Take Five: San Diego

Posted Sep 13, 2010

Five focal points for Monday Night Football

Does it get any better than today?

Nope, it doesn’t.

 Football is finally here, and on a Monday night no less. The only thing that can make this day better is if the Chiefs close it out with a victory and enter tomorrow holding a 1-0 record. Victory won’t come easy for the Chiefs with the winners of the last four AFC West titles in town to open The New Arrowhead.

Here are five areas to key on if the Chiefs are to emerge victorious…

1)      8:35 PM

What the Chiefs have planned shortly after 8:35 PM will only add to the electric atmosphere of Arrowhead. The energy tonight will be unbelievable and it’s something that the Chiefs must feed off of early. Arrowhead will be rocking out of the gates and it’s the Chiefs job to keep it that way. There’s only one way to do that and it’s hitting San Diego in the mouth early and often.

There isn’t a home field advantage that can match Arrowhead’s when the Sea of Red is pounding the seats and the decibel level skyrockets. The Chiefs must start out fast to feed the fans.

2)      Turnovers

Kansas City gave away the football nine times and took it away just once this preseason for an underwhelming -8 ratio in the turnover department. A negative turnover ratio, particularly those at -2 and above, give teams little chance at victory. San Diego is a very talented team and they don’t need second chances or a short field.

The Chiefs are 47-9 (.839) at Arrowhead with a positive turnover margin dating back to 1995.

3)      Big Plays

The Chiefs did a good job at limiting the big play this preseason. It was an encouraging sight to see considering that the big play was one of the most troublesome areas for the team in 2009. The next step is to carry that preseason success into the regular season, and the Chiefs will definitely be tested.

San Diego was one of the NFL’s best when it came to explosive plays in 2009, and they turned in 10 such plays of 20 yards against the Chiefs last year. Part of that big play package against KC included four plays of 50 yards, leading to the Chargers lopsided margin of victory.

4)      Rush Rivers

It doesn’t matter that WR Vincent Jackson is a no-go for San Diego. Philip Rivers is still one of the better quarterbacks in the game and he’s even more efficient when he has plenty of time to throw. Rivers wasn’t sacked in either game against the Chiefs last season.

This preseason, the Chiefs were able to get to the quarterback with a series of blitz packages; particularly those involving LB Demorrio Williams. Williams will be just one of the interesting players to watch when the Chiefs rush the passer along with Tamba Hali and other members of the front seven. Romeo Crennel showed some new wrinkles to the stunt game towards the end of exhibition play, but something tells me that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.

5)      Run, Run, Run

The Chiefs want to be a running team in 2010 and they certainly have the talent in the backfield to be just that. It’s time to see exactly what the one-two punch of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles looks like. With WR Dexter McCluster battling illness this past weekend, the Chiefs may lean even more heavily on Jones and Charles.

^ TOP ^