The defense was the complete opposite. Except for one breakdown by Tamba Hali, who couldn't have lost containment any more on Frank Gore's run, Bob Sutton's group was mostly excellent. They were led by Justin Houston, who might already be the best player on this unit along with Eric Berry, Derrick Johnson and Brandon Flowers. (How nice is that, one of those guys is your fourth best player. Hali being fifth and Dontari Poe being sixth. BOOM.)
Facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Chiefs need to show up on both sides of the ball. Considering how the special teams have looked thus far, I feel confident this phase won't be an issue. I also feel the Chiefs should sign Dave Toub to a 25-year extension. Now.
These are the five things I'm looking for on Saturday:
1. A good o-line, and a better Alex Smith
Yes, the protection stunk against San Fran and yes, there were dropped passes. However, Smith needs to show me more than he did. It wasn't a Matt Cassel performance., but it wasn't a game that's going to inspire confidence. Smith has to take his time at the line, make sure the protection is correct, and identify his read. Sure this is a new offense, but the NFL doesn't grade on a curve.
2. Tony Moeaki and Anthony Fasano, two peas in a pod
Moeaki gets a lot of junk around here, but the guy can play football. I really want to see him in a bevy of two-tight end formations with Anthony Fasano. I'm not a Travis Kelce-over-Moeaki guy. In fact, I think that's insane. Kelce is a third-round draft pick who has never proven anything and Moeaki has been in the league for three years. Both Moeaki and Fasano have great hands and experience, something Kelce can't say yet.
3. Shut those QB runs down
Ben Roethlisberger can scramble and make plays on the run. The Chiefs let Colt McCoy run out of the pocket numerous times to gain yardage last week, something that can't happen. Everybody needs to be aware of their gaps and force Roethlisberger to throw the football. There is nothing more frustrating than having great coverage and a good rush only to watch the quarterback run for 20 yards.
4. Keep running those screen plays
I'm a sucker for a sweet screen play. With Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster, I want at least four every game if not more. In this offense, it's the equivalent of throwing the ball deep. Let your speedsters get the ball in space with the big uglies out in front. It also gets Smith into a rhythm with the easiest throw in football, unless your Cassel and Eric Weddle is within the city limits.
5. A win
Nobody thinks the preseason is more about development and less about results more than me, but it would be nice to actually see this team win a game. If nothing else, it would just be positive reinforcement for a team which could really use it after going 2-14. This isn't a must by any means, but it wouldn't hurt to feel good for once. The Chiefs have won seven preseason games in the last nine years.