Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs: What You Need to Know Heading into Week 2

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 08:   Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs points during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on September 8, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Benjamin AllbrightContributor ISeptember 10, 2013

Expectations are high following the Kansas City Chiefs' demolishing of the Jacksonville Jaguars this past Sunday.  The Chiefs won their opening game in dominant fashion, 28-2, led by a defense that didn't allow the Jaguars to cross their own 50-yard line until there was under a minute remaining in the game.

This week, however, presents a different challenge.  While the Chiefs will get the Dallas Cowboys at home, they present a much tougher challenge than the Jaguars offense did.

 

Division Standings

AFC West Division Standings

TeamWinsLosses
Denver10
Kansas City10
San Diego01
Oakland01

After one week of play, Kansas City sits tied atop the division with Denver, with Oakland having been edged out by Indianapolis and San Diego having been bested by Houston as time expired in their losses. 

 

NFC East Division Standings

TeamWinsLosses
Dallas10
Philadelphia10
New York01
Washington01

Dallas enters the game with the Chiefs atop its division, tied with the Philadelphia Eagles.  The Cowboys survived a near scare with the New York Giants last week, despite having forced six turnovers.  If the Chiefs hope to win this game, they can't be as careless with the football as the Giants were.

 

Injury Report

(courtesy of NFL.com)

Kansas City

NamePositionInjuryPractice StatusGame Status
Jamaal CharlesHBQuadUnknownProbable
Donald StephensonOTShoulderFullProbable
Travis KelceTEKneeLimitedQuestionable
Quintin DempsSHamstringFullProbable
Eric FisherOTShoulderFullProbable
Allen BaileyDENon InjuryNon-ParticipantQuestionable
Nico JohnsonLBAnkleNon-ParticipantQuestionable
Jon AsamoahOGCalfNon-ParticipantQuestionable
Dezman MosesLBToeFullProbable

 

Dallas 

NamePositionInjuryPractice StatusGame Status
Tony RomoQBRibsLimitedProbable
Dez BryantWRFootLimitedQuestionable
Anthony SpencerDEKneeNon-ParticipantDoubtful
Danny McCraySHamstringNon-ParticipantDoubtful
Ben BassDEShoulderNon-ParticipantDoubtful
Lance DunbarRBFootNon-ParticipantDoubtful
Ronald LearyOGKneeFullProbable

For the Chiefs, Jamaal Charles' injury doesn't appear to be serious.  He actually returned for two plays against the Jaguars on Sunday, before being removed from the game for good for "precautionary" reasons.

The Cowboys' two main injuries appear a bit more serious.  Both Tony Romo and Dez Bryant's X-rays and MRIs came back negative.  According to Todd Archer of ESPN.com, Bryant has stated publicly he'll play, but it remains to be seen what the team's medical staff has to say about that.

 

What Must Improve

For the Chiefs to win this game, the offense is going to have to be less conservative.  Dallas' defensive coordinator, and architect of the famed "Tampa-2" defense, thrives on taking away the underneath yardage from teams with a creative mix of zone blitzing, forcing quarterbacks to find the soft spot in the zones down the seams and near the sidelines.

On defense, Kansas City will need to be effective with the pass rush, as it was against the Jaguars, and also cover better out the slot.  Dallas Cowboys head coach, and offensive architect, Jason Garrett likes to work his top receivers into the slot and create mismatches.  The Chiefs struggles at times covering the slot against Jacksonville, though the Jaguars never turned that into any production.

The Chiefs also struggled to contain the quarterback this preseason, while their Week 1 opponent Blaine Gabbert wasn't a threat to take off, Cowboys quarterback Romo certainly is. 

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