Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writers Randy Covitz and Terez Paylor

Chiefs Blitz: A look at the good, the bad and the ugly from Saturday’s game against the Vikings

08/24/2014 12:22 AM

08/24/2014 12:25 AM

Do tell the truth

1. So … this offense really is that reliant on Jamaal Charles, huh?

Yep. You got it. One-hundred percent. Charles is one of the most explosive players in football, and his presence creates space for the Chiefs’ other skill players. Without Charles on the field, the Vikings didn’t feel compelled to respect anyone else on offense. No wonder the Chiefs gave Charles a raise this offseason. Chances are he will earn every penny of it this year.

2. How about Knile Davis’ performance?

Well, his 10-carry, 22-yard effort Saturday was hardly inspiring. But it’s unclear how much of that had to do with running behind a makeshift line. It’s worth noting though that Davis only ran for 30 yards in nine carries last week against Carolina, and that was with tackle Donald Stephenson in the lineup. Regardless, Davis has huge physical talent and is a very good kickoff return guy. He’s also done a nice job getting rid of his fumble problem. But you would have liked to have seen more production from him in case he is forced into action.

3. What about the offensive line?

Alex Smith was running for his life again Saturday, and if it wasn’t already time to worry, it certainly is now thanks to Stephenson’s four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. Jeff Allen, the starting left guard, kicked out to right tackle and fared pretty well, though he and right guard Zach Fulton twice let a defensive player shoot through their gap and record a sack. Pinning blame without knowing each player’s assignment is tricky, but you still don’t want to see that kind of stuff. At the very least, it proves Allen and Fulton need to work on communication.

4. But hey … how about that pass-rush!

After racking up a few sacks against the Panthers last week, the Chiefs got sacks from Tamba Hali, Jaye Howard and Derrick Johnson against the Vikings’ first-team offense. If the Chiefs are going to be any good this year, the pass rush is going to have to be lights out. Period. With the quarterbacks they face this year, if they aren’t, it could a long season.

5. But seriously … how worried should Chiefs fans be about this upcoming season?

It’s still the preseason, so on a scale from one to 10, maybe it should be a five or so. But the offensive line was a concern before training camp, and nothing has changed on that front. Same goes for the secondary. If the Chiefs fail to live up to expectations this season, it will be because of those areas and/or injuries.

The number

97 The temperature at kickoff.

| Terez A. Paylor, tpaylor@kcstar.com

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