Nov 1, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tackle Branden Albert (76) walks to the locker room after the San Diego Chargers beat the Chiefs 31-13 at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs vs. Jaguars: 3 Players Who Need To Step Up For Kansas City

We’re 8 days away from the start of the 2013 Regular Season. Week 1 brings the Chiefs to Jacksonville, and while they were just about as awful as Kansas City was last year, you can’t sleep on anyone in the NFL. Let’s talk about who needs to step it up for KC to head back to Arrowhead, 1-0.

1) Dontari Poe 

The strength of Jacksonville’s offensive line is in tackles Eugene Monroe and Luke Joeckel. With the two former first round picks working against Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, disruption will have to come from the defensive line.

Aside from Joeckel, Jacksonville’s line is identical to last year’s; a unit that was 3rd in sacks allowed, and 30th in rushing. Poe has an opportunity to set the tone for the defense, and be a nightmare for the Jacksonville interior. If he can do that, it could be a long day for the Jags.

2) Sean Smith

With Justin Blackmon sidelined, Brandon Flowers will most likely be covering Cecil Shorts. That leaves the 6’3” Sean Smith on Ace Sanders, a 5’7” rookie receiver. That’s an eight-inch difference in height. I expect Sanders to slip away from Smith for a couple of catches, due to his quickness. But if Smith can get his hands on him at the line, he can shut that side down and allow Bob Sutton to frequently send extra guys after Blaine Gabbert.

3) Branden Albert

In 2011, with the Philadelphia Eagles, Defensive End Jason Babin thrived in the “wide nine” and ended up with 18 sacks.  A rocky start to 2012 got him cut, and he landed with the Jags.  He ended up with 7 sacks in 2012 (5.5 with Philly, and 1.5 with Jacksonville), which isn’t awful, but it’s also not 18. If Babin gets back to form, Albert could have his work cut out for him. Albert needs to step up, earn his franchise money, and keep Jason Babin off of Alex Smith in this game.

What do you think Addicts? Can these guys get it done in Week 1?

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Branden Albert Dontari Poe Kansas City Chiefs Sean Smith

  • clay simester

    I think it may be a little premature to consider Joeckel one of the strengths of their O-line. He certainly should be eventually, but considering the fact that this will be his first real NFL game, he might be vulnerable to the pass rush of a smaller and much quicker LB. I know i wouldn’t consider Fisher to be one of our O-line strengths, not quite yet. I might almost target Joeckel at first to try and exploit his inexperience. I’d send a ton of blitzes his way just to make him prove he can pick it up.

    I think the run support from our secondary is going to be very important being the fact that Jax likes to run so much, especially with the return of MJD. I’d focus on stopping the run, and make Blaine Gabbert beat us with his arm. If that happens, we have way bigger issues to deal with!!!

  • Kyle ferguson

    Everyone needs to step up I want to see the guys come out and dominate this is a team we should crush and I except everyone to work hard and dominate

  • sidibeke

    Yes! We’re talking about a regular season game. Hallelujah!

  • sidibeke

    Agree with Clay down there in that I’ll take my chances with either Houston or Hali on the rook.

    I’m with you on Albert and would extend that to the whole O line. For our O to roll, the line is going to have to show more than it did preseason.

  • superman_25_58

    Agree with all four of these comments