AFC West: Atlanta Flacons

Moving on: Kansas City Chiefs

September, 10, 2012
9/10/12
11:00
AM ET
Here are some areas the Kansas City Chiefs need to focus on after a 40-24 home loss to Atlanta on Sunday:

Recap: The Chiefs were playing without four defensive starters and that was too much to overcome against such a strong offensive team like the Falcons. The Falcons had their way with the depleted Kansas City defense. The Chiefs hung tough for the first half. But a missed field goal and three turnovers by quarterback Matt Cassel in the second half took the Chiefs’ offense out of the game all the while the Falcons’ offense kept rolling.

Biggest area to fix: Offensive consistency. I think this offense will be fine. It racked up 393 yards of total offense Sunday. Yes, Cassel made the mistakes, but they all happened as this game was getting out of hand. I think once the Chiefs get their health on defense and there is better balance, the offense will feel less pressure.

Biggest area to build on: The Chiefs ran for 152 yards on 33 carries. That is how Kansas City wants to win games. Jamaal Charles had an encouraging return from a torn ACL with 87 yards on 16 carries. Peyton Hillis had just 16 yards on seven carries, but I expect him to get more work. I think the Chiefs can do a lot of good things on the ground.

What to watch for: The Chiefs play at Buffalo in a matchup of two teams with high hopes that are coming off double-digit defeats. The Bills were hammered by the Jets on Sunday. The Chiefs will get pass-rusher Tamba Hali back and cornerback Brandon Flowers should be back, unless he has a setback from a foot injury. I expect the Kansas City defense to be much better at Buffalo.
The Kansas City Chiefs' defense is getting some much-needed injury relief.

The Kansas City Star is reporting standout left cornerback Brandon Flowers lined up with the starters Wednesday as the team begins preparations for the season opener against visiting Atlanta on Sunday.

That is a great sign. If the team didn’t think Flowers could play, he likely wouldn’t be practicing with the first team. Flowers has made strides in recent days from a foot injury he suffered July 31. He missed all of the preseason.

Flowers may be rusty Sunday, but the Chiefs will gladly take him against the pass-happy Falcons. The team is expected to be without safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder) and top pass-rusher Tamba Hali because he is serving a one-game NFL suspension.

The paper also reports linebacker Derrick Johnson appears to be on pace to play Sunday. He has been dealing with an ankle injury.

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