Chiefs look boring in 27-17 loss to Cardinals

For nearly two quarters I experienced Déjà vu as I watched the Arizona Cardinals thump the Chiefs, 27-17, Saturday night in Kansas City. I had visions of KC's old offense, not the Vermeil show, but rather the Solari edition, as the Chiefs put up only a pair of field goals in the first half.

Let's hope that last night's contest was nothing more than a training camp hangover, and not something we're going to see when the bullets start to fly for real next month.

I never want to see a screen pass or a draw on third down again. Maybe that's wishful thinking, but Kansas City's vanilla offense, outside of one play late in the half when quarterback Brodie Croyle lined up as wide receiver and Larry Johnson took a direct snap, gave me an uneasy feeling.

However, the Chiefs did manage to average 5.6 yards per rush and Croyle completed seven of 13 passes. The offense sustained two long drives, and that's a positive sign.

The negative is the fact Kansas City couldn't get in the end zone. That's something that could plague this football team all season long, but at the root of the issue is the fact the Cardinals defense played a strong game and the Chiefs really never adjusted.

That will change come opening day, and more likely against the Dolphins next Saturday in Miami, where KC's starters will play into the third quarter. But if the Chiefs are going to be a consistent team, they must approach games with the same mentality the next two weeks. If not, well let's just not think about that now.

Players on the Rise:

DE Turk McBride - Two sacks, a forced fumble and solid play into the third quarter are signs that he that he can be at least as good as Tamba Hali was a year ago at left defensive end. The Chiefs need Hali on track, but McBride is starting to show signs that he could be a breakout player. In my opinion he's already earned a starting job.

RB Kolby Smith - The Chiefs need his energy on offense. I love the way he runs low to the ground, and he's so strong that he can routinely break tackles. He has the ability to be a starter some day in this league. Even with Jamaal Charles and Dantrelle Savage competing for his carries, Smith is firmly entrenched as KC's second-best running back.

CB Brandon Flowers - Right off the bat, the Cardinals made the decision to go after KC's second-round pick, but Flowers responded each time he was lined up outside. He did struggle when he was forced to cover the slot receiver, as he was susceptible to crossing routes, but that's something he'll learn with experience and more playing time.

RG Adrian Jones - He had his second solid game as the starting right guard. There has been a lot said about Kansas City's offensive line since last season ended, but the reclamation project is doing well despite the fact Branden Albert is still sideline. Part of that success can be attributed to Jones. If he keeps it up, the Chiefs might have found a diamond in the rough.

P Dustin Colquitt - He's in midseason form already, and his 54-yard punt in the first quarter Saturday was a thing of beauty - not for it's distance, but the fact it went out of bounds inside the 10-yard line. Why more punters don't execute the coffin corner kick is beyond my comprehension, but Colquitt has the potential to do it on every punt.

WR Maurice Price - Another great day for the man who continues to teeter between making the Chiefs or finding an opportunity on another NFL roster. All Price does is make plays, and the fact sixth-round pick Kevin Robinson hasn't even been cleared to practice yet keeps Price's NFL dream alive for another week or two.

Players on the Decline:

QB Tyler Thigpen - His offensive linemen didn't do him any favors, but Thigpen misfired on a sure touchdown to Bobby Sippio late in the game. When a guy is that wide open you have to make the play. Thigpen was once again behind on another pass to Sippio that led to an interception returned for a touchdown. It was interesting that Damon Huard didn't get a single snap Saturday, leading me to believe that KC's coaching staff thinks Thigpen is the top backup or Huard doesn't need any more work. Either way, that's not good for KC.

K Connor Barth - While Nick Novak nailed both of his attempts, Barth missed a 46-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter. That was KC's first miss this preseason, and it's noteworthy because Barth has the stronger leg. I still think the Chiefs will look at a veteran kicker, but right now Novak is leading this two-man race.

Roster Bubble Busters:

DE Johnnie Dingle was impressive for the Chiefs Saturday night. He had a sack and generally held his ground when attacking the quarterback. Dingle is a long shot, but one of the players I had pegged to make the team after the draft was over.

DT Derek Lokey is similar to Dingle, and he had a solid game Saturday. I like his game and was a standout for the Longhorns. He's young and raw, but he's one to watch as the Chiefs build their depth chart.

RB Dantrelle Savage has that one intangible you want if you're head coach Herm Edwards - he never quits or gives up on any play. There is absolutely no way the Chiefs can cut him now. They're going to have to carry four running backs.

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