The Chiefs' second preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offered reasons to be both optimistic and pessimistic for the upcoming season for Kansas City fans. The offense looked to finally be establishing a rythem, while it was the same old story for the Chiefs' defense.
After looking like a high school team on offense against the Atlanta Falcons in the team's first preseason game, Matt Cassell and his receivers showed promise yesterday. The team's receivers got open and hung on to the ball, two glaring problems against Atlanta. Cassell seemed to settle down a bit, and the team developed some rythem on scoring drives. The Chiefs will be able to run the ball with the steady Thomas Jones and electric Jamaal Charles, and if the passing game remains steady, the offense could put some points on the board.
Another boost to the team has been the special teams, most notably Javier Arenas. The rookie had a long kickoff return to help set up one of the team's scoring drives, and has shown game-changing return ability the team has lacked since Dante Hall. The Chief's already boost reliable kickers in Ryan Succop and Dustin Colquitt, and with a strong return game, the Chief's special teams could be a difference maker this season.
However, with the good comes a lot bad, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The front seven continues to struggle with almost no pass rush and poor defending of the run. The secondary, which was viewed as a strength entering the season, has struggled with tackling and drawing penalties. While the secondary's problems can likely be corrected, it is starting to appear that the Chief's front seven lacks the personel to get the job done at a consistent basis. Romeo Crennell is one of the best defensive coordinators in the game, but he certainly has his work cut out for him.
The Chiefs showed much needed improvement from its starters in its second preseason game. The team still has a long way to go, luckily there are two preseason games still remaining. The team looks better, but it will need every second of its next too exhibition games to move back towards being a competitive team.