Chiefs vs. Titans: Five things to watch


On Friday night, the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans will clash in Week 3 of the NFL preseason at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City comes in 2-0 after beating the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks while the Tennessee Titans are 1-1, having lost to the Atlanta Falcons before hammering the St. Louis Rams.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has said throughout the week that his team is treating this like a regular-season game. Thus, there is some more importance to this contest than the previous two. Here are five things we must keep an eye on.

5) How much does Eric Berry play?

Last week, Berry played 21 snaps against Seattle after playing just eight the week prior. Berry has been mostly running with the second team while mixing in a bit with the first team in nickel situations. Will Berry continue to progress and play with the starters for a majority of the first three quarters? After giving Ron Parker a $30 million contract, it will likely come at the expense of Husain Abdullah.

4) Marcus Peters

So far, there has been a ton of buzz around Kansas City’s first-round pick. The kid has been brilliant to this point, but was beaten twice against Seattle for making a nice pass break-up. Can Peters show some dominance against a fellow rookie in Marcus Mariota and shut down the passing attack?

3) Dee Ford’s progress

Last week, Ford started in place of Tamba Hali and looked really good. Ford was screaming off the edge and beating Russell Okung consistently. Even more promising was his play against the run. Ford was setting the edge, getting off blocks and making tackles. After sustained bruised ribs on a chip block, can Ford continue to play well or does the rib injury slow him down?

2) Alex Smith

Smith has been poor in both of the first two preseason games. In the meantime, Chase Daniel has been lights out. Smith needs to put all of this quarterback controversy stuff to bed and play with some conviction against a mediocre secondary. It would be nice to see Smith finally get into a rhythm and stretch the field again, something he has been trying to do.

1) Can the offensive line block at all?

This has easily been the biggest problem throughout the preseason. The starting line looked pretty good in Week 1, but then lost Eric Fisher and Jeff Allen to injury. While both are expected back by the regular season, they are being replaced by Donald Stephenson and Paul Fanaika. The results were brutal last Friday, with Fanaika getting beat consistently (Stephenson played very well, however). Please, keep Alex Smith safe.