It’s the Rams and Chiefs at 8 p.m. (Arrowhead Time) this evening. Here are a few things I’m watching out for:
Once again, the offensive line
The Chiefs offensive line play was the most important takeaway from their brief performance against the Seattle Seahawks last weekend. Naturally, they remain at the top of things to watch for this week.
The Rams front seven, like Seattle’s, is pretty good. Sure, it’s just preseason and not everyone is playing but to do what the Chiefs line did against Seattle is encouraging. As our guy Todd Haley would say, their arrow is pointing up. It would be even more encouraging if they’re able to do the same against the Rams. This is one of the best defensive lines in football.
The Chiefs interior line - which is where our two big question marks are - will be tested. Is Parker Ehinger strong enough right now? Is Laurent Duvernay-Tardif good enough with his technique to handle them? I have fewer questions about Eric Fisher and Mitch Schwartz on the outside (although I’m always in the mood to see Fisher prove it).
The bottom line is will Alex Smith have enough time to look down field and make plays? I’m looking forward to this test.
Show us what kind of camp you’ve had, Chris Conley
Alex Smith threw to two tight ends and Jeremy Maclin last weekend. Although the first team’s lone drive was a touchdown, I was kinda disappointed that Chris Conley wasn’t involved more.
Conley has had a pretty good camp. He does seem more aggressive. His offseason with Jeremy Maclin seems to have paid off. I want to see Conley featured a little more. The Chiefs first team is playing the entire first half (or so) which means we should see him get some shots.
Can Conley secure that No. 2 job?
Aaron Murray gets his shot
Last week it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Aaron Murray was gone. Tyler Bray was consistently ahead of him and Kevin Hogan is just a rookie so where does Murray fit? And then Bray went and got hurt.
So Bray is out and Murray is in. Is there a scenario where Murray plays so well tonight and the rest of preseason that the Chiefs keep him? Maybe? I don’t know. They seem to really like Bray but they also have two years invested in Murray.
I still have no idea how the quarterback situation will play out. I just want to know.
A complete game from Dee Ford
The Chiefs keep talking about consistency with Dee Ford. They talk about being a complete player. They talk about those things and then we see Ford with this run defense:
Since I'm writing about it, here's a gif of Michael's edge run. DL did its job and forced him outside. Then... pic.twitter.com/QHcw7wdUCR— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) August 18, 2016
The same knocks on him coming out of the draft still apply today. It’s probably too late to believe Ford is going to turn into a different player, right? Am I wrong? I hope I can be proven wrong and I hope that starts tonight.
Chiefs run D gets another shot
We looked at a few of the issues the Chiefs had in stopping the run last week. This week they get another good test against Rams RB Todd Gurley, who is making his preseason debut. This is one of the best tests the Chiefs can get. They know Gurley will get some work. Can they shut him down?