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A Look Ahead To The Chiefs

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The Kansas City Chiefs official site has posted a look ahead to their meeting with the Bears next week.

THE MATCH-UP
Kansas City travels to the Windy City for the first time since `99 as the Chiefs visit Chicago for the Bears home opener at Soldier Field. The Chiefs are coming off a 20-3 loss at Houston (9/9). Meanwhile, the defending NFC Champions are 0-1 after suffering a 14-3 setback at San Diego (9/9). Kansas City is seeking to avoid an 0-2 start for the second straight year, while Chicago hasn't opened a season with two straight losses since 2003.

The Chiefs and Bears both concluded their 2006 campaigns with playoff losses to the Indianapolis Colts. Kansas City dropped a 23-8 decision in an AFC Wild Card Game, while the Bears suffered a 29-17 setback in Super Bowl XLI. Both Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards and Bears head coach Lovie Smith are disciples of Colts head coach Tony Dungy. Edwards first worked as a scout with KC while Dungy was a Chiefs assistant coach and then joined Smith as a member of Dungy's Tampa Bay staff from `96-00. Edwards departed Tampa to coach the N.Y. Jets in 2001, the same year Smith joined the Rams as that club's defensive coordinator.

Both Edwards and Smith are building defenses in the images of Dungy's vaunted Tampa Bay squads. Smith's Bears posted a 13-3 regular season mark in 2006 thanks to a defense that forced a league-high 44 takeaways. Chicago led the NFC by permitting just 15.9 ppg and ranked second in the conference in total defense (294.1 ypg). In Kansas City, the improving Chiefs defense allowed 19.7 ppg a year ago to rank 11th in the NFL and are seeking their first top 10 finish in that category since leading the league in that category at 14.5 ppg in `97.

Offensively, the Chiefs and Bears both rely on punishing ground games. Two-time Pro Bowl RB Larry Johnson established a franchise record with 1,789 rushing yards in 2006 as Kansas City ranked ninth in the league, averaging 133.9 rushing ypg. For Chicago, RB Cedric Benson takes over the role as feature back in 2007 after he and RB Thomas Jones combined for 1,857 rushing yards a year ago.

After opening the season with back-to-back road contests, Kansas City returns to Arrowhead next week for its home opener vs. Minnesota (9/23). The Bears host Dallas next Sunday night at Soldier Field (9/23).

While most of this is useless information here is what I know.

If the Bears can stymie an offense like the Chargers there is no way the Chiefs are going to do anything with that vanilla offense they will be bringing in.

Larry Johnson?  I've got 25 yards by LT that says he is toast.  And 12 of those yards are cheap end of half yards.

Huard and Gonzo?  Gonzo you are one of the greats, but you and Huard don't compare.

Defense?  If Rex and company can't get going against this team, we are in for a long year.