The Kansas City Chiefs are in town and will be the first opponent of 2015, albeit only in the preseason, for the Arizona Cardinals. To preview the game, I asked Arrowhead Pride's Joel Thorman some questions. He was kind enough to answer them.
So that Justin Houston guy is pretty good. Matt Conner said on the podcast his best is yet to come. How good can he possibly be?
Justin Houston has gotten better and increased his numbers every single year he's been in the league, which culminated in last season's 22-sack campaign. And he did all that without reporting for any offseason work before training camp. He has proven he can work out on his own and report to the team in superb shape. He's gotten stronger each year. He adds new pass rush moves every year. Perhaps among the most important, he still has Tamba Hali on the other side, which prevents offenses from completely keying in on him. If Dee Ford can pick up Tamba Hali's slack over the next few years, it's fair to predict that Houston, who is only 26, will have a monster run over the next few years.
What is the playing time plan for KC?
The Chiefs starters will play the first quarter, the second team will play the second quarter and part of the third while the third team will pick it up from there. This is roughly how they've played it in the past so I suspect they'll keep to that plan.
Who is an offensive and a defensive player Cards fans should pay attention to?
Offensively, Travis Kelce is terrific but check out the rookie TE next to him, James O'Shaughnessy. He's a fifth round pick out of that football factory Illinois State but has quickly shown he belongs in the NFL. We're excited about him. Defensively, Eric Berry. How can I pick anyone else? He is expected to play on Saturdaynight and we want to know how the Chiefs plan to use him. He has been working mostly with the second team in camp so far.
Who have been the camp standouts so far?
Rookie CB Marcus Peters had a few nice days at camp, including three interceptions on the first day the Chiefs put pads on. UDFA LB Justin March kind of came out of nowhere making plays in the middle of the field. It's impossible for WR De'Anthony Thomas to look bad in drills where he isn't getting hit. And then there's Jeremy Maclin, whose competitiveness led to the Chiefs only training camp fight in years.
By adding Jeremy Maclin and calling De'Anthony Thomas a WR, what would you set the over/under for touchdown passes to a WR this year? And could it happen even in Week 1?
While the Chiefs didn't throw any TDs to receivers last year, they were still 16 in scoring. That was higher than the Cardinals. So I think that stat is pretty overrated because the Chiefs offense was still scoring points. That said, give me 10 TD passes to receivers. I bet it happens by Week 1.