Fresh off a bad game against Tampa Bay, the Falcons draw a (hopefully) inept Chiefs squad. With burning questions about Tyler Thigpen and Larry Johnson, I got in touch with the talented Chris of Arrowhead Pride.
Chris was kind enough to answer my questions and crazy enough to pick the Chiefs to win, so check out his answers after the jump.
Dave the Falconer: I get a strange feeling that you don't think Tyler Thigpen is the cat's pajamas. Is it the offensive line or just his talent that keeps him from being the bee's knees?
Chris: To be honest with you, I’m not really sure about Thigpen yet. What we’ve seen so far in the preseason and in last week’s game against Oakland was a very confused and green quarterback making frantic throws. I personally don’t think he has the talent to start in the NFL, even for the Chiefs. And that’s more of a gut feeling than anything at the moment.
The kicker with evaluating any Chiefs quarterback is exactly what you mentioned – the offensive line. The line play is so poor right now that it isn’t fair to be judging any QB that is on the field for the Chiefs. Thigpen likely won’t turn out to be anything more than backup/third stringer in the NFL but we don’t have enough information on him to judge him just yet.
DtF: It seems bizarre to me that the Chiefs are avoiding giving carries to Larry Johnson. Is there some kind of nagging injury there, or are the Chiefs just not satisfied with the results?
C: There is no injury issue. The simple fact is that the Chiefs are a bad team. Bad teams get down by a lot of points and have to pass to try to make up the deficient. Nobody is getting a lot of carries for the Chiefs right now.
Another reason for LJ’s lack of involvement (not just carries) is that his pass blocking has always been sub-par. Jamaal Charles and Kolby Smith, the #2/#3 guys behind LJ, are better pass blockers and the coaching staff isn’t going to pull any punches on that, especially with poor blocking already on the offensive line.
DtF: The Falcons are also starting a young quarterback who got roughed up pretty good last week. Who should the Falcons worry about from your D?
C: You may or may not have heard that the Chiefs traded this Jared Allen guy over the off-season and didn’t do much to replace his productivity. I would describe our secondary as up and coming so Matt Ryan will need to be wary of our young corners and safeties.
As far as a pass rush goes….we don’t really have much of one. Players are still developing and the units are still gelling so each passing week should see improvement.
DtF: I can tell you now that you'll be seeing an awful lot of Michael Turner this weekend. How will the Chiefs counter The Burner?
C: I’m scared about playing against Michael Turner. The Chiefs run defense is almost non-existent, as the Raiders showed last week when they ran the ball for 300 yards. Glenn Dorsey is of course still adjusting to the NFL pace and is nowhere near his potential as a defensive tackle. Our linebacking corp is up one week and down the next. More than likely, the Chiefs will plug up the defensive line and hope our secondary can disrupt the Falcon receivers and ultimately Matt Ryan.
DtF: What's your prediction for the score, the season and your mind state by Week 17?
C: I predict a low scoring affair, at least on the Chiefs side. If I’m going to pick the Chiefs to win, and I am, the score has to be low. We can’t score that many points.
Score prediction for this weekend: 17 to 14, Chiefs.
I have no idea what state of mind I’ll be in come Week 17. The rebuilding process could be going along quite smoothly, even without a lot of wins. We could be looking, yet again, at having to find a starting quarterback. By Week 17, Herm Edwards’ rebuilding plan may have completely lost steam. Lots of questions surround bad teams and the Chiefs are no different.
Big thanks to Chris for his efforts. Be sure to check out Arrowhead Pride for my answers and more on the Chiefs.