Red Zone

August 29, 2012

Five things to watch in tonight's Chiefs-Packers game

The Star's Adam Teicher looks ahead to tonight's preseason game against the Packers and breaks down five keys for the Chiefs. No. 1: Production from the starters, including QB Matt Cassel (above).

Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writer Terez Paylor

1. Production from the starters. Yeah, it’s still only the preseason. But the Chiefs were atrocious last week against Seattle. They don’t want to head into the regular season carrying that kind of stink. The starters won’t play much, but getting something done in their little time will give them some momentum heading into next week.

2. No injuries. The Chiefs lost Tony Moeaki for the season because of an injury in the final preseason game last year and almost lost Matt Cassel. They have enough issues to deal with at this point without having to cover for an injured starter. The starters on each side of the ball should play a couple of possessions and no more,

3. Jacques Reeves. He’s a starting cornerback since the Chiefs will be playing without the injured Brandon Flowers and Jalil Brown. Reeves may start in the regular-season opener as well. A former starter in Houston and Dallas, Reeves needs to show he can still be a reliable cover corner, if not as dependable as Flowers.

4. Better run defense. The Chiefs have allowed more than 6 yards a carry to their opponents in two of their three games. That’s no way to win a division or make the playoffs. Tonight’s game might be nothing more than a dress rehearsal, but it’s also their last chance to correct the errors that have been plaguing them.

5. Rush the passer. The Chiefs had seven sacks in the first preseason game against the struggling Cardinals, but even four of those came in the fourth quarter. The rush has slowed since, with the Chiefs getting two sacks each against the Rams and Seahawks. The Chiefs will be playing in the regular-season opener next week without Tamba Hali, so it wouldn’t be a bad time for another one of their rushers to make himself known.

| Adam Teicher,

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