Chiefs Nation, along with Football Fanatics alike, we have finally made it to what we have been waiting for since Feburary 8th of this year. That’s 213 days or 30 weeks and three days, if you were curious.
The Chiefs will have an immediate insight on what kind of football club they will be this season when they host the much hated AFC rival San Diego Chargers at the New Arrowhead on Monday Night Football. The Chargers have beaten the Chiefs in the last five outings, but Kansas City looks to snap that streak with a week 1 upset in their new home.
1. Ryan Matthews vs Chiefs Front Seven
The Chiefs all know about quarterback Phillip Rivers, but one man they do not know is rookie starting running back Ryan Matthews. Matthews is sure to get a huge dose in his pro debut and why shouldn’t he against such a porous front seven of the Chiefs. The Chiefs are going to have to get physical up front and stay disciplined in their assignments if they are going to be able to corral Matthews on Monday Night. Matthews is a big shifty back that can play between the tackles, but can also bust one loose with room to the outside. He may not be LaDainian Tomlinson, but he has the potential and ability to be every bit a lightning bolt for the Chargers.
2. Matt Cassel vs San Diego Secondary
This play of Matt Cassel will dictate the success of the Kansas City Chiefs. In the four preseason games played, only one of them did we see Cassel look comfortable an efficient. the Chargers D no longer has Antonio Cromartie, however they do have Quentin Jammer alongside Antoine Cason-no slouches. They are big a physical and love to get in the face of the receivers. Cassel is now in the Charlie Weis offense which means we are going to see a lot of dink and dunk plays to the likes of Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster. Hopefully Dwayne Bowe will be able to stretch the defense so that Cassel will get something going. However, for Cassel this may have to be a game he manages if the Chiefs are able to get something going on the ground, but if not then he will have to make the necessary plays for success.
3. Antonio Gates vs Chiefs Linebackers
The Chiefs linebackers have been one of the brightest spots of the off season and preseason thus far, their play has been the backbone of the team. The Chiefs linebackers are going to have to be able to keep an eye on Antonio Gates. In order to limit Gates and help their safeties, the backers are going to have get some hands on him and disrupt him off his route. With no Vincent Jackson and a receiving core with no real go to guy, Rivers will be looking to Gates a little more often which is why this match up becomes even more important. Guys like Demarrio Williams, Derrick Johnson, and Tamba Hali are going to have to step up not only in the run defense, but the passing attack as well.
What looks to be a great match up and the second game of a Monday Night Doubleheader, the Chiefs-Chargers games are always hard, grind it out games with a little magic at the end. Their should be a lot of electricity in the air, but for our sake, let’s not hope too much.
Don’t forget Friday September 10th is Red Friday for the 2010. If you are a part of Chiefs Nation then make sure you wear some red on Friday to show supports for your team. You do not have to live in Kansas City to do it either, wear your colors proudly.
Also for those fans in attendance to the Monday Night Game, fans are urged to be in their seats by 8:35 eastern time for special pregame festivities that you do not want to miss. And for all of you at home, Chiefs Insider Josh Looney says that they will run the pregame festivities on the Chiefs Internet home page.
Check back on Tuesday for a recap and analysis on the Chiefs home opener with the Chargers. Go Chiefs!!!
About the Author
Written by Vince Sapienza
I am a sports enthusiast pursuing an undergraduate degree in Television Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Communication Studies with a deep passion and love for all that is sports.