It's time to speak with the enemy, and the enemy this week is the Kansas City Chiefs. So repping the Chiefs perspective is Joel Thorman, the mastermind behind Arrowhead Pride, SB Nation's Chiefs blog. I pitched 5 Questions, he batted them back to me. Enjoy!
Blogging The Boys: Jamaal Charles injury status? How did the Chiefs use him last week and how does he fit into the Andy Reid offense?
Arrowhead Pride: Jamaal should be fine for Sunday's game. He has a "quad contusion" and is expected to play on Sunday. Charles received 19 total touches playing just the first three quarters of the first game, so he's involved. That's 16 carries and three receptions. I'd expect the number of receptions to be even higher against Dallas. Charles lined up at running back as well as receiver for one play, a nice slant where he was able to catch the ball. The Chiefs will use him anyway they can. They're obviously giving him rushes and I would expect him to occasionally have even bigger roles in the passing game. Assuming he stays healthy, this will end up being a good offense for Jamaal.
BTB: Alex Smith is the QB now in KC. Break down his game from last week.
AP: As Andy Reid said, he managed the game well. He completed 21-of-34 passes for 173 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Chiefs defense and special teams created multiple opportunities for Alex and the offense in great field position. The first two touchdowns came from drives that started at the Jaguars 24 and 21-yard line. The longest drive of the day was 57 yards (touchdown drive). This is what the Chiefs would prefer. Who wants their offense to have to go 80 yards down the field? Because the Chiefs got up so quickly against Jacksonville and they had such great field position, it's difficult to evaluate how they did. But, hey, they took advantage of their opportunities. Credit them for going 3-for-3 in the red zone, which is an outstanding stat given what we've seen in KC the last few years. They just weren't tested by the Jaguars defense so the Cowboys will be a better test of where Alex and the Chiefs offense is. Ideally Andy Reid wants to see him being accurate and completing a lot of passes. The (lack of a) deep ball isn't a huge concern if Alex can efficiently and consistently move the offense down the field.
BTB: Justin Houston has turned into a terror. What's his game like and how do you stop him?
AP: He's your prototypical pass rusher at 6'3 and 258 pounds. A 2011 third-round pick, Houston fell in the draft due to a failed marijuana test, which means the Chiefs now feel like thieves picking him up in the third round. He looks the part. He's very quick and obviously athletically gifted. He can beat the tackle on the edge but he's also big enough to disrupt things on inside moves. He's just a violent player. He's fast enough to chase down the quarterback if / when he scrambles. Barring injury, he will compete for the sack title. How do you stop him? From some respects, you have to pick your poison. Tamba Hali plays opposite him and Tamba is still an effective player. Use your resources on Houston, and Tamba is gonna get you eventually. Focus on Tamba and, as Houston showed last week with three sacks, he could dominate you. You'll need talented offensive tackles to stop them.
BTB: After that first-game beat-down of the Jaguars, confidence must be rising in KC. Where do you think the team is at right now? How much of that game was because of a terrible Jacksonville squad?
AP: 77 percent of our readers say it's a little of both -- the Chiefs were that good and the Jaguars were that bad. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle. Sure, the Jaguars screwed up quite a bit but you also have to credit the Chiefs for taking advantage of those situations. You can win a lot of games by just "not screwing it up" as the 2010 Chiefs taught us. Overall, the offense has some work to do, the defense could be something special and the special teams have a ton of potential judging by the preseason.
BTB: What areas/positions most concern you about the Chiefs right now? If Dallas is to exploit them, what should they do?
AP: Get a lead early. That would put the pressure on the Chiefs defense AND Alex Smith. The Chiefs don't want a situation where Jamaal Charles is taken out of the game. Andy Reid already passes the ball a lot. They don't want a situation where they become one dimensional or where they have to go deep. Alex Smith has proven he has the ability to be the two minute drill type of player in the right situation but that's not his thing, that's not his strength. I have a feeling that for opponents the Chiefs are going to be the team that keeps hanging around all game long. You won't be able to quite put them out of the game. Getting a lead early would disrupt what the Chiefs are trying to do in the game. It would take the crowd out of it, which is one of the big advantages for KC in a home opener environment like this. That's how the ship sinks at Arrowhead.
Thanks Joel. Visit Arrowhead Pride for complete coverage of the Chiefs.