The Kansas City Chiefs defense didn't look much different than last season and the passing game struggled to get into any rhythm. Those two things can and should work themselves out; otherwise if they don't, Super Bowl expectations might go out the door quicker than any team has ever seen.
The defense gave up 156-yards to Quentin Griffin and 230 passing yards and two touchdowns to Jake Plummer. They did however snag two interceptions, but quarterback Trent Green gave one of those back on a brilliant leap by Champ Bailey.
"They screwed us up with a lot of the different things they did," Chiefs head Coach Dick Vermeil said. "A little different than what they've ever done and it screwed us up."
The Chiefs have a winless team coming to town on Sunday; the Carolina Panthers dropped their Monday night affair 24-14 to the Green Bay Packers. The Panthers will be without their starting wide receiver and go to man Steve Smith, who broke his leg in the loss.
"Obviously that's a blow to lose a guy like Steve Smith," Panthers Head coach John Fox said. "Obviously he's a big-play guy for us both offensively and in the kicking game. But as is football, there's injuries."
The good thing for the Panthers, Smith's injury is not expected to keep him out for the season as he could be back in week 12. With that Kansas City's run defense has to step up and contain Stephen Davis, who is capable of rushing for more than the 26-yards he ran Monday night in their season opener against the Green Bay Packers.
"Denver's scheme and game plan ripped us on first down. They made 258 yards on first down, so that's where they won the football game." Vermeil said on KC Chiefs.com "Normally, that's where we are extremely sound."
Of course the Panthers will have to deal with the always-tough Arrowhead crowd, a place the Chiefs have not lost since 2002. Kansas City has a 13 game winning streak at one of the loudest places in the NFL.
"They will not be awe of Arrowhead." Vermeil said. "From an emotional standpoint we've gone through the process of cleansing ourselves of the disappointment of the loss. Going into Denver we said it would be a great game to determine where we are because it's another real good football team that plays extremely well at home."
Once again the Chiefs do have some injuries, and at early week looks like some of the injuries could some players out of the game. Defensive end Vonnie Holliday has a groin strain, and Greg Wesley is down with a hamstring, it is similar to the injury that kept Jerome Woods out of preseason.
Woods and Eric Hicks were also injured but are not expected to miss any playing time on Sunday according to Vermeil.
Both linebackers Kawika Mitchell and rookie Keyaron Fox are expected to practice today. The wide receivers could also get a boost as rookie Samie Parker is expected to test his strained hamstring in practice on Wednesday.