The Kansas City Chiefs will host the Seattle Seahawks on Friday night in the always important third preseason game.
After getting off on the right foot against the Arizona Cardinals, the Chiefs took a bit of a step back last week with an inconsistent effort in St. Louis vs. the Rams. This week they’ll try to bounce back and set the tone for the regular season with the starters likely getting work into the third quarter.
Romeo Crennel will be looking to see just how quickly the offense is picking up offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s playbook — including recently signed Dwayne Bowe — as well as finding out how far along his defense has come.
There will be plenty of focus on the second and third team units as well with the first cuts coming on Tuesday, but the biggest spotlight will remain on the starters.
Here are the three players to keep your eyes on at Arrowhead Friday night.
Offense: Matt Cassel
The battle to be Cassel’s backup continues to rage on and will be the topic for discussion, especially after we get to see if Brady Quinn or Ricky Stanzi gets the most snaps Friday after Cassel. But at the end of the day, it’s the play of Cassel that is going to determine if the Chiefs can get back to the playoffs this season.
So that means the starter needs to show he is in control of Daboll’s offense. So far his results have been more good than bad, however he still needs to avoid those “Oh, no!” type moments that were all too familiar last season and popped up over the first two weeks.
An efficient Cassel against the Seahawks starting defense will go a long way towards calming the nerves of a still unconvinced fan base.
Defense: Abe Elam
Again, there might be more focus elsewhere, with No. 1 cornerback Brandon Flowers nursing an injury and Crennel’s defense trying to cope. That is a situation that needs to be resolved, but Elam stepping in for the injured Kendrick Lewis next to Eric Berry in the defensive backfield is just as important.
Elam is a veteran that is used to starting (47 of his last 48 games) and has looked smooth his first two games as a Chief with four tackles and an interception. Can he step right into the starting lineup and hold up?
Special Teams: Dustin Colquitt
Unlike a lot of his teammates, Colquitt’s numbers were impressive against the Rams last week. None of his four punts found their way to the endzone, two ended up inside the 20 and his net average was an impressive 51 yards.
It will be interesting to see if he can keep up those kind of numbers with the always dangerous Leon Washington waiting deep for the Seahawks.