There is nothing worse for an offensive player when he sees Pittsburgh on the schedule. They don't want to see the Jets defense, the Ravens or even the Bears' elite linebackers. Last year, teams got familiar with the defense in Green Bay, and they weren't thrilled about it. This year, there could be another team that opens some eyes around the league.
A few years ago, playing the Kansas City Chiefs was a welcome thought too many teams. They knew that the defense wasn't good, and the offense often struggled, having few impact players at all on the roster. Last season they caught a few people off guard, and ended up getting back into the playoffs. Even though teams are aware of Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe, they need to start preparing for a low-scoring game.
The defense has been a work in progress over the last few years, but it has really come together well. They have two of the most underrated linebackers in the league in Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali. They have both proven that they are capable of controlling the middle of the field. The defensive line still needs some improvement, as former LSU stars Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey haven't quite lived up to expectations.
The secondary looks very good with Brandon Carr on one side, and Brandon Flowers on the other. Safety Eric Berry is keeping things in check downfield, and can provide some help tackling near the line of scrimmage. These guys are all young, and have already demonstrated their skills and potential.
Kansas City has an extremely difficult schedule this season, especially early on. That could be good though, as most teams will probably be rusty on offense at the beginning of the season. This will allow their already great defense to flourish even more. They already have one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL at Arrowhead Stadium, so they could really turn up the heat on their opponents.
When most people think of the Chiefs, Charles and Bowe might be the first people that come to mind. There are some big names on defense that might change that before the season is over.