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Examiner
  • Stephen Brown: Chiefs' win in New Orleans inspires hope

  • The Kansas City Chiefs’ victory last week over the New Orleans Saints wasn’t expected.

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  • The Kansas City Chiefs’ victory last week over the New Orleans Saints wasn’t expected.
    Last week, I said Kansas City could pull it from the ditch. I wasn't ready to call it quits, the fan in me still believed. For most of three quarters Kansas City did little to inspire. Some pointed to the halftime score and the Chiefs keeping it close as a moral victory. Moral victories are just another way of saying you lost, but with style.
    When the Chiefs trailed 24-6, I was pretty much sure Kansas City was done, especially after Matt Cassel's interception. Inside I was thinking of ways to remain positive about this team. I didn't like the idea of giving up just three games into the regular season.
    But then Jamaal Charles happened. Charles stepped up with a 91-yard touchdown, making it 24-13. That run marked the longest run of Charles’ career and the longest run from scrimmage in team history. From that moment on it was all Kansas City. The rest of the third quarter and leading up to overtime, the Chiefs took over.
    In the second half, Kansas City allowed just four first downs while gaining 17. The defense didn't allow the Saints to get another first down on the ground. Kansas City ran 61 plays to the Saints’ 28. The Chiefs had 177 total yards to finish the first half, but tallied 333 yards to the Saints’ 70 in the second half. Kansas City dominated on the ground in the second half rushing for 217 yards while holding the Saints to just 14.
    Like I said, it was a dominant performance by the Chiefs last Sunday. The light finally came on.
    Before the Saints, I talked with Derrick Johnson in the locker room. I told Johnson I felt the Chiefs were close, like the switch could flip at any moment. Johnson said they couldn't just wait for it to happen though, but the players needed to make it happen.
    What fans saw against the Saints was pure determination, something fans had been waiting for.
    “I questioned if the defense had any heart last week and this week I wondered too until Jamaal’s 91-yard run, which served as a defibrillator to start their heartbeat,” said a Chiefs fan. “That turned the whole game around and gave life to the entire team. Also, the offensive line really picked up its play when (Ryan) Lilja took over for (Rodney) Hudson and (Jeff) Allen entered the game. The defense seemed like the defense we expected in the second half. It was overall a great team win. My only concern was how conservative our play calling was before we tied the game. Hopefully we can build on this victory.”
    All talk had been mentioned, there wasn't anything left for Romeo Crennel to say. The players just needed to do what it said they were capable of doing. It's one game, but with that win the Chiefs’ playoff chances doubled and if Kansas City beats San Diego everything is back under control.
    Page 2 of 2 - If the Chiefs rein it back in then what Crennel and Scott Pioli said on it not being the end of the world looks right. The ones that claimed the sky was falling will need to rethink it.
    No problem, I take my crow with a little lemon and salt!
    SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: The Chargers are coming off a loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Kansas City is coming off an inspirational win in New Orleans. In 2010, Kansas City was 7-1 at Arrowhead Stadium, any hope of a turnaround starts at Arrowhead. Taking care of business within the division is a must too. Oh, and please find a way to score touchdowns instead of field goals. Thanks!
    Crennel said Matt Cassel did OK against the Saints, but fans think Cassel has to do better.
    "Aside from sailing some balls, Cassel floated a few to the flats on outlet/screen type passes," said a fan. "Slowing the overall play and letting defenses have time to react. He needs to be decisive and stop short-arming the ball. All of it screams of a lack of confidence and fear of failure. He IS better than that. We've seen it before."
    Most felt Kansas City won against the Saints despite Cassel's play. To be fair, the defense finally showed up. The standard for Pioli has been the 2010 season, but Cassel has started stronger in 2012. Cassel's yards are nearly twice that of 2010 (807 to 494), he has a better completion percentage and the touchdown/interception ratio is about the same. The real difference has been the defense giving up 99 points in three games; the defense gave up just 38 in the first three in 2010.
    Everyone has to play this together. If the Chiefs do that, it'll be better than 2010. Fans caught a glimpse against the Saints, but that same effort to beat the Saints needs to start in the first quarter against the Chargers.
    And I repeat, score touchdowns!
    Good day, Chiefs fans!

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