Things To Look For Tonight Vs. Chiefs

It’s the third pre-season game. If we can avoid some of the weather we’ve seen here before, this should be a very telling game. Mora has been all over the radio talking about what he wants to see from his team, specifically the defense. He wants all the same things I want to see:

– Flying to the football
This is primarily about the LBs for me. We are supposed to have an all-world LB crew, but I frankly haven’t seen it so far this pre-season. The game against the Broncos features all sorts of bubble screens and quick slants, but where were our speedy linebackers? It was a tailor-made game for players who cover sideline-to-sideline, but they looked sluggish. Tatupu is coming off of a subpar year, and Curry hasn’t proven anything yet. Big test for that group tonight.

– Rush the passer
Nick Reed? Are you there? Michael Bennett? These are the guys that have been pressuring the QB, not Kearney, Tapp, Redding, Mebane, Curry, Hill, or Jackson. I’d like to see the starters get into the mix here. More than just getting pressure with four down lineman (which is critical), I really want to see a blitz or two that gets home. I was here to watch Jim Johnson’s blitz packages with Chad Brown. It was a blast. We get stymied on our blitzes seemingly more than any team. Let’s see some mouth guards flying.

– Dictate
The Broncos were allowed to establish their passing game last week. Our defense reacted to them, or tried to. This week, let’s see our defense dictate tempo to the offense. Make them change their plan of attack.

– Nick Reed
Can he keep it going against some first stringers this week? Same question for Michael Bennett.

For our offense, I’m most interested in seeing progress. I’m not sure I see us becoming a great running team any time soon, so the rhythm in the passing game has to be there.

– Branch
He apparently got a lot of reps this week. If we are really trying to get him the ball, it will be interesting to see how that effects the offense. Are we just trading Matt forcing the ball to Branch instead of him forcing the ball to Housh?

– Carlson
I remain convinced Matt has chosen Carlson as his favorite receiver. I expect to continue to see “outlet” passes going his way.

– Housh
Are we going to see another miscommunication? Are they really getting on the same page yet?

– Running game
I’m not looking for huge chunks of yards here. I just want to see progress. So far, the two yards per carry we get with zone blocking looks eerily similar to the two yards we got without it.

– WRs
Nobody has really separated themselves. Will they tonight?