Re-Focused: Week 12, Chiefs at Seahawks

| December 2, 2010

The Chiefs dominated for long portions of the game, but it wasn’t until the fourth quarter that this one was truly over.

The Seahawks will take some heart from this display, and in a weak NFC West they strangely may be in a better position to make the playoffs than the Chiefs who have a rampant Chargers team to contend with.

But playoffs or no, the Chiefs have made remarkable strides to be able to relatively comfortably dispatch poor teams, and who continue to improve even when coping with some key injuries. The future appears bright in Arrowhead.

Chiefs: Performances of note

We’ve never really been sold on Matt Cassel (+6.7) as a top-line quarterback. He generally avoids mistakes, but is for the most part a guy who gets by on this and his strong running game. A few more performances like this will drastically alter this opinion, as Cassel was just a couple of poorly thrown balls short of spectacular. He made a number of throws you just haven’t come to expect from him; he completed seven of the ten balls he threw further than 10 yards and picked up nine yards per attempt when pressured. Great day, and while it’s off the mark to talk about MVP (he’s not even one of the best five players on his own team) it shouldn’t take away from his emergence in the Chiefs’ system.

While most of the credit on the Chiefs D has been focused on recent high round picks, perhaps the most impressive performer against the Seahawks was Wallace Gilberry (+4.5). With the Chiefs running a lot of their nickel D (even during most two WR sets) Gilberry saw more action than he’s used to and responded with his best game. He finished the day with a QB hit, three pressures and a batted pass to go along with two defensive stops in the run. It’s always nice to see a situational player excel when given the opportunity.

The one really negative performance that stood out was that of fill-in left tackle Barry Richardson (-5.1). Clearly better suited to the right side of the line, Richardson struggled immensely in pass protection, giving up a hit and six further pressures as well as two penalties. It should be noted he had a good day with his run blocking, but nowhere near enough to make up for such a shoddy display of pass protection.

Seahawks: Performances of note

It wasn’t a surprise to see WR Deon Butler (-3.4) removed from the lineup after 34 underwhelming snaps. Given the opportunity to start, Butler did little to convince of his longterm prospects in this role with the worst performance of his professional career. Any day where you drop (three) more balls than you catch (two) is going to earn you a trip to Benchville.

On a more positive note we are, for the second week in a row, astonished by the play of Raheem Brock (+4.2). Was it the Colts’ system that was making him looking so bad, or as he just taken his game to another level? Either way he was exceptional again with a hit and four quarterback pressures and two defensive stops on his 33 snaps.

Trying to pick out one bad performance on that defense is a bit like being a kid in a candy store. So much choice, so little time. Ultimately, we’re going to go with two players on the defensive line who have been forced to step up because of injury, and step have they have not. Kentwan Balmer (-3.8) continues to disappoint, and Junior Siavii (-3.8) is showing just why the Cowboys felt so comfortable in letting them go. If there’s a reason for a dropoff in play of the Seattle defense, it’s the losses of Red Bryant and Colin Cole.

Rookie Report

With injuries hitting their cornerback ranks we got to see more of Javier Arenas (-0.7) both in the slot and at LCB. He gave up a touchdown but only 57 yards on the seven completions he allowed and did break up a pass … Kendrick Lewis (-1.4) ended up being gifted an interception but both he and Brandon Carr combined to give an even bigger gift to the Seahawks in the form of a TD … First round pick Eric Berry (-0.3) wasn’t a big factor in this one … Tight end Tony Moeaki (+2.7) returned to the line up and caught a TD and more than held his own in the run game … We were quite impressed by the perimeter blocking of WR Verran Tucker (+1.1).

Seattle LT Russell Okung (-1.9) gave up a sack and two pressures but wasn’t terrible … Teams are continuing to expose Earl Thomas (-2.1) in coverage … Walter Thurmond (-0.7) didn’t repeat his struggles from a week ago in filling in for Marcus Trufant.

Random Notes

Since his two-drop display against the Colts that had some fans wanting rid of him, Dwayne Bowe (+4.8) has responded with just two drops and 13 touchdowns. Safe to say that kick-started his season … Ben Obamanu played all but one snap for Seattle and looks to be settling into the role of starter nicely.

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