Friday, September 2, 2011
Breaking down Chiefs-Packers
By Bill Williamson
The Kansas City Chiefs’ bizarro world preseason concluded Thursday night. Now, we have to see if the strange summer in Kansas City will affect the regular season.
After being overly cautious with his team nearly all of training camp and for the meat of the preseason, Kansas City coach Todd Haley let his starters loose in the final preseason game (traditionally a time backups to play most of the game) in a 20-19 loss at Green Bay. Several starters played deep into the game. There were costs of the Chiefs’ sudden aggressive ways.
Quarterback Matt Cassel, tight end Tony Moeaki, safety Eric Berry and tackle Barry Richardson all left the game early. Cassel’s injury was not considered serious, but the Chiefs have not said how serious the other injuries are.
If a player like Berry or Moeaki misses the season-opener against Buffalo because of an injury at Green Bay, Haley will surely catch heat. Richardson’s injury could pave the way for Jared Gaither to hit the starting lineup, which seemed like a matter of time, anyway.
In addition to the injuries, the Chiefs will have to prepare for the regular season knowing many starters weren’t overly strong Thursday.
While Cassel was effective, the run game was extremely ineffective as star Jamaal Charles was bottled up and he lost two fumbles inside Green Bay’s 20. The Chiefs -- who were much better on defense than on offense Thursday -- committed five turnovers and were sloppy all night.
Overall, the preseason doesn’t matter, which is good for the Chiefs, who were 0-4 this preseason and now 1-11 under Haley in the preseason. Still, until the Chiefs can prove they are both healthy and prepared, there will be some nervous folks in Kansas City.