Undefeated. 1st place in the AFC West. Playoff spot in hand.
It is week one and for now all of these statements are true regarding the Kansas City Chiefs who defeated the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football at the New Arrowhead.
So maybe I am getting ahead of myself, but the Chiefs just took a huge win from a division opponent, one who have been a thorn in the side of the Chiefs along with the NFL.
Tonight belonged to the Rookies. The play of the Kansas City Chief rookies was the difference tonight along with the play of the defense. Every member of the Chiefs defense gets a game ball for their effort in disrupting Phillip Rivers and gang.
Let us start with the rookies first. The play of the night has to go to Ole Miss alum Dexter McCluster. McCluster who was ruled doubtful prior to the game, was the difference maker in the game tonight. With under two minutes to go in the half McCluster fielded a punt, backing up to his own 6 yard line. A few moves and jukes later McCluster was celebrating his first punt return for a touchdown as a pro. Javier Arenas also had a nice game in the returning game as well fielding two punts for 60 yards total, not a bad average. Arenas was also able to break up some key passes late in the fourth quarter to keep at bay the Chargers late rally.
Rookie tight end Tony Moeaki, who was injured for most of the preseason, came in and showed he is an immediate red zone target as Cassel was able to hit Moeaki on a play action fake within the San Diego 5 yard line.safety Kendrick Lewis was also called upon late in the game to make some big plays and was able to do a solid job of covering his man.
One rookie who did not have as stellar a game as the rest of the 2010 class was first round pick Eric Berry. Berry finished with 5 tackles, second on the team, but he missed just as many and was the one responsible for the two San Diego scores. Now maybe I am being a little harsh, but on Gates touchdown Berry put no press on Gates and let him run free in the middle of the end zone for the score. Then in the second half Berry was so fixed on Gates that he didn’t see or feel Legedu Naanee run right past him for a deep 59 yard touchdown. He can only get better from here on out, but those two lapses in judgments were two scores and they need to be fixed.
The defense. An A+ grade would not be high enough to give them. Romeo Crennel looks like a genius after week one. Their intensity was unmatched. They looked a little shaky and overzealous in the opening drive or so of the game, but once they were able to settle in and buckle down, they were able to irritate and disrupt the flow of play for Rivers. Derrick Johnson was a pure animal and the absolute leader of this defense. He finished the game with 11 tackles and a forced fumble that lead to the go ahead touchdown in the second quarter.
The defense stifled Ryan Matthews for the most part and once the defense stripped him, he seemed a little more cautious and not as confident. Rivers was constantly under duress and even though the Chargers marched within the ten yard line of tying the game, the defense prevailed with a failed fourth and goal attempt to seal the deal and give the Chiefs their first victory at the New Arrowhead and the 2010 season.
Even though Cassel only threw for 68 yards and less than 50% completion percentage the defense along with the running game were able to ward off the Chargers. Jamaal Charles answered the Gates touchdown with a 56 yard scamper to paydirt. The Chiefs are for real, however their are still many things to work on. The Chiefs would like to see Thomas Jones get on track a little more, but the Chiefs will take this win as deservedly they should. The fans should enjoy this win as well. The Chiefs are 1-0, but Coach Todd Haley will start looking toward a road win in Cleveland on Sunday.
Again it is week 1 and their are 16 more weeks, but for tonight we are going to enjoy this one and show the league we can play with the best of em.
Send me your comments let me know what you thought of the game.
About the Author
Written by Vince Sapienza
I am a sports enthusiast pursuing an undergraduate degree in Television Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Communication Studies with a deep passion and love for all that is sports.