The Kansas City Chiefs will kickoff against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers later today. Both teams only have one win, making today a crucial contest. The winner could potentially turn their season around while the loser could be heading toward a top five draft pick.
Here are my five keys to a KC victory today.
1. Hang on to the damn ball!
Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn or Ricky Stanzi, the KC QB has got to take care of the football. The same goes for the running backs. If the Chiefs can hold on to the football, they should be able to at least keep things close.
2. Eliminate the mental mistakes
The Chiefs had the Baltimore Ravens on the ropes last week but it seemed like every time KC did something well, they simultaneously did something stupid. Penalties killed them last week. It is hard enough to win in the NFL. The Chiefs have got to eliminate the mental errors.
This is Brady Quinn’s last chance to show he can be a viable NFL QB. He entered a rough situation in Cleveland and to a degree, the same thing happened to him in Denver. Now he’s in KC and is surrounded by offensive weapons and a strong running game. There are no more excuses. Quinn has to step up and take advantage of a vulnerable Tampa secondary. If he does, he may just find himself starting the rest of the season with a chance to revive his career.
4. Pressure Freeman
The KC pass rush is coming to life. Justin Houston and Tamba Hali need to get to QB Josh Freeman early and often. FanSided’s Bucs editor Josh Hill told us earlier this week that Freeman has been having trouble dealing with pressure. If KC can bring the heat, the Bucs offense could struggle.
5. Lewis must be ready
FS Kendrick Lewis will play his first game of the season Sunday. Lewis is sure to be a little rusty but KC can’t afford to have him on the field making mistakes. If Lewis is going to play, the coaching staff needs to make sure he is not only ready physically but mentally as well. If Lewis is able to pick up where he left off in 2011, the Chiefs defense could dominate.