Secondary Failures

Travis Daniels & Tony Gonzalez

It was clear very early on Sunday afternoon the Kansas City Chiefs secondary was in for a long day.

If Head Coach Romeo Crennel is going to bail out his 2012 Kansas City Chiefs, he's going to have hope he can get two of his horses, cornerback Brandon Flowers and Linebacker Tamba Hali to play at a level that makes up for their lackluster effort in the season opener against Atlanta that saw the Falcons defeat the Chiefs 40-24.

But even with their returns next week at Buffalo, the Chiefs defense, especially the secondary which was woeful to say the leas, had better find it's identity and quick. Sure players such as cornerback Jacques Reeves and safety Abram Elam are veterans but neither made a single play in their four quarters of work on Sunday. That means this team lacks any real depth at either position.

We already knew heading into this season that depth at certain positions was an issue for this Chiefs team. But to that light, a pair of it's better defensive corners, free agent signee Stanford Routt and former second round pick, Javier Arenas, were equally as bad against Atlanta.

Now credit must be given to Atlanta Falcons Quarterback, Matt Ryan. Halfway through the fourth quarter, the Falcons had yet to punt. In other words, they scored on every possession to that point of the game.

But with zero pass rush outside of Justin Houston sack late in the second quarter, there aren't too many NFL starting quarterback that wouldn't have had a field day against the Chiefs defense on Sunday.

Sadly we saw glimpses of the holes in the Chiefs secondary in the preseason but their lack of depth right now is strangling their efforts to live up to the expectations that this defense would be better in 2012.

Still I'm not going to make injuries or Hali's suspension as an excuse for this loss. The Falcons knew the Chiefs were limping in the secondary heading into this game and Crennel did very little to put Ryan in any position to doubt that he could not have an All Pro day against Kansas City.

But we can't blame the secondary entirely. With no pass rush, it's not hard to see why the Falcons were so dominate on offense. The Chiefs had a single sack, Justin Houston late in the second half, that means nobody else stepped up. But with Hali out and Allen Bailey mysteriously placed on the inactive list, it's pretty clear why the Falcons ran over the Chiefs defense.

On the other side of the coin, the Chiefs offense tried to keep pace as they pulled to a 17-17 tie late in the first half. But after Kicker, Ryan Succop, missed a 40-yard field goal on KC's opening drive of the second half, that would have tied the score at 20-20, that took the wind out of the sails on KC's offense.

Playing catch up after that point, the Chiefs became a turnover machine and that helped the Falcons convert an interception and fumble in quarter three into 14 quick points.

And yes Chiefs quarterback, Matt Cassel, threw a pair of pics in the second half but we should judge him on his first half performance not when he was running for his life in the second half. Thus he really didn't warrant the boo birds. The defense lost this game for the Chiefs not the offense.

This Chiefs team still isn't as bad as the one that opened the regular season with a thumping home loss. But the Falcons made adjustments in the second half and the Chiefs didn't - thus Kansas City suffered a 23 point blowout.

On the positive side, the Chiefs have a golden opportunity to ride into Buffalo and salvage the first quarter of the season. The Bills were woeful Sunday against the New York Jets and that was a bit of a shocker.

So the Chiefs do have a chance to redeem themselves. And if they do, it'll be Hali and Flowers that must lead the way to even out the Chiefs 2012 record.


WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
How much of an impact did the the absence of Tamba Hali and Brandon Flowers have on Sunday's loss.


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