Week 1 Observations: Chiefs/Jaguars


The Chiefs finally got a very solid win. The KC defense was the star of the game but the offense showed enough to provide hope going forward. Alex Smith was patient in the packet and spread the ball around with quite a few slick throws to move the offense. He’s a low end QB2 going forward. Dwayne Bowe owners were understandably sore after this game but remember the Chiefs had such a solid lead for most of the afternoon that they didn’t feel the need to unleash the offense on the Jags. The catches that Bowe did make looked pretty good and he almost had another diving catch but landed out of bounds. I’ll be interested to see the Chiefs offense in a more competitive game. I don’t think we’ve yet seen the true face of the Andy Reid plan. I’m confident that Bowe will have better games in the future as a WR2 in both standard and PPR.

After several years of obscurity, Dexter McCluster might be worth a roster spot in deeper leagues and PPR leagues. Andy Reid loves McCluster and I thought Dex looked very slippery returning kicks and catching passes. Donnie Avery and Junior Hemmingway both caught TDs this game but I don’t think either is worth a pickup yet. If Avery can stay healthy and the Chiefs prove to pass more, he might emerge as an option in the future.

Jamaal Charles looked gooooood, ripping off smooth 8 and 9 yard gains and exhibiting his prowess as a receiving option. Given what we saw Sunday afternoon (4 targets in the first quarter, 2 catches for 19 yards) I think Smith will choose (rightly) in a lot of situations to pass the ball to Jamaal Charles and see what he can do. The addition of Anthony Sherman as a blocker (he also led the team in catches and yards) is encouraging. I’m confident that Andy Reid will provide even greater opportunity for JC to produce in closer games. Start him every week. Both Knile Davis and Cyrus Gray saw the field as relief but Gray was the first man in and also got a carry on the Jags 14 to set up Charles for his TD. Davis entered at the end of the third quarter and got a couple garbage time snaps, carrying the ball 4 times. They both also caught one pass. I don’t know yet if either deserves a roster spot as a handcuff.

Blaine Gabbert is terrible. Granted: 1) he was playing with an injured hand, 2) his receivers had a few really bad drops and 3) the Chiefs pass rush frequently cut right through the supposedly revamped offensive line, but even when he wasn’t getting sacked Gabbert continues to put up historically bad numbers. He makes incredibly slow reads and often locks onto his first target, which resulted in a Brandon Flowers pick-6 (almost had 2 but one was reversed), a Tamba Hali pick-6 and numerous other telegraphed passes into tight coverage. Cecil Shorts drew a team high 11 targets and secured all 3 catches (one was a crazy bobbled pass) in the 4th quarter but also committed a bad penalty that wiped a great Ace Sanders 33-yard gain off the board. Sanders (9 targets) is a player to watch as the Jags shifty slot guy and return man. He had two big gains (totaling 90 yards) negated by penalties and should have had a much better day statistically. I continue to believe in the talent of Shorts but he will suffer until Chad Henne starts full time. The fantasy values of all the Jags receivers shot up last year after Henne got the start midseason and I expect the same to happen this season. As a starter Henne could slide in as a decent QB2 but we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions just yet.

I thought Maurice Jones-Drew actually looked pretty good considering the state of his foot but every week going forward he’s going to face extra defenders up front because the Jaguars passing attack is not remotely fearsome and every team will dial up constant pressure to screw with Gabbert if he’s under center. Regardless, I expect better days for MJD going forward.

Side note, I don’t think Denard Robinson is worth a roster spot. He’s an exciting prospect but these gadget players always provide more value to the team than to a fantasy owner.

Now, Gabbert had to get stitched up after the game and Jacksonville has already confirmed that The Chad will start next week against the Raiders. The situation is basically perfect for Henne to secure a starting job if he has a good game in Oakland. Aside from the QB spot, the Jaguars do have all the pieces for a functional offense, especially when Justin Blackmon returns from his suspension. If Jacksonville can straighten up their offensive line protections and if Henne provides even replacement level QB play, the run game could open up a bit and the main cast for Jacksonville could start putting a few points on the board.

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