Kansas City Chiefs vs. Detroit Lions: Preview, Key Matchup and Prediction

Bill RobbinsCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2011

The play of QB Matt Cassel and RB Jamaal Charles will be key this weekend for the Chiefs.
The play of QB Matt Cassel and RB Jamaal Charles will be key this weekend for the Chiefs.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs will go on the road to take on a much-improved Detroit Lions team in Week 2 of the NFL regular season slate this weekend.

KC is coming off one of their worst losses in franchise history, as they were defeated 41-7 by the Buffalo Bills last weekend.

The Lions managed to pull out an exciting 27-20 win against the upstart Tampa Bay Bucs and are looking to start the season 2-0 against an injury-depleted Chiefs team.

The Chiefs passing offense, led by Matt Cassel, will need to have a much better game this Sunday than they had against the Bills.

Cassel threw for just 122 yards, to go along with one TD and one interception against an average Buffalo secondary.

Pro Bowlers Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles need to step up their game, along with the KC offensive line. Otherwise, All-Pro DT Ndamukong Suh might have his way with the Chiefs offense.

Detroit will be counting on third-year QB Matthew Stafford to build on his 300-plus-yard passing performance that he turned in a week ago.

With Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry now out for the season, it will be that much harder to cover Lions receivers Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson.

They also have a guy named Jahvid Best in the backfield who can light up the Chiefs D if their run defense struggles, as it did in Week 1 against the Bills.

Key Matchup: Ndamukong Suh vs. the Chiefs Offensive Line

This might be the biggest test of the year when it comes to the Chiefs' OL.

Suh is a monster and had 10-plus sacks a rookie defensive tackle in 2010. If they can slow down Suh, they can have success.

If not, it could be a long day for the red and gold this weekend.

Prediction: Lions 24, Chiefs 14

Before the season began, I predicted that the Chiefs would take this game.

But with the recent injuries to WR Jonathan Baldwin, TE Tony Moeaki and S Eric Berry, it's hard for me to pick them in this game. The Lions should prevail this weekend.