To get ready for Sunday's game, I exchanged five questions with Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride, SB Nation's Kansas City Chiefs blog. My answers to his questions can be found later today on AP, and his answers to my questions are below.
Stunned is an understatement. I think a lot of people in KC knew that the Bills weren't as bad as their 4-12 record last year but 41-7? Wow. Just wow. Some fans are going through a meltdown in KC and, while it's just one game, the Chiefs have been outscored 102-24 in their last three games. In general, the fan base figured the Chiefs were going to be a team on the cusp of the playoffs or, at worst, a seven-win team. We didn't expect 41-7 at all.
2. What is the feeling in Kansas City about the Lions? Going into Detroit's Week 1 matchup with the Bucs, a lot of Tampa Bay fans wrote off the Lions' chances of winning because of how much hype they received during the preseason. Is the feeling similar amongst Chiefs fans, or do they view the Lions as a team that has in fact taken a step in the right direction?
I think most of us feel the Lions are legit. The Chiefs really struggle against teams with good to great defensive lines and the Lions are right up there in that conversation. The offensive line has been a question mark so to say that we're concerned about what DT Ndamukong Suh will do to Matt Cassel and Co. would be a bit of an understatement. Frankly, I'm very worried about it. In addition to that, the QB Matthew Stafford to WR Calvin Johnson connection, as well as your tight ends, is worrisome as well with S Eric Berry out for the year.
3. Much has been made about Matt Cassel's performances as of late and if he is good enough to someday lead the Chiefs to a championship. Do you think he is the answer, or should the Chiefs look to go in a different direction at quarterback in the future?
Tough to tell. There aren't a lot of encouraging signs but the way this team is built -- run first -- takes the edge off a little bit. QB Matt Cassel had some big games last year but he hasn't consistently demonstrated he can put the team on his back and lead them to victory. Does he need to do that? That's debatable but I think that's usually what you think of when talking about a quarterback that can lead you to a Super Bowl.
4. How tough will it be for the Chiefs to replace safety Eric Berry?
Impossible. They won't replace him. He played every single defensive snap for the Chiefs last year and his versatility gives the team a lot of options in the secondary. For example, I don't know how they're going to cover the Lions tight ends on Sunday. The Chiefs have a pair of journeymen behind him -- Jon McGraw and Sabby Piscitelli -- so they're never going to fully replace his production. They can, however, minimize the impact of his loss, though I have plenty of concerns over whether that can happen.
5. What are you expecting to happen on Sunday? A close game? A blowout for the Lions? A Chiefs upset?
Well, as a fan, I want to see my team pull out an upset. I think the Chiefs are capable of that but I'm basing that on gut feel, not on what they showed us last week. If Charles can get 15-20 carries, I'd feel a lot better about the Chiefs chances. That said, if I were putting money on this game, I wouldn't pick the Chiefs.