It was great getting a victory Week One and starting the season on a positive note. That being said, it wasn't all positive out there. For instance, Brian Cushing went down with yet another knee injury, though thankfully a lot less serious this time. With the Chiefs heading to Houston this weekend, what should we keep an eye on?
1. Max Bullough
Max Bullough came in when Brian Cushing left the game and actually performed pretty well for a backup. PFF even had him as our best defensive player on the day, with a 81.5 point grade, whatever that means. It certainly didn't really feel like we had a backup linebacker out there, as Bullough managed 5 tackles and a TFL too. With Bullough looking like he'll get the start next to Benardrick McKinney against the Chiefs this week, how he plays will be something to keep an eye on. How will the Chiefs’ run game be affected? Will Travis Kelce pick on us over the middle? Those are the big question marks with Bullough getting the start.
2. J.J. Watt
J.J. Watt was not the normal J.J. Watt out there last Sunday. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. He looked a little stiff at times and a little bit apprehensive at other times. Just seemed like something was not quite right up until that last drive, where he let loose and got those two near sacks of Jay Cutler. I'm not concerned yet, as this was his first game action post-surgery, but it's certainly something to keep an eye on.
3. Jaelen Strong
Strong didn't get much of a chance on Sunday, getting only 12 snaps and no targets. He came into the preseason looking like the WR2, but he has been relegated to fourth on the depth chart behind DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Braxton Miller. Whether this was due to a game plan to utilise other receiving skill sets, or just due to Strong being out of favour with Bill O’Brien has yet to be seen. Will this trend continue, or will Strong's influence increase?
4. Lamar Miller's Workload
Lamar Miller looked great against the Chiefs, and I'm all for getting the ball to him a lot, but he had 32 touches against the Bears. I'd like to see his workload lightened just a touch. The snaps at RB weren't shared much, with Alfred Blue getting only 10 snaps, Tyler Ervin 11, and Jonathan Grimes none. I think we could have utilised Blue a little more later into the game to help burn that clock out a bit; we also could have used Grimes on some of those passing downs to allow Miller to get some time on the sidelines to recover. Will the trend of Miller getting the overwhelming share of the work continue against the Chiefs?
Those are my four things for this week against the Chiefs. What else do you think we should be focusing on?
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