Wednesday, December 15
Chiefs put No. 1 offense on display
By John Madden
This game featured two teams that can move the ball on offense against defenses that aren't very good. Kansas City hasn't had much defense for a few years now, and Tennessee has been ravaged by injuries. With these two offenses against these two defenses, you just knew it would be a high-scoring game.
Offense is not the issue for the 5-8 Chiefs, it's the defense. Last year, virtually the same Kansas City team won 13 games. The biggest difference is that they're not getting turnovers, and Dante Hall hasn't had the big return year he had a year ago.
The Chiefs have a lot of weapons, and it starts with TE Tony Gonzalez. Once the defense adjusts to him, Green goes to his wide receivers, Johnnie Morton and Eddie Kennison. And RB Larry Johnson, the Chiefs ' first-round draft pick in 2003, provided a big boost in Monday night's win.
As a No. 1 draft choice, Johnson has been frustrated about not getting much playing time. But when you're drafted by a team that has Priest Holmes, chances are you aren't going to see much of the field because Holmes is an every-down back. Also, the Chiefs have been pleased with the ability of backup RB Derrick Blaylock to spell Holmes, so that makes it difficult to give Johnson time.
As for the 4-9 Titans, I was impressed with WR Drew Bennett (12 catches, three touchdowns and an NFL season-high 233 yards). He has sneaky speed. When you see a tall guy who is a long strider, you don't automatically think he'll have that much speed. But Bennett not only has good speed but also the ability to get separation.
Sometimes when a team has to use a backup quarterback things tend to fall apart, but Volek allowed the Titans to do the same things they do with McNair. RB Chris Brown has a turf toe that limits his number of plays, but he was able to make it to halftime.
With Brown, the Titans really had everything going. Tennessee was able to run against the Chiefs' defense, play-action pass, throw the short balls off the bootlegs and throw the ball downfield. But with Brown out in the second half, that limited what the Titans were able to do -- and then their offensive lineman started to go down.
The effort of both teams was impressive. They both came in at 4-8, and you figure that because it's a "meaningless game" the players won't play the same. But both teams gave everything they had. At one point, I didn't think Bennett had any fluid left in him. He left everything out on the field.
Titans WR Derrick Mason also sprained his ankle early. They taped it on the inside and on the outside, and he didn't play much in the second quarter but came back in the second half and was able to gut it out. You might say, why should they play? Well, they should play because they're players and there's a game to be played and that is what they do.
You can hear me with Adam Schein on Sirius NFL Radio on Friday and Monday afternoons on "Afternoon Blitz" and Sunday mornings on the "Sirius NFL Tailgate Show."