Post-game reaction: Chiefs at Chargers

The Chiefs got back to .500 this week, after coming away with a last minute win against the Chargers, 23-20. Cairo Santos squeezed in the winning field goal as fans held their breath, and the Chiefs capped off an impressive hard-fought game. The Chiefs really needed this win, especially facing a St. Louis team next week that just knocked off the defending Champs.

Jamaal Charles became the franchise-leading rusher, which was pretty great. Andy Reid utilized him a lot more this week, which helped lead the Chiefs to their win. Charles is clearly the staple of this offense, and I’m glad Reid realized that this week after his coaching blunder in San Francisco.

Speaking of Andy Reid, his play-calling was spot on this week. He ran when he needed to, passed when he needed to, and kept drives alive. He looked much smarter than he did against San Fran, and it was good enough for a win. He still proved that he can’t manage the clock very well, but that’s nothing new.

There were some overall good things this week, and some bad things. Let’s look at them both.

GOOD:

  • De’Anthony Thomas–This guy is a playmaker. He’s been injured since the beginning of the season, and the Chiefs are happy to have him back. Twitterverse said he’s a better Dexter McCluster, and I have to agree. They can utilize him in both special teams and as a slot receiver on offense. He should become a big part of the offense moving forward.
  • The secondary–I knew this would be a tough spot for the defense against San Diego, but the rookies held up well. Jamell Fleming looked terrible the first few drives, but was able to get it under control. Phillip Gaines was the standout cornerback, breaking up numerous plays throughout the game. He’s going to be a big playmaker for the defense.
  • Offensive line–Both Eric Fisher and his counterpart, Ryan Harris, are going to be closely watched this season. Alex Smith needs protection in the pocket, and he had it this week for the most part. Fisher was criticized heavily last year, but is steadily improving. Overall, I give the O-Line a B+ this week.

BAD:

  • Knile Davis on kick returns–I don’t know why Knile Davis returns kickoffs when DAT is available, but Davis clearly doesn’t know how to return kicks. The guy repeatedly takes kicks that are 8 feet deep in the end zone, and gives the offense terrible field position. With more quick and agile guys like DAT on the roster, I don’t see why Davis is returning kickoffs. Let’s hope that changes.
  • Mike McGlynn–Oof. This guy is BAD. I’m not sure where the Chiefs found him, but they need to return him. He misses blocks, commits penalties, and doesn’t do much of anything else. The Chiefs are still awaiting the return of Donald Stephenson, and they need him bad. The O-Line in general is okay, but there are some broken pieces.
  • Andy Reid’s clock management–I eluded to it earlier, but Andy Reid really doesn’t know how to use timeouts. He burned up his first two early in the third and fourth quarters, and stupidly used his last right before the two minute warning in the fourth. It ended up not costing the Chiefs a win, but it could in the future.

This was a must-win game for the Chiefs, and they got the job done. I really think this is a good turning point for this season, and gives this team confidence moving forward. Sitting at 3-3 and third place in the division, the Chiefs are still competing for a playoff spot. Let’s all hope they get there.

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