Every week, we here at Arrowhead Addict break down the Chiefs’ matchup of the week and predict five things the team will have to do in order to win. Welcome to Five Keys to Victory.
The Kansas City Chiefs are 2 – 0. Damn that feels good to say. So good, in fact, that I think I’ll say it again. The Kansas City Chiefs are 2 – 0, winning as many games in the first two weeks of the 2013 season as the team won the entire 2012 season. Now, the Chiefs entire one of the most hostile playing environments in the NFL and face the team current Chiefs head coach Andy Reid led for 14 seasons. The Chiefs have the opportunity to go 3 – 0 for the first time since the famed (fluke?) 2010 season; the last time the Chiefs were crowned AFC West champs.
Before they can get there however, we must break down the five key things they’ll have to do to beat head coach Chip Kelly and his “high flying” Philadelphia Eagles.
Key #1: Let the Dogs Out Against Michael Vick
What? Too soon? I had to take that shot. Seriously though, I want Vick to watch the game from his back as much as from the sideline. I want Dontari Poe to double his sack count for the season on Vick. I want Justin Houston to set up a ten in the back field. I want Tamba Hali to get on the sack board and get his hands on Vick. When Vick is pressured, Vick runs. When Vick runs, Vick fumbles the ball and throws picks. The Chiefs have to blitz him until he’s crying for his mom to bring him some Campbell’s Chunky Soup. Oh wait…that was the other Eagles quarterback.
Key #2: Grind the Ball
Coach Reid has been criticized most of his career for not slowing down the game, running the ball and controlling the clock when that was what needed to be done. The Eagles offense can’t be “offensive” if they’re watching the Chiefs offense from the sidelines. Jamaal Charles, Cyrus Gray and Knile Davis should all be prepared for a healthy dose of carries tonight, so the Chiefs can own the time of possession battle.
Key #3: Expose the Eagles D for What they Are
After two weeks, the Eagles defense is sitting around the bottom of the league in all major categories. Some say it’s because there are only two weeks’ worth of stats to pull from, but I say it’s because they’re not that good. We were told there would be “Bombs over Baghdad.” I’m still waiting for them to start falling. The Eagles offense will score points, and the Chiefs “O” is going to have to keep pace with them. Facing a mediocre “D” will help them do this.
Key #4: Special Teams…special teams…echo…echo…
I’m going to keep beating this drum until it happens. We were promised special teams play that is “out of this world.” It flashed in the preseason before the roster tweaking that happened after the final preseason game. Since then, all the special teams have done is allow blocked kicks and fumbles. A punt and/or kick return for a touchdown can be a game changer with the swing of emotion and momentum that’s involved. If there was ever a game that the visiting team could use that, it’s this game.
Key #5: Control the Turn Over Situation
Perhaps the biggest (unsung) improvement this team has had since last season is the dramatic swing in the turnover game. After two weeks, the Chiefs are +4 in the turnover column. That means they’ve forced four more turnovers than they’ve had. For those keeping score at home, the 2013 Chiefs haven’t turned the ball over a single time this season, and they’ve forced two fumbles and had two picks. That’s sure a damn sight better than last year. That needs to continue into tonight.
The final point I’d like to make (call it an honorable mention if you will) is the Chiefs will have to be careful to not let the emotion of the situation overplay the game. Yes, Reid is returning to Philly. Yes, it will be weird to see “Big Red” standing on the visiting sideline at the “The Linc” in all red instead of green. Yes, the Chiefs players will want to play as hard as they can for their coach. But no one should lose sight of the fact that this team has the chance to show the country, on the primetime stage, that they’re for real.
See you after the game, Addicts!