Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Breaking Down the Chiefs 2011 Schedule (Part Dos)

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**Follow up article**

Breaking Down the Chiefs 2011 Schedule (Part One)

With the Chiefs sitting at 4-3-1 after the first 8 games of the season, lets see what the second half of the schedule has in store. Keep in mind, these are not the official Dirknosstications for the season, but essentially the median of the upcoming Chiefs season. Going by this same analysis, nobody would finish above 11-5 or below 4-12 (easier to be bad than it is to be good). The beauty of the NFL is that any team can over/underachieve simply by winning/losing their close games. That's what the good teams do, and that's what it will take for this team to make the playoffs once again.

On to the back 9, er 8....

Week 10: Denver Broncos
2010 Record: 4-12
Stock Watch: Neard-ing
What's New: The second pick in the NFL Draft, Von Miller, combined with the return of Elvis Dumervil gives the Donks a potentially scary outside pass rush. They also signed Willis McGahee, who should be my most hated player in the NFL following this game.
Outlook: The end of a 3 game home stand, happening before the 5 game stretch of death, screams of a potential glance over game. Luckily, it's a rivalry game, however that didn't help last season, as they almost stole the game at Arrowhead. Hopefully, the Schlonks get off to a bad start on the season and are entering Tebow Time by this point.
Win Potential: 85%

Week 11: @New England Patriots
2010 Record: 14-2
Stock Watch: Feminizing
What's New: Big names Chad Ochojoblow and Fat Albert Haynesworth have done little of note early on for The Flying Elvii. The Pats will also be moving to a base 4-3 defense, in effort to prove they're once again a step ahead of the rest of the league.
Outlook: This is most likely the toughest game on the schedule. It'd be rough enough going into one of the toughest stadiums in the NFL (in the regular season that is....Zzzzzzing!), but the Chiefs get the added pleasure of playing them on Monday Night Football. My best hope for this game is that we're a contender going in and that we keep it close. Or that we hurt Brady again.
Win Potential: 15%

Week 12: Pittsburgh Steelers
2010 Record: 11-5
Stock Watch: Super Bowl loser cursed
What's New: Well, Big Ben hasn't raped anybody this calendar year for a change. And they added Jerricho Cotchery, who has always been a Dirk-nician.
Outlook: The last time the Steelers came into Arrowhead Stadium fresh off a Super Bowl season, they went home defeated. Game two of the 5 game stretch of death, and by my count, the Chiefs need to come away with two victories out of the five. This might be one of their better chances, even if physical teams gave the Chiefs fits last season.
Win Potential: 40%

Week 13: @Chicago Bears
2010 Record: 11-5
Stock Watch: Cutlered in half
What's New: Everybody in the world has seen Jay Cutler for what he truly is, and 7 months isn't enough time for people to forget it. They also stole the ineffective parts of the Cowboys' offense, signing Marion Barber III and Roy "No Tippin" Williams.
Outlook: This will be the easiest of the 5 game stretch of death, even if it does come on the road. I expect the Bears to take more than a few steps back this year after their meltdown on national TV in the NFC Championship. Hell, I can't even figure out how they were good last season.
Win Potential: 45%

Week 14: @New York Jets
2010 Record: 11-5
Stock Watch: Cranium-inflating
What's New: Plaxxxxxxxxx. Hopefully, he gets the Mike Vick treatment and sees total glorification because of his time in the slammer.
Outlook: The Jets have proved me wrong two years running, and if they do so again, I'm ready to anoint Rex Ryan as a top 5 NFL head coach. The absolute blueprint to beating the Chiefs last season was with a top flight CB (Nnamdi, Chump Bailey, etc.) taking D-Bowe out of the game, and focusing the rest of the defense on God Jam Charles. The Chiefs offense had no answer. Hopefully, that problem has been solved this year or else Revis and the Jets might shut us out.
Win Potential: 30%

Week 15: Green Bay Packers
2010 Record: 10-6
Stock Watch: Only one way it doesn't go down
What's New: Lost a few minor pieces (DE Cullen Jenkins), and return a few from injuries (TE JerMichael Finley), but essentially the same team as last season.
Outlook: The Chiefs have a decent history when facing defending Super Bowl champs, especially at Arrowhead (all the way back to Green Bay in the 90's - Sean LaChapelle shoutout). The Chiefs corners will be tested in this one, and not only their top pair, but the reserves as well, which worries me (Javier hasn't shown me much in that role). If the Chiefs win this one, they'll have the Arrowhead crowd to thank.
Win Potential: 35%

Week 16: Oakland Raiders
2010 Record: 8-8
Stock Watch: Wholly blackened
What's New: The Raiders picked up Al Saunders as their Offensive Coordinator. Is he still relevant?
Outlook: The Raiders continue to pose a serious threat towards the Chiefs because they'll have one of the NFL's top running games. And with two teams that thrive at running the ball, I almost throw home field advantage out the window, because that's the best way to neutralize it. So I don't see this game as all that more winnable than the game in Oakland. We cannot lose both games to the Raiders once again. Just can't happen.
Win Potential: 65%

Week 17: @Denver Broncos
2010 Record: 4-12
Stock Watch: Tebownizing
What's New: New head coach John Fox has always been one of the more underrated headsets in the NFL.
Outlook: In all likelihood, the Broncos will be out of the playoff race and will most likely be starting Tim Tebow at this point. For as much flak as Tebow has gotten this preseason (hello Merrill Hoge), his numbers have been pretty good (aside from the game that he attempted 2 passes, which I can't even begin to make sense of). I'm not sure if it'd be more enjoyable to see Tebow fail with the Broncos, or see Denver ship him off and see him succeed elsewhere. Oh, and am I afraid of a must win game in Denver to make the playoffs? Yes, petrified even.
Win Potential: 65%

By my count, the Chiefs will finish the 2011 season with a 7.89 - 8.11 record. I'd say the most commonly predicted record has been 8-8, and the Vegas over/under of 7.5 is very accurate. However, I assure you that there is a 100% chance that I will not predict an 8-8 record.

Alright Crodies, let me see your win potentials on the 16 games this season. It's a good healthy activity. Ecokat would approve.

His Dirkness

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Breaking Down the Chiefs 2011 Schedule (Part One)

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There's been a lot of talk surrounding the perceived difficulties of the Kansas City Chiefs 2011 schedule. I'm not buying it. And frankly, it's getting as annoying to listen to as Tim Tebow's daily depth chart updates. The only reason that it's even a concern is because the Chiefs had one of the easiest schedules of all time last season. This year, the schedule is just back to normal, that's all. So the next time you're at a party and Generic Chiefs Guy walks up to you and (inevitably) mentions the schedule in the first 30 seconds of the conversation, be sure to do all of us a favor, grab the nearest pie, and throw it at him.

Breaking down the Chiefs' 2011 opponents:

Week 1: Buffalo Bills
2010 Record: 4-12
Stock Watch: Sprouting
What's New: Mucho local ties as (former Chiefs Offensive Coordinator) Chan Chan the Man Man is gettin' Thiggy wit it in 2011. They also brought in The Hyphen, Brad Smith.
Outlook: If the Chiefs are serious about building on last year's success, the season opener at Arrowhead Stadium is a must win. However, the Bills should've beaten us at home last season and will be hungry for a victory.
Win Potential: 85%

Week 2: @Detroit Lions
2010 Record: 6-10
Stock Watch: Awakening
What's New: For starters, expectations for the Lions. Elsewhere, the Ndamukongs brought in a few nice additions (Jerome Harrison, Stephen Tulloch), but the biggest pickup was 1st rounder DT Nick Fairley (who might not yet be healthy by this game).
Outlook: This will be an excellent barometer of where both of these teams are at. The Lions will be a very popular pick as a team to surprise in 2011. There's no telling how this young group deals with expectations, but a good start will be pivotal. This is a bigger game for the Lions than it is the Chiefs.
Win Potential: 51%

Week 3: @San Diego Chargers
2010 Record: 9-7
Stock Watch: Surfacing
What's New: WR Vincent Jackson returns to the team full time (which will be huge), Takeo Spikes provides the defense with veteran leadership (which they sorely needed), and Bob Sanders could be the biggest signing of the offseason (IF he can stay healthy).
Outlook: If the Chiefs can go into this difficult road game at 2-0 (43.35% probability), they can play with a nothing to lose type of attitude. If not, this game will determine early season control of the AFC West. Either way, we won't have to watch Crodie Broyle squirm his way this game, so in a way, we all win.
Win Potential: 20%

Week 4: Minnesota Vikings
2010 Record: 6-10
Stock Watch: Trickling
What's New: Donovan F. McNasty, who is my preseason favorite for NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Also, the illustrious return of Jared Allen, who I would love to hurl obscenities at for 3 1/2 hours.
Outlook: This game seems like a gimme on paper, but it's level of sandwichness scares me. My biggest worry with this Chiefs team might be their (in)ability to stop the run. Well, Adrian Peterson is bound to get abused in an LJ type of way this year. Plus, I don't think the Chiefs have ever beaten a McNabb led team.
Win Potential: 68%

Week 5: @Indianapolis Colts
2010 Record: 10-6
Stock Watch: Descending
What's New: Peyton Manning done falled down and hurted his neck. His status for Week 1 is unknown as of now. Their offense will take some time to get in synch, but should be rounding into form around this time.
Outlook: The Chiefs missed their chance to send a message to the rest of the league by topping the Colts in Indy last season. A win this season would go a long ways towards legitimizing the Chiefs as an AFC powerhouse for the foreseeable future.
Win Potential: 30%

Week 6 BYE - The seemingly annual too-early-in-the-season bye week for the Chiefs. Most likely scenario at this point in the season: 3-2.

Week 7: @Oakland Raiders
2010 Record: 8-8
Stock Watch: Black Holed
What's New: Not a lot of additions to report here, but the team did lose 3 of their best players in Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller, and Robert Gallery. Not to mention, they fired their head coach who seemed to finally bring some stability to the organization.
Outlook: This begins the easy portion of the schedule. The Chiefs should be favored in the next four games (before possibly being the underdog in the following 5). The game in Oak town always comes down to the wire, and I, for one, haven't forgotten the name Jacoby Ford.
Win Potential: 55%

Week 8: San Diego Chargers
2010 Record: 9-7
Stock Watch: Levitating
What's New: Didn't mention earlier that the team parted ways with Darren Sproley Poley.
Outlook: Monday Night Football. Halloween night. 100% chance I'll be in attendance with a Kentucky Tavern filled flask in my nantucket. If the Chiefs have aspirations of winning the AFC West this game is a must win (unless they shock them in Diego). KC's playoff fate might be known after these back to back toss up games.
Win Potential: 45%

Week 9: Miami Dolphins
2010 Record: 7-9
Stock Watch: Plummeting
What's New: All the news is at running back here. Ricky Williams and Ron Brown are gone. And in comes local boy Daniel Thomas (potential Offensive Rookie of the Year) and, wait for it.........Larry Johnson!
Outlook: The easiest game on the schedule for the Chiefs (followed by the next easiest the week after), the Dolphins should win no more than 5 games this season. If KC loses this one, they have no business even dreaming of the playoffs.
Win Potential: 90%

According to my calculations the Chiefs will sit at 4.44 - 3.56 at this point in the season. So if we're 4-3-1 you all owe me a burrito.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Top 10 NFL Over/Unders for 2011

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Vegas has recently released their over/unders for number of regular season wins for each NFL team. Some of them seem particularly juicy, well I wouldn't touch some of the others with Visanthe Shiancoe's pole.

But since I so desperately aspire to be a gambling junkie, I'm gonna let all my Crodies in on the 10 sure bets on the lot. There will be actual money put down on these teams from Sir Dirkness. And I expect to be atleast 5 bucks richer by season's end. Without further ado...

Top 10 NFL Over/Unders for 2011:

1. Miami Dolphins +/- 7.5 wins ~ UNDER

First off, Chad Henne is their quarterback (who I, at first, believed in until I heard that he publicly complained about facing competition for his job). So this year, Henne is hearing "We want Orton" chants at training camp, which Henne claimed "hurt his feelings" (not that there's anything wrong with that). Oy. I'm not ripping the guy for being sensitive, but that's not what I want to hear from my team's QB. Outside of that, the Dolphins lost Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, AND Tyler Thigpen and added almost nobody of note (Reggie Bush has been zung).

Potential pitfall: Anchored by Jake Long, the Dolphins' offensive line might have one of the best in the NFL.

Projected record: 5-11


2. New Orleans Saints +/- 10 wins ~ OVER

I absolutely love the Saints this year, who are flying so far underground that no radar can pick them up because of the Eagles and Packers in the NFC. The Saints drafted Mark Ingram to solidify their running game (and Sproles), and beefed up their defensive interior with Aubrayo Franklin and Shaun Rogers. And they were the most active team in organizing offseason activities, an unknown X-factor impacting the 2011 season. This team might go 10-6, but they aren't going 9-7 or worse (barring an injury to Brees).

Potential Pitfall: Their cornerbacks are the only potential position of weakness I can find on this team.

Projected record: 13-3


3. Washington Redskins +/- 6.5 wins ~ UNDER

Rex Grossman. John Beck. Tim Hightower. Ryan Torain. Santana Moss. Jabar Gaffney. These are the key skill position contributors for the team (I could've just stopped after Beck). They play in perhaps the toughest division in the NFL. And nobody there seems to be responding to Mantanahan just yet.

(Note: This is the most lopsided action of any over/unders for the 32 teams).

Potential Pitfall: They play each of the NFC West teams. So they might win 4 games?

Projected Record: 4-12


4. San Diego Chargers +/- 9.5 wins ~ OVER

Shitty, I know, but I think the Chargers are pissed off about last season. I don't think they believed anybody could top them in the AFC West, and their play from last season proved so. I think they play this season with something to prove from the get go. Vincent Jackson returns, and the quiet additions of Bob Sanders, Takeo Spikes, and Travis LaBoy could be huge. And this is my best effort at a reverse jinx.

Potential Pitfall: All together now.....NORV TURNER! While he may not be our only hope, he certainly is our best hope, Obi Wan.

Projected Record: 11-5


5. San Francisco 49ers +/- 7.5 wins ~ UNDER

The Alex Smith suckfest continues. I can't imagine how tired 9ers fans are of this guy. It's his 7th year in the league! And he hasn't been good for any of them! And he's not even really in competition for his job right now! And....that's enough. This reeks of a team that inserts a rookie QB by midseason, in this case, Colin Kaepernick (he ain't gonna get it done). Initially, I hesitated due to Jim Harbaught, but then I remembered college coaches never do good in the NFL.

Potential Pitfall: Again, the NFC West conundrum, where it seems like any of the teams could put a few pieces together and win 8 games.

Projected Record: 5-11


6. Indianapolis Colts +/- 9.5 wins ~ OVER

This feels like easy money. Almost like it's too good to be true. I'm almost skeptical because Vegas knows more than everybody else most of the time. However, do you know the last season the Colts finished with under 10 wins? It was 2001. Really the only question is...

Potential Pitfall: Peyton Manning's injury. He has yet to practice this year, and will most likely not play in a single preseason game. I think this slows down their juggernaut offense, but doesn't completely kill it. The pieces are more of the same from last season, which should help. It's hard to imagine the Colts not in the playoffs.

Projected Record: 10-6


7. Minnesota Vikings +/- 6.5 wins ~ OVER

I believe in Donovan F. McNabb (as my QB rankings would lead you to believe). I'll always bet on players that have a lot to prove, in which case, McNasty has more than just about anybody in the league. His receivers aren't great, but they never were in Philly either (but he does have good TE's, ala the Pheagles). Oh, and they have this Adrian Peterson dude. Their D ain't great (because Jared Allen sucks now), but it doesn't have to be to reach 7 wins.

Potential Pitfall: The dreaded bad start/rookie QB combo that might occur with Christian Ponder waiting in the wings (at which point they would have no shot at 7 wins).

Projected Record: 8-8


8. Buffalo Bills +/- 5.5 wins ~ OVER

Call it a love of the bumpkin QB, but I can't get enough of the Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kyle Orton, or Shaun Hill trio (the most underrated QB's in the league). I think Chan Gailey goes mad scientist this year with Brad Smith, CJ Spiller, and Tyler Thigpen at his disposal (all taking snaps at QB). Prediction: You might see a freshly unwrapped, innovative, dazzling offense out of the Bills this season, a system that stems from Gailey's time in KC with the Thigboner. Sorta Vermeil-esque.

Potential Pitfall: Well, they're the Biffalo Buffs, and they haven't smelled success in a while. I'll be damned if they're not better than the Dolphins though.

Projected Record: 9-7


9. Green Bay Packers +/- 11.5 wins ~ UNDER

It's hard to sustain success in the NFL. Everybody will be gunning for the defending champs. Not to mention, they didn't even win 12 games last season. The big question is if the time off from the Lockout will help them or hurt them. In one corner, they didn't have the coaches in their ear, preaching to forget about being champs all offseason. In the other corner...

Potential Pitfall: There has been less time for other teams in the NFL to make significant strides, leading one to believe that the Pack would still be the best team in the league.

Projected Record: 11-5


10. Detroit Lions +/- 7.5 wins ~ OVER

My team for 2011. I like Stafford at QB (and I like Shaun Hill even more at backup QB). I like the backfield combo of Best and Harrison. I like the pickups of Justin Durant and Stephen Tulloch at LB. And I LOVE the combo of Ndominant World Order (NwO) and Piggie Fairley in the middle of that defense (even though Fairley is hurt, he should be back for Week 1). My only hesitation is that 7.5 wins is a pretty high number. I must not be the only one on the bandwagon.

Potential Pitfall: Well, they're the Detroit Lions! There's a definite mental hurdle they'll need to clear, preferably early in the season.

Projected Record: 10-6

Sorry I'm not home right now, I'm walking in the spiderwebs,
His Dirkness

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Best & Worst of Chiefs ~ Buccaneers

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Apologies for the tardiness of this article. I could come out at you with a couple of different excuses, but I feel like Roy Munson sums it up best...



This is the formal introduction of my weekly Chiefs reaction articles entitled "The Best & Worst w/ His Dirkness." It's a work in progress and will evolve along with the season, so let me know what you're thinking Crodies.

*Best part of KC-TB game - Well, we got to see the team on the field again. However, most of my fun from Friday night came in the form of tailgating (pregame and postgame), as well as the sights and sounds of Arrowhead Stadium (including Rob Riggle's highlarious antics on the big screen).

*Worst part of KC-TB game - The Chiefs approach to the game made it very difficult to evaluate any of the players on the field. Atleast for me. There's not much to say about our 3rd string offensive line getting owned by the Buccaneers' starting defensive line. Hopefully the coaches were able to get something out of it.

*Best part about the Chiefs' strategy - No injuries. Pioli and Haley seem to value limiting their amount of injuries to the fullest. Haley stressed conditioning in his first two training camps and it led to a very low number of injuries in 2010 (I can't really remember the 2009 season...). I believe Haley changed his strategy for this year's camp because of the lockout, and is steadily easing his players back into the swing of things to assure their bodies are ready to handle it.

*Worst sight - Todd Haley's clean shaven, man-tanned look on the sidelines. That ain't how we reached them playoffs Todd. No sleep for you.

*Best idea - Renaming the first Chiefs preseason game of every year "The Jackie Battle Classic."

*Best play - How would you feel if I told you it was a 3rd quarter incompletion? Is that something you might be interested in? Good, because Johnny Baldwin's juggling catch (albeit out of bounds) was a perfect display of why we drafted this guy. He's got amazing go-up-n-gets-it skills.

*Worst play - I'll go with the sack for a safety where all 4 of the Bucs' defensive linemen seemingly converged on Tyler Palko at the same time. Oh, and Palko fumbled too, right?

*Worst call - How was that play ruled a safety? Clearly, Palko fumbles the ball almost immediately after getting hit and the Chiefs recover it outside of the end zone. This narrowly edges the refs ruling Jackie Battle down on his fumble when it wasn't even close. And this is the point where, if I lacked any originality, I would claim that it's preseason for the officials too.

*Best/Worst play - Tampa Bay QB Josh Johnson jukin' and jivin' his way through our entire defense for a 20 something yard run, which was awful to see, looking like he might score, and then POWE! As in NT Jerrell Powe, who plops himself down right on top of Johnson.

*Best crowd reaction - The booing of every kickoff that sailed deep into the end zone. They weren't booing their team, or the opponents, but instead just the rule, which is brilliant.

*Best analysis (Yes, I manned up and rewatched the game) - After Chandler Williams watched a punt bounce at the 20, and roll inside the 5 yard line, only to scoop it up and get drilled, Brian Billick summed up the situation nicely, "You don't wanna do that..." No you don't Chandler. No, you don't.

*Worst analysis - At one point, Billick breaks down the Chiefs schedule suggesting that the first half is made up of mostly divisional opponents, while the on screen graphics showed that only 3 of the 8 games are within the division. The second half of the schedule includes the same number.

*Best Vegas prop bet - Shane Bannon getting the ball on the Chiefs first play of the 2011 preseason. Paid out 40-to-1.

*Best KC players - Thomas Jones, Justin Houston, Dion Gales, Something Bakhtiari.

*Worst KC players - Jackie Battle, Verran Tucker, Allen Bailey.

Don't freak out until it's our starters who look bad,
His dirkness

Friday, August 12, 2011

All Hail Scott Pioli

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It's easy to forget how lucky we are.

It's easy to forget how far we've come.

It's hard to forget the man who's responsible.

Scott Pioli: What a Difference 3 Years can Make

The signing of Jared Gaither on Thursday marks, what I would consider, the conclusion of the Kansas City Chiefs 2011 offseason. It was a somewhat quiet, yet very effective 2 weeks for Kansas City that mostly flew under the national radar. Yet, the Chiefs were able to keep their own (Tamba Hali - really don't need Shaun Smith), while improving in most of their weak points (FB, WR, NT, OT, ILB - only OLB left unscathed). It almost resembled a Madden offseason where you can easily identify your weaknesses by overall ratings, and make your free agent acquisitions accordingly.

This all got me to thinking. Have the Chiefs filled all of their holes now? Now obviously they haven't with elite talent at every position, but it's hard to look at this team and say they have a definite need right now. Which brought me back to 2-3 years ago, when it was hard to find a position that you could say WASN'T a definite need And, well, that got me concluding...

Scott Pioli is the fuckin' man.

(To be completely fair, the turnaround began with that 2008 Draft class, which has the potential to go down as one of the best of all time.)

Lets take a look, position by position, at how this team has evolved from their 2-14 season in 2008 to where they stand heading into 2011...

Quarterbacks:

2008 - Tyler Thigpen, Damon Huard, Crodie Broyle, Quinn Gray (!) - Pu pu extradionaire. I got love for Huard because of his magical 2006 season (yea I said it), and Thigpen because he atleast entertained me. The only inspiration I ever got from Cruddie was to write this.

2011 - Icy Matt Cassel, Rick Stanz, something called a Palko - While we may not know Cassel's ceiling, we know that, at worst, he is average. The big question is if can he be the QB on a Super Bowl caliber team?

Running Backs:

2008 - Larry Johnson, infantile Jamaal, Kolby Train - I couldn't be happier that LJ is no longer the face of the organization. My lasting memory of him will forever be him sitting in his New York penthouse on Hard Knocks, in his holdout, wondering if Jay-Z really likes him or not. And hittin' bitches.

2011 - God Jam Chauls, Thomas Jones, LeRon McClain (4 capitals!) - What might be the best backfield in the NFL. I hope the Chiefs stick with the plan of limiting Jamaal's carries, keeping him healthy and prolonging his career.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends:

2008 - Tony Gonzalez, Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley (!), Devard Darling (!!) - Tight End is the only position I can see that was better in 2008 than what it is in 2011.

2011 - D-Pro Bowe Show, Jonny Baldwin, Steve Breaston, Tony Mohee-yahki - The Bee's Knees, B3PO, The B-Headed Monster, The B Musketeers > Killer B's. For real analysis read this.

Offensive Line:

2008 - Baby Branden Albert, Brian Waters, Rudy Niswanger, Wade Smith, Damion McIntosh - They got Brodie Croyle killed. He never stood a chance behind this line!!!

2011 - Grown man Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah, Casey Wiegmann, Ryan Lilja, Barry Richardson/Jared Gaither - The overachievers of last season got rid of their underachiever and added a potential monster at RT (literally - he's 6'9), and will rely on the potential shown by Asamoah. But leave Albert alone at Left Tackle, it annoys me to hear people discuss moving him to RT so much.

Defensive Line:

2008 - Tamba Hali, Jason Babin, Tank Tyler, Turk McBride, Glenn Dorsey, Alfonso Boone - This was the year the Chiefs registered an NFL all time low of 10 sacks. These are the men responsible. Funny looking back that Tamba was playing out of position then.

2011 - Glenn Dorsey, Kelly Gregg, Ty Jax, Wallace D. Gilberry, Allen Bailey, Tony Toribio, Jerrell POW! - Dorsey is solid, Gregg is a mentor, Jackson will improve, Gilberry is the man, my buddy Bill is gay for Bailey, Toribio has a cool name, and Powe is a house.

Linebackers:

2008 - Derrick Johnson, Pat Thomas, Demorrio Williams, Rocky Boiman (!), Weston Dacus (!!), the corpse of Donnie Edwards - Possibly one of the worst linebacking units of all time? This is probably when DJ's depression began.

2011 - Muhammad Hali, Derrick Johnson, Jovan Belcher, Brandon Siler, Andy Studebakez, Justin Houston - The best positional battle this preseason should be between Jovan Belcher and Brandon Siler at the ILB position opposite DJ. Hopefully Houston develops anger management issues when he quits the ganja.

Defensive Backs:

2008 - Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr, Bernard Pollard, Jarrad Page, Patrick Surtain, Gavin McGraw, something called an Oliver Celestin - A phenomenal mixture of washed up vets, young promising corners, and overrated safeties.

2011 - Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr, Errrrric Berrrrrrrry, Ken Lewis, Javier Bardenas, Jon McG, Italian Stallion Piscatelli - If Kendrick Lewis pans out, this might be the best secondary this side of the Philadelphia. Flowers, Carr, and Berry will all make visits to Hawaii in their career (or wherever the Pro Bowl is played now).

Pioli rules.
Happy Chiefsmas,
His Dirkness

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ranking the NFL's 32 Quarterbacks

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After watching the launch of ESPN's new system for rating quarterbacks last night, and seeing how it compares to the ancient QB Rating system, it really got me thinking.......Gold jacket? Green jacket? Who gives a shit?

But I'm never one to trust my first instinct, so then I decided to make my own list ranking all of the NFL's quarterbacks. So I will take the projected starter of each and every team heading into 2011 (there really isn't much competition within teams at the QB position this year. Denver? One-sided Neckbeard. Washington? Starter is bad, but not Rex Grossman bad. Seattle? Probably most legit, but they already announced Tarvaris Jackson as the starter. Carolina? Probably the only unknown heading into Week 1, but there's no need to include Derek Anderson in this list just to rank him last.). To be clear, this list is my projection of how the QB's will fare THIS SEASON.

And then, I will determine which rating system is best, ESPN's brand spankin' new Total Quarterback Rating or the now-39-year-old QB Rating system (of all passers with atleast 20 career passing attempts, try and guess who has the highest QB Rating of all time - answer in the notes below), by comparing them to my personal rankings.

Yes, I realize this doesn't make logistical sense (should be ranking the QB's according to last year's play). No, I don't care (that's how I roll).

Find 2010's Total Quarterback Ratings here.
Find 2010's old QB Ratings here.

On to the list...

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
4. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
5. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
6. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
7. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
9. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
10. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
11. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
12. Donovan McNabb, Minnesota Vikings
13. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
14. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs
15. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
16. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills
17. Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos
18. Eli Manning, New York Giants
19. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
20. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
21. Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals
22. Jason Campbell, Oakland Raiders
23. David Garrard, Jacksonville Jaguars
24. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
25. Colt McCoy, Cleveland Browns
26. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals
27. Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins
28. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
29. Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans
30. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthas
31. Tarvaris Jackson, Seattle Seahawks
32. John Beck, Washington Redskins

Notes:

*The top 6 QB's are in a division of their own. That's a huge bitch between 6 and 7.
*Matt Schaub over Matt Ryan null and voids the Matty Ice nickname for the 2011 season.
*Obviously, I think Matthew Stafford is the QB who takes "the leap" this season.
*I've got McNabb outperforming Vick this season. I'm cool with you not understanding right now (and am fully prepared to eat crow by season's end). Although, I hope my hatred for Vick has been made painfully obvious by now.
*My fall from grace prediction goes to Eli Manning. Just a hunch.
*My favorite bumpkin QB is Ryan Fitzpatrick, who sneaks his way into the top half of the list.
*My fluke of 2010 goes to Josh Freeman. I've counted him out many times before, and I will continue to do so. Nice fro though.
*The NFL's top backup, Detroit's Shaun Hill, would rank 14th on my list. Seriously.
*List of QB's who could be affected from last season's Playoffs: Cutler, Ryan, Roethlisberger (in that order).
*List of QB's who could be affected by offseason happenings: Garrard, Palmer, Orton (in that order).
*The answer to the QB with the highest NFL rating of all time (over 20 attempts) IS....Antwaan Randle El (career: 22-27, 323 yards, 6 TD's, 0 INT's, QB Rating of 156.1).

Old QB Rating vs. Total QB Rating

The unscientific, illogical, irrational results are in AND.....

Old QB Rating = Difference of 133 / 25 QB's = 5.32
Total QB Rating = Difference of 130 / 27 QB's = 4.81

Winner - Total QB Rating

Lets go eat a snack,
His dirkness

Monday, August 1, 2011

Chiefs Need to Upgrade at OLB

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Uncertainty runs amuck within the Kansas City Chiefs defense at the OLB position.

The most important position in the 3-4 defense.

The number one mission of a defense is to disrupt the play of the opposing team's quarterback. That's the easiest way to obtain victory. In a 3-4 defense, that responsibility falls mostly on the backs of two players - the 2 OLB's (with a splash of Wallace Gilberry). A good goal for any NFL defense is 40 sacks in a season (Chiefs finished 2010 with 39, good for 10th in the NFL). In an ideal world, you want your two starting OLB's racking up 20-25 of those sacks (Tamba tallied 14.5 last year, while Vrabel put up a goose egg - that's right, 0 sacks). This amounts to anywhere from 50-62% of the pass rush's production. That's a lot of...PRESSURE on two individuals (see what I did there?).

Lets first take a look at what the Chiefs have at OLB, and see why the position is in such disarray right now...

Projected Starters:

*Tamba Hali - Currently franchised and we're really not sure how happy he is about it (hasn't signed his tender yet). Hopefully, there isn't any kind of holdout in his future plans. There's no reason to fret until August 4th, which is the first day he could actually practice with the team. However, if we haven't heard from him come August 5th, it's time to panic.

*Andy Studebaker - Could be THE key to the Chiefs defense this season. Along with Tyson Jackson, Studebaker is 1 of 2 relatively unknowns projected as starters right now. We've seen flashes from 'Bakes before (3 sacks last season), but nothing that would significantly indicate how he'll perform as a starter this season.

Projected Backups:

*Justin Houston - Despite rumors that the Chiefs have placed Houston on the Mentally Unable to Perform (MUP) List, nobody knows for sure what's going on with the Chiefs 3rd round draft choice. He's MIA. My best guess is that he's serving some sort of disciplinary action right now due to his failed drug test from the NFL Combine. Whatever the story is, I'm writing off Houston for the season as of now, because the practices he's missing right now are crucial for a rookie.

*Cameron Sheffield - A 2010 5th round pick that we know absolutely nothing about. He missed all of last season after sustaining a neck injury in a preseason game. While the team hopes he can provide something this year, he certainly cannot be counted on.

That's it, that's the list. There are question marks up and down the Chiefs current depth chart of Outside Linebackers. This isn't a position you can take for granted and/or go into the regular season shorthanded. I think it's absolutely necessary for the Chiefs to add somebody off the Free Agent market. There are 3 names that jump out, and outside of these names, I'm not sure where else help could come from.

Survey says...

*Tully Banta-Cain - Seems the most likely choice because of his history with Scott Pioli in New England. After 2 horrible seasons in San Francisco, he's put up 14.5 sacks over the last 2 seasons with the Patriots. Seems like a perfect fit, however the word on the street is that injuries played a role in his release from New England this offseason (despite playing in 31 of 32 games the last 2 years).

*Matt Roth - Discussed him before in my 10 Free Agents for the Chiefs to Pursue article. Despite never putting up more than 5 sacks in any season, Roth has good QB pressure numbers and is stout against the run. While that doesn't necessarily sell me on him either, the good people at ProFootballFocus.com have him rated highly.

*Manny Lawson - Stay on that same link, and you'll see this name appear 2 spots lower than Roth's. Lawson isn't a premier pass rusher (6.5 sacks in 2009, 3 in both 2008 & 2010), but is considered a good run defender. It should be noted that he was oftentimes taken off the field on 3rd downs in 2010, leading to his dip in sacks (but a sign of his pass rushing shortcomings).

I've been chirping the importance of the 3-4 outside linebacker for the past 2 years now, and am a big proponent of adding 1 of these 3 names to the long list of question marks the Chiefs currently have at the position. If I had to put money on it, I'm betting that Tully Banta-Cain ends up a Chief in 2011.

His dirkness
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