No Punch in Chiefs Defense

Going into Monday Nights game in Denver the Kansas City Chiefs 2005 defense didn't play anything like the old version that ranked dead last in 2003 and 2004. But they fell into some old habits as the defense once again fell prey Jake Plummer and his misdirection plays.

Thank goodness this will be a short week for the Kansas City Chiefs. The offense played as if they didn't know how to exist without left tackle Willie Roaf. Granted the ten time All-Pro tackle was in street clothes on the sidelines but the rest of his offensive mates had no such excuses.

That meant the defense had to step up and make plays. They couldn't do it the entire game. Play after play they allowed Jake Plummer to run a very predictable offense and run it down their throats. He wasn't doing anything new and the Chiefs had to know it was coming but they seemed fooled nearly every time the Broncos ran any mis-directional plays.

The sad part about this game was none of the defensive players showed up on Monday Night. Yes defensive end Eric Hicks had a sack and safety Greg Wesley made a nifty stop on a third and goal play. But nobody did anything else up front or down the middle of the field.

It's becoming clear that this team misses the presence of defensive tackle Ryan Sims. He's out at least four to five more weeks. It could be even longer and that's not good news for the middle of the Chiefs defense. Junior Siavii can't fill his shoes. John Browning and Lional Dalton are doing their best but with no pass rush from the defensive ends and the passive play of the linebackers; made this a long night for everyone.

If I'm Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, he won't have to spend much time looking at this game film. I'd just throw it in the trash can and burn it. There is little reason to watch it.

For Head Coach Dick Vermeil he has to be very disappointed in the defensive effort as well as the offensive effort for that matter. He has to be scratching his head and hoping the defense will be better next week against Philadelphia. The problem on Monday night was that the defense was not very physical and they played very uninspired.

Cunningham has only one cornerback on the field but that will change when Eric Warfield returns after the bye week but he needs to find a pass rush. Carlos Hall has not been able to play as he continues to battle a sore back but he's not getting much out of his linebackers either. Kendrell Bell was fooled badly on Plummer's touchdown run on fourth and goal.

Derrick Johnson took a step backwards on Monday but that's to be expected. The Chiefs have anointed him a sure fire rookie of the year candidate but he's not going to hit his stride until midway though the season. So he gets a pass.

For the third game in a row, Dexter McCleon was on I-70 trying to cover the Broncos receivers. He was so far off the ball that veteran receivers Ashlie Lelie and Rod Smith had at least ten free yards before someone in the secondary was anywhere near them. The Broncos were not going to throw the ball downfield but the only people who didn't know that; were the ones playing in the Chiefs secondary. Unlike Denver, who jammed every Chiefs receiver when they were on defense, Kansas City played like they were scared to get beat deep and that opened up their short yardage passing game and running lanes for their backs.

I know it's easy to be critical but this is a setback for this team. On a season where the team started 2-0 and with a chance to bury the Broncos, the defense needed to step up and bail out the offense that was equally bad.

Simply put the Broncos offense schooled the Chiefs defense. If there was a positive aspect to this game, the defensive and offensive players for the Chiefs will get a chance; when they review game film, to see how one team dominates another from the opening kick-off to the last snap of the ball. The Broncos showed that they're clearly a better team than the Chiefs right now.

Let's hope the Chiefs are a quick study heading into the Eagles game this Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead.

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