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Chiefs Quarterly Report: 3rd Quarter

Posted Dec 7, 2011

A look at the Chiefs offensive, defensive and special teams leaders from the third quarter of the 2011 season

Archive: 1st Quarter Report

Archive: 2nd Quarter Report

A team of extreme streaks, the 2011 Chiefs opened the season with three straight losses only to regain control of first place by the start of November thanks to a four game winning streak.

The season flipped in only a month, but flipped once more after a winless November. It was a month the Chiefs were able to produce just one touchdown.

The fourth quarter of the season begins Sunday afternoon in New York with the Chiefs needing to extend another winning streak to keep its AFC West hopes alive.

Let’s recap the Chiefs third quarter of 2011, compare it to the first and second quarters, and take a look at the current team leaders on offense, defense and special teams.

1st Quarter Record: 1-3

2nd Quarter Record: 3-1

3rd Quarter Record: 1-3

Of Note: Despite solid defensive play, the Chiefs struggled to score points and protect the football throughout the season’s third quarter. Only two touchdowns were scored in 262 offensive snaps and Kansas City gave away the football seven times (six interceptions and a fumbled snap – all involving backup QB Tyler Palko).

Meanwhile, the defense has appeared to hit its stride with solid performances in three straight games. Kansas City needs to piece both sides of the football together for a successful fourth quarter of the season. It’s something the team has yet to do for an extended stretch of games.

1st Quarter Rushing Leader: Dexter McCluster

28 carries for 164 yards (5.9 avg.)

2nd Quarter Rushing Leader: Jackie Battle

68 carries for 305 yards (4.5 avg.) with 1 TD

3rd Quarter Rushing Leader: Dexter McCluster

35 carries for 179 yards (5.1 avg.)

Of Note: Just when it looked like Jackie Battle was going to take over as the Chiefs primary rusher, Dexter McCluster re-establishes himself as the team’s most effective running back.

McCluster, Battle and Thomas Jones essentially split the team’s carries throughout the season’s third quarter. Jones actually led the team with 41 carries, but averaged only 3.0 yards per attempt. Battle averaged 3.5 yards per rush on 37 attempts.

The Chiefs have tried to play the hot hand since Pro Bowler Jamaal Charles was lost for the season with a Week Two knee injury. Kansas City’s leading rusher is difficult to predict in any given week. The four games of the third quarter produced three different rushing leaders.

1st Quarter Receiving Leader: Dexter McCluster

17 catches for 52 yards (3.1 avg.)

2nd Quarter Receiving Leader: Dwayne Bowe

23 catches for 354 yards (15.4 avg.) with 2 TDs

3rd Quarter Receiving Leader: Dwayne Bowe

20 catches for 222 yards (11.1 avg.)

Of Note: Production at wide receiver has taken a hit with Matt Cassel’s season-ending hand injury.

The Chiefs have attempted 102 passes since Cassel’s injury, but have produced just five completions of 20 or more yards. The lone passing score since Cassel’s injury went to RB Dexter McCluster on a Hail Mary in the closing seconds of the first half at Chicago. Receivers are averaging just 9.4 yards per catch since Cassel’s injury.

Despite those struggles, Dwayne Bowe is still on pace to turn in his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. He ranks fourth in the AFC in receptions (59) and sixth in receiving yardage (868).

Steve Breaston finished the third quarter a close second to Bowe with 19 catches for 191 yards (10.1 avg.).

1st Quarter Passing Leader: Matt Cassel

72-of-111 for 688 yards with 4 TDs and 5 INTs (75.2 QB Rating)

2nd Quarter Passing Leader: Matt Cassel

75-of-130 for 932 yards with 5 TDs and 4 INTs (80.0 QB Rating)

3rd Quarter Passing Leader: Tyler Palko

64-of-101 for 601 yards with 1 TD and 6 INTs (58.2 QB Rating)

Of Note: Tyler Palko has become an NFL starting quarterback for the first time, opening all three games since Matt Cassel was lost for the season on November 13th. It’s the first time Cassel has missed more than one game since joining the Chiefs prior to the 2009 season.

If Palko makes one more start this season, he’ll become the first Chiefs backup quarterback to make more than three starts in a single season since Tyler Thigpen posted a 1-10 record as a starter in 2008.

Ricky Stanzi did not see any playing time during the third quarter and Kyle Orton appeared in only one snap before suffering a dislocated right index finger on a flea-flicker pass attempt at Chicago.

1st Quarter Scoring Leader: Ryan Succop

25 points – 7/10 on field goals (21 points); 4/4 on extra points (4 points)

2nd Quarter Scoring Leader: Ryan Succop

22 points – 4/4 on field goals (12 points); 10/10 on extra points (10 points)

3rd Quarter Scoring Leader: Ryan Succop

20 points – 6/6 on field goals (18 points); 2/2 on extra points (2 points)

Of Note: Succop has hit 15-straight field goal attempts since missing three of his first five kicks to start the season.

1st Quarter Tackle Leader: Derrick Johnson

35 tackles (24 solo, 11 assisted)

2nd Quarter Tackle Leader: Derrick Johnson

48 tackles (38 solo, 10 assisted)

3rd Quarter Tackle Leader: Derrick Johnson

53 tackles (38 solo, 15 assisted)

Of Note: Johnson is on pace to lead the Chiefs in tackles for the second-straight season and set a career-high in the process. It also looks like he’ll shred the Chiefs single-season tackle record established by Mike Maslowski in 2002. Maslowski tallied 162 tackles that year, but Johnson is on pace to finish with 181 tackles.

Johnson’s career-high came last season when he led the Chiefs with 147 tackles. He’s playing at an All-Pro level.

1st Quarter Sack Leader: Tamba Hali

4.0 sacks, -24.0 yards

2nd Quarter Sack Leader: Tamba Hali

2.0 sacks, -17.0 yards

3rd Quarter Sack Leader: Justin Houston

3.0 sacks, -15.0 yards

Of Note: All of Houston’s third quarter sacks came against Chicago QB Caleb Hanie. Those 3.0 sacks tied Houston for the highest single-game total by a rookie in Chiefs history. NT Bill Maas was the last rookie to record 3.0 sacks in a single game, doing so against Cleveland on September 30, 1984. Houston had yet to be born at that time.

Kansas City still ranks 29th in the NFL with 20.0 sacks, but has notched 11.0 of those sacks over its last three games. Only Baltimore (14.0 sacks) and Dallas (12.0 sacks) have recorded more during that timeframe.

1st Quarter Turnover Leaders

Interceptions: Brandon Flowers (2)

Forced Fumbles: Wallace Gilberry, Andy Studebaker and Donald Washington (1)

Fumble Recoveries: N/A

2nd Quarter Turnover Leaders

Interceptions: Brandon Flowers and Kendrick Lewis (2)

Forced Fumbles: Tamba Hali and Jon McGraw (1)

Fumble Recoveries: Andy Studebaker and Kendrick Lewis (1)

3rd Quarter Turnover Leaders

Interceptions: Javier Arenas, Brandon Carr, Travis Daniels and Jon McGraw (1)

Forced Fumbles: Wallace Gilberry, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston (1)

Fumble Recoveries: Javier Arenas and Allen Bailey (1)

Of Note: The Chiefs defensive backs continue to eat up quarterbacks and picked off another four passes during the third quarter of the season. Kansas City now has 17 interceptions in 12 games, which ties for second in the NFL. No team can beat the Chiefs 4.8% interception percentage.

The turnovers are a testament to the resiliency of the defensive backfield after losing safety Eric Berry on the first series of the season. In addition to the interception totals, Kansas City is on the cusp of becoming a top-10 NFL passing defense. The Chiefs currently rank 12th against the pass with opponents averaging 213.8 passing yards per game.

1st Quarter Special Teams Tackle Leader: Demorrio Williams

4 special teams tackles (3 solo, 1 assisted)

2nd Quarter Special Teams Tackle Leader: Cory Greenwood

7 special teams tackles (5 solo, 2 assisted)

3rd Quarter Special Teams Tackle Leader: Two players tied with 3

Jalil Brown: 3 special teams tackles (2 solo, 1 assisted)

Reshard Langford: (3 solo)

Of Note: Fourth-round draft pick Jalil Brown has become one of the Chiefs core special team performers over the past month. He’s played in only a handful of defensive snaps this season, but the Chiefs were hopeful he’d make a special teams impact immediately.

Todd Haley has been complimentary of Brown’s play in recent weeks as the rookie moves up the special teams tackle chart.

1st Quarter Return Leaders

Punt Returns: Javier Arenas (6 for 124 yards, 20.7 avg.)

Kickoff Returns: Dexter McCluster (8 returns for 190 yards, 23.8 avg.)

2nd Quarter Return Leaders

Punt Returns: Javier Arenas (7 for 72 yards, 10.3 avg.)

Kickoff Returns: Dexter McCluster (8 returns for 190 yards, 23.8 avg.)

3rd Quarter Return Leaders

Punt Returns: Javier Arenas (11 for 127 yards, 11.5 avg.)

Kickoff Returns: Javier Arenas (7 returns for 124 yards, 17. avg.)

Of Note: Javier Arenas carried the brunt of return work during the third quarter of the season while Dexter McCluster continued to play a significant offensive role. McCluster registered just thee combined returns over the past four games – one punt return for seven yards and two kickoff returns for 41 yards.

Arenas remains the AFC’s leading punt returner, averaging 13.5 yards per return. He ranks third in the NFL behind Chicago’s Devin Hester (18.5 avg.) and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson (17.5 avg.).

Notable 1st Quarter Injuries

Preseason injuries excluded (Jonathan Baldwin and Tony Moeaki)

Eric Berry vs. Buffalo (left knee, lost for season)

Jamaal Charles at Detroit (left knee, lost for season)

Jon McGraw at San Diego (shin, missed Minnesota game)

Brandon Flowers at San Diego (right ankle, missed no additional games)

Notable 2nd Quarter Injuries

Jon McGraw vs. San Diego (shoulder, missed Miami game)

Javier Arenas in practice (ankle, missed Miami game)

Notable 3rd Quarter Injuries

*Jon McGraw vs. San Diego (shoulder, missed New England game)

Matt Cassel vs. Denver (hand, lost for season)

Glenn Dorsey vs. Denver (knee, missed New England game)

*Demorrio Williams vs. Miami (groin, missed games vs. DEN, at NE, vs. PIT, at CHI)

Ryan Lilja at New England (head, missed Pittsburgh game)

Kyle Orton at Chicago (finger, missed remainder of game)

*injury occurred in previous quarter

1st Quarter Roster Additions

S Reshard Langford re-signed to active roster (9/14, S Eric Berry to IR)

TE Anthony Becht re-signed to active roster (9/16, TE Jake O’Connell released)

WR Jeremy Horne promoted from practice squad (9/21, RB Jamaal Charles to IR)

TE Jake O’Connell re-signed to active roster (9/28, TE Anthony Becht released)

2nd Quarter Roster Additions

TE Anthony Becht re-signed to active roster (10/26, WR Jeremy Horne released)

3rd Quarter Roster Additions

WR Jeremy Horne promoted from practice squad (11/21, QB Matt Cassel to IR)

QB Kyle Orton acquired from waivers (11/23, WR Keary Colbert released)

T David Mims promoted from practice squad (11/29, T Jared Gaither released)

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