Strategy Session: KC Needs to Run the Ball

The Chiefs got away from the running game that worked so effectively in their Monday night win at Baltimore, where their offensive line overpowered an imposing Ravens run defense.

Priest Holmes had only five carries in the first half in the loss to Jacksonville. KC can't make that mistake again. Sure, the Falcons are ranked No. 1 in rush defense, but the Chiefs have to challenge them anyway. Trent Green's play-action passing game just isn't as effective when Holmes hasn't been established.

Defensively, the Chiefs have to contain Vick's big running plays and make him beat them through the air. He's capable of doing just that, but the Chiefs like their chances better when Vick isn't make big plays with his legs.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
Chiefs pass protection vs. Falcons rush unit. The Chiefs gave up six sacks in the loss at Jacksonville; the most against Trent Green in his career. Atlanta has 20 sacks coming in. Green has to get rid of the ball quicker, as many of the losses he took against the Jags were cover sacks. Falcons LDE Patrick Kerney (7 sacks) against KC RT John Welbourn will be a big matchup.

Chiefs rushing game and Priest Holmes vs. Falcons rushing defense. Atlanta has not given up a 100-yard rusher this year. Of course, Holmes can be equally effective as a receiver, though the Chiefs have not utilized him greatly in that role this year. Now might be a good time to start.

Falcons WR Dez White vs. Chiefs CB Dexter McCleon, who is coming off a horrible game against Jacksonville.

DT Ryan Sims, who missed the Jacksonville loss with a hamstring injury, did only some striding and agility work Wednesday, but could play against Atlanta if he can run effectively on Thursday and Friday, as the Chiefs are hoping.

WR Eddie Kennison, in eight career games against Atlanta (mostly with New Orleans) has eight catches for 559 yards, a 25.4-yard average with two 100-yard games and five TDs.

QB Trent Green, who has never played against Atlanta, is coming off his 13th 300-yard passing game in last week's loss at Jacksonville. It also was his 16th career game with a 100 passer rating or better. The Chiefs are 8-1 when Green has a 100 rating or higher at Arrowhead.

INJURY IMPACT:
As mentioned DT Ryan Sims is still questionable after missing the Jacksonville game with a hamstring injury. He did some light running and agility work Wednesday and could practice Thursday or Friday afternoon.

Still the Chiefs like their DT rotation of Lional Dalton, John Browning and Junior Siavii, but they'd like it better if Sims is available and Browning can play defensive end where he has been dominating.

TE Kris Wilson is out while mending a broken leg, as he has been all season.


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