Eavesdropping On The Enemy: Chiefs-Seahawks

Each week this season I go undercover and spy on the opposing fans of each Chiefs opponent. I believe the fans of the individual teams are the true experts on the strengths and weaknesses of their team. Each week I'll attempt to find out how they view the upcoming game, how their offense will fare against the Chiefs defense and how their defense will fare against the Chiefs offense.

This week the Chiefs look for momentum as they host the defending NFC champions, the Seattle Seahawks. Last week the Chiefs gained redemption, upsetting the Chargers 30-27 with opportunistic defense, power running and timely downfield passing. The Chiefs have an opportunity to jump over .500 for the first time this season. The confidence of a win this week would loom large as the Chiefs head out on the road the next two weeks. This week I spied on a group of Seahawks fans at The Official Net Nation Forum at Seahawks.net .

Seahawks Offense vs. Chiefs Defense

"Look at how many weapons will be on the field will be on the field in our 3 wide sets with Stevens back playing full time and a QB that can throw pretty well and is as fast as any player on the field.

If everything is working right, Kansas City will be forced to put a spy on Seneca, and cover Stevens and all of our receivers. That means a ton of zone coverages my friends. Someone will pretty much be open at all times. Seneca just needs to make smart throws and remember he can always scramble or throw it away at any time. Just get positive yards on every play.

All Seneca needs to do is let the game come to him and play smart. He has to show his running ability early and get it in their head that he will be a serious threat if left without a spy.

Seneca has the tools and the players around him to make the NFL look like a video game like never before. Vick doesn't have these kind of players around him, he gets paid too much." The Hawkster - The Official Net Nation Forum

"Take a couple pages out of the Steelers playbook. Every RB on the Steelers roster had a huge day against Kansas City. While Morris doesn't have the speed to break away for a 90 yard run like Parker does, we should be looking to make some good runs against Kansas City. Their defensive front is really aggressive and our offense can get some big plays off over pursuit. Wallace needs to have, at least, 4 different run plays he can check off to if we don't want to turn the ball over by forcing the ball in bad situations.

Needless to say - Our offense has to keep us in the game and our defense will have to win us the game in Kansas City. That's pretty apparent with Ashworth being moved to RT and Sims being tried at LG. We need a conservative offense that moves the chains and we need our defense to show up in a big way." Firebee - The Official Net Nation Forum

The Spy's analysis

For the 3rd time this season a young quarterback will make his first start at Arrowhead. So far this season those quarterbacks (Alex Smith and Philip Rivers) are 0-2. The Seahawks Seneca Wallace is next to try his luck against the Chiefs defense and the Arrowhead crowd. Both need to come up big to translate Wallace's start into an 0-3 record.

56-10, 103 yards passing, four sacks for 25 yards, two interceptions. These were the numbers for Michael Vick when he came to Arrowhead in 2004. "What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?" you may ask. Wallace is a very mobile quarterback with a strong arm, much like Vick. Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham should employ a similar strategy to attack Wallace as he did to attack Vick. If I remember correctly, Gunther blitzed up the middle during that game and gave Vick no room to step or to run.

The Chiefs must stop the run. A smart coach like Mike Holmgren will certainly try to establish the run game against the Chiefs. KC's defense did relatively well against LaDanian Tomlinson for most of the game last week. They need to perform even better against Maurice Morris.

Seahawks Defense vs. Chiefs Offense

"I just get this sense that the D is going to play a LOT better this week against KC. Granted it's in hostile territory, but somehow I feel like the replacement of Boulware with Babs is going to make a huge difference. Babs had a great week of practice too so I'm confident that he'll be ready. The Hawks D is just way too good to be playing at their current level." Kmedic - The Official Net Nation Forum

"How will the Seahawks stop Tony Gonzalez? I have been thinking about this all week, and in my mind, it's the key matchup of the game. Gonzales ranks fifth in DPAR for tight ends, and the Seahawks have had major trouble with the NFL's better tight ends since last season.

It was always my assumption that Seattle spent all that money on Julian Peterson to rectify this situation - when you have a linebacker that tall who is as athletic as a strong safety, it's a natural neutralizer for tight ends - but, of course, Peterson has turned out to be a superlative pass rusher, racking up six sacks.

In my opinion, this is the week they should let Peterson play to type. Let Leroy Hill (who can't cover TEs that well, but can rush the hell out of the passer) and Darryl Tapp deal with pressure, and let Peterson stick with Gonzales like glue." dfarrar777– The Official Net Nation Forum

"Hill and Tatupu on Larry Johnson with JP on Gonzo - pure and simple. We all know Kansas City likes to stretch the field, so I'd play our Safeties deep and keep them assigned to deep coverage. Their responsibility is to prevent the huge play from happening. Our guys on defense also need to be LOOKING FOR THE BALL!!! WE NEED TURNOVERS!!!

I'm looking forward to seeing some zone blitzes out of the 3-3-5 with Boulware as the nickel back. The 3-3-5 with Boulware at Nickel is almost like having a hybrid 3-4 with really versatile super fast linebackers. We can do a lot of different things out of that defense and the Chiefs have shown a lot of weakness against the 3-4 defense. I'd assign Trufant to Kennison, Herndon or Jennings to Parker and Boulware to Gardner in man coverage. Boulware can take Gardner out of the game if we let him bump and run a lot. We should be okay on the deep routes if our safeties don't let the receivers get behind them.

The one thing I don't like about the new QB... I have no idea of what his tendencies are. I don't know what kind of passes he throws, if he favors the right side more than the left or what kind of range he has. I know this has to be driving our defense nuts. The only thing they can do is gameplan for their two biggest weapons and find out what this new QB is all about." Firebee - The Official Net Nation Forum

The Spy's Analysis

It will be a game-time decision as to whether Damon Huard or Brodie Croyle will start for the Chiefs. If Croyle gets his first start, the Chiefs offense will certainly be more conservative than it was last week against the Chargers. Even if that is the case the Chiefs should use last week's success to their advantage. I'd love to see a deep play-action pass to Kennison or Parker on the Chiefs' first series. Surely the Seahawks will be keying on Larry Johnson and Tony Gonzalez. If Gonzalez runs a 15-yard down and in he'll likely take the safeties with him, leaving the middle open for a post by a wide receiver. This would also loosen up the Seahawks defense.

The offensive line played a very solid game last week. They need to repeat that performance if the Chiefs are to get above .500. They will need to open running lanes for Larry Johnson and protect the quarterback (no matter who it is). Another player who could be big for the Chiefs is fullback/tight end Kris Wilson. Since he is lining up as a fullback, he creates big matchup problems when he goes in motion, as evidenced by his touchdown last week. The Chiefs should look to exploit that matchup.

The Spy's Summary

This game has the possibility of being a battle of run games and defense should Croyle get the start due to Huard's injury. If that is the case. this game will be won in the trenches. The Chiefs offensive and defensive lines must step again this week. This could also be the week that backup running back Michael Bennett adds value by changing the pace of the workhorse Larry Johnson.

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