One week ago this game looked on paper like another less than meaningful preseason game, but as of Tuesday this game got a whole lot more interesting. As we all know number four the Lambeau legend and number one promoter of Wrangler jeans Brett Favre has come out of retirement for the third time or is it the fourth time, to play for the Minnesota Vikings.
Favre gave the typical “ I am just coming back for the love of the game speech”…….. The two year twenty five million dollar contract and the ability to skip training camp also probably had a little something to do with it. Also in untypical fashion favre is expected to start at QB for the Vikings after being on the team a total of three days.
This is good for the Chiefs for three reasons. 1. The Chiefs don’t play Favre and the Vikings in the regular season. 2. The Viking players which talent wise are superior to the Chiefs maybe off their game and distracted by all of the hoopla surrounding the Favre signing this week allowing the Chiefs to get off to a fast start and gain some much needed confidence. 3. The buzz around this game and media attention will be electric giving this game a regular season feel to it. This will be a important test for a team still trying to gel to see how they respond to the pressure of a game with a regular season feel to it. Maybe more important than that is they will have two weeks to learn from any mistakes they may have made.
Last week’s game saw the Chiefs and Matt Cassel get off to a less than impressive start. Even though two of Cassel’s three incompletions were blatant drops there has been a small QB controversy brewing in KC. Brodie Croyle went twelve for eighteen with his opportunity in that game and when Todd Haley was asked which QB has been the most impressive thus far he deferred the question leaving media outlets to speculate who will start week one. Kent Babb had this tweet about Haley’s comment or lack there of “Remember that stuff about Brodie Croyle firmly being the Chiefs’ No. 2 QB?
Well, now I’m starting to believe he’s threatening Cassel’s job” No matter how absurd this is, the thought is being floated in the Kansas City media and with Cassel already looking to build some confidence he can’t be happy to hear these comments. Haley said a majority of the starters could play the entire first half , keep a eye on Matt Cassel to see how he responds to these developments.
Keys to the Game
Build Cassel’s confidence: The last thing the Chiefs need is any type of QB controversy, real or imagined. The Chiefs need to put Cassel in a position to succeed early in this game, in talking to the media this week Cassel did sound a little rattled or at the least perturbed by the situation. Cassel needs some easy completions early in this game to start to reestablish his confidence, the Chiefs need more leaders not more questions. This game will be a success if Cassel can light up the Vikings and put to rest any debate about who is the better QB.
Build off last weeks pass rush: Last year the Chiefs set a NFL record in futility when it comes to getting after the QB they had ten sacks all of last season. Last week the Chiefs brought down the QB twice against the Texans and even though they return a majority of the same personnel on the D-line as last years squad the switch to the 3-4 seems to have helped create pressure. These players need to get the taste of last years inefficiency out of their mouth, another two sacks would do the Chiefs a lot of good.
Find your deep threat: This week the Chiefs signed journey man speed receiver Ashley Lelie who is no stranger to the AFC West having played for three of it’s four teams. Lelie is brought in to compete with the only other speed receiver the Chiefs have rookie receiver Quentin Lawrence who could still make the team returning kicks. The signing of Lelie is a admission by the personnel staff of the Chiefs that they don’t have someone who can get down and stretch the field. Every team needs a speed receiver but it is even more important for the Chiefs sense Todd Haley’s offense won’t work without being able to push the ball down the field.
Weather Report: Perfect. The Vikings play in a dome.