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Week 1: Chiefs 7, Bills 41

by Eric Tellez

Not too long ago I made a statement that the Chiefs managed to turn a weak schedule in a weak division into a playoff birth. I caught a lot of grief from it in emails and comments. Nothing wrong with that, sometimes being a sports writer will create more than its share of enemies.

But did anyone think it could get THIS bad? Even someone like me was caught off guard by the week one handling we took and I'm at best skeptical and at worst,,,well, seen to many Chiefs games that we should have won. Because chances are when you got a hold of your schedule for this season and looked at Week 1 you very likely put a "W" in the Bills column. I know I did. We had every reason to.

The Bills added nobody of importance. The Bills aren't even the 3rd best team in their division. We are a playoff team. We are moving in the right direction. We finally have some offensive weapons. Oh, and look, we're going-up against Detroit in Week 2. Detroit? We're 2-0 and we haven't even played a down.

There's an old saying that says "If you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans." The NFL is the same way. And to make it worse, Detroit is looking great. Who would have thought that after Week One we'd be in a must win again Detroit in Week 2? I didn't, and I'm known for being negative. I really hope things aren't this bad.

Eric Tellez is an independent football journalist from Las Cruces, NM. He has contributed to NFLMIX.com for two season and writes for CHIEFSMIX.com every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You can reach him by email at cover4@rocketmail.com to talk football anytime.

All About Depth

28 April 2011

This weekend's draft is going to be one of the most important the Kansas City Chiefs have had in years. Looking back the Chiefs won the division by benefiting from a weak schedule in a crazy division but should this draft go down as a success this team will have made a very crucial step towards becoming an elite team.

The Denver Broncos still need help in a lot of areas, the San Diego Chargers are showing signs that their Super Bowl window may have closed, and the Oakland Raiders....well, let's just say that nothing can destroy momentum the way a Raider draft and off-season can. The Chiefs are easily in the best shape of any team in the AFC West.

Here's what I expect to happen.

Round 1: NT Phil Taylor from Baylor. Also could be Stephen Paea from Oregon State or Corey Liuget from Illinois but this is a huge need. In order for the 3-4 defense to work it all revolves around the nose tackle.

Round 2: WR Jerrel Jernigan from Troy. I just hope they take a receiver here, I really don't care who it is or from where he is from. If the Chiefs don't like Jernigan all that will likely be available at this point will be either Titus Young from Boise State or Jon Baldwin from Pittsburgh and they are all pretty much a Dwayne Bowe copy's. Jernigan is a little more solid, not such a speed threat, and can catch the ball in traffic.

Round 3: OT Nate Solder from Colorado. Do you take a 3rd round chance on 1st round size? Why not? The Chiefs can use all the line help they can get and Solder has a reputation as a hard worker and a learner.

Round 4: LB Casey Matthews from Oregon. Solid player from a big time program. I know there's a lot of talk about his name making him overrated but I'm ok with that. I would like to see a player of Matthew's caliber taken with this pick so why not get the real deal with the name as an added bonus?

Round 5: OG Justin Boren from Ohio State. Another solid player from a big time program. I'd love to see Boren and Solder develop properly and just based on size alone they could resemble the Dallas Cowboys of the early-mid 1990's. Ball control in December, brings back warm memories of cold days.

Round 6: WR Dane Sanezenbacher from Ohio State. Another solid, catch the ball in traffic and keep the chains moving kind of receiver.

Round 7: OT Adam Grant from Arizona. Saw this guy play in person and he was a lot of fun to watch. If he's still available I hope the Chiefs make the call.

Eric Tellez is a team reporter from Las Cruces, NM. He has been contributing to NFLMIX.com for 2-years. Email him at footballfreepress@yahoo.com to talk football anytime.

Chiefs Division Crown A Fluke

by Eric Tellez for NFLMIX.COM

It would be easy to assume that Scott Pioli brought some New England magic to Kansas City when he took over the front office and the Chiefs went from 4-12 in 2009 to the 10-6 with a divisional title in 2010. Those of us less likely to believe in "magic" could just point to head coach Todd Haley, coordinators Charlie Weiss and Romeo Crennel, and quarterback Matt Cassel as evidence that "Patriots West" had finally settled in at Arrowhead. But when you look closer at the details last season's triumphant return to the top of the AFC West may not be a sign of things to come but a 1-year result of luck and chance.

In 2010, the Chiefs benefited from the NFL's easiest schedule that had them playing only 2-teams that qualified for the playoffs; the Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks. It gets worse when you remember that they lost to the Colts and the Seahawks fell into the post season with the amazing record of 7-9 with five combined wins coming against the 49ers, Rams, and Cardinals whom all had terrible seasons. Look a little closer and you will notice that the Chiefs themselves also benefited from a weakened NFC WEST beating all four teams in that division.

Kansas City in their own division is a somber a picture when you consider that the Chiefs went 2-4 against the AFC West with a record of 1-2 at home. Three of those loses were pretty lopsided losing 31-0 against San Diego, 31-10 to Oakland, and 49-29 to Denver in the forever infamous "People Have Said A Lot of Things About You" game.

Looking at the big picture I do not believe the Chiefs to be as bad as they looked in their 1st round loss to Baltimore. But I also do not believe they are as good as people are being led to believe. At the end of the season, against Oakland and Baltimore, this team got beat-up and pushed around the field. For all the accomplishments that 2010 held the Chiefs were just flat out not physical enough for Baltimore.

The Chiefs need to draft offensive and defensive line help, need to create more turn overs, and most importantly, need to see last year as either a stepping stone to division dominance or a 1-year wonder.

Eric Tellez is a team reporter from Las Cruces, NM and has been a writer with NFLMIX.COM for 2-years. Feel free to email him at footballfreepress@yahoo.com to talk Chiefs or your favorite team.

Chiefs Need To Draft Receiver

by Eric Tellez for NFLMIX.COM

There are 3-things consistent in the life of a Kansas City fan; death, taxes, and trying to win with only one good wide receiver. Don't ask me why, but since I started following football in the 1980's the Chiefs have always gone into battle with a big time back carrying the load, a solid receiver on one side and a collection of spare parts on the other.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to insult the talents of guys like Eddie Kennison, Robb Thomas, JJ Birden, Lake Dawson and the others. But it's hard to imagine a defensive coordinator staying-up late worrying about having to cover both Dwayne Bowe AND Dexter McCluster.

I'll be the first to admit that the AFC West is not without its faults but if there's one thing this division can do is cover your best receiver. Denver still has Champ Bailey, Oakland has Nnamdi Asomugha, and San Diego can roll the dice with either Antoine Cason or Quentin Jammer. Put any of them on Bowe and what you end-up with are a lot of 8-man fronts salivating to get at Jamaal Charles.

But that's nothing new for Kansas City. Just off the top of my head I can remember Christian Okoye, Barry Word, Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson all faced with the same destiny that awaits Jamaal Charles; too many carries and not enough help. As for Dwayne Bowe? Do the names Carlos Carson and Stephone Paige ring a bell? Has anyone in the organization noticed that the 2nd leading receiver on last year's playoff team had only 22 receptions?

In order to have a chance the Chiefs need to get help at wide receiver. I can't think of any team, with the exception of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, that was able to win any big games with less than three offensive threats. And yes, while I do realize that Tony Gonzales was perhaps the greatest tight-end in this, or any other, era I have a hard time considering him to be in that ultimate difference maker category. Why? Because if you look at today's greatest tight-ends; Tony Gonzales, Antonio Gates, and perhaps Jason Witten you see a lot of similarities. A lot of catches, a lot of yards, a lot touchdowns, and very few playoffs wins.

What about tight-ends with multiple Super Bowl rings? Brent Jones had Jerry Rice & John Taylor, Jay Novacek had Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper, Shannon Sharpe had Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey, and Heath Miller has taken the field with Hines Ward and a cast of thousands. If Dallas Clark and Indy get that 2nd ring he'll be surrounded by a handful of quality receivers also.

The Kansas City Chiefs need to get help at wide receiver in the 2011 draft. Matt Cassel needs another target, Dwayne Bowe needs someone to take the pressure off, and Jamaal Charles needs to occasionally catch his breathe. Otherwise, we're just passing on success.

email me at footballfreepress@yahoo.com anytime you want to talk football! Et

28 February 2011

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