Week 1 of the football season starts today and the San Diego Chargers are geared up to rock out on Monday Night Football for the national audience.
Our Monday Night opponent this week is the divisional rival Kansas City Chiefs. I spoke with the lead writer, Patrick Allen, over at Arrowhead Addict in order to get some insights on our opponent in week 1. Head over to Arrowhead Addict and make the Bolt Beat presence felt.
Here is what Patrick had to say about the Chiefs:
1. What is expected of the new offensive weapons Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster?
I think more is expected of Dexter McCluster than Jones. Jamaal Charles is the Chiefs most dynamic back and most Chiefs fans want to see him get the bulk of the carries. I think Thomas Jones is going to be more important than people realize but just in a less flashy way than guys like McCluster and Charles. Jones is here to get the tough yards and move the chains. He will also keep Charles fresh. His per carry average was low in the preseason but I thought he looked pretty good. He moved the chains on a number of occasions and he had a particularly nice TD run. He shows up when it counts.
2. What rookies, other than McCluster and Eric Berry, should the Chargers be aware of?
Look out for Javier Arenas. He is still developing as a corner but his return skills are frightening. He nearly took one back in every preseason game. He has a chance to really help KC in that department.
Another rookie that might make a big play is free safety Kendrick Lewis. Lewis probably won’t start but he will see significant playing time. He was a 5th round pick so he has largly flown under the radar but he appears to have starting abilities. He is fast and has shown the ability to blitz and cover well. He had the Chiefs only interception of the preseason.
Lastly, watch out for a WR by the name of Jeremy Horne. Horne is an undrafted free agent and is very raw but he has some speed and showed the ability to get separation from corners on deep routes. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him break lose for once during the game. Now whether or not Cassel will be able to get him the ball is another story…
3. What kind of game plan have the new offensive coordinator (Charlie Weis) and defensive coordinator (Romeo Crennel) brought to the team?
Charlie Weis is playing to the team’s strengths which is the running game. Expect the Chiefs to run the ball a lot and I wouldn’t be surprised if they implement a strategy similar to what the Jets did in the playoffs last year. Passes will be short and quick. Expect a lot of slants, screens and play action.
Romeo Crennnel has the defense playing with a lot of passion and he seems to be determined to create a pass rush using the linebackers. Watch out for blitzes coming from the MLB’s and the safeties. As far as an overall game plan, I think the Chiefs will play to stop the run and will blitz a lot. They are going to try to rely on their strong DB play. Philip Rivers should get a lot of one on one opportunities if he can get rid of the ball quick enough. Again, this is just a guess as this is the first game.
4. What have you been encouraged by in this preseason? Discouraged?
I have been encouraged by the number of different guys stepping up and making plays, especially on the defense. The linebacker play seems to have improved dramatically. Younger players are stepping up and making an impact which will be crucial to the success of this team.
The Special Teams unit looks like it could be one of the best in the league.
I have been most discouraged in the play of Matt Cassel. I have not seen any signs of improvement over what he did last season.
5. What is up with former Charger WR Chris Chambers marrying his stalker? Does this cause any distraction in the locker room?
Ha! Strangely enough the whole Chris Chambers drama hasn’t caused any distraction at all. Chris appears to be staying out of trouble. He keeps his head down and goes to work. As long as he does that, I don’t think anyone will be too worried about his issues with the ladies. After having Larry Johnson slapping women around we’d rather have Chris Chambers marrying his stalker. Step in the right direction I guess.
BONUS: Prediction on the Monday Night Football Game
Logic tells me the Chargers should win this game. The Chiefs are better but they are still very young and inexperienced. That being said, the table seems to be set for an upset. With the Chargers missing a few key players and the Monday Nigh atmosphere at Arrowhead, I think the Chiefs could very well hang in there and maybe steal this one.
I am going to kind of take the chicken way out here and say if the Chiefs can create two turnovers and hang on to the ball themselves, they will squeak out a victory. If the Chargers hold on to the ball and the Chiefs turn it over, even once, they probably won’t be able to overcome it and the Chargers will get the victory.
I just wanted to say thank you to our friends (enemies) over at Arrowhead Addict and Patrick for sharing his thoughts on the game. LETS GO BOLTS!!!