Sep 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) runs for yardage against the Dallas Cowboys in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 17-16. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

5 Keys to Victory: Chiefs vs. Cowboys Follow Up

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Raise your hand if you’re having fun being a Kansas City Chiefs fan right now! Now keep it up if you have an ulcer after watching yesterday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

I’m back, Addicts, from the belly of the beast. As some of you know, I live in San Antonio, Texas which is right smack dab in the middle of Cowboy country. You can’t walk five feet around here and not see a silver star. Over the weekend, I was out of town visiting my wife’s family, who are all Cowboys fans, which is why I wasn’t able to write the “Five Keys to Victory” post. Many thanks to Kenny for stepping in on this one. I think he did a great job.

We’ll run down the follow up using Kenny’s post. His original words are in normal type and my follow up words will be in bold. Here we go!

 Key #1: Pressure Tony Romo

Tony Romo is very well known for the poor decisions he makes when he drops back to pass.  There are so many memes about Tony Romo getting intercepted that I’m about to unlike the NFL Meme page on Facebook. The Kansas City Chiefs currently lead the NFL in sacks and Justin Houston has half of the six sacks that the Chiefs have. If  Dontari Poe, who will be going up against rookie center Travis Frederick, can pressure Romo along with Houston, you can bet the ball will end up in the hands of someone on the Kansas City Chiefs defensive unit.

I think the Chiefs defense could have done better here, but three sacks against the Dallas signal caller is a pretty good. Combine this with the fact that one of those sacks ended in a Romo fumble, and it makes the win even sweeter. I don’t know about you guys, but Dontari Poe is a force who coordinators and quarterbacks will start having nightmares about before long. Addicts, he leads the team in sacks at 3.5. Be honest and tell me you saw that coming.

Key #1: Achieved

 Key #2: Special Teams Needs to Be Special

Last week we saw something no one expected. David Toub’s punt unit let up a blocked punt safety that gave the Jaguars an early lead. After a fantastic preseason this was a shock to many people. I think that can be contributed to all the new guys on those special teams units. You can bet after this week problems like these aren’t likely to happen. Dexter McCluster had the longest punt return in week one so we know there is still something going on there.  Special Teams needs to look like they did in the preseason against the Dallas Cowboys so the Chiefs can get an early edge.

Ummm…what’s going on with this? A unit that was so spectacular and breathtaking in the preseason has begun the regular season with allowing a blocked punt, a blocked field goal and a fumbled kick-off return. As we like to say in my line of work, special teams coordinator needs to go “10-8 in somebody’s you-know-what” to get some results. The play the Chiefs ST unit has shown thus far is anything but special.

Key #2: NOT Achieved

Key #3: Alex Smith Needs to Take Some Chances

You can bet your bottom dollar that the Dallas Cowboys have watched the tape of the Jaguars game and know that Alex Smith is check down McGee. They will be keying the short passes and keying the running backs out of the backfield. Alex Smith nearly had a huge play to Anthony Fasano on the first play of the game against the Jaguars. The Chiefs should try to make some plays and make them early. I wouldn’t even be against a trick play or two. This is going to be a much tougher game than the Jaguars. The Chiefs need every advantage they can get because you know everyone and their mother is rooting for “America’s team” to upset the small market team from Kansas City.

While I wouldn’t have used the words “Checkdown McGee” to describe Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, he is known for throwing the shorter distance, high percentage pass. While the Chiefs were making the shorter pass game work for them earlier on, it did become bogged down in the second half. Many say that what opened the third quarter touchdown drive up, when Smith eventually connected with wide receiver Dwayne Bowe for the go ahead score was the 31 yard shot he took to the Chiefs #2 WR, Donnie Avery. That long pass moved the defense back just enough to allow the Chiefs to make into the end zone. There’s something to be said about this, and I’m not disputing it. I guess we’ll just have to see what else head coach Andy Reid has in his bag of tricks.

Key #3: Achieved

Key #4: Chiefs Fans Showing Up and Being LOUD

This is important. This is the Chiefs home opener and it’s arguably one of the most important games of the year. This is the real test. This could be the Chiefs coming out party. A win would spoil ESPN’s day. The Chiefs blew out a horrible team last weekend. Now they come back to Arrowhead against a solid team. The fans need to be so loud, that they feel this all the way in Dallas. 116 decibels.

Addicts who were in attendance at Arrowhead stadium, my hat is off to you. You showed up in a big way. When the home crowd can turn the tide of a game like you were able to yesterday, it really says something. It’s been awhile since the “Sea of Red” has had something to scream about in Kansas City. Let’s hope this team continues to produce reasons to yell! Well done.

Key #4: Achieved in a big way…

Key #5: Defend the Run

With guys like Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Jason Witten, you know the Cowboys will throw the football. However, I know the Chiefs will game plan that. What I am worried about is the Chiefs being so worried about the pass that DeMarco Murray runs well and sets up the play action for Tony Romo to pick apart the defense. The Chiefs need to use Bob Sutton’s aggressive style defense, use the home field to their advantage, and stop Murray like they stopped Maurice Jones-Drew, who is by far and away the more talented player.

Kenny’s final key was defend the run. In case you haven’t checked, after two weeks, the Chiefs have the second best defense against the run, behind the Denver Broncos. The Chiefs held the Cowboys to just 37 net yards on the ground, and their leading rusher, Demarco Murray, only accounted for 25 yards on 12 carries. This defensive front is the best the Chiefs have fielded in quite some time. As they continue to get better, it will just get scarier for opposing offenses.

Key #5: Achieved

There it is, Addicts. A big win for the Chiefs and the start of a short week as we all look ahead to the Thursday night matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. Could the Chiefs be 3-0 by the weekend? What do you think, Addicts?

 

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