Keaton Huff @KeatonTheKicker
http://www.chiefsfocus.com Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus
The Chiefs take on the Arizona Cardinals in week 1 at StateFarm Stadium at 3:25. A big game for both teams to begin the season will set the tone for the rest of the year. The game will be streamed on CBS on 9/11. Chiefs fans won’t want to miss this one as the Cardinals present a tough challenge to open the season.
Although the Chiefs should be favored in this game, the Cardinals have a good roster that could present challenges for specific position groups. It is yet to be seen if all players will be healthy this game but I would expect full participation from players such as JuJu and MVS along with McDuffie who were all held out from the last preseason game due to injuries.
Chiefs fans should all be looking at one specific position group that will tell us a lot about our young core. That position group is the corners that will have to face “Hollywood” Brown and Rondale Moore. Luckily for the Chiefs, they won’t have to face D-Hop in this game due to him being suspended for the first half of the season.
The second thing Chiefs fans should watch for is how the defensive line is able to generate pressure. A major problem last year was the inability to get to the quarterback which often led to big plays against the defense. New additions Dunlap and Karlaftis should help in this area but they will need to show some flashes against a subpar offensive line in the Cardinals. Although Kyler Murray is mobile, I would expect our defense to have a few sacks in this game.
On the offensive side of the ball an important thing to look for early is who the Chiefs use when CEH is not in the game. In preseason Pacheco looked to be the guy they like there, but there is speculation as to if that will actually happen. If Pacheco looks to have won the RB2 spot, one has to wonder if we see him eventually step into the RB1 spot if Clyde begins to struggle. I personally hope the best for Clyde but he has a lot to prove this season and the Chiefs might see this as an opportunity to save money by getting a rookie involved in meaningful snaps so they would not have to resign CEH.
My last thing to watch for in this game is how well the recovers have meshed with Mahomes. A spectacular pre-season has put most of those fears to rest but we will need to see them for a full game to fully understand where we are in that area. They should have a good opportunity to show what they are about as the Cardinals don’t have a great cornerback room. I would expect good games out of Skky Moore because he will likely be getting more snaps out of the slot than expected due to JuJu rehabbing a knee injury.
The important part of this game is to just get a win. A loss would likely set the Chiefs back as the schedule doesn’t get any easier from here on out. After this game, the Chiefs will have the Chargers, Colts, and Buccaneers as their next three opponents. A loss against the Cardinals would mean they have to win most of those games to stay ahead in the division.