After only winning 4 games in 2009, the Kansas City Chiefs would love to start the 2010 season 2-0. They have a chance to do that this Sunday if they can defeat the Cleveland Browns on the road.
When these two teams met last year late in the season, the contest turned in to a bit of a shootout with Cleveland’s Jerome Harrison and Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles trading blows. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Harrison got the better of Charles and along with 2 returns by Josh Cribbs, the Browns came out on top.
Yet Kansas City is a different team this year and if the Chiefs defense plays as well against Cleveland as they did against San Diego in Week 1, they will have a pretty good shot at getting the victory.
Let’s look at 5 keys to Sunday’s game.
1. Get Jamaal Charles the ball.
Todd Haley has got to wake up and give Jamaal Charles more carries, especially at the beginning of the game. Charles split carries evenly with Thomas Jones against the Chargers and this strategy almost cost the Chiefs the game. I’ll have more on Charles and Thomas Jones later today but if the Chiefs are going to be better on offense than they were against the Chargers, Charles needs more than 11 carries.
2. Stop Jerome Harrison
Nobody around Arrowhead has forgotten what Jerome Harrison did to the Chiefs defense last season. Fortunately for the Chiefs, they will not be sending the same group of defenders out to stop Harrison this season. Mike Brown is but a painful memory and I am not even sure Corey Mays got on the field against the Chargers. This needs to continue.
The other positive for the Chiefs against the Chargers was the play of their defensive line. All 3 guys up front played extremely well. If Tyson Jackson can get back from his injury and defensive line continues their improvement, the Chiefs should be able to contain the Cleveland ground attack.
3. Don’t kick to Josh Cribbs
This should be a no brainer. The Chiefs coverage unit did a fantastic job containing Darren Sproles last week but that doesn’t matter. The 2009 Chiefs coverage unit played well all year until they ran up against Cribbs. The Browns most dynamic weapon is simply too dangerous to kick to. Squibb it, kick it out of bounds, I don’t care, just don’t kick it to Josh Cribbs.
4. Hold on to the football.
Cleveland is already hurting. There is a chance Jake Delhome will not play which would mean the Browns will have to rely on Seneca Wallace and their running game. This could benefit the Chiefs but not if they help the Browns by coughing up the football. This is a road game and if they Chiefs turn the ball over their chances will not be good.
5. Special teams must continue to be special.
It is unrealistic to expect the Chiefs returners to score in every game this season but they must continue to have good run backs and set the Chiefs offense up in favorable field position. Matt Cassel The Chiefs offense has been awful thus far and until he they shows show that he they can throw the ball downfield move the ball somewhat regularly, he they will need a short field to be effective.
If the Chiefs do all of these things, get the ball to Charles, stop the run, avoid Cribbs, succeed in the return game and avoid turnovers, they should get out of Cleveland with their undefeated season intact. =)
Those are my keys. Time to sound off Addicts. What are your keys to victory for this Sunday’s game?