Andy Reid will make his official Arrowhead Stadium debut Sunday afternoon when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Dallas Cowboys with both teams looking to make the jump to 2-0.
The Chiefs are fresh off a dominating victory over the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars. A performance that saw the Kansas City offense score 21 straight points and defense put up six sacks.
In Dallas, meanwhile, the Cowboys were anything but sharp and still managed to pull out a tight 36-31 win thanks in large part to a +5 turnover margin. Even with several gift turnovers, the Giants still nearly took out the Cowboys at home.
Both teams have key injury questions on offense with the Chiefs hopefully RB Jamaal Charles won’t be hampered by a quad injury that ended his day early last week. QB Tony Romo and WR Dez Bryant are playing with rib and ankle injuries, respectively.
With Reid looking to start off on the right foot in front of the Sea of Red, here are the players to keep your eye on.
Offense: Dwayne Bowe
Even though he led the team in receptions last week with four, Bowe was quiet for most of the day. The receiver had just 30 yards, with half of those coming on one play. He should have plenty of opportunities Sunday afternoon going up against a secondary that was torched by the Giants.
The Cowboys defense allowed three different New York receivers to go over 100 yards, including 118 and three touchdowns for Victor Cruz. Those numbers are music to Bowe’s ears considering he he topped 100 yards twice last season in the first four weeks and then not against the rest of the year.
Defense: Justin Houston
The linebacker impressed as a rookie, earning his way to the Pro Bowl. If anyone still didn’t know who Houston was, that was taken care of last week when he took down Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert three times.
Now the spotlight is squarely on Houston as he is already openly talking about trying to set the NFL record for sacks in a season. He’ll work on getting closer to that goal against a Cowboys offense that continues to try and find answers along the line.
The Chiefs defense will get a chance to send another quarterback to an early exit if Houston repeats his performance from last week.
Special Teams: Dexter McCluster
Against the Giants, the punt coverage unit for the Cowboys gave up just two returns for 19 yards. In the Chiefs opening game, McCluster returned seven for 80 yards, including a nifty 36 yarder.
With the Cowboys unlikely to allow any kickoff returns, special teams coach Dave Toub will need to cook something up for McCluster in order to break a big play against the Dallas coverage units.