Tyler Palko makes for a good story. He doesn’t necessarily make for a good starting option against the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. That’s essentially what Peter King says in his latest picks column this week.
The Sports Illustrated columnist has the Patriots beating the Kansas City Chiefs 31-10 in week 11 and the gods of football programming have to hope that Matt Cassel’s back-up can provide a decent enough game so people don’t decide to get a good night’s sleep instead of watching.
King writes, “The story is so neat: Tyler Palko, cut in the NFL (Arizona) and United Football League (California Redwoods) and unable to crack the Montreal Alouettes lineup in 2009, makes his first NFL start in Foxboro. On Monday night, Palko should find out that Bill Belichick — and more importantly, rejuvenated pass-rusher Andre Carter — are not actors in a Disney movie.”
That “rejuvenated Andre Carter” is the one who had 4.5 sacks last week, doubling his season total to 9. He had 11 two seasons ago and now has 75 in his career, and Palko is going to have to stay keenly aware of the New England pass rush the entire game. If anything, Jackie Battle and Dexter McCluster are going to have to keep defenses respecting the running game with Palko at the helm. Even with dynamic receivers like Steve Breaston, Jon Baldwin and Pro Bowler Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs will likely have a fairly conservative game plan.