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Steelers embarrass KC

Will Chiefs be able to rebound vs. tough San Diego club?

Posted 10/19/06

by Eric Lewis of The Landmark staff

-On Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs were coming off a huge come from behind victory against the Arizona Cardinals. KC's record a solid 2-2, and the Chiefs were surprising everyone with their tough play. The attitude was positive and the Chiefs seemed to be forming together as a team that could achieve anything. All the obstacles that were overcome and the adversity this team has been overwhelmed with seemed to inspire these guys to play harder. But the Steelers crushed any hopes of building off last week's victory and pushing for an above .500 record thus far in the season. They embarrassed the Chiefs on both sides of the ball, and the Chiefs seemed to just take it with ease.

•We can point fingers and play the blame game all day, but it would accomplish nothing. The Chiefs lost four key members of the once outstanding offense, in QB Trent Green which will hopefully only be temporary, FB Tony Richardson, OT Willie Roaf and offensive guru Al Saunders. That is going to affect any squad in the way they go about scoring points.

The defense acquired solid veterans and hired a defensive minded coach in Edwards. Yet somehow the Steelers rallied a 31-0 ball game at half time.

The fact of the matter is, this Chiefs unit despite all of these obstacles and the complete blowout on Sunday, have shown me that they are still capable of doing great things this season, and besides it was just one game… Right?

•The Steelers were the first true test for the Chiefs and boy did they fail. They failed in all aspects of the game and it seemed as though they didn’t even want to be there.

The first play on the opening drive showed promise, Jared Allen stuffing fast Willie Parker in the backfield for a loss. Yet just three plays later a 50 yard pass from Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes set up the Willie Parker TD run, and it was all downhill from there.

These cover 2 schemes that have been pounded into the Chiefs defense since Edwards arrival failed numerous times on Sunday. It seemed as if the secondary was playing too soft and the linebackers were not dropping back far enough, because Roethlisberger found open receivers all day long.

The missed tackles were ridiculous, they reminded me of the days of old in which my grandmother could have ran through KC's defense scoring at will. This has to be taken care of, you cannot miss tackles like this in the NFL and expect to win games.

All these negative factors contributed to the 45-7 loss, yet there is no one person to blame. This was a complete team loss and the breakdown should affect the Chiefs perspective on what is to come of this season.

The defense gave up a total of 457 yards on the day and contributed to Rothlisberger’s first TD’s of the season. It just didn’t look like the same defense that had been getting stronger every week and improving on there play making abilities. The Steelers did fumble the ball 4 times on the day yet KC only recovered one of them.

Altogether the defense had a huge eye opener on Sunday, and should learn and capitalize from their many mistakes that were made. I still think this defensive unit has the capability to dominate, sometimes in football these kinds of games only help to motivate and dictate where this team is really heading . They were completely muscled around all day; I really don’t think that is going to happen again. They will study game film and come home against San Diego with a new perspective and a reason to play that much harder. If this teams wants to accomplish anything this season and have a chance of pushing into the post season they will need to rely on this defense to hold opponents to minimal points.

The Steel Curtain fell on the Chiefs offense that put together a measly 213 yards on the day. In my opinion KC was still too predictable, running the ball 6 out of 7 times on first downs of each drive just proved that they still don’t have faith in their scoring capabilities. The Steelers came out with quick snaps to receivers, and other various plays that kept the defense on their toes. Yet we tried, and failed to run screens to L.J a dozen times throughout the game.

Yes we need to get Tony Gonzalez more involved in the game, but when 2 or 3 defenders cover him there is no need to force the ball there in hopes of him making a play. Huard tried to force a few passes to the Hall of fame TE, when there were other options on the field. When there are two guys on Tony, at least one accounted for covering L.J and three receivers going out for passes. Someone is one on one and is able to make a play downfield.

L.J had only 26 yards rushing, something that was not suppose to happen in his 2,000 yard campaign at the beginning of this season. Nevertheless opponents are stacking their defense up and daring L.J to run the ball. So if we can't run the ball, once gain I ask where is the passing game? Like I said earlier it’s the play calling. You have an all-pro RB, Hall of fame TE and a veteran receiver in Eddie Kennison. And in recent games we have been shown that Huard is more than capable of getting the ball to these weapons. Yet on Sunday KC just seemed to crumble.

Huard put out a 16 of 32 for only 162 yards on the day, and couldn’t seem to get anything going for the passing game. His streak was broken and he did throw an interception on a tipped pass.

A bad day for Huard, which was the result of a relentless Steelers defense, will give this veteran QB some character, and we will see if they can rebound.

•Coming up for next week, the Chargers defense is no walk in the park either. In fact they are one of the best in the league. Huard will have to lick his wounds and prepare for a hard fight Sunday. He is going to have to be more accurate more decisive and make some huge throws for KC's offense. What we failed to do against the Steelers, in getting an early lead, we'll have to be accomplished against the Chargers. Their speed on the line and in the secondary could be used to our advantage. If they over pursue against us, and we can establish a solid running attack, something that can still is accomplished. Our passing attack will emerge, and catch the Chargers off guard.

Despite the critics including myself on why we did not go after a big name receiver in the off-season, our receivers now have he ability to give Huard more opportunities downfield. Newly acquired WR Rob Gardner despite not being as affective as I had hoped on Sunday, looked good in his routes and showed he can make separation with his size. He could be a huge pick up for the Chiefs if we can get him the ball and see what he can do.

The Chiefs have not started off as good as they wanted in this tough three game stretch. But I see the Chiefs rebounding in an upset victory over the Chargers. These boys have a reason to play harder and will need to rebound.

Keep your heads up, Chiefs fans, the season is far from over.

Catch the action! Sunday 12:00 noon on CBS, the Chiefs home against the stingy San Diego Chargers.

(Eric Lewis provides Chiefs' commentary for The Landmark. Reach him at Platte County's most powerful newspaper by emailing