The most enigmatic division in the NFL has just gotten weirder and weirder over the last two weeks. We chronicled how the Chargers play up or down to their competition and until Norv Turner is gone will continue to do that. True to form in their 1-1 start, they played down to the Vikings and up to the Patriots, although they lost. In the 93 years of the NFL, normally when a team can run the ball better than their opponent, they usually will win. Well the Chiefs are turning that axiom into a lost cause. They have run for over 100 yards in their first two games yet were blown out of the stadium on both occasions. They were also dealt another loss when they lost RB Jamaal Charles, who ran for over 1,400 yards last year. Second in the NFL.
However the Chiefs have lost three prominent players to injury and no one can answer the lingering question: What happened to the Chiefs passing attack?? It fell apart just because Offensive Co-ordinator Charlie Weiss left?? We don’t buy that. Josh McDaniels and Todd Haley are from that same New England Patriot coaching tree. They both were offensive passing coaches there. So how do you explain Matt Cassell who threw for 27 touchdowns to just 7 int a year ago, to having thrown for only 1TD and 4 interceptions in two games this year?? Look no further we’ll reveal that answer in a moment. Yet lets take a look at the AFC West standings…
|San Diego||1||1||0||.500||1-0-0||0-1-0||0-0-0||0-1-0||45||52||-7||Lost 1|
|Kansas City||0||2||0||.000||0-1-0||0-1-0||0-0-0||0-1-0||10||89||-79||Lost 2|
Which brings us to the cream of this crop in the Oakland Raiders. Someone must have told Darren McFadden about our CEO’s claim that the SEC sends too many draft busts to the NFL. Since the midway point of last year no running back has run with more purpose. Even in defeat he ran hard for a well earned touchdown in Buffalo, where he fought off two Bills at the pylon. DMC rushed for nearly 100 yards for a second straight week. He’s the second leading rusher in the NFL after two weeks and it’s his play that’s allowed Jason Campbell to settle in and play some good football. Right now Campbell has completed over 65% of his passes and is going downfield with confidence. That touchdown bomb to Denarius Moore was a thing of beauty. Last year he would have overthrew his receiver or thrown a two yard outlet pass since he saw Buffalo CB McKelvin running with Moore. The Raiders have stuck to their philosophy of running first to set up the pass. Something the Chiefs used to do.
How about the embattled John Fox and the situation in Denver regarding the quarterback position. Should he start Tim Tebow or Kyle Orton?? We say start Tebow and you can always go back to Orton. By going with Orton and switching to Tebow late it looks like you’re giving up the season and the Bronco players might go in the tank. If Orton is your guy trade Tebow and get something for him. You can’t dangle a talent like that in front of a fan base and have him not hit the field. We said it before on our CEO’s facebook page, the more Cam Newton succeeds in Carolina, the louder the fan base will call for Tebow. How embarrassing was that a week ago to be on Monday Night Football and your stadium chanting for Tebow to play?? They’re chanting this while Orton is playing ok football. When he has a bad outting Coach Fox might need a heavy police presence to get him to his car. Better make a decision fast or keep winning. Well so far they did the latter after Willis McGahee (The U) came off the street to rush for over 100 yards in last weeks win over the Bengals.
The Chargers have the NFL’s best quarterback that hasn’t played in a Super Bowl in Phillip Rivers. He’s a fiery field general yet needs his duplicate on the defensive side of the ball. The Chargers are well coached and are strong in ever phase of the game. What they lack is a little more play making ability to get a little more out of each play. On defense they haven’t had a “presence” since Shawne Merriman left this team. They don’t have an enforcer maybe Bob Sanders can remain healthy and become that guy. They have to stop coming out unmotivated and playing down to teams then try to roar back late in the game. It will work against a lessor team but you saw what happened in New England when they try that against a good one. This will be Norv Turner’s last year coaching them if they can’t break that spell.
Which leads us back to the Chiefs. Haley should fire his offensive co-ordinator and take over play calling himself or pass it over to Josh McDaniel. This team needs to get back to running first and passing second. This was the #1 team in the NFL in rushing attempts and yardage last year. So after 2 weeks Jamaal Charles, Dexter McCluster and Thomas Jones have a combined 38 carries for 219 yards?? Last year those were single game totals and to have McCluster with as many carries as Jones shows their running out of passing formations. Too much slick ’em and not enough sick ’em. Get your lineman firing off the ball and run at your opponents with purpose. Enough of this trick ’em football!! Chiefs if you listen and play to your fundamentals you can reclaim your division. We know that you have scored 10 points while giving up 79, has a team ever had that bad a beginning of a season and made the playoffs?? Yes, the 1989 Pittsburgh Steelers were 0-2 after losing 51-0 and 42-10 to the Browns and Bengals yet fought their way to a 9-7 wildcard. So it can be done. Aside from the Raiders, who in this division has some direction??