Week 1 is here. All the build up ever since last season ended and this entire offseason filled with a new GM, head coach, and a revamped roster, it's finally time to kick it off. The Chiefs get their first test of the 2013 season on the road and they will look to earn an opening weekend win for the first time since 2010. This will also be the first road opener to the season for the Chiefs since 2009 when they began the season in Baltimore. And there is so much anticipation heading into this season than in recent years.
The Andy Reid/Alex Smith era officially begins after both were acquired to replace former HC Romeo Crennel and QB Matt Cassel. They will face a Jaguars team that also finished at the bottom of the league a year ago with a 2-14 record. So one thing is for sure: One of these two teams will have half the amount of wins they had last year in the first week of the season. And the Chiefs and their fans hope it's them. Starting a new era strong with a win is so crucial for this team, especially heading into the home opener next week against a good team.
The Chiefs have dug themselves a hole repeatedly in the past in the beginning of the season and never climbed their way out. That's why it is important to come out with a victory in this game and build confidence for the rest of the year. For the Jaguars, they are unsure who will be starting under center, with QB Blaine Gabbert questionable with a hand injury. If not Gabbert, Chad Henne will get the start for Jacksonville and according to coach Reid, the Chiefs are ready for both of them.
"They're both good players, so we're ready for either one of them," said Reid. "Whichever way they go, they go. We know their strengths, so we practice for those."
The Jaguars top WR Justin Blackmon will not play in this game due to his suspension of the first four games of the season after violating the league's substance abuse policy. The newly look secondary of the Chiefs will have to keep WR Cecil Shorts in check and help in stopping the run. RB Maurice Jones-Drew will be ready to go and you can be sure the Jags will turn to him to run the ball and run it often. It'll be a nice test for the Chiefs front seven and see how far they've come. Granted it is the Jags, but the Chiefs haven't necessarily been a powerhouse themselves so both teams are looking to see improvement from a year ago.
Key guys to look out for in this game are the same guys the Chiefs have relied on in the past. RB Jamaal Charles is expected to see plenty of action whether on the ground or through the air as a pass catcher. Dwayne Bowe predicted earlier this offseason that he would lead the league in receptions and reception yards and Charles would lead the league in rushing. Sunday, Bowe will start his business on the field. On the defensive side, nothing but positive things have been said this offseason about DT Dontari Poe and the level he has played. LB Justin Houston looks to build on his team-leading sack total from a season ago as he and fellow rusher Tamba Hali will have reservations in the QB backfield a lot this season.
For the new comers, WR Junior Hemingway has come a long way to make the final roster after being on the practice squad last season. Rookies Eric Fisher, Knile Davis, and Travis Kelce will get their first real-live regular season game action and these guys are expected to make big contributions. The special teams thus far have been outstanding and coach Dave Toub and his boys will continue to try to make huge plays in that area.
Kickoff in Jacksonville is slated for 1pmEST, 12pmCDT. Yours truly will be in attendance for the first game of the new era. Let's kickoff the new season.
Your man cave is your home field advantage for every game. When the game is on the line, you should be able to look around and be reminded of the great moments you've watched unfold in that very room! MJR Sports Integrity offers a wide range or team and player-specific memorabilia that can do just that and take your game day room to the next level. Find your inspiration at MJR Sports Integrity and will your team to victory!
- Kansas City Chiefs Finalize Their 53-man Roster; Start Preparations for Week 1
- Game Preview: Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers
- Kansas City Chiefs Plan to Have a Typical Preseason Routine
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/10db