The Kansas City Chiefs will look to avoid a letdown when the winless Miami Dolphins come to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. This has all the makings of a classic “trap game” for the Chiefs. The Dolphins are winless and desperate and the Chiefs are on a short week, coming off an emotional win vs. a division rival on Monday Night Football. If finally climbing back into first place causes the Chiefs to relax and take their foot off the gas, the struggling Dolphins could get their first win of the season.
For the Chiefs to move their winning streak to five games, their playmakers will have to step up and make sure their team takes care of the inferior Dolphins. Here are five players to watch for Sunday’s game.
Matt Cassel didn’t have an incredible game statistically speaking against the Chargers, but he lead key drives in key moments and also made a few clutch throws to help his team get the victory. Cassel also made a few mistakes, including an ill-timed interception at the end of regulation.
Cassel may never put up consistently impressive numbers, but he has shown a knack for helping his team win and more importantly, he avoids causing his team to lose. The fact of the matter is, at the end of the Chargers game, both QBs got a shot to lead their team on a game-winning drive, and it was Cassel who got the job done.
If Cassel can continue to play smart, relatively mistake-free football, the Chiefs should win this game easily.
Can DJ keep up his Pro Bowl pace? Johnson has been sensational and if he can continue to make an impact, the Dolphins will likely have trouble moving the football on the ground against the Chiefs.
The Chiefs need Houston to step up in a really big way, especially in the pass rushing department. Romeo Crennel is putting a lot of pressure on Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr by putting them in man coverage more often than not. He has been forced to do this because he is aware of how bad KC’s safeties are in coverage. Crennel relies on Carr and Flowers to do a good job on the outside while he employs his safeties and linebackers to try to take away any threats over the middle. In the San Diego game, Crennel often had a safety and linebacker on the line to bracket Antonio Gates to keep him from doing any damage. As such, the Chiefs can’t really afford to blitz very much because they have to use everyone they can to protect in the secondary.
As such, the KC pass rush has been awful. Eric Berry allowed Crennel to get very creative with his blitzes last year, often sending Arenas or even Berry himself. With Berry gone, however, the Chiefs need to muster as much pass rush as they can with three- and four-man sets. Since Tamba Hali is only one man (although he plays like two), the Chiefs need Houston to grow up fast and start getting to the QB.
Eventually, the Chiefs are going to run into Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers, and if they don’t find a way to generate more pressure by then, those guys will pick the defense apart.
This guy is just awful. His run blocking was absolutely atrocious against the Chargers. I mean really bad. Every game he massively fails in run blocking or pass blocking and sometimes at both. He is clearly the weak link on the offensive line.
The fact that the Chiefs are leaving him out there when they have Jared Gaither on the bench is curious. Is it because they think Richardson is suddenly going to get good or is Gaither really looking that bad in practice?
If there is one man who could really f-up this game for the Chiefs, it’s Richardson.
The Chiefs need Baldwin to keep taking steps forward. He seems to already be earning Matt Cassel’s trust, and he is getting open due to the attention being paid to Bowe and Breaston by opposing defenses.
Still, Baldwin showed he is still a rookie on Monday by dropping a couple of balls, one of which he tipped into the hands of Eric Weddle. Baldwin had a chance to really help the KC offense. He just needs to keep progressing.
The Dolphins offer the perfect opportunity for Baldwin to gain more confidence.
Alright, Addicts. Those are the five players I will be watching. Who will have your eye Sunday afternoon?