OTC: Chiefs Drowned By Rivers Magic / Loss Of Hali and Houston Devastating

“Denver is going to come in here and score 50 if they don’t have Hali and Houston.”
Hank Bauer, Chargers Radio Network, Sirius
GH: I listened to the Chargers radio broadcast of the SD/KC game Sunday on Sirius as I drove home from the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa. I thought the Chiefs lost the game at least three times and figured they had it won four or more. What an entertaining, maddening and what-if football game for Chiefs fans. BTW, Bauer is as big a homer as anybody broadcaster we have here in Kansas City – except KU’s Bob Davis. Nobody unseats the King of Kansas.

“(Hank) Bauer holds the NFL single season record for most special teams tackles with 52. As a short-yardage specialist and often referred to “Hank the Howitzer” for his explosive running, Bauer finished one season with 18 carries for a total of 28 yards, scoring 8 touchdowns and achieving 9 first downs. Bauer was forced to retire in 1983, after playing six games with a broken neck. He later coached running backs and special teams for four years with the Chargers, then became a sports anchor for KFMB from 1987-2002.”
Wikipedia.org
GH: Hank was a much better human battering ram than he is a color analyst.

“Has the clock struck midnight for the Kansas City Chiefs? Have we seen the carriage turn into a pumpkin? Have they turned into the team we kind of thought they would be at the beginning of the season?
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM

“Is this a blip, just another ‘moment in time’ as general manager John Dorsey cautioned the 9-0 start was? Or is it a regression in a new direction? The answer, really, is neither. Or both. Because it hasn’t been determined yet.”
Vahe Gregorian, columnist, Kansas City Star
GH: Gregorian continues to frustrate me as a columnist. His questions (above) are fine – but answer them! We know, “it hasn’t been determined yet.”  What we would like to read is what you think will happen or why it won’t happen or anything opinionated! Gregorian is giving every stereotype of old white sportswriters new life.

“All season, we’ve known that the Chiefs are working without a safety net. This is a group and philosophy that need all the pieces in place, and the board is blown up without two superstar edge rushers occupying the bulk of the opposition’s game plans. Which makes what we saw on Sunday, literally, frightening for the Chiefs and their fans. … The Chargers scored more points in the second half when Hali and Houston were out than any team (including the Broncos) scored in an entire game when those two were healthy.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger quickly states the fears of most Chiefs fans – that this season’s success was more fragile than peanut brittle. Read on.

“Just as the Broncos come to Kansas City for the Chiefs’ single most important game of the season. That horseshoe they played with during a string of lucky breaks and a 9-0 start is turning to horse (bleep).” Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger nails it by tapping into our cautious optimism. Gregorian just floats around the perimeter firing ill-advised treys.

“We’re not 2-9; we’re 9-2. It’s definitely not a panic mode. But we need to stop this ball from rolling downhill.”
Derrick Johnson, Kansas City Star

“With both (Hali and Houston) out? No way.”
Jake Gutierrez, when asked if the Chiefs can beat Denver at Arrowhead without their two syud pass rushers, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs second loss and Denver’s crazy crumbling defeat in New England both became just background sets to the injuries to Hali and Houston. We will likely know more soon but neither looks like they will play or if they do, they aren’t expected to be close to full speed for Peyton Manning’s trip to Arrowhead this Sunday.

“On Sunday, they can’t win the division but they can lose it. If they lose that game, I don’t think they can make up two games on the Broncos.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: It might be time to scale back our expectations of winning the AFL West. If Hali and Houston miss the next few weeks, just getting into the playoffs might have to be the Chiefs goal for now. If the two are able to be back in January, then Chiefs fans can start getting excited about surviving and advancing – albeit on the road.

“No excuses, man. San Diego came out and executed. They were moving the ball at will today.”
Brandon Flowers, 810 AM
GH: If the Chiefs can’t stop a simple under pattern that uses the opposite receiver as a “rub” on the defender, they are doomed. Both Denver and San Diego turned simple slants into huge gains by confusing the Chiefs man-to-man defense. Where was the ability to adjust and go zone?

“If you continue to not get to the quarterback, you might have to go to a little more zone than man-to-man at the backend of your defense.”
Herm Edwards, 810 AM

“I think (the Chiefs) get creative. I think what we saw (Sunday) is the Chiefs third best pass rusher is Eric Berry. Expect some A-gap blitzes up the middle with Eric Berry and Derrick Johnson, pressuring Peyton Manning up the middle instead of at the ends. Get in his face and around his feet.”
Danan Hughes, 610 AM
GH: Bill Maas was the first on 610 to suggest the Chiefs need to switch their pressure on Manning from the outside to between the tackles. I would consider moving Berry up to play in Hali’s or Houston’s spot and turn him loose on rushing Manning. Sounds crazy but these are desperate times. Berry isn’t any great shakes when it comes to covering receivers but I’ll bet he is a bitch at running down quarterbacks.

“What are you feeling after yesterday’s game? Are you happy the offense finally showed up or are you concerned with the defense… That’s the question as we continue here on The Program.”
Doug Stewart, filling in the past two weeks for Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Wow, I never thought I would miss Soren Petro as much as I have these past two weeks. Why does WHB insist on playing their second-string when their starters leave for vacation? I guess it just doesn’t matter in the big picture because people listen to whoever is behind the mic but Doug Stewart is boring the hell out of much of the two-state area these past two weeks. Can Kurtis Seaboldt at least jab him with a hat pin occasionally to see if his voice will change modulation?

“They gave up 38 points after Houston went down.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“Once people go down, everybody’s got to step up. But obviously it hurt us a little bit, not having our two better players on the field.”
Derrick Johnson, 810 AM
GH: DJ is also one of the Chiefs better defenders. He needs to play like a crazed Texan next week against Denver.

“Man they had it! I thought they had it won.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: My feeling exactly before Rivers threw that final game-winning TD pass. Painful.

“It’s amazing as a fan to care that much about a game at the end.”
Gary Lezak, 810 AM
GH: Lezak is calling for temps in the 30s or 40s for the Broncos/Chiefs game at Arrowhead Sunday afternoon. Not nearly cold enough to freeze Peyton but with a 3:30 PM kickoff, we might see some frost form on his right arm come the second half.

“Consensus seems to be DEN loss makes today easier and I get that. But KC could be one up and looking for two. Still would have to win SUN.”
Kurtis Seaboldt, @KSeaboldt, Twitter
GH: Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Chiefs are 9-2 and still very much alive for the division crown if they beat Denver on Sunday. You can’t look backward in the NFL or it will drive you mad.

“Knowshon has a boot on his foot and is on crutches. He will have ankle checked in Denver.”
Tom Helmer, @Tom_Helmer, Twitter
GH: I like what SSJ said about the Broncos running back’s injury, if really doesn’t matter unless it’s Manning in a boot and on crutches.

“It should be a breakthrough (for Sporting Kansas City) because they made it to the title game. Well now under this format they also host that game. That seems to put a little extra pressure on it. It’s not just getting there – now you’ve got to win it.”
Josh Klingler, on Sporting taking on Real Salt Lake December 7th at Sporting Park, 610 AM
GH: Sporting has a chance to capture a Major Award with a win in The Legends in a couple of weeks. And there will be nothing FRAGILE about it inside one of the best sports venues in Kansas City. Sporting and Mizzou could be playing for titles on the same night.

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.

23 Responses to OTC: Chiefs Drowned By Rivers Magic / Loss Of Hali and Houston Devastating

  1. JP says:

    Losing Hali was bad enough, but that Defense changed when Houston went down. If they had just one of them, they probably get out of there with a win. Without either, next Sunday could get ugly. Now the Chiefs have found something on their offense, but they probably don’t win a shootout.

    On the bright side, Denver blew a 24 point lead last night. Plus, the Chiefs are still playing much better than last season’s pathetic 2-14 campaign. I guess that would be the bright side.

    Finally, would Gregorian just have an opinion, and quit asking questions that the reader’s know the answer.

    • Careless Donkey says:

      I don’t read Vahe’s columns very often but his in-game tweets are even worse. It’s usually just a recap of whatever we just saw happen, as if people are relying on his updates to find out what is happening in the game and aren’t watching it as well. Tell us something we can’t see from home on our TV.

  2. Kyle says:

    GH: Wow, I never thought I would miss Soren Petro as much as I have these past two weeks. Why does WHB insist on playing their second-string when their starters leave for vacation? I guess it just doesn’t matter in the big picture because people listen to whoever is behind the mic but Doug Stewart is boring the hell out of much of the two-state area these past two weeks.

    Not only is Stewart awful at his job, he is smug and arrogant. Plus he is a Cardinals fan. Not much to like there.

  3. Jim says:

    Defensively, there are ALOT of things to be worried about regarding this team. But for me, the critical error in this game was coaching. 1:28 seconds left on the game clock and it’s running. you are on the 5 yard line and there is still :18 left on the play clock and Reid calls a time out?! I freaked! The 4th quarter the Chiefs ran ALL over the Chargers. Let the play clock run to :01 and then take your time-out if you feel it necessary to re-group. Your first play HAS to be a run to get the clock running!!! How different is the out come if the Chargers get the ball with 30 or 40 seconds left in the game and having burned a time-out to stop the running clock!? Maddening! Maybe they still win……..but I like the Chiefs’ odds at that point!!

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      Reid’s management of the play clock has always been horrible.

      Moving Berry to play like a linebacker would help. That is how Bryan Dawkins played the position of safety. Reid has never been a big believer in linebackers.

    • Greg Hall says:

      I heard Stewart and Seaboldt discussing Reid’s clock mismanagement during that final first and goal situation and they both acted like it was no big deal. Huh? It’s fundamental football to manage the clock late in the game. Instead, Reid panicked and stopped the clock. It was just a ridiculous call that aided only the Chargers. Reid’s explanation at his Monday presser was simply a joke. This one call may not have cost the Chiefs the game but as the head coach, you CANNOT make this mistake — ever.

      • nick says:

        HORRIBLE mistake by Reid. He knows it was a mistake, whether he admits it or not. Live and learn. (I pray and hope!)

        Coaches should hire a seasoned, smart, trustworthy fan to give them bits of sense in critical moments of games. ANY long-time Chiefs football fan was screaming at their TV when Reid called the timeout. It was dumb. No debate.

        Saying that, the Chiefs D’s biggest issue the last 2 weeks is not being able to get a pick. I count at least FIVE easy-to-extremely easy balls that our defense shoulda snaggged against Denver and SD. One was on the final drive. Chiefs got those key picks when they were going 9-0.

        • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

          I had many Philly fans warn me well in advance of Reid’s atrocious clock management. It’s quite apparent that he’s not gotten that skill mastered quite yet.

  4. Joey Gallo says:

    You got that right pal.

  5. Kyle says:

    Not a fan of Reid calling timeout there, but if he runs the playclock down by another 16 seconds, then SD scores the winning TD with 8 seconds left. We still lose.

    • Jim says:

      All things being equal, maybe. But, the clock MUST be a factor in your decision making. I wanted it run down to 1:10 and the first play out of the time-out a running play. Maybe they score on the first running play and you only gain those :18. Just saying that scoring should NOT have been the only consideration given that a chip-shot field goal was in the bag! First and goal from the 5? I think Chiefs get it in on the ground, round the clock and seriously reduce the time left on the game clock. At the VERY least, SD burns a time-out or two. That alone would have been huge.

  6. Kerouac says:

    They are who we thought they were: mediocre, Chiefs…this week, rematch: THE biggest game of the year: Broncos vs Chiefs – the two ‘best team(s) in the NFL! And the crowd goes… *sigh*… a collective “meh”.

    Exhibit A: here in Kansas City we spell ‘greatness’ C-H-I-E-F-S. Or did. Then the plot thickened (if not stiffened, defense.) A 9-1 steamrolled by a then as now sub .500 Chargers team, KC allowing 41 points & 500 yards the process… ‘Swiss Chiefs’ indeed, ‘best D in the NFL’. No Hali & Houston was the problem? No, was not. They’ve been MIA for several weeks now, including the first half vs San Diego. Be an excuse.

    Exhibit B: how does a ‘great’ team blow a 24 point lead? Ask the Broncos. “But it was the Patriots”! As if. Comparing the Patriots/Brady to their former’s is as comparing a trail’s end Starr/Packers to theirs variously, earlier 60′s versions. Brrr, it was cold, it was inclement (and it was – in GB, 1967, ‘Ice Bowl’). Not Sunday night, that was result of “one play – a fluke” DEN fandom cries. That too is an excuse, same as KC’s.

    Manning goes down, and DEN is toast… KC loses Hali & Houston same, and they’re fini. In ’69, Dawson went down yet KC reached/won the Superbowl – ditto the ’72 Dolphins Griese same, nod depth (this before massive over-expan$ion compromi$ed NFL, only ‘depth’ today those of despair.)

    The league would have you believe this era is better than any before it, the players are bigger, stronger, faster – yadda yadda yadda – yet, the product is nigh on pathetic with a CAPITAL $, complete teams having given way half, almighty buck reigns $upreme.

    DEN 41
    @KC 24

  7. Phaedrus says:

    Greg, how was the Route 66 marathon? I went to college in Tulsa, so I’ve thought about running the marathon down there.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Ph, My weekend in Tulsa was a COLD one! This was my first really cold marathon so I was not used to wearing layers, headgear, three pairs of gloves, hand warmers, etc. Despite the start temps in the low 20s and a breeze out of the north, it could have been so much worse. Saturday night the north wind was blowing 25-30.

      The weather was really a fluke for Tulsa this time of year so don’t let that keep you away. This was really my first time getting to see Tulsa up close and I was very impressed. The new course snakes all over town and especially takes in some very scenic neighborhoods. Tulsa has a lot of great trees and they were still in their autumn splendor. Just a really pretty run through a neat, friendly town.

      We also got a great tour of Tulsa’s campus during the last few miles of the race. Very nice. If you haven’t been down there in awhile, it looks like they have spent some money on their facilities, housing and grounds. The ‘Canes have it going on!

      The course was far more hilly than I expected. No killer hills, just a lot of gradual inclines that keep you from a PR. My quads are still barking today and that is unusual for me. It tells me I was working on some up/down terrain.

      The organization was good and the volunteers were incredible to stand out in that cold for five hours. Loved the town. Hated the weather. Pissed that the Chiefs lost on our drive home.

  8. E.Jack Hewlett says:

    wow, a Sporting take at the very end. I was starting to wonder if anyone noticed that other local teams besides the Chiefs had games this weekend, or are still playing.

    This is a major breakthrough for you, Greg. You’ve finally stopped drinking the soccer haterade. Congratulations.

    Go Sporting- bring home KC’s first championship since___________ .

  9. Mark says:

    Doug Stewart is the worst.

    Last week he opened a show after a KU win with a discussion about KU underachieving because they have only won three national titles. Was totally unrelated to game and this season. On top if that, being lectured on national titles from an unabashed MU guy is too much.

    Switched it off then and won’t be back until Petro gets back. Weird that a guy who doesn’t like KC sports lives and does a sports show in KC.

    Other podcasts it is…

    • Steve says:

      Like Parkins, Fescoe and Lake?

      • Kyle says:

        Fescoe like NY teams, but is also a Chiefs and Royals fan. Not sure about Parkins, but he at least does not pimp his teams from other cities. Stewart is just God awful.

      • Mark says:

        Nah, Steve. I don’t listen to 610. Quality just isn’t there.

        I’ll be catching up with Grantland podcasts, Hangup & Listen from slate.com, and NPR/news stuff among other things.

    • JP says:

      I can’t disagree with you on the above sentiment. At least the 610 guys try to be open minded about the home teams. Stewart shows his love for all things Missouri and St. Louis in particular every day. Anything snarky about the local teams, you can expect Stewart to chime in. Any radio host that has me clamoring for Danny Clinkscale has got to go.

      Message to Doug: Are you sure no St. Louis sports stations are hiring?

  10. Ron says:

    Why don’t they have the guy from Arkansas fill in for Petro. Who is Doug Stewart? A producer? Why is he even considered to be qualified to fill in for the host of the show? It seems 810 is on auto-pilot. They have a host who is doing nothing, and they stick a producer in the spot instead just because he happens to be connected to that particular show. It doesn’t make sense.

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