Patrick is one of my closest Fan Sided friends and it was a privilege for me to turn over the reigns of Fan Sided’s Executive NFL Director’s job to him last summer. Patrick knows his football and I doubt anyone knows the Chiefs like he does.
PA: It isn’t so much about what the Chiefs have done to turn things around as much as it is about what they stopped doing.Kansas City was not ready for the start of the regular season. In the first two games, they looked totally unprepared. They were missing tackles and turning the ball over at an alarming rate. Sure, they did lose Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles but the fact of the matter is that they would have lost those games even if they had both players for them.What I’ve seen since the third game of the season is a competitive football team that limits it’s mistakes and maximizes it’s talent. It is really a credit to the coaching staff. KC has talent but they are also thing at some areas and they make up for it with really smart game-planning. Thanks to that, they should be able to hand in most games this season.
PA: On defense, a number of players have stepped up their game to make up for the loss of Eric Berry. Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr have all done an extraordinary job and have shouldered a lot of the burden. My defensive MVP, however, is John McGraw. He has made a career out of being a smart, hard-working football player. He’s never been the most talented guy on the field and if he gets put in the wrong situation he can kill you but Romeo Crennel has maximized what McGraw does best and McGraw has stepped up to the challenge. He has really helped out in stopping the run, something the Chiefs relied a lot on Berry to do last season.On offense, it has to be Matt Cassel. Cassel looked awful early on and I thought the loss of Charles would do him in but he keeps hanging in there and making plays and as such, the team keeps winning. Cassel will never blow you away with his play and he likely won’t light up the stat sheet on a regular basis but the kid wins football games.
PA: I think KC fans really like Cassel as both a person and as a player. He is tough and passionate and incredibly hardworking. That being said, many KC fans question if he is good enough to lead a team to a Super Bowl.It is hard to call for replacing the guy because he keeps winning football games. Not all by himself but when Matt Cassel is the QB of your football team, your team wins more often than it loses. He was 11-5 as a starter in New England (he technically didn’t start one of those 11 games but he came in for Brady and won it so I am counting it) 4-12 in KC his first year (transition year), 10-6 last season and now 4-3 so far this season. That is a 29-26 record.It isn’t an earth-shattering record but considering that Cassel never started a game in college and is technically in just his 4th real season as a pro QB, I’d say it is worth at least giving him another year or two. I think how this season plays out will decide Cassel’s fate. If he leads this team to the playoffs, I’ll fully believe he can win a SB. If he leads them to a 7-9 or 8-8 record, I’ll feel comfortable giving him another year. If the team collapses and goes 5-11 and he plays terribly, I will call for change.
As it stands, I think he is still the guy in 2012.
PA: I’m concerned because Miami has been playing teams hard and because I think that Sporano is a good coach. I know he’ll have the Dolphins fighting.I also think there is enough talent on Miami to beat the Chiefs. Despite his struggles, Bush is a weapon and he only needs one play to change the game. Moore should be getting a little more settled as well so I think he could be clicking here pretty soon and if he does it this week, I worry he will do so by getting the ball to Brandon Marshall.On defense, I worry about your pass rush, particularly Wake. He is excellent and if the Dolphins use him to exploit RT Barry Richardson, he could get to Cassel and make some plays.
PA: I absolutely do. The Chiefs are coming off a short week and an emotional win against the Chargers. They’ve climbed out of the abyss and reached first place in the division. You have to worry about them letting their guard down, especially if they think for a second that the Dolphins will be a pushover because of their record.The Chiefs have also shown themselves capable of major mental mistakes. They played a good game against the Chargers in week three, beat the Vikings and then fell behind 17-0 to the Curtis Painter-led Colts before mounting a furious comeback. The Dolphins are way more talented than the Colts in my opinion so they Chiefs had better stay focused.I think the Chiefs will take care of business but this is the NFL. There are no gimmes.