Each week during the season we’ll talk with the FanSided editor who covers the Colts’ upcoming opponent and try to get a better understanding of the enemy before us. This time around, we sneak our Trojan Horse up outside the Kansas City Chief’s village and talk to Patrick Allen of Arrowhead Addict.
1) Like the Colts, the Chiefs went from division championship last season to dismal start this year. We know that Peyton Manning’s absence is the main culprit here, but which factors do you think have been most pivotal in the Chiefs’ poor showing? Are you surprised by their performance so far?
No I am not surprised by KC’s start at all. Disappointed for sure, but not surprised. The Chiefs had a lot of things go wrong for them to start the year.
It started with Todd Haley’s dumb approach to the preseason. He held back on full contact drills and tackling, instead favoring conditioning. He did this because he felt the team needed to get more in shape after the lockout. It was a gamble and it was a huge bust. The 2010 Chiefs made up for a lack of talent and depth with solid fundamentals and ball control. Haley’s preseason plan put them in a hole that took them three games to dig out of. Until Week 4, they were missing tackles like crazy and turning the ball over. Last week, they finally looked more like the team we saw last season.
Adding to the misery were key injuries and a tough schedule. Obviously opening the season against the Bills and the Lions proved to be more difficult than one might have though a few months ago. The team also lost Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki to season-ending ACL injuries. The Chiefs probably wouldn’t have won their first two games anyway, but if they had Charles there is a chance they could have taken care of SD in Week 3.
As it stands, the injuries will likely be too much for KC to overcome this season.
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2) Is Todd Haley’s job in jeopardy if the team doesn’t turn things around soon?
I think his job is certainly in jeopardy but I think he will probably make it through the season. I think he was on the brink and an 0-5 start, with two straight losses to the winless Viking and Colts would have made him a mid-season casualty.
I think the win probably save Haley last week. A blowout loss to the Colts MIGHT give Scott Pioli enough leverage to fire him but I don’t think he’ll do it.
If the Chiefs play strong the rest of the season Haley will be alright. If they end up 4-12, he could get the axe. This is the penultimate year of his contract and so he’ll have to make a strong case he should be extended because I don’t think Scott Pioli wants Haley to coach in a lame duck year.
3) As unthinkable as it may have seemed to ask a few weeks ago, who would YOU rather have at quarterback: Matt Cassel or Curtis Painter?
I’ll go with Cassel on experience. Matt can be downright impotent at times but then all of the sudden, like the second half of last week’s game, he’ll play really well and have you yanking out your hair. Cassel isn’t a franchise QB and he will likely be replaced but he would give the Chiefs the best chance to win.
4) These two teams have become part of the Andrew Luck conversation, but it’s not sure bet that the Colts would take a QB even if they go 0-16 this year. How about the Chiefs … do you think they’d grab luck if they land the number one pick?
I think whoever has the #1 pick, be it the Colts, Chiefs or anyone else, will take Luck. So long as he doesn’t get hurt and continues to play like he has been playing, you have to take him.
The Colts should especially take him. They need look no farther than the 49ers and Packers to realize how important it is to have a good backup plan. Montana to Young? Favre to Rogers? It can be done and if the Colts want to keep on winning, they’d best get to the business of losing this season.
If not, they could end up like the post-Dan Marino Dolphins.
5) Finally, of course, what are your predictions for this game?
They key to this game is Chiefs’ defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. Romeo is a master game-planner and he particularly excels at exposing an opponent’s weaknesses. A Crennel defense can struggle against a balanced team but teams that are lacking in one area or another, he usually can get a good handle on. For instance, last week Crennel knew his best shot to stop the Vikings was to shutdown AP. He sold-out to stop the run, knowing that McNabb probably couldn’t beat him. It worked.
If Painter plays instead of Collins I think Romeo will be able to confuse him into making some mistakes.
As long as the KC offense can get going, I think the Chiefs turn in their best game of the season.
KC 28, Colts 17