Today the Kansas City Chiefs, at long last, will take the field for their first regular season game of the 2012 season.
The Atlanta Falcons will be coming to Arrowhead for the first time since the Chiefs traded beloved TE Tony Gonzalez to them for a second-round draft pick.
I’ll have my official pick later on this morning. We’ll also have coverage leading up to the game, including the inactives. And of course, the Arrowhead Addict live game day thread will be in full effect.
Until then, here is your
Morning Game Day Fix!
This morning, though, this expanse of roughly 56 paved acres will come to life, taking its seasonal place as a one-day-a-week commune for early risers, grill masters and Chiefs lifers. Kansas City might not be known for outstanding football, but it is hallowed ground for another weekly spectacle: tailgating. It’s part of what makes this region unique, an overall sensory overload that brings thousands here early on fall Sundays.Decades after tailgating became a phenomenon, there aren’t many venues where it’s taken more seriously.“The last great American neighborhood,” said Joe Cahn, a Louisiana native who claims to have, in the last 17 years, attended more than 850 games in all NFL cities. He ranks Arrowhead as one of the top three tailgating venues in America, along with Houston’s Reliant Stadium and Green Bay’s Lambeau Field.
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers and linebacker Derrick Johnson are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.Flowers and Johnson were both limited in practice all week. Flowers, who missed the entire preseason, is dealing with a left-heal injury. Johnson is nursing an ankle injury.
The other position that Arrowhead Addict says is a pressure point that could be taken advantage of is on the other side of the ball. The middle linebacker position will feature Akeem Dent as the starter. One thing I noticed in the preseason was that against the first team defense, teams did a really good job of gashing the Falcons with runs up the middle. Four+ yard gains out the wazoo. I hate to say it, but I think that is directly upon Dent, who is just learning this position and is taking over from a guy who knew how to play and was as sure a tackler as there is. There is nothing to say that Dent cant eventually become a very good MLB, but right now he is more a liability than a big-time playmaker.
BD- Tamba Hali will be missing this game due to violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. How reliant on Hali are the Chiefs for his pass-rushing abilities, and what affect will his absence have on the game? How well will Andy Studebaker do as a replacement?AA- Hali IS the KC pass rush. The defensive line doesn’t really get much pressure so the focus should shift to 2nd year OLB Justin Houston. Houston appears to be a star in the making and with Hali out, he’ll need to prove it this Sunday. I also expect Romeo Crennel to dial up some exotic blitz schemes to make up for the loss of Tamba. Keep an eye on MLB Derrick Johnson and CB Javier Arenas. Studebaker is an average NFL backup. He could be a liability if the Falcons run sweeps and tosses to his side. He sometimes is just a step late setting the edge. His pass rushing ability is not good.
UPSET SPECIAL: Chiefs are hurting, but relatively healthy compared to 2011 debacle.CHIEFS, 17-14No. 7 Pittsburgh (plus 1) at No. 11 Denver
Could be punishing return for Peyton Manning. He’ll survive the pounding.