Special Teams Raid Chiefs

Hard to win a football game if you turn it over.  And by now, we’ve all rehashed the final moments of the 1st half.  So the W slipped through our fingers on a handful of mistakes.  While, I’m not excusing ANY mistakes, today the Oakland Raiders demonstrated how good special teams can keep you in a game that your offense barely plays in.

The Chiefs defense had their work cut out for them today.  And it wasn’t because of the powerful running game of the Raiders.  It is because the Raiders only play on half the field.  If you get the ball near your opponent forty…Sebastian Janikowski is dangerous.  But today, Shane Lechler put on a Pro Bowl demonstration of punting.  His net average yards were impressive.  The play of the entire special teams left the Raiders a chance to win this game at the last minute, and that is exactly what they did – practically on one play.

Enough about getting beat.  It was encouraging to see the play of Bobby Wade, acquired this week off waivers.  I thought both he and Dwayne Bowe were playing tough, especially across the middle (You know, the area of the field Tony Gonzalez used to play in).  Speaking of Dwayne, I thought today it was evident that he is indeed maturing.  Also playing better IMHO was Tank Tyler.  And DJ … that’s two!    And of course, the other Johnson, Larry was hitting the holes faster and running tougher.  Last season he seemed to come down if someone thought about touching him…today – you had to hit him hard and low.  But, man do I miss T-Rich.  Imagine LJ behind a T-Rich lead.

One thing is for sure.  True accountability in the clubhouse…or office place…makes a difference.  We’ve seen it week after week from this coach.  A player can’t even get off the field without finding out the coach’s feelings about his performance.


While we’re on the subject…I liked Chan Gailey as a person.  He was an extremely polite and pleasant person.  But watching the new blocking schemes today in conjunction with the breadth of play calling (moving pockets, screens, etc.), I must say I think Todd Haley is a better O-Coordinator.  Larry Johnson obviously has talent, and Todd seems to be finding a way to use it.  Now let’s see if he can dodge the freight training coming on the NFC East Railroad.