"We work on it," left tackle Donald Stephenson said. "We have a drill that we work on everyday that works on twists. The thing about that is, a lot of those twists come in two-minute situations or when we're behind and it's obvious passing downs, and we've been in those situations a lot more than usual, so we see them a lot more."
So much of what we thought about the Chiefs has been destroyed in the season’s first four games. We thought they might be strong challengers for the AFC West championship, but they’ve lost three straight games to fall to 1-3 and last place in the division.
The Chiefs should be in good shape. They won't have inside linebacker Josh Mauga ,and wide receiver Albert Wilson could miss his second straight game. Neither of those is a significant loss, and otherwise coach Andy Reid will have all 51 players to choose from.
The one potential big edge for the Bears is that the Chiefs’ offensive line has been awful, with everyone except Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs struggling. A big performance from the Bears’ front seven with constant pressure on Smith and putting Charles on the ground at first contact could turn this one into a low-scoring, defensive battle, but the Bears have to be careful with Smith, who is more dangerous coming out of the pocket than Cutler.
Unlike the other very good tight end the Bears faced this season (Jimmy Graham), Kelce is a big part of his team’s offense. He has 21 catches for 293 yards, averaging 14 yards a catch. He has four catches for 20 yards or more and 13 of his receptions have gone for first downs. Kelce, at 6-5, 260 pounds, is more than just a safety valve for Alex Smith. Shea McClellin has been close in coverage this season when asked to cover, but he hasn’t made a play on the ball. Adrian Amos may be asked to show what he can do in pass coverage if Kelce gets up the seam.
But a vaunted pass rush that accounted for 46 sacks last season has all but disappeared (Kansas City has just nine sacks so far), leaving a vulnerable secondary exposed. That’s a recipe for disaster if you’re not making up for it with turnovers, and the Chiefs have forced just three of those so far.
But Johnson has also held a sports academy and community weekend in Hawkinsville each of the past four years. The highlight is a football camp coached by several of Johnson’s Panthers and Georgia teammates, including former Panthers receiver Brandon LaFell, Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short and former Bulldog and current Kansas City Chiefs pass rusher Justin Houston, to name a few. There are also basketball, tennis, cheerleading and dance clinics – and a college fair.
Don't be surprised if the Bears try to exploit Kansas City's suspect pass defense, even with Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) and Eddie Royal (ankle) listed as game-time decisions. This coaching staff is all about matchups. The smart play is to attack Kansas City's secondary. The Chiefs rank 28th versus the pass (295.5) after four weeks. Jay Cutler likes to throw the football. Even potentially without Jeffery or Royal, Cutler can still work the football to tight end Martellus Bennett, tailback Matt Forte or wideout Marquess Wilson, who made a pair of clutch catches on the final drive in last week's win over Oakland. The Bears will not abandon the passing game at Arrowhead Stadium.
Charles and Bears counterpart Matt Forte were in the same draft, and they've kept tabs on each other over the years. "If we're playing a team he's already played, I always watch what he's done against them," Forte said. "I watch a lot of his tape."
Being held out of the end zone for the first time this season didn't stop running back Jamaal Charles from producing last week, he just had to do it in a different way. He got all six of the passes thrown to him out of the backfield for 70 yards and still managed to rush for 75. More than 140 all-purpose yards in a game isn't bad. Charles should be able to do even better against the Bears, a team that has been run all over the last few years. Charles could definitely be in charge this week and the Chiefs need him to perform if the club plans to stay in contention in the increasingly difficult AFC West down the road.
After surprising some fans last week in his season debut by shutting down Raiders rookie sensation Amari Cooper, Porter will likely get another tall task this week in Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin. Maclin has caught fire the past two weeks; after combining for 109 yards on nine catches in weeks 1 and 2, he's exploded for 19 catches and 289 yards and a touchdown in weeks 3 and four with back-to-back 140+ yard efforts. Slowing him down will be a big key for a secondary that has been generous with TD passes surrendered.