Five to Remember
1. K Ryan Succop - He was all nails as he drilled a 53-yard field goal that tied the score at 17 late in the game. For being Mr. Irrelevant in April's NFL draft, Succop showed he'll be anything but this season. What makes this even more interesting is that when he was selected, we were told general manager Scott Pioli actually left the draft war room and told his scouts to make the final selection. They had the good judgment to pick Succop, who also boomed his kickoffs Sunday, nailing one through the back of the end zone.
2. RB Larry Johnson - I blame KC's playcalling over the fact that Johnson gained only 20 yards on 11 carries. The one time Johnson ran outside, he gained seven yards. He ran up the middle 10 times for a miserable 13 yards. There is no excuse for that kind of production. Johnson needs to step up, bounce outside and stop running into holes that don't exist. This team needs him, but the running plays Haley chose were bad. Haley's running game in Arizona was poor, so he hopefully he learned something after watching the Ravens run all over the Chiefs for 208 yards.
3. DE Glenn Dorsey - He had the best game of his career on Sunday. Dorsey had only three tackles and an assist, but did a great job of getting penetration when the Chiefs controlled the Ravens' running game in the first half. He also did well sliding down the line and shedding blockers to make his tackles. That's a sign he's learning. I'm still not sold that he fits this defense but I'm encouraged that he played so well against a good Baltimore offensive line. There might just be hope for him after all.
4. CB Maurice Leggett - How can you not like this young player? At times, in the first half, he looked like he was in the wrong stadium. But Leggett made adjustments in the second half of the game and broke up two key pass attempts - one in the end zone in the third quarter and another on the one-yard line in the fourth quarter - that could have resulted in touchdowns. It's too bad Brandon Carr, who struggled at the end of 2008, didn't make those adjustments. Let's hope Brandon Flowers returns next week against the Raiders and Leggett makes those adjustments in the first half.
5. LB Derrick Johnson - I think he's getting the message and should return to the starting lineup next week. He was all over the field Sunday and his interception and 70-yard runback in the third quarter set up the Chiefs inside the 10-yard line. It led to a touchdown that temporarily put his team in front, 14-10. What's important is that he played hard and outside of Mike Vrabel, Johnson was by far KC's best linebacker Sunday. The Chiefs need him to regain his starting spot. If he doesn't, he'll finish out his contract year in a disappointing manner.
Three Honorable Mentions:
1. WR Mark Bradley - He made up for failing to get two first downs early in the game by hauling in an acrobatic catch in the fourth quarter, leading to the Chiefs tying the game at 24. After his second route-running mistake, Haley let Bradley have it, and he responded.
2. LB Tamba Hali - He notched the only sack for the Chiefs and was all over the field with five tackles, a sold effort. I mentioned this last week that I thought he had already shown significant enough progress to say his transition to linebacker was a success. Sunday's game did nothing to dispel that notion. The Chiefs might have found a place for Hali after his play suffered a year ago.
3. DT Tank Tyler - He played solid at nose tackle Sunday. His backup, Ron Edwards, struggled and missed sacking Joe Flacco twice. Tyler isn't great at getting to the quarterback, but he's good against the run. He needs to play more, however, but KC's entire defense was gassed, so we can't be too hard on him.
Five to Remember: Chiefs vs. Ravens
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