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Chiefs vs. Rams: 5 Players To Watch


The Kansas City Chiefs will try to keep their positive momentum going Saturday night when they take on the St. Louis Rams for the coveted Governor’s Cup!

To do that, KC’s starters will have to show that last week’s steamrolling of the Arizona Cardinals was not just a fluke. The Rams have problems of their own and the Chiefs will need to take advantage of those problems if they want to show the wider NFL world what Chiefs fans already know.

The 2012 Kansas City Chiefs are for real.

Here are five players I think you should keep an extra special eye on Saturday night.

1. WR Jonathan Baldwin

Baldwin has been a training camp star but he didn’t have a single catch in KC’s first preseason game. He was targeted once but was double-teamed on the play. In fact, this was Matt Cassel’s only incompletion of the game.

With Dwayne Bowe sitting around doing nothing, Baldwin is likely to see more double teams this week. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the play last week where Baldwin drew two defenders, both Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis were wide open. In fact, other than Dexter McCluster, no other KC WR caught a pass on the two Cassel-led TD drives. With Baldwin and Breaston drawing attention outside, Cassel was able to use other dangerous weapons to move the football.

Still, eventually Baldwin will need to get in on the act. He will have more time this week as the starters will likely play well into the second quarter. It is time for Baldwin to show the fans some of the highlight catches they’ve missed in camp.

2. QB Ricky Stanzi

Ricky is going to get his chance to play with the 2nd stringers this week. Neither he or Brady Quinn looked particularly impressive last week. Quinn had the slight edge but both looked inaccurate.

It can sometimes be hard to judge the backup QB’s in the preseason. By the time they get on the field, the game has gotten sloppy and they are playing with guys who have seen limited snaps in camp and who will probably be cut.

That being said, Stanzi has to shine now or never. Should he stumble this week, I anticipate the Chiefs will go back to Quinn for the third preseason game. If Quinn plays well in that game, the backup role will likely be his.

Now is the time, Stanzi.

3. WR Dexter McCluster

Everyone just assumed draft pick Devon Wylie would be the new small/slot option in the Chiefs’ passing game this season, however McCluster has emerged as a viable receiving option instead.

McCluster seems to be developing into the WR that Chiefs fans hoped he would be back when he was drafted. After spending a year at RB, McCluster looks to be running very sharp routes. If he can continue to get open, he’ll provide a very dangerous outlet underneath for Matt Cassel.

4. NT Anthony Toribio

Dontari Poe who?

Anthony Toribio has been drawing raves on his performance in training camp from head coach Romeo Crennel and he backed his coach’s statements up with his performance last week. Can Toribio keep it up with extended playing time?

If he can, Dontari Poe will be lucky to sniff a start this season. The rookie could be relegated to sub-package duty, which would allow him time to develop while the more experience Torinio keeps his spot warm.

Hey, we all want to see Poe dominate and dominate soon but talented, deep NFL teams are able to let their rookies sit and develop. Yes, even first round picks. If Toribio is playing well enough to keep Poe on the bench, that is fine by me.

5. CB Jalil Brown

Brown has stepped up to cover for the injured Brandon Flowers and he did a pretty decent job last week. Flowers is out again this week with a nagging foot injury so Brown could be tested playing opposite Stanford Routt. If he can rise to the occasion, Chiefs fans will be feeling a lot better about the team’s depth at CB.

All right, Addicts! There are my five players to watch.

Who will you be keeping a close eye on Saturday night?

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Altarium

    All great players to watch. I’ll also be hoping to catch a glimpse of Tysyn Hartman to see if he’s got any chance to maybe make the practice squad. (what can I say, I’m a former K-Stater and am cheering for him to make the team!)

  • DoubleD

    I’m going to be mainly watching the offense, especially the WRs and TEs. After that, it’ll be NT position, OLBs, and CBs.

  • ladner morse

    Great post as usual Paddy!

    I will also be keeping an eye on Peyton Hillis on offense and Jovan Belcher on defense. Hillis’ continued ascension is going to cause defenses around the league to have to key on him. That would be wonderful news for our man JC. If that happens then Brian Daboll will be able to open up the playbook even more as the season progresses. About Belcher… you pointed out earlier this week that Jovan looked quicker or faster than last year and he was flying around the field. On the play that he jumped over a defenser to get to the QB — announcer Trent Green pointed out that — it’s exciting for players to go flying over people, just make sure you get to the QB when you do it. I feel like Belcher is getting ready to have a break out game that makes everyone in the league sit up and take notice. Maybe that’s going to be on Saturday night.

    • micah stephenson

      Belcher was the teams 2nd leading tackler behind DJ wit ova 100 tckls. I like him.

      • nerds

        BELLLLLCHHHHHH

  • ArrowFan

    Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson and how our D responds to them. All of our Special teams (I would love a TD return), and the tight-end and linebacker position groups.

    Hanney?

  • Danny W

    I would like to see Powe keep pushing for a spot on the roster too. I’d like to see McCluster continue to get open and would like not to see Matt Cassel’s accuracy drop off the face of the earth. I hope he comes out and is lights out.

  • chiefridgy

    Gonna be watching Maneri…hope he continues to impress

    • stanzi City

      F@!$@%$K YEA

  • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.simms Leonard Thejukebox Simms

    It has to be Cassal Will he look sharpe

  • calciomoti

    Comical responses here >.<

    I will be watching our QB's, our RB depth, our new OL our WR's, our TE's, and our ….really?

    I'm going to be watching our Chiefs play, thank God for DVR…so I can concentrate on EVERY position, and its depth :/ not sure why you want to single a few out.

    • obama nation

      dont thank god, thanks China. hahahhamuaaaaaaaahahahhaaa, sorry hyper

  • KCMikeG

    Just a small correction – Cassel’s only incomplete pass was a swing to JC. The throw to Baldwin was nullified by penalty. Baldwin would have caught it if he hadn’t been run over from behind.
    I will be watching our Chiefs dominate again. Stanzi will outshine Quinn. Our ST’s will score a TD. The most important decisions to be made are at WR, DL, LB and safety. We are so deep at WR, safety and DL that I will hate to see whoever gets cut go – especially somewhere to play against us.
    Everyone loves Studie but there are better options for us now and even more so for the future. Baldwin will be the Beast with Bowe and all our options no one will be able risk doubling anyone. Toribio isn’t an either or with Poe but does buy RAC time to develop him. Reeves missed the first 10 days of camp but has been impressive in camp and the Cards game. I never doubted McCluster and he will be a star under Daboll.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    As lame as it sounds, I’ll be watching to see who’ll claim the 6th spot in the WR corps and along the D-Line. Bellamy, Copper, Newsome… Pitoitua, Gordon, Powe…

  • Herman Obama Bin Laden

    ITS MUTHA @!$@%_)ING STANZI TIME @$%_)%@)ES

  • dongtogolo

    I’ll be watching the guys fighting for the last D line spot. Powe, mostly. I’ll also be watching Daboll. Can he do anything but slants with Dex? What about attacking downfield? I’d like to see more of #25. That last running back spot and the fullback who may have to go to keep all 4 backs. There’s a lot on the line tonight. Give ‘em hell boys!

  • slcchiefsfan

    I would have to say I’m most interested in how our tackles deal with Quinn and Long rushing off the ends.