The easiest part of the Chiefs 2004 schedule was the first four games. From this point forward the Chiefs might not be favored in a game until the San Diego Chargers visit Arrowhead November 28th. That means the Chiefs face a tough stretch of seven games before they get their next patsy. Well that's what the Houston Texans were supposed to be but that didn't turn out well for Kansas City.
After venting yesterday on Vermeil, it's fair to be critical in the teams performance and the decision to stand pat in the off-season but none of that matters. This is the team we have like it or not for the rest of the season. So let's make the best of it.
The defense is better outside of cornerback and safety. It's fair to assume that the defensive line without Vonnie Holliday in the line-up is getting better each week. The linebackers had by far their best game of the year on Sunday against the Texans but the cornerbacks and safeties were horrendous.
Granted Eric Warfield played solidly but Dexter McCleon and Julian Battle did little to establish themselves as legit NFL corners. But my biggest beef and disappointment is with Safety Jerome Woods. Clearly he's lost a step and the big hits we've accustomed to seeing from him simply are missing from his arsenal.
On the 46-yard reception by Andre Johnson that swung the game, Warfield had terrific coverage but it was Woods job to help out on the play and instead of laying out Johnson who was juggling the ball, he let up and dove past him avoiding contact. Woods who claims to be the leader of the defense is showing his age and its obvious that the money the Chiefs spent this off-season to sign him was a mistake.
As for McCleon, I know I'm beating a dead horse, but he looks lost. He can't and should never play on the outside. He can only play inside covering slot receivers. The Chiefs need to get Julian Battle up to speed the next three weeks so he can start opposite Warfield after the bye week. They are better off playing him that McCleon on the outside. The level of wide receiver talent the Chiefs will be facing prior to their October 31 re-match with the Indianapolis Colts is not that great and Kansas City needs to get Battle tested and ready for that game.
On offense the Chiefs have to learn that the ball must be in the hands of Priest Holmes when the ball is inside the five-yard line regardless of the down. He's the NFL record holder in touchdowns and the Chiefs have to give him the ball every single time regardless if the opposing defense is expecting it. They can't count on Trent Green to make the plays as evident by his ill-advised throw that led to a 102-yard interception return.
The Chiefs problem last season is the fact that they never went for the jugular and took out teams when they had the chance. That was never more apparent then in their back to back home losses to the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans. This team for whatever reason does not display a killer instinct and that's disappointing. Maybe this team has to many character guys and not enough fiery ones who can motivate other players.
Outside of defensive end Eric Hicks nobody has show that much passion. That's a shame and until that changes the fortunes to win five or six games could be the only challenge left for this football team.
If that happens, it's going to be a cold winter in Kansas City and Arrowhead will have plenty of empty seats in October, November and December unless the Chiefs stage a remarkable rally from the depths of their 0-3 start.