After almost eight months of no football, the NFL regular season is finally here. The San Diego Chargers will begin their march to what they will hope will be their first Lombardi Trophy in the franchises history.
This weekly KYO piece will run here at EVT in attempt to highlight the opponents strengths and weaknesses prior to the Chargers game.
This week the Bolts travel to one of the loudest places in the NFL, Arrowhead Stadium. This venue has proven to be a tough stadium to earn a victory. The Chiefs are expected to be a playoff team, so this will be an early season test for the Chargers. Division games are always tough and this one will be a fierce competition.
1.- The Chiefs DB’s: I was tempted to put Marcus Peters as their number one strength, but that would’ve been a disservice to All-Pro Safety Eric Berry. Quite frankly the Chiefs have two of the best ball hawks in the entire league. Both of them are extremely talented, so it will be up to coach McCoy to move Keenan Allen across the field in order to keep him involved in the game. Not an easy task, but with Travis Benjamin in the fold the Chargers finally have someone who can stretch the field down the sidelines.
2.- Alex Smith: I know he has limitations. I know he hasn’t lived up to being the 1st pick in the 2005 draft and I also know he will forever be in the shadow of Aaron Rodgers. But Alex Smith brings a lot of smarts and competitiveness to this K.C. offense. He’s as steady as they come and will never make the killer mistake with the ball. I know he’s not as dynamic as some of the star QB’s in the league, but he’s effective and efficient. In this day and age you need a QB to take care of the ball, especially if you have a defense that can play.
3.- Pass Rush: The Chiefs have some of the premier pass rushers in the game. Justin Houston is a game changer and Tamba Hali is a very good sidekick, but Houston will not play on Sunday and that is a good thing for the Chargers. Hali is also banged up. When DT Dontari Poe collapses the pocket, the defensive ends get pressure on the QB so Matt Slauson must contain Poe. It will be interesting to see how the Chargers O-Line responds to such a challenge. The crowd noise will be a huge factor as well and the unit must communicate with each other.
1.- WR position: While the Chiefs are a very deep team, the one position they haven’t addressed in recent years is wide receiver. A couple of years ago they went an entire season without a receiving TD. In this era of throwing the ball downfield, that is embarrassing. They do have Jeremy Maclin and he’s solid, but they lack another playmaker on the outside. Travis Kelce is a good tight end and the Chargers must watch him in the middle of the field.
2.- Andy Reid: Yes I know he brings structure to a football team and that is very good, but for some reason Reid refuses to evolve. He also has serious issues with clock management. He always has, even from his days as the Eagles head coach. Some people have made the argument that KC won’t reach their full potential until they get rid of coach Reid. That might be the case and he could be on a hot seat if the team stumbles at all.
3.- Eric Fisher: When you get drafted 1st overall there will be huge expectations and plain and simple. Fisher has under-performed and in my opinion he’s simply not good enough to play LT in the NFL. The Chargers would be wise to blitz the hell out of the side where Fisher plays. Expect a ton of pressure to come from whomever lines up across from the big tackle. Melvin Ingram could have a big game.
So there you have it.
Will the coaching staff find a way to exploit K.C.’s weaknesses or will the Chiefs strengths be too much for the Bolts?
Stay Tuned on Sunday