I don't know enough to say anything definitive. Half of my overall impressions don't stand up to later film study. Here are some observations from the Patriots game, mostly from the KC defensive side, but one biggie from the offensive side.
On D, KC comes out in 2-4-5, with Amon Gordon and Wallace Gilberry in the middle, Houston, Hali, Belcher and Johnson at LB, Flowers, Carr, Washington, Lewis and Arenas in the secondary. Pretty much 8 guys in the box from the get-go. A lot of Arenas blitzing, early, but mostly 7 guys up and around the line at the snap.
It's a pretty good mix of stout and speed against New England's 2 TE package. Weak link that jumps out right away is Belcher, whose job appears to be to run to the nearest blocker and at least try to take him out of the play so somebody else can make a tackle. I'm ready to see some more Cory Greenwood, there.
Chiefs mix in Jackson inside in that same nickel. It's still looking good. The main thing seems to KEEP 5 or 6 guys at least up at the line, even if they're dropping out of it. But mixing in enough blitzes, and very active play by Hali and Houston as the upright bookends seems to be effective.
Awesome sack off the 3-man rush by Hali, Gilberry and Houston. Another Awesome sack, this time with Bailey and Gilberry in the middle. I think New England will figure out pretty quick just to hand it off when Gilberry and Bailey are together. Heh.
But even so, crashing the line with 6 or 7 defenders on every play appears to work quite well against the Patriots. And so long as they do it THROUGH the TEs and RBs, they're doing fine. When they have no answer to motioning the TE, things get a little sticky. But they're letting the TEs get off free quite a bit. It works pretty well, until Brady stops making unforced errors and people start catching the ball for him.
I think Houston's a very good all-around LB. I think Hali and Houston are both surprisingly good at covering the back out of the backfield, when they zero in and attack him, rather than waiting for him and hoping, in vain, to run with him down the field successfully. Same with TEs. They're both big enough to mix it up with OTs. They can sure as hell keep a TE out of the pattern for a couple ticks, and you can use that nickel back or safety as a blitzer, to good effect. Just don't blitz the DB AND let the TEs and RBs off the line free, OK?
On O, I'd just like to say that Lilja looked to me like the weak link. I'm sorry he got his bell rung, but I'm ready to see if Hudson can hold down the job. There are times when both tackles do a solid job of keeping the outside pass rusher from turning the corner, but end up giving up the sack, because the interior 3 are losing a 3-on-2 up the gut. That should NEVER happen when you've got the hard part right: neutralizing outside pressure 1-on-1 with your OTs.
Hudson must really SUCK if he can't crack the inside lineup. I hope Monday's game marks the beginning of a long starting career for Hudson. I'm not really interested in seeing any more Lilja.
As for QB, the concerning thing to me is the seeming obliviousness by Cassel AND Palko to do simple arithmetic and look for where the numbers favor his guys. Either Palko sucks, or coaches are hurting his game by trying to over-call things. Urban and Breaston on the right side in something close to a 2-on-1, but the ball is forced into Baldwin in a sea of blue jerseys. I know he's capable of coming down with the ball, but the best receiver on a given play is the open receiver. Stick to that (and maybe Orton will get an early chance to show how it's done), and the BBBs will get their catches. But you have to stay on the field to generate those opportunities.