I'm not even going to look at his defensive statistics because they don't matter. But with his career on the line in Kansas City, we saw glimpses of the man he can be on the field for the Chiefs. And I have to admit, the Jackson we saw against the Ravens was not the man that was giving questionable effort in some of the practices I saw at training camp.
If the one that showed up in Baltimore can back it up against St. Louis and Green Bay, he might just keep his starting job. And further, be a player who intends on being a contributor in 2011 instead of a bystander.
2. CB Brandon Flowers - I'm having a hard time wrapping my football intellect on why the Chiefs starting corner is playing so far off opposing receivers. On two occasions Flowers, was ten or more yards off the Ravens receivers, when the Chiefs were in a full out blitz. Had Flowers been tighter in coverage both passes would have been incomplete.
This was a big problem a year ago for Flowers in the second half of the season. And it could be an even bigger issue for the Chiefs this season. Flowers is expected to be the Chiefs premier shut down corner this season.
Now to be fair he did make some nice plays in the middle of the field and that tells me he's more confident between the numbers than outside of them. Either way he's going to have to be more consistent if the Chiefs are going to be an effective defense this season.
3. QB Tyler Palko - He certainly shut me up, at least for a week, with his play on Friday night. After a shaky start, he led the Chiefs on a couple of nice drives at the end of the first half and at the beginning of the third quarter that led to ten unanswered points by the Chiefs.
I still maintain that the Chiefs must get a veteran quarterback on this roster before the start of the regular season. There are rumblings that Kansas City might make a play for San Francisco 49ers signal caller, Alex Smith. That would be a move that I would highly recommend.
Still Palko deserves chops for a gutsy performance against an attack minded defense like the one he faced against Baltimore.
4. RB Jackie Battle - With the flak that surrounded Chiefs running back Thomas Jones on Friday, I'm warming to the idea of keeping Battle on the roster. He was solid all game long and considering the line he was running behind, Battle deserves to make the final roster.
Though Jones is the wily veteran, outside of a couple of runs, he just didn't have much juice in his legs. Don't get me wrong he still has some game left. But in Battle, who ran the ball hard inside and outside the tackles, to me he offers more upside especially when you consider his value on special teams.
5. LB Justin Houston - I really didn't want to mention him twice in the same series of articles. But I was so impressed with his performance against the Ravens that he gets double billing.
Now part of that enthusiasm is based on the fact that he has so much potential he can help the Chiefs. In passing situations this year, should the Chiefs want to bring the heat, Houston, Tamba Hali and Wallace Gilberry could prove to be problematic for opposing offenses.
But the fact, Houston can play solid special teams and be a spot pass rusher only makes the Chiefs team better. With two sacks on Friday night, he might just find himself in the starting lineup.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Who within the Chiefs is to be blamed for this fight?
For all the news, notes and quotes on the Chiefs, visit WarpaintIllustrated.com