1. Eric Fisher and Donald Stephenson have just switched spots to right and left tackle, respectively. What is your take on that?
It's probably the best move for the team. Fisher has been injured for the past few weeks so Donald Stephenson was taking his left tackle position. Andy Reid saw Stephenson play there and agreed with most of us: Stephenson is better at left tackle than right tackle. Reid explained that since Fisher can play both left and right, he decided to keep Stephenson on the left side and move Fisher to the right side. Reid's logic makes some sense but it's impossible to ignore that the No. 1 pick is now playing on the right side after the Chiefs said he was the future left tackle. Bottom line, this is the best configuration of the Chiefs offensive line, but it creates some questions about Fisher's future in KC moving forward.
2. I had both Kevin Johnson and Marcus Peters in my top 5 overall players on my pre-draft big board, and each of them should be heavily featured in this weekend's opener. Johnson played spectacularly well for the Texans during the preseason. How did Peters look?
Peters looks like the real deal. I figured a rookie corner would struggle but Peters looks like he belongs on the field. The Chiefs would probably prefer to move him along slowly but with Sean Smith facing a three-game suspension to start the season they don't have that luxury. Peters and Phillip Gaines will be the top two corners as the Chiefs face Brian Hoyer in Week 1, Peyton Manning in Week 2 and Aaron Rodgers in Week 3. He will be tested but the future is clearly bright for him. It looks like a good pick. (For the record, I initially wanted the Chiefs to draft Kevin Johnson but he didn't really have the size that the Chiefs wanted. He'll be a great player.)
3. What and/or who is the weak link on the Chiefs' offense? What about the weak link on defense?
Offensively, it's the offensive line. The Chiefs will have a completely revamped offensive line -- every position will be held by a different player than last year. They struggled last year but were good enough for the Chiefs to be 16th in scoring. If that group can be merely average, it should be good enough for the Chiefs to succeed. The Chiefs will have to scheme around that Texans defensive line this week because even if they played their best game the Texans will give them a lot of trouble. Defensively, the run defense was the question mark last season. The Chiefs are bringing back Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito, who were lost for the season in Week 1 last year. That alone should help with the run defense quite a bit. Dontari Poe, as I'll answer below, may or may not be there so that will affect the Chiefs run defense as well. The Texans rushing attack, even without Arian Foster, is what concerns me the most right now.
4. Dontari Poe is awesome, and I would rather he not play this Sunday for obvious reasons. What is the latest on his recovery from back surgery?
He had surgery on his back for a herniated disc on July 15. We looked around and talked with some doctors who suggested a typical recovery time would be three months, so I wasn't expecting him back until October. However, last week Andy Reid hinted that things are going well with him. And then this week Reid said that Poe would be practicing on a limited basis and that Week 1 is a real possibility for him. It's just incredible to think that he could actually be part of this game. Even if he doesn't play, the Chiefs have made the Texans take the time to prepare for both Poe and his replacement, Jaye Howard. I don't have a real idea one way or another if he's likely or unlikely to play.
5. What is your final score prediction for the game and why?
I'm taking the Chiefs in this game. It's September, so optimism is at an all-time high. Every offseason move will work out perfectly and last year's disappointments will turn it around. At least that's what I'm saying in September. It's impossible not to feel good about the Chiefs right now if you're in Kansas City. We're looking at this year as the first real chance in a while to overtake the Broncos in the AFC West. However, we were optimistic about last year's Chiefs and they came out and laid a stinker in Week 1. So right now, give me the Chiefs 20-13 but I can't tell you I'm too confident one way or another because we just don't know the caliber of this team yet.
A big thanks to Joel for stopping by. Head on over to Arrowhead Pride for the latest on all things Chiefs leading up to this weekend's showdown.
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