August 10, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Richard Bartel (2) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Brandon Bair (90) in the third quarter of the game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Denny Me
The Kansas City Chiefs meet the St. Louis Rams for preseason game No. 2 on Saturday night. After last week's game, the theme this week will be: do it again. The Chiefs were great last week but show us on Saturday night that it wasn't a fluke.
Five things to keep an eye on tonight...
Will Jon Baldwin be involved?
Baldwin, the star of Chiefs training camp, didn't see much action last week against the Arizona Cardinals. That was a bit of a disappointment considering what we've seen out of him at training camp so tonight I want to see Matt Cassel target Baldwin early and often. He's covered? Doesn't matter. Just throw it up there and let him use his size to his advantage. Cortland Finnegan may be matched up on Baldwin which will be a nice test for him.
I'm going to be keeping an eye on Baldwin this game, not only to see how they use him in the preseason, but to potentially glean some insight on how they'll use him in the regular season.
Can Matt Cassel keep it up?
The knock I've always had on Cassel was his completion percentage but for at least one week he erased those concerns by completing 5-of-6 passes on two scoring drives. He looked really sharp throughout the first quarter, like he really felt comfortable in the offense. I want to see that continue. I want to see him change the play at the line of scrimmage. I want him to continue to look like the leader of the Chiefs offense.
Cassel is obviously the biggest key to the Chiefs success this season, as all quarterbacks are. A good preseason can lead to confidence in the regular season. It's just preseason but this is an important game for Cassel.
The efficiency of the Chiefs offense
As noted above, the Chiefs offense was pretty awesome last week. The biggest takeaway from that game was just how prepared they looked. They were in and out of the huddle, the play calls were executed without issues and Cassel took advantage of his freedom at the line of scrimmage.
Was that just a bad Cardinals team? Or are the Chiefs really that ready? Let's find out tonight.
Keep turning RAC city into sack city
Yes, my RAC city and sack city jokes are back. The Chiefs had seven sacks last weekend, only three behind their entire 2008 total. Plain and simple, that's freakin' awesome.
But the Cardinals offensive line is not that great. The Rams aren't elite either but they do present another opportunity for the Chiefs defense to prove to us that they're ready to take that next step. You can't be an elite defense without a pair of sack artists on your team.
The Chiefs are close. But how close?
Backup quarterback competition, part two
Ah, the most popular guy in town. The backup quarterback.
It's Ricky Stanzi's turn to run with the twos tonight as he'll be the first off the bench when Cassel is done. Neither Stanzi nor Brady Quinn have looked particularly sharp in training camp or last week's game. They both struggled with accuracy and clearly showed they were a step behind Cassel.
Someone take the lead tonight. Don't care who it is, Stanzi or Quinn. One of these guys needs to step up and establish himself as the second best quarterback on the team.
Which one will that be?