Two similar teams will take to the field in Minnesota as the Kansas City Chiefs visit the Vikings on Sunday afternoon. The Chiefs have struggled since Week 1’s win over Houston. They blew a lead against Denver with two costly fumbles and were then outclassed by the Packers in Week 3 and the Bengals in Week 4. In an 18-17 defeat at home to the Bears last week, the Chiefs lost their most valuable player after Jamaal Charles suffered a season-ending ACL tear. After a dismal performance against the 49ers in Week 1’s MNF clash, the Vikings bounced back with two consecutive home victories over Detroit and San Diego, then traveling to Denver and falling to the league’s best defense before going on their bye week.
Three Keys to the Game
- Who will replace Jamaal Charles?
Charles was the focal point of Kansas City’s offense. Not only is he one of the league’s best running backs, he is also a key part of the passing game under Andy Reid. Charles is currently the team’s third-best receiver with 21 catches for 177 yards. His five total touchdowns are the most of any player on Kansas City’s roster. Whichever running back replaces Charles, they will struggle to make as much of an impact as the injured star.
- Can Alex Smith compensate?
With Charles out, quarterback Alex Smith will have to step up and become the focal point of the offense. That’s hard to do when you’ve been sacked the second-most times in the league and you are unwilling to take deep chances down the field. Even with a deep threat weapon like Jeremy Maclin, Smith hasn’t played the deep ball often.
- Minnesota’s defense
One of the best and youngest units in the league, Minnesota’s defense should be more than equipped to keep Kansas City in check. The Vikings have allowed just eight touchdowns so far this season, bettered only by the New York Jets. Minnesota have allowed just 18.2 points per game. The offense doesn’t need to work so hard with a defense as good as Minnesota’s.
Match-up to Watch
Adrian Peterson versus the Chiefs defense; Kansas City’s defense hasn’t played particularly well this season. The Chiefs have allowed the third-most points per game in the league with 28.6, and have allowed 19 touchdowns; tied with the Falcons and Saints for second-worst. Even though only four of those have been rushing touchdowns, the Chiefs have allowed 98.6 rushing yards per game. If Peterson has a big game, then so will quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. If Minnesota is able to get the play-action pass working well, expect the Chiefs to allow even more touchdowns.
Hosting a severely weakened Chiefs team, Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater should have a strong game. And the defense won’t struggle to hold the Chiefs in check. Minnesota have a good chance to go 3-2 on Sunday.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?