What to Watch For: Chargers @ Chiefs

There is so much to watch for in this game, it would be impossible to put it all into one post. When you think about all of the changes and moves this team has made during the offseason, the hype that the rookies are providing, the upgraded stadium and atmosphere, there just really isn’t an end to the madness. Don’t worry folks, Andy is here to save the day! I am going to tell you just a few of the main things I will be watching for.

Rookies in the First Quarter:

There is going to be some serious adrenaline pumping through everyone’s veins Monday night; the coaches, the players, the fans, the announcers, and just about everyone who has any kind of interest in the Kansas City Chiefs. I can’t imagine what will be going through the heads of the rookies when they walk out of that tunnel. The veterans have all been there before. Most of the seasoned vets on this team have all been in the big game situation before. The rookies however have not. I’m sure they have all played in high school championship games, NCAA conference championship games, and for one, a BCS National Championship game. However, this is the NFL. This is where these players make their living. I will be very anxious to see how these rookies play in the first quarter especially considering the magnitude of this game. They will undoubtably be nervous, but they will be forced to grow up quick because while this game will not make or break the season, but it will definitely have a major impact on the momentum carried into the Cleveland and be crucial for any attempt at taking the division title.

Inside Linebackers/Defensive Match ups:

Arguably the most exciting position battle throughout camp was the battle at Inside Linebacker. The Chiefs have reportedly announced Derrick Johnson as the starter, which would lead us to assume that Jovan Belcher will be starting beside him. I will be very anxious to see if DJ can find a way to make the big plays, but also not disappear in between them. The majority of his problems last year, and even this preseason, were the way he just seemed to disappear way too often. Belcher needs to keep being the consistent sure-tackler he has been, and DJ needs to find a way to stay consistent and be confident on every single play. The defensive match ups will be huge as well. Being smart about who guards players such as Darren Sproles and Antonio Gates will be vital when it comes to winning or losing. Gates has a history of tearing the Chiefs apart, and guys like Tamba Hali and Mike Vrabel aren’t nearly quick enough to stay with him, so I will be interested to see Romeo Crennel’s game plan.

Offensive Game plan:

I know I have talked a lot about game plan’s and match ups, but I feel that it will be incredibly important for the Chiefs chances of victory. I feel like the Chiefs need to pound the ball and focus on not turning the ball over. If the Chiefs can win the turnover battle and control the time of possession, it will give them a great chance at victory. A large serving of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles should set up play action very nicely. If the Chiefs can run the ball successfully they should be able to dictate this game and they should be able to come out victorious in the biggest game in recent memory.

All in all, this is the most excited I have been for a chiefs game in a long time. The fans, the players, the coaches, the ‘experts’ all feel like the Chiefs have a chance to win this game. The Chiefs have a great opportunity to come out and make a statement. A chance to prove to the NFL that they are improving and they are better than advertised. Most of all, I can’t wait to see Arrowhead Stadium back to what Arrowhead Stadium should be. The loudest, craziest, and hardest place to play in the NFL!

16 Comments Say Something
  • With Philip Rivers, I'm really intrigued to see how our rookie safeties respond. They'll get plenty of action, I'm sure.

    I'm super pissed though: I can't go to the game because I have to take a damn biology test. I should be back in time for the start of the game at my apartment though, are we gonna be blogging during the game or doing a thread of some kind?

  • I'm also interested to see how Charles and Jones do, as well as how the carries are split.

  • Yeah the Charles and Jones carries go with the offensive gameplan. I am excited to see how we come out of the gate. It would be very easy to come out really hyped then just let the chargers take a 14-0 or 14-3 lead in the 1st. They need to come out hot, but keep their cool. I cannot wait for this game!

  • I just hope that when the Chiefs beat the Chargers it doesn't go down as some fluke. I also hope the the league and the media stop downtrodding the Chiefs in the news and the Chiefs start getting their due as far as positive press. It has been some time since I've seen anything a shedding positive light on the Chiefs. The only things I've consistently seen from the league are advertisements for chiefs products because of our large fan base. They act as if the chiefs are no longer part of the league; except as a money-maker for a couple years of bad play. This is frustrating to me as a Chiefs fan. If the Chiefs have a winning season this year they'll be plastered everywhere. Watch and see.

  • mageta, you won't see that kind of attitude on here, i assure you. thanks for commenting. let's hope the chiefs pull it off

  • @ChiefsCommand hey, what are we gonna do during the game monday? live thread of some sort, or blogging our observations at all?

  • RT @ChiefsCommand: What to Watch For: Chargers @ Chiefs… #NFL #KC #Chiefs Blog by @AndyKelley47

  • Tom, I like this site. Reminds me of how Arrowhead pride used to be. I just don't like that the Chiefs appear to be blacklisted by the league because sales are down. Let's you know that the priorites are monetary first. Off my soapbox…I am very excited about the Chiefs this season. Jamaal should pick up where he left off. He is clearly the starter. With a more experienced offensive line and three solid backs, the Chiefs should have the most prolific rushing attack in the league. D-Bowe looks much improved, Chambers should stay consistent and McCluster will be electric every time he touches the ball. Arenas' contributions on kickoff and punt returns should give our offense shorter fields more often than not. I am excited about the defense too. Our secondary is young but I only see them improving under Romeo Crennel. Look for the Chiefs to be much improved against the run. The sky is the limit for this team! There is new, young talent everywhere and the players are buying in to the coaches programs. Now, if we can just stay healthy…

  • Typically, we usually get gashed pretty good by Gates on defense. I think some of this was due to our past tendency to overpersue, which was exploited by past opponents. Hopefully, that has been addressed and corrected; or we will see more of the same. Historically, the Chargers have never run well against us much of their success had been in the pass game. Maybe our depth and team speed in the secondary brings us closer? Ultimately we will live and die on defense by our pass rush. We HAVE to get to Rivers. If we can get pressure on him then that will make Monday nights game vastly different I'n complection. Haley and Romeo need to turn Tamba loose. All in all, I think this will be a much more competitive game than the so called "experts" claim it to be. Go Chiefs!

  • I'm hoping the fact they're starting DJ has something to do with scheme, and that Williams will also get into the mix. DJ still has a lot to prove, but during camp I saw him SWAT TJones down on a pass protection drill.

    DJ swatted his right arm across his body and hit TJ who was on his left. TJ stumbled down and backwards into a crab stance (all 4's), and DJ just walked past Palko. It was twice as impressive to see it live…I'm hoping to see a repeat televised on Monday night!

  • I'm really looking forward to see what role McCluster will play, especially during an entire game.

  • I don't think it really matters who starts on linebacker- they're going to swap out a lot. same w/ wallace gilberry.

  • The Chargers have been a lot more balanced so far this (pre)season. Run/Pass is 44/55%. I'm guarantee they will test Berry early, and he may make a rookie mistake or two, but I feel confident he'll settle down fine.

    Carr and our LB's in coverage are the ones I'm worried about. Out of 146 passes this preseason, 95 (65%) have been short to the Left or Right. Seems they're perfectly happy with the dink and dunk. It appears so far they've pretty much only went deep enough to keep the D honest, with only 5 deep over the middle.

    I'm sure Gates and the rookie RB Matthews will figure heavily into that scheme. If we want a chance, we'll have to get some good pressure to hurry Rivers and give our secondary and LB's an opportunity for a pick. A few bonecrushing hits by DJ and Berry would be nice to put some footsteps in the receiver's head.

    In the run game, right up the gut is where they go (34%), followed by around RT end (13%).

    All in all, the matchups look pretty favorable towards SD, dammit. Let's hope they start flat and we come out fired up. I'm hoping Haley has posted (SD LB) Coopers's comments in our locker room. We're gonna need a fired up team and also lean heavily on the 12th man for help winning this one.

    All things considered, we still have a much better opportunity this time around. I still think turnovers will be the key…we need to be at least +2.

    Rivers has been quoted as saying Arrowhead will be loud just as it has been in the past–that punk has NO CLUE how loud Arrowhead USED to be. I'm hoping the crowd will be louder than he's ever experienced it come Monday nite. We'll need the 12th man to keep the adrenaline pumping for our guys too!

    BTW, there is a AWESOME breakdown here:

    I used the stats provided there and ran some quick calcs off them…

  • mageta2320 – "the Chiefs should have the most prolific rushing attack in the league."

    I couldn't agree more. Remember, when Weis was with New England they were a running team. If the Chiefs are serious about winning, they need to get Jones and Charles 20 touches each per game. It won't happen, I think Haley would get bored, but that's the way they need to go.

  • Charles should get 15-20 touches, Jones with 10-15, Battle with 3-7.

  • Add in an additional 3-7 for McCluster and you're looking at a running game that features 2 game breakers in Charles and McCluster, and 2 pounding runners with Jones and Battle.

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