Coming off their big win over division rival New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys next head into battle with a familiar face taking over a new team. Week 2 of the NFL season sees the Cowboys heading on the road to battle the Kansas City Chiefs and new head coach Andy Reid.
While coaching the Philadelphia Eagles, Reid made life tough for the Cowboys year in and year out, and the fact that he led his Eagles to the Super Bowl while Dallas still struggled just to make the playoffs each year was a feather in the coach’s cap. However, after two rough seasons, the Eagles cut their ties with their successful head coach and he headed to the AFC to try to turn around the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.
The first thing that Reid did was bring in a new quarterback, swinging a trade with the San Francisco 49ers to sign Alex Smith. While at San Francisco, all Smith did was win games. While his numbers were not gaudy, he did everything that was asked of him and played clean football, rarely turning the ball over. In his last two seasons at San Francisco, Smith finished 19-5 as a starter.
In his first game as the new Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterback, Smith completed 21 of 34 passes for 173 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. It was almost a carbon copy of his career in San Francisco, throwing low yardage passes and making no mistakes. His consistency helped the Chiefs not only open the season with a win, but also finish with a huge 28-2 blowout over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
While the passing numbers were sufficient, the strength of the Kansas City Chiefs has always been the run and they have one of the best running backs in the league in Jamaal Charles. However, the Chiefs’ fanbase went through a scare when Charles had to leave the game on Sunday with a quad injury. Before leaving the game, he ran for 77 yards and a touchdown while also catching three passes for 11 yards and another touchdown.
Luckily for Kansas City, they expect Charles to be back this week, but if he isn’t they have rookie Knile Davis to turn to. Davis finished the first game of his NFL career with 12 yards on four carries.
One man that Kansas City will want to get more involved in their offense is All-Pro wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. In the first game of the season, he only finished with four receptions for 30 yards. He will need to get on the same page with Alex Smith, and when he does, this offense could be scary.
What was most impressive about the Kansas City Chiefs in week one was their defense.
Andy Reid is known as a coach who loves to throw the ball on offense, but in Philadelphia he hired the perfect people to put a complementary defense on the field that could hold their own with anyone in the NFL. It looks like he has started to work his magic with the Kansas City defense, a unit that has been much maligned in recent years.
In the game with Jacksonville, the Chiefs finished with six sacks, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown. While that is not quite up to the six turnovers and two defensive touchdowns that Dallas picked up on Sunday, it is still impressive and makes it look like Sunday’s matchup will be about which defense forces the most turnovers.
Stars for the Chiefs defense include linebacker Justin Houston, who had three sacks and outside linebacker Tamba Hali, who picked up the touchdown on his interception. Nose tackle Dontari Poe was just about unstoppable and Derrick Johnson remains the leader of this defense. With Andy Reid’s knowledge of Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys, this game could be one that comes down to the wire.
The Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs kick off at noon on Sunday.
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Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He writes for a variety of national publications and has over 15 years of sports journalism experience. Follow Shawn on Twitter @sslealos. Examiner.com.