but if the Chiefs plan on making a legitimate drive towards the playoffs they need to capitalize on their opponents' misfortunes because their luck will run out.
From the opening kick-off the Arrowhead Crowd was raucous and into the game. They were waving their white towels as if they knew the Chiefs were going to win this game. For one night in front of a nationally televised audience, they reclaimed their status as one of the loudest fan bases in the NFL. They made an impact right away as the Chargers' offense failed to get on track in the first half. But they made their mark in overtime when San Diego was pinned inside their 20-yard line. It was enough to unsettle the Chargers, who went three and out.
Granted, the crowd also let the coaching staff know that some of the boring play-calling was reaching a nerve they didn't want exposed. But in the end, they came through, lifting the Chiefs to a victory that put them in first place.
After taking so much flack for being a troubled player (which was hardly deserving), the young receiver showed the talent that made him this year's top pick.
His first-quarter touchdown was a prime example of why he can become a force in the Chiefs' offense. With his size, speed and hands, he's a mismatch for any cornerback. He's physical enough to break free at the line of scrimmage and strong enough to fight for the tough balls.
He led the Chiefs in catches (five) and yards (82) and Cassel threw the ball to him eight times, a testament to his confidence in his young receiver. Now, with two more games at home, Baldwin's maturation on the field could provide a major boost to the Chiefs offense.
It didn't seem like he carried the ball 19 times, but he did. For three games now he's carried the running game. His 70 yards on the ground led the Chiefs. When his team needed him the most in the fourth quarter and overtime, he came through. His 17-yard run set up his only touchdown of the night.
He continues to do everything that the coaching staff asks of him. The Chiefs might want to think about reducing Battle's special teams involvement, as right now he's the team's best running back and he's earned the right to play just offense. In fact, Battle might be the one player the Chiefs can ill afford to lose to injury.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Five to remember.
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