Monday's game against the St. Louis Rams will be for the Governor's Cup, and state bragging rights. The Rams and Chiefs come into the game winless in one preseason game.
In their first exhibition game, the Rams lost a close game to the Chicago Bears 13-10 in St. Louis. The Rams looked like an inexperienced team against the Bears as they committed 12 penalties for 80-yards in the game. The Chiefs didn't fair any better as they topped that mark when they committed 19 penalties for 120-yards against the New York Giants.
Rams Coach Mike Martz could think of only one word to describe the game to St. Louis Rams.com. "It was sloppy, very, very sloppy," Martz said. "We looked like we haven't practiced much, which we haven't in the last week. We'll rectify that."
After three weeks of practice Monday Night's game should begin to clarify the roster for both teams. The first game of the exhibition season is more like a lesson in futility as teams are just glad to hit someone else and usually the play on both sides of the ball is poor. But this game will add significant importance to rookies and some veterans who get be victim to the ‘Turk' on Tuesday as most teams have to trim their roster to 65 players.
The Chiefs offense should play significantly more than they did against the Giants. Both Trent Green and Priest Holmes will be on the field longer. The starting wide receivers for tomorrow should be Marc Boerigter and Dante Hall. Eddie Kennison is likely to see some action as well as rookies Samie Parker and Richard Smith.
"We will play them (the starters) a little more," Vermeil said to the Kansas City Star. "I have not talked to the staff yet, but my basic thought is to play the first half. I want to rotate guys in who we want to see play with the starters and see them. Or put a No. 2 guy in and take a starter out. That type of thing."
When the Chiefs started the preseason the injury list was a long one. Running back Larry Johnson, who looked good early in camp, has since been slowed up this week with a leg injury but is expected to play some against the Rams. Johnny Morton is still suffering from an Achilles problem, and will not play tomorrow.
For the Rams, tight end Cam Cleeland is out with a hamstring, Jordan Black's former teammate at Notre Dame Joey Goodspeed is also out with a hamstring problem. All-Pro offensive linemen Orlando Pace is still out of practice with contract issues and Kyle Turley has been slowed by injuries. If the Chiefs are ever going to showcase their new defense, this could be the game to do just that.
Still despite the injuries to the Rams offense the Chiefs defense will still have to stay alert and be ready. The Chiefs are expecting the Rams to go deep on them and the coaching staff has kept the defensive backs on their heels during practice this past week.
"We've got to play the deep ball. We're going to see a lot of deep balls this week." Defensive backs coach Vernon Dean said to the Kansas City Star.
Eric Warfield was held out of practice on Saturday due to back stiffness, Julian Battle took his place. Warfield is not expected to miss the game on Monday. Undrafted rookie free agent Benny Sapp has been on the field for dime packages, and should see some looks on Monday.
This will be an important game for cornerback Julian Battle. He's coming off his best week of practice and the Chiefs are eager to see how he fares against the Rams high flying wide receivers.