Airing out the ball
Quarterback Alex Smith will have much to prove in his first game of the year. He needs to prove he can push the ball down the field. The moniker of being a game-manager has gotten a bad rap. Yes, his caution does make for less exciting air play in games, but it is not like he can’t air it out when called upon.
Head coach Andy Reid needs to slam on the gas with Smith and let him loose to throw the ball.
Smith also needs to show the developed chemistry he has with his new weapon, Maclin, and with the receiving group in general. Displaying feats of air should help shed some light on his issue with the deep ball and show the wide receivers he is willing to go deep and spread the field.
Grouping the offensive line
The offensive line will be a focal point in the first game, and don’t be surprised if the first team stays on the field longer than Smith. They will also look to mix it up by adding players here or there to find the right grouping of guys to protect Smith.
They will also look at how they are in the run game, the bread and butter for the Chiefs. Creating lanes, and wreaking havoc is something that has been missing from this line, and showing they have the ability to do so will show growth.
Developed backup running backs
Running backs not named Charles also need to step up. Players like Charcandrick West, who is having quite the training camp, will be evaluated on what they bring to this team. With Thomas moving more into a receiver role, how the second and third-string backs perform will give the team a little piece of security.
Next: Dominance of the defense