There was no question that the play of backup quarterback Brodie Croyle was the surprise of the evening. After recovering from major knee surgery, and successfully graduating from Haley's Boot Camp, Croyle showed the Chiefs that they indeed have a backup who can compete with their multi-million dollar starting quarterback, Matt Cassel.
Cassel didn't have a good game, but the real cause was Haley's decision to bench wide receiver Dwayne Bowe until he felt he'd served his time in the dog house. Bowe is the best receiver on this team but the fact the coaching staff was not high on him when they took over, appears to be one of the primary reasons he's been ridden so hard. Give Bowe credit for taking on the challenge. He was the best receiver on the field Saturday night.
After him, the fall off at the receiver position is drastic, unless the team makes a trade. The closest to Bowe at the moment is veteran Mark Bradley. The team worked out Ashley Lelie last week and signed him Monday morning. Last week the Chiefs added receiver Amani Toomer but he never made it on the field Saturday. It's going to be hard for Cassel to find any success if the Chiefs' best receivers are not on the field with him at the same time.
But that was not the case for Croyle, who moved the offense in a downpour and showed off his rocket arm. He won't start this season but if Cassel struggles, at least the Chiefs have options. They also still have Tyler Thigpen, who should be incorporated into the offense with Cassel on the field. He's extremely athletic and good for a couple of snaps a game, even if it's only to throw off the defense.
We should be ecstatic that the Chiefs logged two sacks against the Texans. If they can do that in every game this season that will give them 32 sacks on the year, a huge improvement over last season.
The Chiefs' defense wasn't great. Texans quarterbacks threw for 191 yards, mostly in the first half. That's not a good sign considering the strength of this defense is the secondary. It also means despite the two sacks, not enough pressure was put on the quarterbacks. When you add the fact the defense gave up over 100 yards rushing (again, most in the first half when the starters were in), it's clear this game did not bode well for the future of the defense. The Texans had no trouble running up and down the field on the Chiefs.
While the defense was more aggressive than it had been in recent years, it's pretty clear players like Glenn Dorsey and Tamba Hali need to contribute more, especially in run defense. Both are former number one draft picks that are not living up to standards.
It's just one preseason game and the Chiefs didn't get blown out at home. Still, it was a loss, and nothing is going to change the fortunes of this organization more than winning. The talent level swung in Houston's favor Saturday night but the difference wasn't overwhelming enough that the Chiefs could not have won the game.
With the signing of Lelie today, it's pretty clear Haley and General Manager Scott Pioli will not go into the regular season without making even more improvements to the roster. And that's the biggest positive to take out of Saturday's 16-10 loss.
Tribal Voice, Kansas City Chiefs Blog
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