Showing posts with label Tamba Hali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tamba Hali. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who Is To Blame For The Chiefs' Terrible Start?

After yet another 0-2 start to the season, Chiefs fans are demanding to know who is to blame for the team’s disastrous start. Kansas City has given up 75 points over the first two games of the season, and looks nothing like a team many thought would challenge for the AFC West division title.

When Kansas City got off to a rough start last season, most pointed the finger at former head coach Todd Haley, claiming he simply did not have his team ready to start the season. Romeo Crennel has received similar treatment from many Kansas City fans, especially because he is a defensive coach. Several media pundits have suggested that Crennel is stretched too thin juggling both the head coach and defensive coordinator positions.

Crennel responded to the criticism yesterday, insisting that the blame rests more on his players failing to execute. Safety Abram Elam and linebacker Derrick Johnson have agreed with Crennel that they need to play better, but both also admitted to the media that communication could be better, and that at times, the players and coaches are not on the same page. If Crennel wants to turn things around quickly, he needs to stop pointing fingers at his players and accept ultimate responsibility for the defense’s performance. Crennel is a lot more expendable than guys like Johnson, Tamba Hali, Eric Berry and Brandon Flowers, especially since this is a second chance for him after his failure as a head coach in Cleveland.

The biggest target for criticism after Kansas City’s start is embattled GM Scott Pioli, who has made headlines recently due to the Chiefs’ refusal to spend money and the stories about his actions told by Haley. Pioli is the ultimate architect of the team, and so far, he has done little to make Kansas City a winner. Many of the Chiefs’ top players were on the team when Pioli arrived, and his biggest acquisition so far has been the signing of quarterback Matt Cassel, who is an average-at-best starting NFL quarterback the Chiefs GM signed to a mammoth contract.

Pioli hasn’t drafted very well either, and the result is that the team lacks significant depth. Kansas City’s horrible preseason record over the past couple of seasons is proof that the Chiefs simply are not very deep, and this ultimately falls on Pioli as well. Coaching and execution play a big role, but you need to have talent on your team to win.

The blame may rest somewhere in the middle of the coaching, players and GM, but one thing is for certain – Kansas City needs to turn things around quickly. If the team drops its next couple of games, the franchise might have to blow everything up and enter yet another rebuilding project.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Chiefs Blown Out By Bills, Start Season 0-2 Once Again

The Kansas City Chiefs were no match for the Buffalo Bills yesterday, getting blown out on the road, 35-17. The loss means that the team has a 0-2 record for the sixth time in the last seven years.

The final score makes the game seem closer than it actually was – Kansas City scored 14 points in the fourth quarter when the Bills had already put the game away and inserted their backups into the game (most notably former Chief Tyler Thigpen at quarterback). The team trailed 21-0 at halftime and 35-3 at the end of the third quarter. The Chiefs had several opportunities to get back into the game throughout, but costly mistakes and a failure to execute limited the team to three points. The most painful of these blown opportunities came late in the first half, when Peyton Hillis fumbled at the goal line and the ball was recovered by Buffalo.

It was expected that the Chiefs’ defense would get a significant boost with the return of Tamba Hali and Brandon Flowers, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday. Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller ran all over the Chiefs’ defense for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for two scores in an efficient outing. Even Kansas City’s special teams let them down, as Buffalo’s Leodis McKelvin returned a punt 88 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter.

The Chiefs’ offense was just as bad, putting together one of the ugliest first halves the team has seen in quite some time. The team gained only 71 yards on its first five possessions, looking overmatched by a Bills defense that had gotten dominated by a poor New York Jets offense last week. Things were so bad that Spiller nearly out-gained the entire Kansas City offense by himself in the first half. Matt Cassel ended up throwing for 301 yards and two touchdowns to Dwayne Bowe, but most of his production came late in the game when things were already decided. Cassel’s play in the first half was borderline terrible, and he has yet to show any consistency this season.

The bottom line is that once again, the Chiefs were not ready to start a regular season. For two straight years, the team has had a terrible preseason followed by two blow-out losses in weeks one and two, proving that Kansas City simply is not ready to play. The Chiefs have a very difficult schedule, facing the Saints, Chargers and Ravens in their next three games. An 0-5 record is a distinct possibility after the first two weeks.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Kansas City Chiefs - Buffalo Bills Preview

Kansas City will be seeking to avenge one of its early-season blowout losses from last year, as it visits Buffalo to take on the Bills. This should be an interesting matchup, as both teams have similar story lines entering week two. Kansas City and Buffalo each gave up more than 40 points in their opener, and both teams are missing several key players due to injury.

If there ever was a time for the Chiefs to right the ship, this is it. The Bills were destroyed by the New York Jets in week one, 42-21, making the embattled Mark Sanchez look like Dan Marino. The team also lost starting running back Fred Jackson and receiver David Nelson, two big blows for the offense. Kansas City is still banged up on defense, and it is unknown if Brandon Flowers, Kendrick Lewis and Anthony Toribio will play on Saturday. All three are currently listed as questionable. One player who will be back is pass rushing specialist Tamba Hali, who should give Kansas City’s defense a huge boost. The biggest wildcard for this matchup is Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Since signing a lucrative long-term deal, Fitzpatrick has struggled in Buffalo, and last week he completed only 56% of his passes while throwing three interceptions. If Fitzpatrick plays well, the Bills will have a shot to score on the Chiefs’ banged up defense; if he continues to struggle and turns the ball over, the Chiefs may be able to take advantage of the good field position and put the game away. Kansas City will also have to deal with Jackson’s backup, C.J. Spiller, who exploded for 169 yards in week one including a 56 yard touchdown run.

Matt Cassel also struggled with turnovers in week one, as the Chiefs’ quarterback threw two interceptions and fumbled deep in his own territory. All three turnovers led to points for the Atlanta Falcons, a big reason why the game got out of hand quickly in the second half. Cassel and the Chiefs’ offensive line will have to account for Mario Williams, one of the best pass rushers in the NFL who signed with Buffalo during the offseason. If the team can slow Williams down and allow Cassel time to throw, he could be in for a big game against a Bills secondary that got torched last week. As usual, the Chiefs should be able to move the ball well on the ground, which should only help Cassel.

Both teams are reeling from big opening day losses, however the return of Hali and the Bills’ injuries on offense should help the Chiefs slow down Buffalo’s attack. This one will likely come down to the play of the quarterbacks, and big game from Cassel or Fitzpatrick could be the deciding factor.

Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Several Questions Following The Chiefs Loss To The Falcons

The Chiefs’ season opener is in the books, and the team will try to regroup after an embarrassing home loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Kansas City still has some major question marks on both sides of the ball in regards to injuries and personnel decisions, and it will be interesting to see how this translates to the team’s second game against the Buffalo Bills.

The biggest question regarding the defense is whether or not Brandon Flowers will be able to play this Sunday. After it appeared that Flowers would be able to go against the Falcons, he was held out of the game due to an ongoing foot injury. Head coach Romeo Crennel has stated that if Flowers can practice, he will play. This week’s practices will be a telling sign on whether or not Flowers is ready to start again for the Chiefs. Flowers’ return is even more crucial because his normal backup, Jalil Brown, is battling a groin injury and barely played against Atlanta. Jacques Reeves got torched by Julio Jones several times on Sunday, showing how crucial a healthy Flowers is to the defense.

One player who was missing Sunday that will for sure suit up against the Bills is Tamba Hali, who has served his one-game suspension and is officially back. Kansas City’s pass rush against the Falcons was weak – while Justin Houston got a sack and pressured Matt Ryan several times, Edgar Jones (who played in Hali’s spot on passing downs) failed to get to Ryan. Hali’s return should make a big difference this Sunday against Buffalo.

Offensively, most Chiefs fans are wondering where last year’s first-round pick Jonathan Baldwin has gone. Against Atlanta, Baldwin did not start (the Chiefs started Steve Breaston and Dexter McCluster) and did not receive a target. It didn’t seem like he even got on the field. For the game, McCluster received ten targets, while Dwayne Bowe and Tony Moeaki each received six. The coaches raved about Baldwin during training camp, and it appeared that he was on the verge of breaking out and having a big season. Not seeing him get much action has to be disheartening for Chiefs fans, and many will wonder if the team has yet again whiffed on a first round pick.

Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chiefs vs. Falcons Recap

The Kansas City Chiefs’ 2012 season got off to a rocky start yesterday, as the team fell to the Atlanta Falcons, 40-24. A disastrous second half ultimately did the Chiefs in, and the team is once again starting the season off with a loss.

Atlanta was the favorite, and the Chiefs were hit hard with injuries to key players that impacted the game. It appeared that cornerback Brandon Flowers was going to play, however the team decided to hold him out of Sunday’s game. With injuries to safety Kendrick Lewis and defensive tackle Anthony Toribio, as well as Tamba Hali’s absence due to a one game suspension, the Chiefs entered the game missing several critical components to its defense.

Despite being out-manned, Kansas City hung right with Atlanta throughout the first half. The team consistently moved the ball and found themselves only trailing 20-17 at the break. However, the third quarter proved to be disastrous for the Chiefs. Ryan Succop missed a field goal, and the Falcons answered with a touchdown minutes later to take a 27-17 lead. On the team’s next possession, Cassel fumbled while getting sacked, giving Atlanta another short field to work with. Former Chief great Tony Gonzalez hauled in a seven yard touchdown catch to give the Falcons a commanding 34-17 lead. After a couple more Atlanta field goals, Kansas City found itself down 40-17 in the fourth, and a Shaun Draughn touchdown in the game’s waning seconds made the game look closer than it really was.

Offensively, the team managed to run the ball effectively, and Jamaal Charles looked like his old self in the first half. Unfortunately, the team was unable to overcome Matt Cassel’s up-and-down performance. Cassel made some good plays, but his three turnovers gave Atlanta a short field, which the Falcons exploited every time. Cassel has to make better decisions and limit his turnovers, especially while the defense struggles to get healthy. Expect the Chiefs to rely on the ground game even more in the future, especially now that Charles has proven that he is fully recovered from his ACL tear.

It is hard to judge the Chiefs defense after this game because so many key players were missing. Kansas City was without its top pass rusher, top corner and a starting safety, and Matt Ryan took advantage and had a field day. Hali’s return will give this unit a significant boost, but the team has got to get Flowers back soon. He should be close to returning, and a healthier Chiefs defense should look a lot better in week two.

Next up for Kansas City are the Buffalo Bills, who got blown out by the New York Jets in week one. The game is in Buffalo, with a 12:00 p.m. kickoff.

Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tamba Hali Suspended For Chiefs Season Opener

The Chiefs defense has suffered some injuries to several key players over the past few weeks, and now the unit has received more bad news. Tamba Hali, the team’s best pass rusher and a key to Kansas City’s defense, has been suspended from the season opener against Atlanta. Hali will be suspended without pay, and will be fined an additional game’s paycheck as well.

The good news for Chiefs fans is that Hali only received a one-game suspension. Often, the NFL doles out a four game suspension (or longer) for a substance-abuse violation. The bad news is the one game Hali will miss is a big one – the season opener against a talented Atlanta Falcons team. The Falcons have been a playoff team for the past two seasons, and should give Kansas City all it can handle to start the season. Even worse, the team is missing Brandon Flowers and Kendrick Lewis, and it is unknown when the two defensive backs will return. A depleted secondary and the absence of the team’s best pass rusher could be a recipe for disaster for Kansas City.

Since the team drafted him in the first round, Hali has been a consistent force for Kansas City. In his career, Hali has 266 tackles and 53.5 sacks, as well as 22 forced fumbles. His last two years have been his best, with 14.5 sacks two years ago and 12 last season.

It is unknown who will replace Hali in the starting lineup. Andy Studebaker is the most likely replacement, as he has been a reliable backup for the team over the past four seasons and knows the defense well. The other option is Cameron Sheffield, who hasn’t seen much playing time in his three year career. Neither player is known for his ability to pressure the quarterback, which will make second-year player Justin Houston’s play even more important. Houston showed the ability to get to the quarterback in his rookie season, and the Chiefs will need him to step up and play well with Hali sidelined.

Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chiefs Sign Edgar Jones & Other Training Camp Updates

The Chiefs’ 2012 Training Camp is in full swing, and the team has been busy signing free agents to bolster depth while dealing with several injuries. Kansas City recently signed linebacker Edgar Jones, who had spent his first five seasons in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens.

Jones has never started an NFL game, but comes from the highly-successful Ravens defense that has always had stars at the linebacker position. The Chiefs didn’t have much quality depth behind Tamba Hali and Justin Houston – Andy Studebaker, Cameron Sheffeld and Gabe Miller are the other outside linebackers on the roster – and Houston has missed some time in camp with an illness. Jones’ experience in the Ravens’ system behind standouts like Terrell Suggs should be useful for the young and talented group in Kansas City.

The Chiefs had their first significant injury of camp over the weekend, as defensive back Kyle McCarthy suffered what coach Romeo Crennel described as “it doesn’t look good.” McCarthy is a former Notre Dame player who was trying to make the team as a reserve DB as well as someone who could play special teams.

Position battles are heating up in camp, and one player who has made some huge strides is nose tackle Anthony Toribio. Toribio spent last season on the team’s practice squad, but has impressed the coaches so far in camp. Will he unseat 2012 first round pick Dontari Poe as the starting NT? Most expect Poe to be in the starting lineup by the time the regular season approaches, but Toribio should push the rookie and, at the very least, provide some solid depth at the position.

Kansas City News, official kc news site with breaking stories on The Kansas City Royals, Chiefs, charity events, the 2012 MLB All Star Game, weather, sports, MU, KU, ufo sightings, dui checkpoints, Kansas City neighborhoods, nightlife, concerts, the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and current Kansas City news articles.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Chiefs Signed Brandon Carr And Justin Houstin

After signing OLB Tamba Hali to a five year deal, Kansas City only had two key free agents left to sign and get into camp. The Chiefs have now reached terms with cornerback Brandon Carr and rookie LB Justin Houston, putting Kansas City at full strength on the defensive side of the ball.

Carr has started every game at corner for the Chiefs over the past three seasons, pairing with Brandon Flowers to form one of the best cornerback tandums in the league. Yesterday, Carr signed his restricted free agent tender, and will join the team in camp shortly. After agreeing to terms with Carr, Kansas City added more depth to its defensive backfield, signing safety Sabby Piscitelli.

Kansas City finally came to terms with rookie Justin Houston, making the former Georgia star the last rookie to sign with the team. Houston's four year deal is worth around 2.8 million dollars, a bargain for a player many thought was talented enough to be drafted in the first round. Kansas City is counting on Houston to provide a much-needed pass rush opposite of Hali, who has been the team's only consistent threat to opposing quarterbacks.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chiefs Sign Tamba Hali To Five Year Deal

The Chiefs have signed OLB Tamba Hali to a new five year deal worth 60 million, making the Chiefs star one of the highest paid pass rushers in the league. According to sources, 35 million of the contract will be guaranteed.

This has been a long time coming for Hali, who has quietly developed into one of the best pass rushers in the league. Hali led the AFC with 14.5 sacks last season, and has been extremely consistent since being drafted 20th overall from Penn State in 2006.

The deal was absolutely necessary for Kansas City, and the Chiefs were smart to lock up Hali for the rest of his prime. The team doesn't have much of a pass rush without Hali - Wallace Gilberry placed second on the team in sacks last season with seven. As we learned last season, teams cannot reach the Superbowl without a strong pass rush, and a player like Hali makes the entire defense better.

Hali could join the team's practice today, as could Gilberry, who also recently signed. Kansas City has signed all of its top defensive players but two - CB Brandon Carr and rookie LB Justin Houston.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Where Do Chiefs Players Land in the NFL Top 100

The NFL has announced its top 100 going into 2011, and the list includes several Chiefs players. Kansas City has a total of five players on the list, which is tied for fifth most in the NFL. There are two teams in the league that do not have any players on the list.

There are several picks that make sense, most notably Eric Berry being listed at 93. Berry showed a lot of promise as a rookie, and should be even better next season. Guard Brian Waters checks in at 67, which seems about right for the reliable offensive lineman.

There has been some controversy with Tamba Hali's ranking, as most Chief fans felt he should be much higher on the list. Hali came in at number 64, a ranking that seems a bit low considering he is one of the best pass rushers in the league. Despite registering 14.5 sacks last year for a division winner, the Chiefs' pass rush specialist continues to fly under the radar. Hopefully another monster year will result in Hali getting the recognition he deserves.

Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe are the other two Chiefs players who will be listed in the higher rankings.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What the Chiefs Need in the 2011 Draft

The Chiefs had a very successful 2010 draft, putting the organization in a strong position to contend for the next several years. Many of Kansas City's picks ended up contributing to the team right away; Eric Berry lived up to his high draft status, Tony Moeaki was productive at tight end and Dexter McCluster added some explosiveness to the return game.

A successful 2011 draft would give Kansas City a young nucleus as good as any team in the league. The Green Bay Packers have proved that teams can win championships by stockpiling and developing young talent through the draft, and Chiefs GM Scott Pioli would like to follow the same blueprint. Despite taking a huge step forward last year, Kansas City still has some holes to fill before it is ready to compete for a title. The following are areas the Chiefs must address in the draft:

Wide Receiver
Dwayne Bowe finally broke out last season and put up Pro Bowl numbers. However, it is crucial that Kansas City find another big time wideout to open up the offense and take some pressure of Bowe. Some of the top wideouts in the draft like Julio Jones will likely be gone by the time Kansas City is up, and drafting a WR in the first round is always a risk. Kansas City may elect to grab a WR through free agency or a trade, and grab a wideout in the later rounds it can develop.

Outside Linebacker
Tamba Hali is as good as they come, but the Chiefs could use another playmaker outside in the team's 3-4 defense. There seems to be a lot of options here in the draft, and I wouldn't be surprised if this is where the Chiefs go in the first round. An outside linebacker likely provides Kansas City an opportunity to get the most bang for its buck in round one.

Nose Tackle
A good nose tackle is essential for a 3-4 defense, and the Chiefs could use a playmaker at this position. I would be surprised if Kansas City didn't take a nose tackle at some point in the draft.

Offensive Line
While the Chiefs have done addressing this area recently, there is still room to improve. The line got beat soundly towards the end of the last season, and giving Matt Cassel more time must be a priority. In the past, teams have found steals in the later rounds with offensive lineman, and the Chiefs may be able to do the same this year. At the very least, this is an area that Kansas City could use more depth.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chiefs Win, Control AFC West

The Chiefs Defense came up big time and time again on Sunday to beat the Broncos 10-6. No, it wasn't pretty, but a win is a win. That coupled with a Raiders upset at San Diego have the Chiefs in control of the AFC West. The Chiefs kept it interesting all day with their inability to score (or lack of foresight to kick the field goal in a tight game.) Penalties really hurt the Chiefs offense all day long as well as a very stingy Denver defense, particularly in the passing game. Dwayne Bowe was held catchless by Champ Bailey and others as he was double-teamed all day. Matt Cassel was again efficient going 17-13 for 196 yards and a TD (again no INTs - and 158 consecutive passes without an interception). Jamaal Charles was steady with 116 yards rushing. The return to action of Dexter McCluster was a much needed boost. He had a couple of catches.

The real story for the Chiefs in this one was the Defense. They were excellent. Brandon Carr, especially, but the whole secondary gave Orton fits. The Denver quarterback was just 9-28 on the day, OUCH! Tamba Hali had two sacks, one of which he forced a fumble and recovered it (Derrick Thomas Style).

San Diego's unexpected loss to the Raiders give the Chiefs a 2 game lead in the division. A win next week in San Diego would all but clinch it (barring the Raiders winning out). Whatever happens, it sure is good to play meaningful games in December, watching the scoreboard to see what other teams are doing, in short, it's just good to care again.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tamba Hali Key to Chiefs' Success

Forget about the potent rushing attack from Jamal Charles, big play ability from Dexter McCluster or the occasional decent play from Matt Cassel. Tamba Hali is the most important piece to the forming Kansas City Chief playoff picture. The former first round pick is entering his fifth season, and after steady production in his first four years, the OLB/DE hybrid is ready to break out and become a star. He will need to, as a pass rush will be sorely needed for the Chiefs if they want to seriously contend for the AFC West title and make a run at the postseason.

Having a game-changing pass rusher is important for any team, and it can be the difference between a team going 7-9 and watching the postseason from home or making it into the NFL playoffs. Growing up in a Packer household, I remember watching Reggie White terrorize defenses during Green Bay’s Superbowl runs in 1996 and 1997. In the title game alone, White sacked Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe three times and was in the backfield all game, ultimately swaying the game. If Hali can step up in big moments and take down the quarterback – as he did against the 49ers on Sunday with three sacks and countless hurries – the Chiefs may be able to sway some big games in their favor.

Hali’s value isn’t only just bringing down the opposing QB for a loss. His presence helps the entire defense, most notably the secondary. With young cornerbacks and rookie safeties, it will be important for the Chiefs to not allow opposing QBs and WRs all day to operate. With a pass rush, playmakers like Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry can
make big plays in the secondary and not get burnt on deep routes. The Chiefs are extremely young on defense, and Hali’s presence can help mask that youth and avoid putting young players in difficult situations.

Tamba Hali will likely never be as dominant as Reggie White, or even as feared as today's star pass rushers like
Mario Williams.His presence is important for a young Chief defense that keeps improving every week., and his ability to pressure the QB could help the Chiefs win some more games. If Hali can build on what he has done already this season and continue to be a force, the Chiefs could find themselves playing in January.


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