Moeaki: Chiefs offensive MVP candidate

9 01 2011
Tony Moeaki, Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs rookie tight end Tony Moeaki makes on of the NFL 2010 season's best catches.

Sure, Jamaal Charles led the universe in yards-per-carry (6.4 avg) and finished second to Arian Foster in rushing yards (with 1,467). Yes, Dwayne Bowe led the league with receiving touchdowns (15) and finished 7th in the league in receiving yards. And then there’s Matt Cassell, who finished 8th in NFL passer rating (93.0) and a stellar 27/7 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Hold onto that Cassell thought for a second.

But a key offensive addition to the Kansas City Chiefs may have contributed just a much to their success as Charles, Bowe and Cassell – rookie tight end Tony Moeaki.

With Moeaki, a third-round draft pick out of Iowa, getting three or more receptions in a game, the Chiefs were 8-2 (40 rec, 465 yds, 2 TDs). But when he caught less than three passes in a game, the Chiefs were only 1-5 (7 rec, 91 yds, 1 TD). Moeaki did miss the Arizona game due concussion symptoms and the Chiefs won, and Moeaki tallied a reception in every game he played during his rookie season. And during their first playoff game since 2003, Moeaki only had one reception for 22 yards in the Chiefs’ loss to the Baltimore Ravens. So technically, they would be 1-6 when Moeaki gets less than three receptions in 2010.

This was not something that escaped Chiefs’ opponents. It was apparent schemes were created to mitigate Moeaki as the key relief valve for Cassell, as well as to ensure the tight end stayed in protection to give his quarterback extra time in the pocket. Opponents knew with Moeaki out of the picture, Cassell’s comfort level would decrease, opening him up for more mistakes.

Moeaki will not supplant Charles as the Chiefs’ team MVP or even offensive MVP, but he definitely is the team’srookie offensive MVP. Of course his only real opposition for that would be gimmick specialist Dexter McCluster. Moeaki broke the team’s rookie receptions record (previously held by Tony Gonzalez) and was only a few yards (4 yards) shy of setting the Chiefs’ rookie receiving yards record.

With a full year of NFL experience under his belt, Moeaki should be positioned to have a breakout sophomore season, as well as find himself on everyone’s fantasy football draft list in 2011.

Now back to Matt Cassell … Chiefs Nation needs to keep something in perspective. Cassell is not “the chosen one” or anything like that. He had a good season in a very safe offensive scheme. It was a low-risk, low reward system. In comparison, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ Josh Freeman finished better than Cassell in passer rating (95.9) and passing yards (Cassell: 3,116 yards; Freeman: 3,451 yards). Cassell threw more touchdowns (27 Cassell, 25 Freeman), but Freeman threw fewer interceptions (6 Freeman, 7 Cassell). Unless Cassell can become a threat with his running ability, his numbers and impact are just average. He is not a threat to any opposing defense.

Mr. Pressbox Out!!

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4th & 3: Not Favre’s Fault

19 01 2010

First, I dislike Brett Favre just as much most non-Vikings fans. I think he should have stayed retired and just made a mockery of his career with his selfish yo-yo antics. But you can’t argue with the guy’s numbers.

Now, people need to shut up and get off Brett Favre for the touchdown pass with 2 minutes left in the playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys. Why? Because Dallas was burning its timeouts leading up to the 2-minute-warning. That means they were still being competitive and wanted to try to get the ball back for a chance to score. They were still fighting. That makes it OK for the Vikings to continue to fight.

And then, WHAT IF the Vikings called a simple run play, with the full intention of running out the clock (as all the critics are saying), and Adrian Peterson squirted through the line for a score? Would you be complaining that AP should have collapsed on the 1-yard-line aka LeSean¬†McCoy? That’s ridiculous. These guys are intense competitors.

It is the JOB of the Dallas defense to stop the opposing offense. THAT is why they get paid MILLIONS of dollars and we have to pay outrageous prices to watch them.

So man up. Shut up. And play some defense.

Mr Pressbox Out!!

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