clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Titans vs. Chiefs preseason: 10 things to watch at Arrowhead Stadium on Friday night

Peter Aiken/Getty Images

It's the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans on Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs hope to make it 3-0 on the preseason after winning their first two games against the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks.

Here are 10 things I'll be watching for in this game:

Not the offensive line: Yeah, I'm not really going to put too much stock into the offensive line this week with the Chiefs missing two starters in Eric Fisher and Jeff Allen. With both those players out -- but likely to play Week 1 -- it's tough to learn much from the offensive line. I don't expect them to look too good nor should they being down two linemen.

That run D: Chiefs DC Bob Sutton mentioned this week that the run defense has been an emphasis this offseason. As it should be. The Chiefs run defense has been statistically below average the past two seasons so I am not all that optimistic it will drastically improve. The question is whether the re-addition of Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito and the loss of Dontari Poe is a net gain or loss.

More playing time for Chris Conley: He led all the receivers in snaps last week, his first game action as a Chief. The Chiefs hope to see even more of him this week as Chiefs OC Doug Pederson said that his playing time will increase this week. Conley didn't have any receptions last week so the key for him is to get more involved this week. He has a chance to be an early contributor if he can show something.

The sixth receiver battle: I have Jeremy Maclin, Albert Wilson, De'Anthony Thomas, Jason Avant and Chris Conley as near locks to make the team. That leaves perhaps just one more spot for receivers. Frankie Hammond and Fred Williams look like the top two contenders.

The deep ball: Alex Smith is throwing deeper this preseason. But it's just preseason. So we don't really know if that actually means anything. And it's a small sample size. Still, I want to see them attempt to stretch the field more often. We'll see if the Chiefs open up going deep on the first play for the third straight game.

Containing Marcus Mariota: He has some wheels on him so the Chiefs need to come with a defense that will keep him in check. This is all about assignment football and understanding where you're supposed to be.

Ramik Wilson seeing time inside: Josh Mauga is expected to be the strong side backer next to Derrick Johnson but he has been hurt. He was also banged up last year so I'm preparing for the possibility that the next man up will have to step in at some point this season. That would be rookie Ramik Wilson. The Chiefs have struggled with this position from drafting Nico Johnson to signing Akeem Jordan and Joe Mays.

Life without Sean Smith: I continue to be encouraged by the play of Phillip Gaines and Marcus Peters when Smith is not on the field. Smith, as you know, is facing a three-game suspension. The Chiefs will likely play with Peters and Gaines on the outside. When they go to three cornerbacks, Gaines likely slips inside while Jamell Fleming comes in outside.

Eric Berry's snaps: He had eight snaps in the first game and 21 snaps in the second game. Will he see more this game? And can we learn anything more about what his role will be this year?

Who will shine? Two weeks ago it was Dezman Moses who filled up the stat sheet. Last week Mike Catapano was disruptive. Who will it be this week? Who makes us think twice about our Chiefs 53-man roster prediction?

NEW: Join Arrowhead Pride Premier

If you love Arrowhead Pride, you won’t want to miss Pete Sweeney in your inbox each week as he delivers deep analysis and insights on the Chiefs' path to the Super Bowl.