Chiefs Vs. Bucs Preseason: Five Things To Look For

ATLANTA - AUGUST 13: Thomas Jones #20 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs off the field during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on August 13 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Kansas City Chiefs play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second preseason game on Saturday evening.

There are quite a few things I'm looking for in the game but I was able to condense them into five.

Dexter McCluster the running back

Last week we saw him as a receiver and a running back. What I'm most interested in are his carries as a running back. He's listed as a receiver so we're pretty sure that will be his primary position but last week the Chiefs made McCluster the feature back on one series carrying the ball five of the first six plays in the series.

Is that a sign that they think he might be able to get in the running back rotation? I doubt it but I am curious how he fits into the running backs.

The play of Matt Cassel

No matter how well or poorly he's playing, Matt Cassel will always be a key to the game for the Chiefs. He's the quarterback so he gets much of the blame for the offense's failures and the credit for their successes.

He looked very average in last week's game against the Falcons and made two big mistakes that ultimately cost the Chiefs points (lost fumble and third down sack in field goal range).

It sounds like Cassel and the starters could be playing the entire first half. At a minimum. I think we need to see two scoring drives by the Cassel-led offense. One of those should be a touchdown. The Chiefs have been awful at scoring touchdowns in their last five preseason games.

The last time the Chiefs scored more than one touchdown in a preseason game? Aug. 28, 2008.

Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles

Jones only carried the ball two times last year for an LJ-esque 1.0 yards per carry. It's only two carries so of course we're not basing anything off of that but we do want to see him get a few more carries.

Charles was the best back on the Chiefs last week and, if he's going to be the starter, he probably needs to keep that up. The cries from the Charles faithful wanting him to be the starter will get louder with another solid performance.

The obligatory "The front seven has to step up"

We've been talking about it an awful lot and more than likely it will be a key to every game the Chiefs play this year.

The front seven hasn't had much change (as Jason Whitlock pointed out on 'The Explanation') so we're going to be very curious if the Chiefs plan to develop their own players worked.

The defensive ends, of course, play a big role in this. Tyson Jackson has been getting criticized so this is a good opportunity for him to play well, too.

Where are you, Dwayne Bowe?

We saw nothing from Bowe last week. He didn't have any catches and, if I recall, he wasn't targeted at all.

This is a big year for him and he's supposed to be a significant part of the offense, partly due to the praise he's received during this training camp. It was a let down last week, after all we saw and heard about Bowe's improvement, to see him get no action.

There's still time, but I think Bowe and Cassel need to continue to develop a rapport in real game action.

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