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Vikings Vs. Chiefs: Stopping Jared Allen Among KC's Keys To Victory

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The Kansas City Chiefs will host the Minnesota Vikings at Arrowhead Stadium for Week 4 in the 2011 NFL season. I've been thinking about this game, reading what they're saying in Minnesota and I've compiled a list of five things the Chiefs need to do in order to win. It all starts with...

Win the turnover battle. This is the most important part of the Chiefs game. When they go -9 in the turnover battle, they're losing by 34 points to Buffalo and 45 points to Detroit. When they win the turnover battle, they can come within one Matt Cassel interception of beating the Chargers in San Diego. If they don't win it, they don't have a shot. If they do, then they're going to be in this thing.
Don't let Jared Allen go crazy. The guy is having a terrific start to the year -- 4.5 sacks through three games. The Chiefs can't let him add to that sack total. They work best when the offensive line is giving Cassel some time so, if the Chiefs want to look like a competent offense, they need to keep Allen under control.

Pull from last week's game plan. The Chiefs are going to have some trouble running the ball against these guys, as they usually do against big defensive lines. Thus, we need the offensive game plan that we saw in the second half of the Chargers game last week. Open it up, throw it to wide receivers (and not running backs) and see if you can open something up downfield. That will do a couple of things. First, they're going to have issues running the ball so this is the best opportunity to move the ball downfield. Second, it eventually softens up the Vikings front seven a little bit in order to have a shot at running the ball later in the game. And, speaking of, let's pull from that defensive game plan, too. The Chiefs were able to pressure the passer and create a couple turnovers last week. Doing that again would go a long way to a victory today.

Protect the secondary after the injuries. CB Brandon Flowers and S Jon McGraw are both questionable for this game. With S Eric Berry already out for the season, it's possible the Chiefs could have three backups in the secondary today. They must be conscious of that and avoid situations that put these guys in bad positions. The good thing is that QB Donovan McNabb is hardly all-world back there. Which brings us to...

Capitalize on QB Donovan McNabb's play. He hasn't thrown a pick all year but he's completing 58 percent of his passes and seems very Cassel-esque with 478 passing yards on 47 completions. He's just not a weapon anymore so the Chiefs need to take advantage of that fact. Use McNabb's ineffectiveness as your shot to stack the box and stop RB Adrian Peterson.