The Kansas City Chiefs will try for back-to-back wins for the first time since last December when they travel to Indianapolis Sunday to take on the winless Colts.
For the Chiefs to do that, they are going to need to continue to rely on various play-makers to give them the spark they lost when guys like Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry were lost for the season.
Here are five players to watch this Sunday.
Branden Albert may be having his breakout season. Albert has always been solid at LT for the Chiefs but he has never been able to dodge the offseason talk that he should be moved to RT or G. The fact of the matter is, Albert may not be a Pro Bowler yet but he is clearly the best tackle the Chiefs have. Moreover, he is pretty consistent and usually isn’t a liability like a guy like Barry Richardson.
Branden has played well the last couple of weeks, and he actually helped spark KC’s stagnant running game last week as well. Runs behind Albert averaged over seven yards.
The Chiefs will need him to continue his hot streak vs. the Colts. He’ll likely be dealing with Dwight Freeney, a player he was able to hold pretty well in check when these teams met a year ago. If Albert can do it again, he’ll give Matt Cassel a chance.
Barry Richardson/Jared Gaither
I put both these guys because I am hoping that the Chiefs give Gaither a try at RT. While manning him up against Mathis in his first start might not be the best idea, I find it hard to imagine he will perform any worse than Richardson has.
The Chiefs are likely going to have to pass to move the football in this game and Matt Cassel is dreadful under pressure. Whoever is playing RT has to keep the heat off the QB or the Chiefs could struggle to score points.
Hopefully someone can find the Matt Cassel from the first three games and the first half of the Vikings game and kill him because the Matt Cassel that played the second half of the Vikings game is the QB Chiefs fans want to see.
Cassel was excellent in the second half last week. He delivered a couple of really nice strikes, despite being pressured by whomever Barry Richardson was blocking. The QB was also more decisive. When he couldn’t find anyone open, he took off and got yards with his legs instead of running around the backfield pump faking and waiting until it was too late to run.
If that Cassel shows up Sunday, the Chiefs should win.
Tamba was back in form last week and if the Chiefs want to win this match up against a green QB, he needs to keep it going. Romeo Crennel should be able to seriously mess with Painter in passing situations. Crennel is good at confusing and frustrating the best of QBs with his coverages. We’ve seen the likes of Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers have trouble with Romeo’s D. Painter should be a piece of cake but only if KC can get pressure on him. That begins and ends with Tamba.
The rookie got more snaps than ever last week and he did not rise to the occasion. He gave up every pass that was thrown into his coverage, missed tackles and got blown out of plays.
When Houston is on the field you can see why the Chiefs are starting him. He’s fast and explosive but he seems to be just a step behind everyone. This isn’t an unusual thing for a rookie to experience but through four games Houston isn’t showing any improvement.
Still, even Eric Berry struggled early last season. For the Chiefs to stay strong defensively, they need Houston to start to get it. Will it be this week? Keep an eye on him.
Those are my five, Addicts. Who will you be watching Sunday?