Each week Warpaint Illustrated.com will take a look at the Top 10 performers from the Chiefs most recent opponent. We'll also look ahead to the upcoming game and a look back at the strange happenings in the AFC West.
San Diego @ Kansas City
1. Priest Holmes spectacular day. Two rushing touchdowns and 183 yards overall. Any questions about his hip have been answered and put to rest.
3. Vonnie Holliday's three sacks. Not bad since he was not even on the Chiefs free agent shopping list until Hugh Douglas turned down the Chiefs offer. If Holliday and the rest of the front four can put pressure on the opposing quarterback, the Chiefs #2 AFC defensive ranking won't slide out of the Top 10 all season long.
4. Dexter McCleon very rarely had his name called on Sunday. He primarily covered the Chargers high priced and overweight wide receiver David Boston like a blanket. Boston only had two catches for 20 yards.
5. Morten Andersen defies logic at his age. He is the most accurate place kicker in the NFL and he's automatic under 40 yards. ur
6. The offensive line is the best in the NFL. Bar none. Nobody is even close to their athleticism and work ethic on the field. They will do whatever is necessary to open up holes for Priest Holmes and give Trent Green time to find his stable of receivers.
7. Trent Green threw to eight different receivers. He was solid completing 21 of 32 passes for 281 yards. His touchdown pass to Johnnie Morton was the icing on his day.
8. Shawn Barber tipped two passes that barely eluded his hands. He could have had two interceptions but his energy on the field was magnificent. There is no doubt he is the leader of the Chiefs defense. He makes everyone around him much better.
. Jerome Woods and Ryan Sims made successful debuts. Both were injured and missed most of the season in 2002. Woods played cornerback in nickel packages and nearly had an interception. Sims was a force up front. He was a key reason the Chiefs held Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson to 34 yards on only 13 rushing attempts.
10. Dick Vermeil, Carl Peterson, Clark Hunt and Lamar Hunt need to take a bow. They spent the money, invested the time and have made the Chiefs Super Bowl contenders with a perfect off-season.
Pittsburgh @ Kansas City – September 14th
1. Eric Hicks needs to put pressure on Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddux. Hicks too often in the Chargers game dropped back in pass coverage. With Vonnie Holliday stepping up his game, Hicks needs to do the same.
2. Eric Warfield and Dexter McCleon will not face two better wide receivers than Plaxico Burress and Hines Ward. They were spectacular last week in the Steelers 34-15 win over the hapless Baltimore Ravens. Burress caught six passes for 116 yards and Wards caught two touchdown passes from Tommy Maddox. The Chiefs will rely heavily on their linebackers to drop back and take the underneath routes.
3. Though Amos Zereoue is not Tomlinson he can be effective in running or catching the ball. The Chiefs need to shut him down early.
4. Chiefs will have to adjust to the Steelers 3-4 defense. Look for them to throw over the top and get Tony Gonzalez in single coverage down the middle of the field. That will draw the attention of one of the Steelers linebacker and give the Chiefs offense more options.
5. Priest Holmes needs to establish his dominance early like he did against the Chargers. That will shift the Steelers focus to stopping him, and if they can't, the wide receivers will be more effective.
6. Trent Green needs to be patient with the Steelers. Last year in a loss at home, he looked bad and forced too many balls to receivers who were well covered.
7. The Chiefs can't let up if they have a lead in this game. They controlled the clock last weekend but their offense stalled.
8. The Chiefs will be fortunate not to face linebacker Joey Porter who was shot several weeks ago. Porter will be out another four weeks. They need to take advantage of his absence.
9. Maddox has a tendency to throw interceptions when the Steelers are facing a deficit. In his twelve NFL starts, he's thrown at least one interception in ten of those games.
10. The winner of this game will have a leg up on home field advantage in the AFC playoffs. This game could be a prelude to the AFC Championship game. These are the best two offenses and defenses in the AFC after the first week.
1. Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer addressed his team before the game against the Chiefs and told his team that it would be very difficult to win in Kansas City. It appeared he never gave his team a chance. That's not the same Marty we all knew and loved.
2. Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon had a rough day at Tennessee. His offensive line broke down but still managed to throw for 264 yards and two touchdowns. But the Titans exposed the Raiders offensive line and gave hope to many in the AFC West that the Raiders might be stinging a little more from their Super Bowl loss a year ago. The Titans weren't much better but they won the game 25-20
3. Speaking of the Raiders they had no running game. They managed only 34 yards rushing on ten attempts. Though Charlie Garner caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Gannon, he simply could not escape the swarming Titans defense. He only managed 22 yards.
4. The Raiders did get robbed by the officials on Derrick Mason's three-yard touchdown catch. He never would have caught the ball in bounds but the Zebra's helped out the rest of the AFC West by awarding a touchdown to the Titans when they didn't deserve it.
5. The Raiders had 173 penalty yards. It seems their wild style has returned. At least Bill Romanowski didn't take a swing at any of his teammates in the loss.
6. Jake Plummer was simply awful. Fans in Denver have to feel lucky with his three interception performance against the woeful Cincinnati Bengals. Plummer caught a break because the game was on the road. He was booed in the exhibition season.
7. Clinton Portis saved the day in the Broncos 30-10 victory. He ran for 120 yards and started his sophomore season on the right foot with two touchdown runs.
8. Linebacker Ian Gold looked strong. He might be the most underrated linebacker in the AFC West. He scored a touchdown picking off an errant pass from Jon Kitna.
9. Did anyone catch Mike Shanahan's news conference yesterday when the Denver media grilled him about Plummer's performance on Sunday? It was priceless! Good thing they're on the road again next week.
10. Next Sunday: Oakland hosts the Cincinnati Bengals and the Broncos play the Chargers in San Diego. Both games start at 3:00 PM CST.