The Good, the Bad, and the Dak, Week 11 against Kansas City

The Good:

1. Parsons: He was everywhere on the field today and played a big part of the defense's success, getting a few sacks, forcing one fumble, and serving to help frustrate a good QB to a degree.

2. Defense from the Second Quarter Onward: The game had the potential to start ugly as the Chiefs came out with over 200 yards and 16 in the first quarter and the early second quarter, but after that point the Chiefs had fewer big plays, two turnovers, one made field goal and one missed field goal. In this, the DEFENSE was the only thing that really kept us in this game.

3. Turnovers Forced: This relates to the plays the defense made, but they had the potential to turn this game around. Mahomes' fumble set the offense up before halftime at a spot to get points going into the half and narrowing the game considerably and the Kearse INT that Kelcee had go off his hands added to that early in the 3rd Quarter. In this it set the team up to get the lead.

4. Zuerlein: While it's a sad day for the offense when your kicker is the best offensive player... but on a day when the offense was virtually non-existent, at least he provided us with some points.

The Bad:

1. Blocking: This was non-existent through pretty much the entire game. The line at times had some decent blocks in the running game, but it couldn't protect Dak and was manhandled by the Kansas City front, allowing five sacks in the game.

2. Drops: Dak didn't have a great day... and one could make the case that he didn't have a good day, BUT a lot of what hurt him today came in the form of dropped passes. The throws got there and kit receivers in the hands, or the arm, or someplace where they could still make the catch and then dropped it, and this helped kill a lot of drives.

3. Defense in the First Quarter: While they had a very good day on the whole, they came out slow and often behind the Chiefs in nearly every angle. This allowed a few big plays and essentially set the Chiefs up with a 9-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and would carry on early into the second quarter and setting up a 16-3 deficit. In a game where the offense barely shows up, the slow start on defense proves troublesome.

4. Offensive Strategy: It seems that in this game the team decided it didn't want to run the ball. Now, one could argue that "we were losing," and yes, we were losing from start to finish in the game. But the deficit was never huge. In fact, for much of the game the deficit was at worst only 10 points, and given how well the defense played, there was plenty of opportunities to try and run the ball, particularly as while the line had a miserable day... their blocking in the run game was far better than in the passing game. Pollard had 7 carries for 50 yards, averaging over 7 yards a carry. Zeke had fewer yards and more carries, but he was also averaging 3.6 yards per carry. One would think with this it might have been a good idea to try and run the ball more, particularly to help things get open in the passing game which WASN'T working anywhere near as good. But it was decided to pass the ball and that didn't work.

5. Injuries: Get well soon CD.

6. The Refs: We didn't have as many penalties as in earlier games, but the refs did manage to make an appearance and not for the better. This also effected the offense as there were a few passes attempted that would have been bigger and at least put us closer to the end-zone, and each time there was a lot of contact that would at least be defensive holding, if not pass interference. Both Buck and Aikman commented on it in the game when it happened... but the refs chose not call anything there and we were forced to settle for field goals or punt because penalties that probably should have been called, weren't.

7. The Rule Book: This will ultimately relate more to the taunting penalty that came after Kansas City's touchdown. I'm sure the Chiefs fans are upset about this being the "no fun league" over things like that, particularly as they had a bad day with those sorts of penalties. And we may be able to have a discussion on the nature the attempts to cut down on those sorts of things, but in the case of things like touchdowns and scoring plays... the rulebook as tremendously flawed.

For while Clyde Edwards-Helaire was flagged for taunting and that constituted a penalty, because it came after a touchdown, Kansas City KEPT the points. And as such, Clyde Edwards-Helaire didn't care that he'd gotten flagged for taunting, as the Chiefs got a 16-3 lead, and was celebrating it on the sidelines shortly after. It the league truly wishes to curtail these sorts of things the rules need to change to be more than just a penalty and possible ejection if a second is committed. Because if they happen with scores, teams will gladly take the penalty if they can keep the points. In this, I'd argue that if the goal is to stop the taunting from going on after scoring plays, have the penalty be that they lose the score AND the yardage. Players won't taunt if they don't get points out of it.

And if that seems like too much, then perhaps the rule book shouldn't have that rule in there at all, as it ISN'T preventing the sorts of things it's intended to prevent anyway, so why have it?

The Dak: Dak's day was largely a bad one. He had a good completion percentage (65%) on the day, and to a degree he had a good idea on where to go with the ball, but a lot of what went wrong in this game comes back to him. He was hurt by a lot of drops, true, but a few of them were also on passes that were behind or short of his receivers and thus hurt their ability to make a play on the ball. He also had a few throws where he overthrew the receiver, including one to Gallup to start the game.

The worst of it was in the turnovers he had. Some of this relates the bad day the line had in front of him, but that can't be an excuse going forward, as we will be facing tougher defenses than Kansas City's in the future. And the first INT was one that probably shouldn't have been thrown at all and was underthrown besides. This killed a hope at points before halftime and then the fumble in the first quarter also set up the Chiefs' first field goal of the day. And this relates to what makes his day as bad as it was. One could argue he had the right idea on where to go with his throws, but knowing where to throw the ball and actually DOING so are different, and today he failed in the execution, with his biggest pass coming late in the 4th with the Chiefs still holding a 10-point lead.

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