OTC: Chiefs’ Use Jamaal Charles’ Magic To Comeback From 24-6 Deficit In NOLA / Is Season Saved?

“He just does not look the same. He is just not that electric flash that he was before the injury.”
Frank Boal, assessing Jamaal Charles’ play this season before the New Orleans’ game, 810 AM
GH: When Boal made this comment last week I logged it because I thought there was a chance Charles would have a breakout game in New Orleans. He had not shown a lot in the Chiefs’ first two games but there had been moments. It turns out that Frank Boal wasn’t the only one questioning Jamaal’s wheels. Read on.

“I didn’t trust myself [until Sunday]. It really hit me when I started getting the runs. I started trusting myself. I kind of feel like the old me…”
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Star
GH: The Chiefs have been blessed with some incredible running backs over the past few regimes. Priest Holmes was a highlight waiting to explode from the Chiefs’ huddle.  Larry Johnson was an ass, but he was the best running back in the NFL for two seasons. Now we have Jamaal Charles to hold our breath about with each carry. Ever since I saw Gale Sayers and then O.J. Simpson run with a football, I have been enamored with the rare talents a man must possess to perform the wondrous feats they do to avoid eleven angry men with each carry. Chiefs’ fans have not had a lot to cheer over the last 10 years, but we do know running backs here in Kansas City.

“If they think the pressure is off the Kansas City Chiefs – no. Turn it up, guys. Turn it up! I want 400 yards rushing! I expect this week in and week out – because you have the horses up front. There are no excuses after today.”
Richard Baldinger, 610 AM

“Believe it or not, this was the best defensive performance to date for the Saints, especially in pass coverage. But they allowed 273 rushing yards, including 233 by speedy Chiefs back Jamaal Charles.”
Mike Triplett, columnist, New Orleans Times-Picayune
GH: Hey, at least the Chiefs aren’t the Saints, eh?

“I’ve never felt more individually responsible for the destruction of an offense before. I mean, I’ve just never been in a situation … I mean, hats off to him [Justin Houston]. That’s a game that you fear as a lineman. I had no answers. And I think I really gave us no chance to get anything going.”
Zach Strief, Saints’ offensive guard, who was torched by the Chiefs’ Houston for three sacks, one resulting in a safety, New Orleans Times-Picayune
GH: It was painful reading Strief’s soul-baring comments. As a writer, I love professional athletes who are so willing to own their poor performances. I am not sure I can remember anyone who did it more completely than the Saints’ right tackle. Read on.

“I don’t feel like I did a good job at any point in that game. … I think I was physically and mentally beaten. And that’s disappointing, because you just can’t be in that situation. As a professional athlete, you can’t be in the situation that I was in today.”
Zach Strief, when asked if he was just talking about the plays where he was beaten for a sack, New Orleans Times-Picayune
GH: It will be interesting how his teammates react to Strief’s willingness to admit his failings – both physically and mentally. Ouch!

“The reality is that on both of those last drives the Chiefs relied on Matt Cassel.”
Soren Petro, in response to callers who were being reluctant to credit Cassel with his play in the win, 810 AM
GH: Matt Cassel is who he is – unfortunately. He is not the type of NFL quarterback who inspires or leads. He too often looks hurried, lost and looking to stop, drop and roll. Soren can defend him if he wants, but I am disgusted with his play for what he is paid. Scott Pioli bought us a Fiat and refuses to go get us an Audi.

“The Chiefs were down 24-6 at one point in this game and have battled all the way back to win this game.”
Greg Gumbel, CBS
GH: After the Chiefs went down 24-6, I never thought I would be typing those words from Gumbel. All kinds of nasty thoughts were going through my head – and I would guess yours as well. But the NFL is a strange and wonderful game. Much like the mob, just when you thought you were out – they pull you back in.

“Kudos to [the Chiefs] because they had plenty of chances to fold the tent and go home.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM

“I think the most impressive thing is that they never quit.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I don’t get all that excited over professional athletes who “don’t quit.” It what profession or at what level of play is that even an option? I ran the Omaha Half Marathon on Sunday morning and thousands of amateur athletes took on the challenge of running 13.1 and 26.2 miles. I doubt if more than 1% or 2% of those runners quit because they felt defeated. The least an NFL team can do is play hard for the three hours they are competing.

“This team needed a win, and a win like that in particular. That gives us some momentum when there was a lot of doubt about what we were going to be able to do.”
Romeo Crennel, Kansas City Star

“They were a band of brothers. You saw them all with their arms locked together on the sideline at the end of the game [just before the game-winning field goal in OT]. They’ve got heart. That’s a big, big step in the right direction. … Confidence breeds winning. You’re not out there kind of scared, you’re out there with a swagger.”
Bill Maas, on the Chiefs win in New Orleans, 610 AM
GH: I think wins like this can turn a season around. The talent in the NFL is so similar that many times it is fate, luck and motivation that tips the scales between victory and defeat. Not all agree. Read on.

“This thing has the emotional stability of Lindsey Lohan… The debris of consecutive stink-bombs to open the season cannot be cleaned up with one win against a stumbling franchise.”
Sam Mellinger, on the Chiefs’ building on their first win, Kansas City Star
GH: Love the Lohan line…but damn I hope Sam is wrong.

“Dwayne Bowe has been fantastic this year. So much better than I thought he would be.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: What is this thing called training camp you speak of?

and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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26 Responses to OTC: Chiefs’ Use Jamaal Charles’ Magic To Comeback From 24-6 Deficit In NOLA / Is Season Saved?

  1. Smartman says:

    Puh-lease! This win falls into the even a broken clock is right twice a day category. Matt Cassel could probably get a job for some Third World regime laying guys out. You know option A is catch the ball and break your elbow, option B is don’t catch the ball and we’ll cut your nuts off. He doesn’t telegraph his passes. He Fed Ex’s them.

    Romeo Crennel looks as confused on the sideline as a vegan at Ponderosa.

    This organization is still in shambles. The Clark’s, Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel couldn’t lead a prayer at the Vatican. We need to have Camarohead Day, where some meth-head in Independence pulls his IROC-Z out of his step-parents garage and if there is a shadow that means 13 more weeks of shitty football.

    • Kyle says:

      No, that was a great win. They looked lost and came back to conquer. Say what you want, but Cassel is QB ing the #1 ranked offense in the NFL. No, I do not think they are the BEST, but for now, they are moving the ball on the ground and in the air. Excellent win Chiefs. Keep it going!

      • Observer says:

        Wait, I promised myself I wouldn’t do this because most readers here read both blogs, but Kyle’s comment set me over the edge … here’s a lift from my comment at the other place.

        With no run game reflected by 83 yards rushing and only two first downs on the ground, the Saints could easily be stopped by … let’s see … oh I know, the Chiefs! On the other side of the ball, six possessions end in field goals. Happy for Succop, but this is not a good sign against a bad defense. Red-zone offence by the Chiefs better step up or even a mediocre defense can shut them out.

        But, I think more telling is that a nice five-yards-per-carry average for the Chiefs Sunday couldn’t get those yards when it counted: Red Zone and third down. Only three teams league-wide in 2011 had a rushing average greater than five yards. But, why did that not pay off when it counted yesterday for the Chiefs? The Chiefs were 39 percent on third-down conversion going 7 for 18. That ratio is below the league median so far for third-down conversions. That’s too many three and outs against a bad rushing defense. What will that conversion ratio look like against the schedule this team faces?

        Now, if all that weren’t bad enough, look at the time of possession. The Chiefs had the ball for 42:32 of that overtime game compared to the Saints at 26:01. Last year’s league average hovered around 29:00 roughly speaking. Any NFL team with the kind of TOP difference the Chiefs enjoyed yesterday should win. I think this is both a reflection of how inept the Chiefs red-zone offence is and how bad New Orleans was.

        Kyle, not sure what you think is moving the ball, but you can’t win a division by only playing between the 20s.

        • Kyle says:

          Observer, it was a nice win. Nobody said they could win the division by settling for FG’s all the time. People (KK) seem to think that if you win a single game a certain way, that this is how you are going to play EVERY time. We are so short sighted today it’s unreal. Bottom line is that this was a win, on the road, against a very good offense, when you were down 24-6. Bitch all you want, but that takes some guts. My hope is that it is a springboard to a solid rest of the season. Maybe not, but let’s give things a chance to play out.

    • chuck says:

      Camarohead Day.

      fuckin A.


      Cassel is brutal.

      He consistantly has more air under his balls than Karl Wallenda. You could call a board meeting and get Lehman Brothers back on thier feet while those ducks come in for a landing.

      He can’t “look” anyone off with that “Prisoner of War Thousand Yard Stare” and he scrambles like David Hasselhoff on New Year’s Eve.

      What the hell, they won!!


      I’m really glad we don’t have to play Alabama.

    • harley says:

      smartman…can’t stand you but you do have some of the funniest
      lines ever written (except for glazes)!

  2. J Rok says:

    “GH: Hey, at least the Chiefs aren’t the Saints, eh?”

    I’d take having a top 5 QB, a half decade of being competitive, and a super bowl ring over yesterday’s win any day.

  3. John says:

    How much better would the Chiefs look if they had a legit QB? This team is NOT winning big with Matt Cassel. The last thing this team needs is to go 8-8 or better, make the playoffs, lose in the first round (as usual) and be the middle of the pack in the draft to have Cassel as the QB once more. To make it worse, more and more reports are coming out that Dick Haley told his son (former coach Todd Haley) ‘you can’t win with him’ and now reports are coming out that Crennel has ZERO faith in Cassel. He did not say no because obviously, he wanted to be a head coach. The way Romeo coached and what he said (and did not say) in his press conference should speak volumes. Do not get excited about this team. I am happy for the win, however…Matt Cassel is still the QB and the guy is NOT good enough. We all know that.

  4. renton says:

    Funny that we’ve been blessed with running backs over the past decade or so — when it was the weak spot on the team for much of the franchise’s history.

  5. The Truth says:

    Seriously no mention of the Chiefs playing for OT?

    C’mon now, are you a pseudo journalist or a fan? If the Chiefs lost, the bone headed call to “play for overtime” would be all anyone was talking about. now it just gets brushed under the rug?

    I expect more from a cynical bastard like you!

    • Greg Hall says:

      I wasn’t in favor of playing for the tie but with Matt Cassel as the helm, it appeared Romeo was not going to allow him to turn the ball over once they got into field goal range. I would have tried to win it in regulation but the NFL is too often a let’s-just-not-lose-it-right-now kind of league. I guess I was less than surprised.

  6. Uncle Dick says:

    That Gregg Williams is good. He’s not even there, took out McCluster and it didn’t cost him a dime.

  7. nick says:

    Who peed in Sam Mellinger’s Fruity Pebbles?

  8. miket. says:

    just remember…. the win came against another 0-2 team and (i read) the worst run defense in the NFL. kudos to the chiefs for gutting out the win tho’, and not taking anything away from charles either – he had a terrific game. even better that he now knows he can do it. both of those aspects will be huge heading into next week’s game with SD.

    all that said, i still agree with SM and John above.

  9. MightyMo says:

    My son and I went to a KFC Buffet during the second quarter. Seemed a good place for a disappointed Chiefs fan. What we came back to was pure magic. Seeing my son’s eyes as his team, as it has rarely done in his sporting life (he is 12), rose up to take one back, was awesome. We Missourians have too few moments like this, and I was glad the boy got one. All of us who grew up enjoying the 80′s Royals, 90′s Chiefs, 80′s and 90′s Jayhawks and Tigers basketball, etc. had plenty of fuel for our sports fire. How someone like my son stays emotionally connected to these teams is beyond me.

  10. JP says:

    A win is a win. It was not pretty, but one hell of a comeback. I don’t care if they were playing an inferior team, the fact that they found a way to win is huge. My expectations have been toned down, but if that Defense plays like it did in the Second Half, this season doesn’t look all that lost after all.

    Having said that, I will join the chorus on Cassel. He doesn’t look good out there, and I know that the coaching staff has no confidence in him. They were playing for the tie, because they knew that a Cassel wounded duck would and probably could get intercepted. Kudos to the coaching staff for realizing that. Negative kudos to Pioli for continuing to believe that Cassel is anything but a backup QB, and not a good one at that.

  11. Fivecoat says:

    I was listening to the end of regulation on KCFX, and Len Dawson was bemoaning the fact that the Chiefs refused to allow Cassel to take shots into the endzone. This is typical Kansas City football– bland, conservative, ridiculous. Crennel was very fortunate to win the game in OT, as he sure as hell didn’t play for the victory in regulation. Our QB SUCKS, our team and staff have little faith in him, and we are stuck with him, as Pioli is trying to save The Clarks’ allocated funds (with an additional $28 Million, more or less).
    At best, this team goes 8-8, receives a playoff ass-whooping at the hands of the Bills or Steelers, the GM raises rates for 2012 parking and Tics, we receive continued arrogance from our micromanaging GM (“Who the FUCK left this candy wrapper on the stairway?!) , and we select a fat ‘developmental’ draft pick with a taste for weed and a mane of dreads. And, yes….another year of our “backup QB” running the show.
    The Chiefs brass doesn’t give a fuck about a championship– I still remember Carl Peterson stating that the goal of the franchise was simply to “get in” the postseason, where (I cringe even typing it) “anything can happen.” Can you picture The Rooneys with this type of halfassed mantra to Pittsburgh fans? Or Jerry Jones illustrating the postseason push as ‘maybe it’ll go our way if we get in?’ Going 8-8 is good enough in KC– fans stay interested, playoffs are a possibility, seats stay full.
    Its much more entertaining when this team is crushed– I can see Pioli squirm for a litany of horrible decisions, I can envision a top-5 Draft pick that we DON’T fuck up, and (this is perhaps the best), I can listen to Mitch Holthus bellow out his joy to CHIEFS KINGDOM while call-screeners go into overdrive making sure no negativity is reflected in the calls.
    Me: “Yes, I’d like to ask Romeo about the final 1:30 of regulation, particularly the playcalling.”
    KCFX screener (wary): “Uhm, yeah– hold on the line and I’ll get you on.”
    Me (surprised) “Cool, man. Thanks.”
    KCFX screener: CLICK
    Mitch (on air): “Ohhhhh hoooooo– booooo hooooo— looks like we have some Chargers fans calling in and rattling their sabers— Tough Luck, Bolts Fans– Hey, Lake Lotowana Girls– what do you say to the angry Chargers fans– It’s time to PUT-THE-HAMMER-DOWN!!!”