NFL Week 1: Cardinals Chiefs 5 things to watch

We did it.

After a long hiatus with plenty of changes for Kansas City Chiefs fans in the era of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the regular season is here. The Chiefs begin a road game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, at 3:25 p.m. Arrowhead time on Sunday.

The Chiefs opened as a simple bet, but the spread grew to six points, for every DraftKings SportsBook. The total over/under stands at 54 points.

It’s a battle of two teams looking to go further than they did last season. I have five things to watch for the season opener:

1. Whoever passes the catcher has his first big match

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On Thursday, quarterback Patrick Mahomes joked with fantasy footballers that they would have a hard time choosing which player would come out each week because it would be different each time. Well, who is first?

I think the opposing defenses will test Mahomes’ chemistry with the new receivers early on by putting special pressure on the tight end Travis Kelsey. The Cardinals have athletes like Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins to take him up the second tier, then safety like Budda Baker to put a hat on Kelce vertically.

With Kelsey garnering attention, I think we’ll see wide player Marquis Valdes-Scantling have his first big game for the group. Juju Smith-Schuster will also see plenty of action, primarily working out of the hole – as playmaker Byron Murphy will likely be patrolling. Arizona’s outside corner kicks will be the most exploitable targets, giving Valdes-Scantling a chance at middle and deep passes behind attention on Kelce or down the sideline.

2. Highway plan

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Cardinals quarterback Keeler Murray would be a handful to deal with, as a runner and a passerby. The strategy to neutralize him should start from the first four.

The Chiefs’ defensive sides need to be disciplined in their fast way, and you will notice. Their dash will focus on containing Murray in the pocket, heading toward the middle to collapse on Murray with the help of star defense Chris Jones. If he doesn’t make it, Jones’ height and ability to hit passes would still make Murray uncomfortable working there.

This also means that the other internal interlock will be important, taking advantage of the one-on-one situation that will occur when the other center assists the guard with Jones. The Chiefs trained with a few men here. Defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton is the first player to come forward, but defensive end Mike Dana and rookie George Karlavtis can smash balls to throw balls there and attack a keeper.

Overall, the passing rush needs to make things difficult for Murray, in order to help the high school newcomers.

3. Arming the offensive line

Chiefs have seen this unit working together for an entire season now and will probably understand that they have an advantage in the trenches against most of their opponents.

That may be the case on Sunday, especially when considering the injury report in Arizona. Veteran defensive end JJ Watt has Missed two exercises with a calf injuryand defensive end Marcus Golden – who hit 11 sacks last year – He missed Wednesday’s training with a finger injury, and was limited on Thursday.

The Cardinals’ defensive front was already the weakest chain in their unit link, with playmakers coming from the second and third tiers of their defence. I’d like to see the play that calls for arming the front five, with a larger volume of lower-scheme playbacks and multi-layered pass concepts, confidence that the pocket will allow the roads to open up to each other.

4. Situational defense

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History tells us defensive coordinator Steve Spagnolo relies on his Dime guys to be on the field for most of the third touchdown, and other crucial passing situations. Regardless of the attacking individuals, Spags wanted the three safety combination for important play.

Based on pre-season, this year’s Dime package will feature linebacker Nick Bolton in place of Ben Niemann; He also replaces Terran Mathieu and Dan Sorensen with Justin Reed and rookie Brian Cook.

We’ll likely see the same strategy right out of the gate, but I’d be curious if they trust Nickel’s package more this year – with full-back Willie Jay Jr on the field alongside Bolton, while Cook remains on the sidelines. In my opinion, the best team defense in a given game is Bolton and Jay on the field together.

Watch that, but also how well Bolton does as a three-back. He made 14 tackles and defended three passes When he was similarly trusted last year against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 15.

5. Rookie effect

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There are several first-year players to watch and finally get a full regular season game to see how the team feels about them:

  • Cornerback Trent McDuffie was the starting point for the starting border from day one of bootcamp, but can we see more spinning in the hole? Especially with matches with variable receivers such as the Marquise Brown or Rondale Moore.
  • Defensive end George Karlavtis may not start the first defeats to Mike Dana, but he will be in every shot a great pass.
  • Skyy Moore’s wide receiver would probably compliment the rest of the attack weapons right away, but that could mean finding space as the third or fourth lead for a huge play. It is also the payout of the starting bet.
  • The Safety Bryan Cook is the third safety on the aforementioned Dime, but it’s also sprinkled on cover and kicks this pre-season.
  • Linebacker Leo Chenal took SAM’s first full-back shot in prep week 3. However, the Cardinal’s attack likely won’t attract as many scenarios as the primary defense.
  • Cornerbacks’ Joshua Williams and Jaylene Watson would be great to watch. One of them might be inactive on game day, and I would expect it to be Williams. I also expect Darianne Kennard to not wear the correct treatment.
  • Besides starting the rebound kick, running back Isiah Pacheco should be in active spin when running back, giving the attack more blast than other backs, especially if Ronald Jones is inactive match day.

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