Broncos LB Elvis Dumervil is the NFL's sack leader with 14 through 13 weeks in the 2009 season. He had a down year last season, year three in the NFL for him, but overall he's been a consistent pass rusher.
On the flip side, Chiefs QB Matt Cassel is sacked a lot. Through 10 games as the starter, Cassel has been sacked 35 times. He is nine sacks behind Aaron Rodgers, who gets sacked a rate of four per game. Last season, Cassel was the most sacked quarterback in the NFL in 15 starts.
The numbers say Dumervil should have a career day on Sunday. However, he's not so sure it's that easy.
"He’s a tough guy to bring down," Dumervil said of Cassel. "He’s very athletic and I think he does a great job of making plays with his feet and seeing downfield."
Early this week, Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels said Cassel is a unique player because he can make plays with his legs. He rushed for over 60 yards in a game twice last season.
"I think we’ve got our hands full and our work cut out for us this weekend," Dumervil continued. "It’s going to be a great challenge though, so I’m looking forward to it."
Dumervil said athletic quarterbacks like Cassel have pros and cons for a defense. On the one hand, Dumervil says, "If they’re athletic, they sort of give you a chance, an opportunity because they want to make plays, to get to them." On the other hand, Cassel can show that ability to rush for 60 yards in a game.
I think the Chiefs offensive line will give Dumervil his opportunities on Sunday. That's why I think it's important that Cassel and Co. learn when a play is over and throw the ball away. That will be decided on Sunday.