The Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings both come into Sunday's game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City looking for their first win of the season. The Chiefs were blown out twice to start the season with a combined losing score of 89-10 before playing the Chargers much closer last week in San Diego. The Vikings have been much closer in their matchups as they've lost three games by a combined 14 points.
The Chiefs and Vikings share two common opponents thus far this season in the Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs were blown out by the Lions 48-3, while the Vikings played it close with the Lions at 23-26 but lost in overtime. The tough thing for the Vikings is that they were actually leading that game 20-0 at halftime before falling apart in the second half. The Chiefs just dropped a tough one to the Chargers last week by a score of 20-17, while the Vikings fell to the Chargers 24-17 to open the season.
The Kansas City Chiefs are hoping that first-round pick Jonathan Baldwin will be able to play in this game for the first time all season. Baldwin is still recovering from a cracked thumb suffered in the preseason in an alledged altercation with running back Thomas Jones. He was a limited participant in Thursday's practice but has been seen catching passes this week which is progress for him.
The status of cornerback Brandon Flowers is still in question as to whether or not he'll be able to play against the Vikings with the high ankle sprain suffered last week against the Chargers. The injury report should come out Friday night and give a clearer indication of his chances on playing Sunday.
The key to victory for the Kansas City Chiefs is very simple for this game against the Vikings. If you stop Adrian Peterson you will win this game. Peterson is probably the best all-around back in the NFL when you look at a strength and speed combination. The Vikings are currently 3rd in the NFL in rushing with an average of 159 yards per game. But they're ranked 29th in the NFL in passing with 143 yards per game through the air. Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb has completed 58% of his passes for 478 yards with two touchdowns and just one interception so far this season. The Chiefs need to stop Adrian Peterson and force McNabb to beat them through the air.
The Chiefs will be counting on Matt Cassel to lead them through the air because the Vikings have a stout defensive line and they play the run very well. They are 4th in the NFL right now in rushing defense by allowing just 67 yards per game on the ground. The loss of Jamaal Charles puts the target right on Dexter McCluster and Thomas Jones to pick up the slack.
But the Vikings have been struggling against the pass as they rank 29th in the NFL by allowing 299 yards per game so far this season. But they've faced Philip Rivers, Matt Stafford and Josh Freeman. Those are three pretty good quarterbacks. The Chiefs passing attack seemed to find a rhythm in the second half against the Chargers and if they can come out against the Vikings with that same success, it'll give the Chiefs a great chance at winning this game.