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Baldwin gives Chiefs offense different dimension

Kansas City Chiefs Jackie Battle dives over the pile for a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL football game in Kansas City Reuters

We were so busy focusing on the The Phumble late last night that we didn’t get to everything else we learned from the most thrilling Monday Night game of the year:

1. It took Jonathan Baldwin a while to play this year, but it was worth the wait. The rookie first-round pick’s home debut was sensational, with five catches for 82 yards, including a leaping 39-yard score.

Baldwin couldn’t come up with another two grabs, but he displayed athleticism and big play ability. He changes the Chiefs offense. They have another physical threat opposite Dwayne Bowe. Perhaps they can move Steve Breaston to the slot.

The Chiefs started the year as a very limited offense, but they are starting to find answers.

2. Another answer: running back Jackie Battle. The hard-charging former fourth-string player had 43 yards rushing on Kansas City’s key touchdown drive to start the fourth quarter. He’s not a flashy runner, but he’s rugged and rather symbolic of this whole Chiefs team.

3. On one hand, Philip Rivers was almost impressive in this game. He clearly didn’t have his fastball throughout and his accuracy was off. He still made incredible plays in the fourth quarter to put his team in position to win before The Phumble happened.

The other side: Rivers’ first interception was because of a high throw. He missed other throws throughout the night that he usually makes. He leads the league in interceptions.  Something is off with this offense and Rivers hasn’t looked comfortable for weeks.

4. Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers may have made the Pro Bowl in this game. What a performance against Vincent Jackson and the rest of the Chargers receivers.  Tamba Hali was also dominant. Chargers left tackle Marcus McNeill was just called for another penalty.

5. Kansas City struggled to get plays in throughout the night. Todd Haley blamed it on “fuzzy” headsets. Haley was seen screaming an expletive just before halftime to someone on his headset.  Matt Cassel, who played a nice game overall, was frustrated throughout because of the slow calls.

6. Haley deserves a lot of credit for bringing this team back from the dead. (Even if he looks like he came back from the dead.) They looked like the worst team in the league through two weeks. No team in NFL history has gone from 0-3 to first place so fast.

7. San Diego came into the game with injuries, and they left with running back Ryan Mathews (groin) and running back Curtis Brinkley (concussion) both banged up. The Chargers may have found something with Brinkley. He helped key the comeback with an amazing catch and some tough running.

8. It’s easy to see Kansas City winning the next two weeks to get to 6-3.  They host Miami and Denver at Arrowhead the next games.

9. The more I watch the AFC West, the more I’m convinced only one team is getting into the playoffs from the division.

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26 Responses to “Baldwin gives Chiefs offense different dimension”
  1. jhart615 says: Nov 1, 2011 9:30 AM

    Way back in April I thought this was one of the worst picks of the first round, but if he can bring it like he did last night then this kid can be a great player for the Chiefs

    As a Jags fan I’d love to have him…

  2. drexelvol says: Nov 1, 2011 9:30 AM

    Who was the homeless guy on the KC sideline wearing the headset?

  3. m2karateman says: Nov 1, 2011 9:31 AM

    Let’s hope Baldwin has learned something and doesn’t let this game go to his head. His maturity issues could still be lingering….

  4. aaronp2098 says: Nov 1, 2011 9:31 AM

    The mind of a fickle Chiefs fan…
    Week 3:” We might get Luck”
    Week 7:”We just might win the division”

    Preseason:”Glad T. Jones taught Baldwin a lesson”
    Week 7:”We really could have used Baldwin from the start, thanks for nothing Jones”

  5. redbullenergydrink says: Nov 1, 2011 9:31 AM

    Rivers, welcome to the next C’MON MAN segment on MNF!

  6. go9ers says: Nov 1, 2011 9:32 AM

    San Diego Super Chokers!

  7. benwantsababyruth says: Nov 1, 2011 9:35 AM

    Yeah fighting your own teammates does bring different dimension doesn’t it? I seem to remember him dropping some crucial balls on third down last night too. Sick TD grab none the less though.

  8. bedmanokc says: Nov 1, 2011 9:42 AM

    Go Chefs

  9. urfinished says: Nov 1, 2011 9:42 AM

    If Baldwin can stay right between the ears he’ll be a good one. Wish him well but he has a history.
    The bigger story in this rivalry is the dramatic regression of rivers. He is more likely to throw a pick than a td. Shocking play this year.

  10. CKL says: Nov 1, 2011 9:51 AM

    Rivers may be insisting there’s nothing wrong with him physically but I find that hard to believe. A QB doesn’t lose accuracy like that for no reason. Maybe it’s something even he doesn’t realize is wrong yet, like a UCL problem. I think strange throwing motions can put more stress on the elbow.

    Chiefs got a gritty win. I like watching out of nowhere guys like Battle have success. And man do I miss having RAC as a DC (Pats fan). Almost as much as I miss Charlie @ OC. I picked KC to win this BECAUSE of RAC. I loved watching Flowers , Hali & Johnson play. Good defensive football is so rare (partly by it’s being outlawed by the new NFL) and I appreciate all of it I can see.

  11. waxthat says: Nov 1, 2011 9:57 AM

    Flowers looked like a Revis clone.

  12. 2ndaryinsanity says: Nov 1, 2011 9:58 AM

    I forced myself to stay up late in order to see which team actually wanted to win….all those turnovers made it seem like a pre-season game.
    The Chiefs look like they’re finally settling down after being hit so hard with injuries to key players. Baldwin was impressive (now, if he can just keep from fighting his teammates)….having him and Dwayne Bowe is going to be a nightmare for defenses; RB Jackie Battle looks ready to step up; Chiefs need to make more of an effort getting the ball to Dexter McCluster in space. The Chiefs defense surprised me.
    The Chargers might have come in to this game with a decent record, but they’ve been “off.” For example..Rivers having more interceptions than touchdowns. They’d better figure it out quickly, or they’ll be @ home watching the play-off’s.
    The AFC-West is wide open…Raiders,Chiefs, and Chargers are all 4-3. Raiders may be in trouble…can Palmer really lead them to the play-off’s when the only football he’s played since last season is on Madden 12?
    Chargers are in trouble…all their runningbacks are injured; Rivers keeps throwing pick’s (and fumbling); their defense isn’t getting much pressure on opposing QB’s.
    After going 0-3, the Chief’s might actually end up winning the division. Amazing.

  13. jayhawk6 says: Nov 1, 2011 10:01 AM

    If Philip Rivers is suffering from an injury, it seems to be a sake bite. He has been almost as deadly to division opponents as John Elway but there most always seems to be a snafu lurking just around the corner.

    As for Jonathan Baldwin, he apparently needed to have his ego clipped a little bit in training camp. The veterans on the team took care of the attitude and now he seems to be coming on. He might have made a difference in the first San Diego game, but otherwise his absence probably mattered very little.

  14. edukator4 says: Nov 1, 2011 10:12 AM

    how is flowers going to make the probowl? he isnt a patriot or jet. we all know those teams have the best players at each position, just ask their fans who continually vote them into the probowl without the slightest bit of objectiveness.

  15. bnwillard says: Nov 1, 2011 10:41 AM

    Man, I’ve seen railroad yard hobos that dress better than Todd Haley. I halfway expected him to be eating beans out of the can during the postgame press conference.

  16. 49ersmang says: Nov 1, 2011 11:49 AM

    bnwillard, that is awesome…. I was thinking the same thing but you said it best!!! That dude is ugly!!!

  17. sportsdrenched.com says: Nov 1, 2011 11:58 AM

    The mind of a fickle Chiefs fan…

    Right, because if we’d have thought the Chiefs were going to the playoffs after that start we’d have been called Koolaide Drinkers. And we still might be. But in most circles writing your own team off after getting thumped like the Chiefs is being a Realist.

    The team coming back from the dead to tie for the division lead is called miraculous. Not fickle.

  18. sportsdrenched.com says: Nov 1, 2011 12:00 PM

    We got players with sleeves of ink all down their arms, and Todd Haley is taking some for a beard and a sweaty hat? Really?

  19. tacoslinger619 says: Nov 1, 2011 12:06 PM

    The Chiefs play at NE, Pitt, at Chicago, at NY Jets and the packers all in a row….Sounds like a five game skid!

  20. das14 says: Nov 1, 2011 12:17 PM

    The Baldwins always put you in another dimension.

  21. packtopack20112012 says: Nov 1, 2011 1:25 PM

    I have no rooting interest in the game other than having Battle on my Fantasy team but does anyone else think that the officiating last night was awful???? I thought that interference call on Gates was bad and the 15 yarder for the hit on I think it was McClain out of the backfield had to be one of the worst calls of the year. Dude gets hit in the chest with the defenders shoulder (not his helmet) ….what is the CB supposed to do, take his knee out in that situation. Ask McClain I think he would take the “clean” hit in the chest. The ref’s are making too much difference with these ridiculous calls on receivers. Gruden called it out, that was a great seperation tackle.

  22. firedup1 says: Nov 1, 2011 2:05 PM

    Some may look at the Chiefs upcoming schedule as a five game skid, but I think they look at it as getting ready for the playoffs.

  23. jimmysimpson55 says: Nov 1, 2011 2:39 PM

    Don’t know much about either team, but the Chiefs seemed like they were wild animals out there. Flowers stood out bigtime.

  24. bossplayer213 says: Nov 1, 2011 3:09 PM

    Wasn’t everyone calling this kid a bust before even playing in his first NFL game?

    It’s sad how some people won’t even give a kid a chance to prove himself first.

  25. alldayvikings says: Nov 1, 2011 3:42 PM

    Ryan Mathews has no toughness. Game on the line and he is sitting on the bench.

  26. raiderapologist says: Nov 1, 2011 11:22 PM

    alldayvikings says: Nov 1, 2011 3:42 PM

    Ryan Mathews has no toughness. Game on the line and he is sitting on the bench.

    It’s safer on the bench. Humb0lt probably believes in him, though.

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