KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 31: Quarterback Matt Cassell #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs fumbles the ball after getting hit by linebacker Travis LaBoy #99 of the San Diego Chargers during the second quarter on October 31, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
The Kansas City Chiefs will host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium and for the first time in a while most folks are picking the Chiefs to win the game. KC is a 5.5 point favorite and analysts from ESPN, Yahoo! Sports and NFL Network like the Chiefs in this game.
But, as we've explained, this isn't a walk-over game for the Chiefs. (And if the Dolphins aren't an easy win, then there are no easy wins in the NFL for the Chiefs.)
I talked with one of SB Nation's most popular blogs, The Phinsider, and asked what the Dolphins defense needs to do to stop the Chiefs offense. The answer, besides "change the schedule so Miami isn't playing them", was the pass rush.
"Cameron Wake, Jason Taylor, Randy Starks, Koa Misi, etc. have to get to Matt Cassel, or they are going to get torn apart," Kevin from The Phinsider told us. "Miami has been doing a much better job lately of shutting down the run game - climbing up toward a top 10 rushing defense. In fact, they are averaging just 3.9 yards per attempt allowed right now. If they can continue to shut down the run game, and generate a pass rush, maybe the Dolphins have a chance."
The Chiefs offensive line played perhaps their best game of the season against the Oakland Raiders and a decent game against San Diego. There's reason to believe they can stop the Dolphins pass rush but, as we've learned over the years with this group, that's far from a guarantee.
I can say that, if Cassel has time and a solid pocket is created, he's probably going to be successful, so the pass rush is indeed one of the big keys to this game.