The Kansas City Chiefs look to break one streak while breaking another Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. They have lost three games in a row and for the first time in nearly 20 years (156 games) Arrowhead Stadium will not be considered a sellout. Can the Browns respond from their victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers better than the Chiefs did earlier in the year?
Here are three players (Offense, Defense and Special Teams) from each team to keep your eyes on.
Offense: Dwayne Bowe
Charles has been the key for the Chiefs offense since he took over for Larry Johnson, but the Chiefs need to do a better job in the passing game and Bowe has a chance to be a huge part of that. Todd Haley still hasn’t officially said if his No. 1 receiver will be active this week, but the fact Bowe returned to practice to run with the first team is a good indication that he will be in there.
Kansas City has been plagued by drops all season long and Bowe has been a part of that, but coming off his suspension he has a chance now to be a part of the solution. And as Haley loves to say: Don’t complain, don’t explain, find solutions.
Defense: Demorrio Williams
The Chiefs defense will need to be all over the field Sunday to try and contain Josh Cribbs. The one player that has constantly done a good job of playing sideline to sideline all year is Williams. He is the Chiefs leading tackler and has averaged over 8 tackles a game over the past five games.
When a unit struggles with big plays as much as the Kansas City defense has, no one player will be able to patch the holes but Williams needs to be the rock in the middle to allow everyone else to be able to do their job.
Special Teams: Dustin Colquitt
Over the past five years it’s been rare that Colquitt has had to rebound from a bad game but that’s exactly what he needs to do this week. Against the Bills he had his lowest average (33.4) and net (29.4) of the season and the Chiefs paid for it. We’ve seen the small margin of error Kansas City has to work with in ever aspect of the game and that will be magnified this week on special teams going against the versatile Cribbs.
Offense: Josh Cribbs
This is the name you will hear the most on Sunday. Cribbs is listed as a wide receiver, but he will run not only out of the wildcat but also from traditional running sets. He has carried the ball 42 times so far this season and has averaged an impressive 7.3 yards. Cribbs has as many interceptions (1) as completions out of the wildcat but because of his history as a college quarterback he is always a threat to go long when a defense cheats.
Defense: Eric Wright
The drops that have been plaguing the Chiefs shouldn’t overshadow the fact that their receivers have been getting open deep. That means Wright will have his hands full as he takes on the returning Bowe and Chris Chambers. Kansas City receivers have to stop dropping the ball at some point (right?!) and the play of Wright and his new-old-new running mate Brandon McDonald will decide if this is the week things turn around in the passing game.
Special Teams: Josh Cribbs
There’s that guy again!
If the Chiefs are smart they will kick away from Cribbs as much as possible. Just like on offense, he is always a threat to score when he touches the ball on special teams. He has two return touchdowns this season and will take plenty of chances when returning punts. Cribbs has only fair caught 3 punts meaning Colquitt and the Chiefs coverage unit will have to be especially careful when kicking the ball to Cleveland.