Red Zone

Chiefs Q&A: Chances of beating Denver, injuries and more

Updated: 2013-10-11T15:53:51Z

By TEREZ A. PAYLOR

The Kansas City Star

The second installment of The Star’s Chiefs-based Twitter Q&A covers a wide swath of topics, ranging from the team’s overall health to their chances of beating Denver in a month. But we’ll start with some leftover questions from my live chat on Wednesday, so if you missed that, be sure to read the transcript here.

So without further ado, here...we...go.

Guest: Love your snap count analysis. Where's last game?

Right here!

Doug: Is the move of Flowers to the inside to cover the slot receiver in preparation for Denver?

I love this theory. Of course, the Chiefs would never cop to it. But it sure seems like a nice strategy. In theory, Smith and Cooper could handle Decker and D. Thomas, while Berry takes the tight end and Flowers plays inside on Welker. With Poe, Houston and Hali attacking the QB, and a reliable tackler in Derrick Johnson roving the middle, they might have as good a shot as anybody to slow down Denver.

Nathan Beck: Why have we seen more of Chad Hall than AJ Jenkins?

Jenkins got more snaps against the Titans, but in the first four games, I think it was because Jenkins is still learning the offense. He's got good speed and a willingness to go over the middle, but he reportedly had effort issues and struggled to get off jams in San Francisco. As you can read here though, the trade may have woken him up.

Concerned: When do the Chiefs decide on Gray or Davis? We need to make a clear cut #2 back behind Charles..."

When one guy fully seizes the job. I agree they've got to find someone to lessen Charles' workload a tad. Chiefs fans should hope it's Davis, because he has the physical ability to be a good back in this league. But his fumbling issues remain a huge concern.

Guest: How is Eric Fisher? Will he be back in the lineup on Sunday?

All signs point to yes. He's been a full participant in the last two practices.

Steve: What is up with Branden Albert's penalties and attitude? I see him gone next year with Eric Fisher in his spot and Donald Stephenson at RT. Thoughts?

The penalties have been a little troubling, sure. But I'll defend the guy. I think he's playing in some pain right now - remember that shoulder problem he had against Dallas? - and he's a leader on the line. He's also been the line's best pass blocker, according to Pro Football Focus.

So the bottom line is this this - yes, I think the Chiefs would have preferred to move Fisher to move to left tackle and promote Stephenson to right tackle next season. But they might not be able to do that, because Fisher and Stephenson have struggled this season. If they don't show improvement, I don't see how they can put Alex Smith's safety in their hands next year.

KC Fanatic: Will you cry tears of joy when K.C. wins the Super Bowl this year?

Nope. But it would be sweet to cover a Super Bowl run.

Guest: Do you think we can beat Denver?

Yes, for the reasons I outlined a few questions ago. I think they have as good a chance at holding Denver to around 20 points as anyone, especially if it's a cold weather game.

Steve Miller: What is Donnie Avery's status for Sunday?

He's been limited the last few days in practice, but offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said Thursday that he expects him to go.

Cape Coral, Florida: What is the key to get pressure off of Bowe? Healthy tight ends, maybe?

That's a part of it, but I don't see the way teams play Bowe changing anytime soon. It's up to Jamaal Charles and Donnie Avery and Sean McGrath and Dexter McCluster, etc., to take advantage of it in the passing game.

Steve Miller: The D has keyed the team's fast start. Key contributions by the D-line, LBs. Nice additions of S. Smith, Robinson and Jordan paying off. Berry playing back to pro bowl level. Haven't heard much on Lewis though. How is he doing as you break down the tape?

I think Lewis has been pretty reliable in pass coverage, even though he doesn't have much to show for it. He often plays the deep middle of the field, and I don't know how many chances he gets to make plays. His tackling needs to improve, though. He sometimes fails to come up with tackles he perhaps should.

Guest: Speaking of WR's, where does AJ Jenkins stand as far as his playbook knowledge and adaptation to Andy's scheme? I feel like he could be a good fit once he understands the game plan.

I agree. Pederson said Jenkins was coming along in that respect.

Steve Miller: Realistic expectations for the upcoming three-game homestand?

At least 2-1. This is a very winnable stretch. Chiefs should be favored in all three games.

Guest: Realistically...how far can the Chiefs and their offense go into the playoffs, since it seems more than likely they will back into the playoffs w/a wildcard berth?

I think this is a championship defense, especially if Marcus Cooper is the real deal and everyone stays healthy. Chiefs would need Alex Smith to go on a Flacco-like run to make the Super Bowl, though. Don't know if that's likely. Also think they're inability to stretch the field will catch up them against the wrong team. If Donnie Avery shows the ability to do that consistently, I might change my opinion.

If Avery's injuries persist, they might make a small move. A free agent or something. But otherwise, I think they'll roll with what they've got.

Haha. Mizzou fans would love that. Maclin has good speed and is obviously a fit for Andy Reid's offense, but he obviously has injury concerns. I'd consider it if the money was right on a one or two year deal, though I'm not quite he'll give you more than Avery is.

Arrowhead Pride does a nice job breaking it down here.

I'd like to think I have the swagger of a Patrice O'Neal or Notorious B.I.G.

The funny thing is, Parkins, he actually has the athleticism and feet to serve as a blocker. But this guy is kicking tail at nose guard. Why mess with that? Fullback Anthony Sherman has been very good as a run blocker. I know I should have some fun with this question, though. So yes, Danny, it would be kind of cool...as long as he doesn't get hurt.

Even if he doesn't, I'm sure he'll play a lot.

He did Sunday. But that's something to keep an eye on, because he wasn't even targeted in 29 snaps.

Nope. Normal NFL wear and tear. There's probably a dozen more guys who are a little nicked up and aren't even listed on the injury report. But I will say that Houston, Poe and Hali are the guys this defense absolutely cannot lose. They are the key to the dominant pass rush. Take any one of them away and it doesn't work nearly as well.

Maybe a five? They've shown the ability to run when teams know they're running, which is the mark of a good team. I'm a little surprised they haven't broken a big one yet, though.

The host didn't ask him about Gonzalez, in particular. He asked him what a "Hall of Fame tight end" would be worth, in general. A non story.

I think it would be Quintin Demps. He's already got a couple of interceptions and has been really sturdy in coverage.

I think it's 60/40 yes, but it's a guess. He told 610 Sports that he'll probably be able to go. That, plus the fact he practiced on a limited basis Thursday, is a good sign. But the fact he still hasn't been cleared to play certainly isn't good. We'll know more today.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.

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