Chiefs-Panthers: Matchup Edges Kansas City Needs to Take Down Carolina

Josh KnoxCorrespondent IOctober 4, 2008

The Chiefs are 1-3 and would love to come out with a second straight win. Here are some of the matchups they would have to win against Carolina Sunday in order for this to happen.


Chiefs Offense Line vs. Carolina Defensive Line

As you can tell from one of my latest articles, Top 5 Reasons to Believe in the Young Chiefs, I think the Chiefs offensive line is on the rise. This line has given up 12 sacks this year, but only three in the last two games combined.

The Panthers are ranked 19th in the league with seven sacks, which is really just middle-of-the-pack, but five of those sacks have come in the last two games. With both lines playing their best, the last two games this should be a great matchup to watch.


Chiefs Running Game vs. Panthers Rush Defense

The Chiefs' running game, particularly Larry Johnson, has really been picking up stream lately, and this matchup could be one of the main deciding factors of the game.

The Chiefs are currently averaging 4.9 yards per attempt (seventh in NFL) and 138.5 rushing yards per game (also good for seventh).

The Panthers are allowing 4.1 yards per carry (15th) on average, along with 114.2 yards per game (19th). On paper, this match up looks like it could go to the Chiefs.


Carolina Running Game vs. Chiefs Rush Defense

This is a matchup that has the potential to be bad for the Chiefs. The Chiefs are giving up an average of 5.3 yards per rushing attempt (29th in the league) and are also allowing an average of 176.5 yards per game on the ground.

Carolina likes to run the ball, but the Panthers rushing game does not blow you away, as it is averaging 3.6 yards per attempt (19th) and 102.5 yards per game (also 19th).


Carolina Receivers vs. Chiefs Secondary

With the possibility that cornerback Pat Surtain might be out again this week, the Chiefs could be forced to start the two rookie Brandons (Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers) again, and this may not be a bad thing.

Last week, the young cornerbacks did a very good job against a very good Denver receiving crew (the numbers don’t do this justice, as quite a few of those catches and yards came when Denver was playing catchup).

With all of that said, these young cornerbacks, along with third-year safeties Jarrad Page and Bernard Pollard, will have their hands full containing the elusive Steve Smith and comeback kid Muhsin Muhammad.


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Kansas City Chiefs vs Carolina Panthers - Matchups to Watch