"You know that Toribio (doubtful) did not practice yesterday, Bailey (doubtful) did not practice and Kendrick Lewis (doubtful) did not practice," said Romeo Crennel before Chiefs practice Friday at Arrowhead Stadium. "Jovan Belcher (questionable) did not practice. Jovan should be limited today, we will see how he feels, what he can do. Derrick Johnson (questionable) is limited, (Jalil) Brown (questionable) is limited and Flowers (questionable) is limited. Otherwise, I think the guys are excited about the game getting closer and they know that it’s a couple days away."
I'm betting on Brandon Flowers and Derrick Johnson being ready for Sunday. In the time I saw Derrick Johnson this week he was fully dressed and looked like a complete participant. Flowers was in shorts with helmet on hanging with the DB's.
Johnson looked ready in practice this week
In my mind Johnson and Flowers have to be there against the Atlanta Falcons. Flowers at 80 percent is still better than Jalil Brown at 100 percent. If Flowers and Johnson are present and accounted for I'll feel better about Atlanta.
The pressure to perform is really on the offense. They're healthy and each should be good to go. The defense is hurt; they sort of have an excuse, but not the offense.
The emphasis has really been on the run. Most automatically look at Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis and think run, run, run and run some more. I expect Kansas City to run a lot, which I like, but the weapons are there for Kansas City to pass the ball too. If Matt Cassel has time, which was a reason to sign right tackle Eric Winston also, then Cassel has capable receivers.
In 2010 Dwayne Bowe led the league with 15 touchdowns. Granted, he's rusty Bowe's missed camp and pretty much the entire off-season but he didn't forget how to catch. When the adrenaline flows, especially at home in front of the home crowd, I don't think Bowe will draw a blank when the ball is thrown his way.
I'd like Bowe to transform into the player fans saw in 2010. Wouldn't it be cool if Bowe ended up the hero against the Falcons? Bowe wants to impress whether it's staying put in Kansas City or signing someplace else. The Falcons represent a golden opportunity for Bowe and the rest.
With the defense down and players out it'd be the perfect time for the offense to shine. You know, show off a little. Atlanta would be the game and with the 12th man watching Brian Daboll could prove his crew doesn't always need big brother (defense) at its best.
"Yes," said Daboll after practice Friday about the offense ability to do whatever it has to do to win. "Friday I think you have to prepare for all the situations, and whatever situation comes at you the first game, you have to handle and adjust and respond to, be resilient. There are going to be some good things that happen. There are probably going to be a few things that happen that you wish didn’t happen right away, but you find a way to be resilient, to bounce back, to attack, and to do whatever you need to do to help the football team."
Help needs to be in the form of scoring points, Kansas City ranked 26th in the preseason in scoring per game. What was encouraging was the offense ranking in the top of the NFL during preseason in third down conversions, first downs and time of possession. Still, points will be where it's at against Atlanta.
The hot topic has been defense, but quite frankly that's because of concern over the offense keeping up. Several doubt Cassel and the offense can compete with Atlanta.
In 2010 Matt Cassel was a top-10 quarterback. Deserved or not Cassel was in the top 10. Bowe was a top receiver and Jamaal Charles the number two running back in the league. The 2010 offense was a top-15 (12th with 349 yards per game) unit. Kansas City was number one in the league at running the ball in 2010.
Did it all disappear because of the NFL lockout and a lousy 2011? I have a hard time believing that.
The offense is fit and with lots of options for Daboll. New wrinkles like Dexter McCluster and Hillis…Kevin Boss to name a few.
"Sky is the limit I think," said Boss on Wednesday when asked about expectations for the offense. "If we can stay healthy and continue to work together and get things clicking on Sundays, I don’t think there is any reason we can’t be one of the top offenses in the league."
I'm hearing a lot about what Atlanta will do to Kansas City’s defense but not much about what Kansas City's offense could do to Atlanta's defense. There's potential for Kansas City to put up plenty of points as well. While Atlanta with Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez can pass Kansas City can potentially do it all with the run and pass.
"Absolutely," said Matt Cassel when asked if the offense could keep up in a point war. "I think our offense is capable of winning a game in a situation where we have to put a lot of points on the board. I think that we have the potential to do that, and again, we’ll see how the game goes and what the game dictates."
Exactly what this offense has fans are going to find out. Partly because the offense has to and secondly because it's time for the offense to walk, jog then run to the Super Bowl. What has me excited about this team is they have a real shot at being balanced on offense and defense.
The defense is hurt, but that shouldn't have anything to do with the offense. Fans should see that against Atlanta.
KC STAR ADAM TEICHER: Are you going to go up to Arrowhead every Friday for practice or just before home games?
ROMEO CRENNEL: "Yeah, it gives them an opportunity to get a feel. Not that they don't have a feel for the stadium, but we practice out here all the time, so they have a great feel for that and they only play at the stadium. So, I think going up there and letting them run around on the field that they're going to play on is not a bad thing."
It's time for the offense to score, win and stand on its own.
Good day, Chiefs fans!