The Kansas City Chiefs–who boast an unbeaten record–stand as arguably the NFL’s hottest team. Some even tout them as the best team in the league.
All three phases are clicking. Arrowhead Stadium is as much a fortress now as it has ever been. Reminiscent of the cut-throat crowds of the 90s, red swarms of deafening fans are hurling noise and cheers at record-breaking levels onto the field. It’s like being inside the Coliseum during a bloody gladiator spectacle. And the crowd has been entertained!
Enter the struggling Cleveland Browns, searching for their fourth win of the season. Jason Campbell will be the new starter and hopes to spark something for a sputtering Browns offense. He was named the starter earlier this week, supplanting former starter Brandon Weeden… who has been playing just awful football lately.
A couple key match-ups
1. Tamba Hali vs. Joe Thomas: Hali leads the NFL in sacks and hurries. He has been nearly impossible for opposing offenses to block. Hali will spend a lot of time working against Thomas during this game, and he could honestly have a very quiet game. BUT — if Hali can manage to get around Thomas just one or two times, he can change a game in seconds. He proved that just last week with his game-clenching sack and strip of Houston Texans rookie QB Case Keenum.
2. Eric Berry vs. Jordan Cameron: Cameron is the Brown’s leading receiver this year. He has already hauled in six touchdowns. Eric Berry has had pretty successful outings this season so far against opposing tight ends. Keep an eye on Berry and the other members of the secondary here. It will be interesting to see if Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton decides to double team Cameron or elects to match him up one on one with Berry most of the afternoon.
Probable Fantasy Standouts
- Jamaal Charles: He is in excellent form. He looks as quick as he has looked at any other point in his career. He should continue his streak of 100+ A.P. yard games here.
- Josh Gordon: The Chiefs’ secondary, though stout, will give up at LEAST one big play. Look for this speedy, talented youngster to gain 80+ yards, possibly hit pay-dirt.
- The most crucial factor of this game will be the performance of newcomer Jason Campbell. He is no stranger to Arrowhead, having visited this stadium many times before in a Raiders uniform.
- Joe Thomas will need to keep the irrepressible Hali out of Campbell’s face and hope that Houston does not have an explosive performance on the other side. I speak for a lot of Chiefs fans when I say that Houston is due for another triple sack + game.
- I expect a couple of interceptions and several sacks on Jason Campbell here. He has some weapons through the air, but our secondary should be up for the task. Campbell’s lack of mobility is a very good thing for the Chief’s defense, who have been gashed by scramblers in the past.
- Offensively, the Kansas City Chiefs just need to play smart football. Alex Smith needs to make smart reads and deliver crisp passes. Turning in a performance with zero turnovers will be crucial. The Chiefs will have some trouble moving the ball, but a few long, sustaining drives should be enough to win here.
- Jamal Charles will have to earn a lot of tough yardage. I expect him to have more success catching out of the backfield than running between the tackles.
- As they have done so far this season, the Chiefs defense/special teams will need to come up big in this game. I don’t expect the offense to light it up against a steely Browns’ defense, but an inspired team effort should result in a comfortable win here for the Chiefs.