The kid gloves are off. Kansas City has taken it's hardest schedule hit of the season by starting out with three road contests in four games. Even the most dedicated of fans had the guys in red starting the season 1-3. I was one of them, to be honest with you. That was until Kansas City beat Minnesota and the Chargers lost two in a row – now three in a row, thanks to the Chiefs.
Right now everything Edwards has been preaching to his players since the 2006 season ended is making sense. For the last nine months he's made this group of 53 men believe in his way.
In the locker room Thursday his players were tired from a hard practice, but they're a confident bunch who can't wait for gameday. Some teams dread the week leading up to the game.
The workload can be overbearing. Some head coaches drive their players to near exhaustion Wednesday through Friday. Others, like Edwards, look for balance.
He's finally found it and now he can teach this team how to win and grow at the same time.
Over the summer HBO's Hard Knocks showed Edwards spending lots of time reflecting and contemplating the men on his squad. By his own admission, he's a patient man, but he's also extremely diligent with every decision he makes.
While most coaches would have panicked after going 0-2 Edwards steadied the ship and now, despite the fact there are still some concerns on both sides of the ball, Edwards and his staff set their sights on proving to the rest of the league that they belong in the group just below the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts.
One of those teams is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who come into Arrowhead this weekend hoping to prove the Chiefs' last two victories were a mere fluke.
But rest assured they weren't. Kansas City earned them. The Jaguars, who went into Denver two weeks ago, recognize that, and are taking this game seriously. Kansas City has to play its best game of the season.
Five to Watch:
1. WR Eddie Kennison - If the Chiefs are going to evolve into an offense that matches the talent of the defense, Kennison's return could be the key to unlocking the remainder of the offensive playbook. Since he came to the Chiefs toward the end of the 2001 season, Kennison has been KC's steadiest receiver. With the emergence of Dwayne Bowe, we might see the next generation of Kennison's career unfold. I think he's been underrated as a leader on this football team, but now he comes back to give the Chiefs another weapon that the Jaguars must respect. And if they don't, Kennison will burn them.
2. TE Jason Dunn - For the third straight week the Chiefs are facing one of the NFL's premier defensive lines. Dunn is a big reason the offense has been able to move the ball again. Sunday his presence on the offensive line will be key in finding room for running back Larry Johnson. Dunn is as valuable for this football team as any the five starters who plow the road for LJ, and he's also a key cog in pass protection. Dunn will have his hands full against the Jaguars, but he'll be ready.
3. DE Jared Allen - Last week Allen couldn't come up with a sack of Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers. He was fired up about it this week on his radio show and he vowed to sack David Garrard three times. I'll settle for keeping Garrard in the pocket and forcing him to make errant throws, which is what Allen did to Rivers last week. A few sacks wouldn't hurt, either. Allen is on pace for an All-Pro season despite the fact this team lost its first two games of the year.
4. QB Damon Huard - Huard might be one of the toughest players I've ever met. I wish everyone could see the battle he goes through every week to get on the football field. He's taken some blistering hits and made some mistakes, but whatever the situation is, he gets back up and shows he's a leader. The fact he has Brodie Croyle breathing down his neck every game doesn't make the situation any easier, but nonetheless he's handled it with class and led this offense the last two weeks like he did in his backup role, when he went 5-3 as a starter in 2006. As a starter he's undefeated in Arrowhead, so we'll see if that streak continues against Jacksonville.
5. RBC James Saxon - The best thing Larry Johnson can do Sunday is listen to his running backs coach. James Saxon might be one of the best at his particular position in this league, and he's been a big reason why Johnson has churned out so many yards and touchdowns the last two plus seasons. Johnson told the media on Thursday that he misses the end zone. It'll be up to Saxon to continue keep his star running back in check and patient. With the offensive line struggling in the running game, Saxon knows that eventually LJ will bust out like he did in the fourth quarter of the Chargers game. Saxon has seen ups and downs in his playing and coaching career. I have no doubt that he'll get LJ focused to get back into the end zone on Sunday.
Five To Watch: Chiefs vs Jaguars
WarpaintIllustrated.com Top Stories
Three Backfields With Question MarksEvery week, Fantasy Football Expert Mark Morales-Smith examines the most turbulent backfields in the NFL to help decipher whether or not there are any Fantasy stars in the making..…
Chiefs Put Justin Houston on PUP ListWith roster cuts looming, the Kansas City Chiefs have placed All Pro linebacker Justin Houston on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, meaning he won’t be able to return to…
Schwartz Brothers in Kansas City Makes SenseOn Tuesday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs will complete their first roster purge of the week. In order to get down to the league limit of 75 players, the Chiefs who cut eight…
Berry Signs as Chiefs Begin Roster CutsOn Sunday All Pro Safety Eric Berry, signed his one-year tender. That means today the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff will get their first on field glimpse of their starting…
Chiefs Acquire CB Kenneth Acker from 49ersShortly after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Chicago Bears on Saturday afternoon, the team announced they had acquired Cornerback, Kenneth Acker, from the San Francisco 49ers.…