Chiefs vs Chargers: Turnovers, Penalties and Onside Kicks

October 1st, 2012


This was a game Matt Cassel, among other Chiefs, would love to forget.

KCCD Editor: Jason Madson

We arrived at Arrowhead Stadium early Sunday morning with thoughts of first place in our heads. Our tailgate talked about what we had to do to beat the talented Chargers. As we ate our fish tacos(in tribute of the Whale’s Vagina scene from Anchorman) we mentioned getting Jamaal Charles the ball and working the play-action pass.  Not once did we mention ball security or playing smart, guess we should have. This post has some thoughts on the game, both good and bad, and will highlight a couple plays frame by frame.

Ball Security

That’s the name of the game. If you don’t have the ball, you can’t score. The Chiefs handed the ball to the Chargers 6 times on Sunday. 6 TIMES!! My flag footbll team could beat the Chiefs with that type of ball security. We had tipped passes, leading to 2 interceptions, 3 strips leading to fumbles and a terrible throw by Matt Cassel. It seems like a bit of a fluke to have that type of game, but it’s still a concern going forward.

The worst part about the turnovers is Jamaal Charles fumbling twice. Heading into this season, Jamaal has 616 career touches (rushes and receptions) with 8 combined fumbles for his career. That means he fumbles once every 77 touches. In the Chargers game he fumbled twice in 20 touches. He hasn’t had over 3 total fumbles in a season in his short career, so hopefully this will take care of itself. Maybe he needs the Darnell Jefferson treatment?

Matt Cassel had some issues throwing behind his receivers. This led to multiple tipped passes, 2 were intercepted and it could have been worse. One ball he threw behind Tony Moeaki, the other behind Dexter McCluster. Cassel has proven his accuracy is spotty most places on the field, except on the post. I’ve noticed he can throw this ball very well. The short stuff is a struggle, which is where he was picked Sunday.You have no idea how many people have talked to me or tweeted me about Geno Smith. I agree and if this keeps up, the Chiefs will be in a great spot to select the talented West Virginia QB.

Playing Smart

Here are a few of the penalties from the game. Some were big time momentum killers.

The 3 that stick out to me the most were the Eric Berry pass interference onthe first drive, the Eric Winston illegal formation and the Tysyn Hartman holding call. I’ll explain:

Regardless of whether you think that the play was pass interference or not, it would have taken the ball out of the Chargers hands. They don’t score on that drive and the crowd is still into the game.

Eric Winston was having trouble blocking the outstanding Chargers pass rush all day. He thought maybe by lining up a little further back, he could counter the pass rushers speed. He got caught and erased a huge play from Cassel to Bowe that gained 35+ yards.

The Chiefs pass rush just took care of business and got Arrowhead going again after 2 sacks pinned the Chargers deep. Javier Arenas took the punt and had his best return of the day, but it was erased by a holding penalty on Tysyn Hartman. The crowd quieted down after this.

Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good had to be the pass rush. It wasn’t great throughout the entire game, but they showed up in big moments. The defense as a whole wasn’t bad. They were put in some terrible spots and did a decent job of keeping the Chiefs in the game.

The Bad had to be Matt Cassel and Tony Moeaki. Cassel gets the blame for his accuracy issues. He had multiple open receivers, but either missed them or threw a bad ball in their area. Moeaki dropped balls, missed blocks and had penalties. This game gets him benched if Kevin Boss is back next week.

The Ugly had to be the teams execution. Ball security and discipline were about as bad as you can be. Also the Chiefs fell to 0-2 at home. The Chargers are now 2-0 on the road in AFC West games. Not going to be an easy climb.

Play of the Game

Here is the next shot from that play. Notice the highlighted clean pocket within Cassel has to throw. He can step up into a clean area if needed.

Here is a shot of Dwayne Bowe on the outside. He had the cornerback beat by at least 5 yards.

If Matt Cassel hits this throw, Bowe might’ve took it to the house. He has proven in the past he can break tackles. The game would have been at 27-20 Chargers at this point. A  play like this connects and Arrowhead Stadium goes crazy.

My Thoughts on the Chargers Loss

This game wasn’t your ordinary loss. I almost prefer flukey games like this. It’s hard to gauge just how good the Chargers are or bad the Chiefs are. It’s similar to the Carson Palmer 20 interception game last year vs the Raiders. The brain farts need to be cleaned up quickly, though. The Ravens come to Kansas City next week.

Matt Cassel is probably the least popular man in the area, and most of it is deserved. He’s made some very questionable decisions this year and throughtout his Chiefs career. This game might’ve sealed his fate with Chiefs fans. His offensive line hasn’t beenasgood as most thought, though. He had heat on him most of the day. When he did have time, he missed throws. Check the late Bowe TD catch. DBowe clearly had his guy beat and had to come back to fight for a severely underthrown ball.

Kendrick Lewis is hopefully close to coming back, as it has been proven he is a big piece to the secondary. His replacement, Abe Elam, was beaten badly on the first drive, but the ball was underthrown.This has become a regular scene in the defensive backfield. Javier Arenas made a few plays in the game.

Overall, this game was terrible and I would like to flush it down the toilet. As for Norv Turner and the onside kick with 2 minutes left and up 17? $%&**$@**! Romeo Crennel should’ve been all over him at the post game handshake.

The Chiefs aren’t as bad as they showed on Sunday, so let’s hold on to the ball and get a win next week.

Tags: Dwayne Bowe, Eric Berry, Matt Cassel, Norv Turner, Romeo Crennel

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