The Kansas City Chiefs look to get their first win of the season Sunday when the 0-3 Vikings come to Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs are running out of time if they want to save their season and they will likely have to overcome more injuries this week as there is a chance both Brandon Flowers and Jon McGraw could be out.
Here are five players that will need to step up if the Chiefs want to defeat the Vikings.
The Matt Cassel bandwagon is slowly sinking into the sea. If there is anyone left on it, this could be Cassel’s last chance to save them.
The Chiefs offense is in a bad way. They only have one running back that can produce, and he can only do it part time. Without a productive passing game, the Chiefs won’t be able to produce points. The Vikings are pretty soft against the pass. Cassel will have to watch out for Jared Allen, but the Vikes are vulnerable in the secondary.
When Jamaal Charles was in the lineup, the Chiefs were able to lean on him and the running game if Cassel was struggling. Unfortunately, Charles is gone, and he isn’t coming back this year. Guys like Bowe and Breaston are play-makers but they can’t throw the ball to themselves. As such, the offense and maybe the season, lies in the shoulders of the QB.
This only goes if Brandon Flowers can’t play. From all the reports I am hearing it sounds like a 50/50 proposition at this point. Daniels is vastly important because if he plays poorly the Chiefs are doomed. He did a nice job in relief of Flowers last week. In fact, Daniels always seems to step up and play pretty well when the Chiefs need him. If the Chiefs want to have a shot without Flowers, Daniels will have to do it again.
Lewis can either hold the defensive backfield together or he can be the last log on the fire. He played terribly in week two against the Lions, but settled down a bit last week. He has to stop missing tackles because he’s the only semi-decent player the Chiefs have at safety. He’s best when he is playing center field but if Romeo needs him to step up and help out in the running game, he can’t fail.
Mr. Adrian Peterson is coming to town Sunday. There is likely to be a moment when Lewis is the only thing standing between All Day and pay dirt. Better men than Lewis have gotten owned by AP. If Kendrick can step up, the Chiefs will have a chance.
Yes, another defender. Until the offense shows us something to believe in, the defense is going to have to win the Chiefs’ games. Johnson has to have a big game Sunday. He needs to step up his run defense to help keep AP in check, he needs to be tracking McNabb in case he runs and if he has the chance to reel in a pick with his signature “hide behind the line and leap out of nowhere” move, he can’t drop it. In fact, it would be best if he could catch it and take it to the house.
Johnson, along with Hali, is KC’s biggest play-maker on D. He has to show up in a big way and take advantage of any and all Vikings mistakes.
Dex has to hold on to the ball and he has to make plays on offense. Bowe and Breaston aren’t on this list because their success depends almost entirely on Matt Cassel. Dexter, however, has to continue to improve his field vision in order to take advantage of his physical gifts. He is KC’s only hope of manufacturing offense on the ground and he has to do it with limited touches.
Make them count, Dex.
Alright, Addicts. Those are my five players to watch. Who will you be keeping an eye on this Sunday?