Every week I get quite a few questions via email regarding the Kansas City Chiefs. Between talking Chiefs here and at Arrowhead Pride, I've seen just about every question. I think that I have a good handle on the pulse of the fans.
This week, despite the win, it's clear what the fans want to know: What's up with Thomas Jones starting over Jamaal Charles?
I know you must have some idea but why is the Chiefs mgmt and Haley holding Jamaal Charles back. It's obviuos to me that there is some issue with Hc haley b/c it makes no sense for T Jones to be the feature back. Do you know what is wrong with Haley and Pioli? -Bob S.
SB Nation Kansas City's Matt Conner took a stab at that question and I think he laid out a couple of the only possibilities. First, Todd Haley loves Thomas Jones. When he first arrived, and at various times since then, Haley has praised Jones. Is this an LJ-like situation where Haley is stubborn and wants to do things one way regardless of whether it's working? It's possible but the difference is that Jones is actually somewhat productive -- just not as productive as Charles. Second, maybe they're trying to save Charles for the home stretch. This doesn't make any sense to me and seems to go away from some of Haley's philosophies but i suppose it's possible.
Other than that, I don't have a good answer to the Jones/Charles situation.
As for what's wrong with Haley and Pioli, I don't think anything is wrong with them. Remember, these guys are in year two in Kansas City after winning just four games in year one. They don't have the time to be jerking anyone around. They need to win and win quickly.
Joel, on my fantasy team someone is offering a trade for Charles, should I hang onto him for the second half of the season?
I think, so, yeah. I feel strongly that Charles will eventually be put in a similar situation as last year where the Chiefs have to give him the ball. Maybe Jones goes down for a couple of games and Charles shines again, maybe Haley just starts giving Charles the ball more or maybe Jones tires in the second half of the season. Either way, I think Charles is again the man in the second half of the season, however that works out.
Hey Joel, Matt Cassel question for you. How many more games can KC win with him playing like that? -Adam J.
If you had asked me that question before Sunday's game against the Browns (actually, he did), I would have said they can't win that game without a major upgrade from Cassel. His 16-of-28 for 176 yard and two interception performance was not very good. In fact, I'd almost say I'd rather have the 10-of-22 for 68 yards and no interception performance against the Chargers. Seriously. These are the types of numbers we're debating.
Let's put it this way. Good teams can't win consistently when your quarterback plays like that. The rest of the Chiefs are stepping it up -- returners, Jamaal Charles, and the defense -- but Cassel is not. You can't expect touchdowns that don't come from your offense very often. So far, the Chiefs are relying on them.
I think I'll end up saying this every week but the Chiefs can't beat the 49ers if Cassel puts up another game like that. You just can't expect the rest of the team to put up points like that.
Are the fans going to come back out to the stadium now that the Chiefs are winning?
My guess: Yes.
In fact, I'd guess that next Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers will see a nice boost in attendance because of the Chiefs 2-0 record. No one doubted how good the fans in Kansas City were. They knew once you put even mediocrity on the field, they would be back. I'm not saying the Chiefs are mediocre right now -- maybe they are, maybe they aren't -- but the fans have shown they'll be at the stadium if the Chiefs are putting a halfway acceptable product on the field.