Offensive efficiency. The starting offense, led by quarterback Alex Smith, will play into the second half Saturday night. It will be attempting to score a touchdown for the first time. The Chiefs have punted four times, kicked three field goals and lost a fumble in the eight possessions with their starters on the field. The problems have ranged from penalties to an inability to convert in short-yardage situations, so the Chiefs will be looking to clean up a few problems. Injured running back Jamaal Charles is unlikely to play for the second straight week.
Young wide receivers. Two of the top wide receivers, Dwayne Bowe and Junior Hemingway, didn’t practice during the week and are unlikely to play in the game. That will leave plenty of playing time for the younger receivers against Minnesota’s starters. Frankie Hammond Jr. has been a star during offseason practice and training camp, and he had a big game last week in Carolina. He received Bowe’s snaps with the starters in practice. Hammond could solidify a roster spot by playing well and also claim some of the snaps left vacant in the first game of the regular season by Bowe’s suspension. Albert Wilson is another young receiver who would help himself by playing well.
Bray makes his play. The Chiefs are passing over Chase Daniel as their No. 2 quarterback in this game at least in favor of a developmental prospect, Tyler Bray. Smith will play into the third quarter and then it’s Bray’s game. It’s Bray's chance to not only put some distance on the depth chart between himself and the other developmental quarterback, Aaron Murray, but also gain on Daniel. There seems to be little for Bray to lose. Even if he doesn’t play well, the Chiefs seem to like Bray enough that he'll still win a roster spot in a crowded quarterback derby.