Arrowhead Pride editor Joel Thorman joined us for five intriguing, fascinating questions regarding the 2014 Kansas City Chiefs, the Steelers' Week 16 opponents. Follow @ArrowheadPride on Twitter, and check out Arrowhead Pride for all the latest Chiefs news heading into this game.
1. How has Phillip Gaines been so far this year? The Steelers selected him in the SBN Blogger's Mock Draft with their second round pick, and we recall being taunted for the selection.
I remember sitting in training camp talking with some other Chiefs media folks and many of us agreed that Gaines was so far behind that he wouldn't be a contributor at all this year. I thought his ceiling in his rookie year would be the fourth or fifth cornerback. Just trying to stay active on game days. He looked like a rookie during training camp. Turns out, I was wrong! The Chiefs have faced some injuries at the cornerback position so Gaines was forced into more playing time in the second half of the season. And he responded very nicely. He is one of the top 2-3 cornerbacks on the team. He can press on the line of scrimmage and stay physical, which is a necessity with the Chiefs defense. He already had the speed so it was just a matter of putting it to use in the right way. I've been really impressed with Gaines rookie season, especially considering how much the Chiefs ask of their cornerbacks.
2. The Chiefs haven't had touchdowns from their wide receivers in quite a while, and the Steelers give up at least 100 yards to one receiver all the time now. Who gets the better of this 'movable object meeting the resistible force' matchup?
Probably the Steelers. I kind of want this streak of Chiefs receivers not catching a touchdown pass to continue the rest of year. If I were ranking the Chiefs weapons I would put Jamaal Charles first and Travis Kelce second. From there, I guess Dwayne Bowe or a receiver would be the third best weapon, maybe? Receivers are just part of the Chiefs offense, not the focus of it. The Chiefs don't test the field deep very often so it's unusual for the Chiefs to have a 100-yard receiver. The closest would be Dwayne Bowe's 8-catch, 93-yard performance (and I wouldn't count on him doing that again). That stat about the Chiefs receivers not having any touchdowns is pretty crazy but it's not like the Chiefs aren't scoring. They are 14th in the league in scoring. Travis Kelce is a beast. Jamaal Charles leads the league in touchdowns. So, I mean, you can see that the lack of receiver touchdowns aren't killing the Chiefs season. On Sunday, bet on the Steelers to keep the Chiefs receivers out of the end zone.
3. Watching this Kansas City team, it seems they're capable of great things and have demonstrated that a few times this year, but also fall apart as well. This sounds horribly familiar. I see two teams probably a year away from being more legitimate contenders in the AFC, the Steelers just have one more win. What do you think?
Yeah, I would agree mostly with that. But I'm also one of those people that say you just need to get into the dance, and then anything can happen. The Wild Card Super Bowl winning Steelers should understand that. That said ... it is hard to take the Chiefs too seriously when their offensive line has the ability to be so bad at times. It may not matter as much with the elite AFC teams more passing focused but the Chiefs can't really stop the run either. In addition to that, the Chiefs receiver issue makes it hard to see them making a run if they can make the playoffs. So, while I do think you just need to get into the dance, the Chiefs have some obvious holes that will ultimately cost them.
4. Fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line, down four with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter; based on what you would want them to do vs. what you know Andy Reid would do, who's getting the ball for the Chiefs?
Andy Reid would definitely pass the ball. From the 3-yard line, that's probably the right call. I would run a play that gets Alex Smith moving because he is much more athletic than you think he is (remember, he played under Urban Meyer at Utah and did plenty of running). Then I would make sure I have a route I like for Travis Kelce. Something in the back of the end zone where Smith can throw the ball above everyone. That's what I see happening in that situation.
5. Pick an adjective to describe the Chiefs' passing offense: Efficient, bland or successful?
Boy, I'm not sure any of those accurately describe the Chiefs offense. I would say they're either bland or efficient. When they're losing three straight games and getting behind early, they're a bland offense. Or "bad" if you want to put it like that. Once you make the Chiefs one dimensional passing, they are so screwed. Just shut off the TV and call it a game if the Chiefs get down by two scores early on. When the Chiefs are at their best, they're a balanced offense. They don't really go down the field at all so I would stick with the word efficient when things are working. It's kind of hard to say the offense is successful when there is such a glaring area of weakness (yes, that's the receiver position).
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