The Kansas City Chiefs play host to the Carolina Panthers this Sunday at Arrowhead.
With nearly identical stats in most categories across the board, it definately has the potential to be one interesting game. The Panthers are coming in confident after their win last week over the Philadelphia Eagles. Cam Newton returned to his rookie form in that game going 18 of 28 pass attempts for 306 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also rushed 14 times for 52 yards for another 2 touchdowns. In order for the Chiefs to chalk up another win for their demoralizing season, the defense must shut down Newton.
While Kansas City’s offense has struggled for much of the season, there are still some bright spots and options they can work with. They must utilize Jamaal Charles and the run game. The Panthers are giving up an average of 126 yds per game on the ground. If Charles and the other ‘backs can breakout early, they may be able to run all over the Carolina defense. The Chiefs must also try to get the ball into the hands of their best receiver. Dwayne Bowe can be a play-maker when given the opportunity. In order to get him the ball, Brady Quinn needs to show better poise in the pocket and try not to make bad decisions by throwing the ball away. If the Chiefs can keep the ball in Charles and Bowe’s hands for most of the game, their shot at winning this one against Carolina increases dramatically.
Romeo Crennel faces a former colleauge in this matchup. Rob Chudzinski, who is the offensive coordinator for the Panthers, was also the OC for Romeo Crennel when he coached the Browns in Cleveland in 2007-2008. So I expect an interesting game-plan from the Chiefs defensive unit as both coaches will have somewhat of an idea of the others’ play calling style.
The stats for both teams this year are eerily similar, almost identical. Sure, the Panthers have won 2 more games than the Chiefs. However, if the Chiefs can shut down Cam Newton by minimizing his run plays and forcing him to throw, they have a chance. The Chiefs secondary should have no problems keeping up with the Carolina receivers. Utilize the KC run-game and get ahead early and this game could very well swing in the Chiefs favor.
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