The Chargers head to Arrowhead to face the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend, here are some things the Chiefs like to do on the field. Keep an eye on these and the players as you watch the game this weekend.
The Chiefs offense runs off #25 running back Jamaal Charles of course. The offensive line is better at run-blocking and giving Charles little lanes to get through then pass-blocking. They like to run to the right on most plays along with throwing in a dose of runs to the left. Charles lines up in the backfield and runs small routes underneath and does the rest with his legs. They mix in #40 Peyton Hillis and #20 Shaun Draughn when Charles needs a breather on the sideline to keep the chains moving. Hillis got hurt last week so we’ll see if he returns. Quarterback Matt Cassel only throws short passes over the middle, and receivers #82 Dwayne Bowe and #89 Jon Baldwin run short comeback routes and short out routes toward the sidelines most plays. Number 22 Dexter McCluster also catches most of the passes; again most of them are short quick passes to just get the ball in his hands and let him run. He also got injured last week, so we’ll see if he plays this week. Cassel can only complete these types of throws; with long throws down field he either overthrows his receivers or throws the ball too high for his wide receivers to catch. When they try to catch these high throws they are open to big hits from the defensive backs.
On defense the Chiefs main threats are on both edges along the defensive line with pass rushers #91 Tamba Hali and #50 Justin Houston. Throw in #56 Derrick Johnson, who makes a lot of tackles in the middle along with coming on blitzes and delayed blitzes, and this is how the Chiefs get their pressure. Hali and Houston rush from the outside and make quarterbacks step up; and when they do, Johnson or the others on the defensive line take down the quarterback. Mike Harris and Clary are going to have another long day like last week trying to stop Hali and Houston from getting to Rivers. (That’s why Gaither looks to be practicing again this week; we’ll see if he actually plays on Sunday.) Number 24 Brandon Flowers also has good enough coverage in the secondary that it makes for a lot of incomplete passes, short gains, or small yards after the catch.
The Chiefs don’t score touchdowns once they get in the red zone. They mostly rely on Charles to break a long run and if he scores a touchdown, that’s great. But when they get in the red zone the drives stall so they make their points off field goals. If the game is close this is how the Chiefs hang around, score-wise. If you don’t score touchdowns on them they will just keep adding field goals and staying in games like they did against the Saints last week. Their punter #6 Dustin Colquitt helps the defense out by pinning teams back in their own end zones every time inside the five-yard-line. This is also how they win games in the field position battle. All the teams they’ve played have been pinned inside the five multiple times and their defense has forced three and outs. Along with this is #21 Javier Arenas, a threat to break a punt return or at least give the Chiefs offense great starting field position for Charles to run and to wear defenses down with the run game. The Chargers special teams will have to make sure to not let Arenas break one or have a nice return to setup the Chiefs offense. That’s easier said than done though.
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