September 10, 2013

Scouting report: Chiefs get ready for Cowboys with ‘shutout’ in back pocket

New attacking defense wants to make a statement against the Cowboys

The Kansas City Chiefs are calling what they did in Jacksonville last week a shutout.

Hard to blame them.

They gave up two points on a safety when a punt was blocked out of the end zone, but the defense did not let the Jaguars offense in the end zone. Zero points given up. That’s a shutout.

“I think the defense had a dominant game,” new Chiefs coach Andy Reid told Kansas City reporters. “They played really well and had a shutout or whatever is equivalent to that. They played with emotion, and I thought they carried that for four quarters which was impressive.”

The Chiefs had six sacks and two interceptions. Three sacks came from Pro Bowl linebacker Justin Houston. Fellow outside linebacker Tamba Hali had one of the interceptions and took it back 10 yards for a touchdown.

“This was a nice way to start the season,” said cornerback Brandon Flowers, who had the other interception. “But it’s one game and it means nothing against Dallas. We have to play better because we will be forced to play better. We’ve made a commitment on our defense to elevate our play every week. That starts with Dallas.”

New boss

Like the Cowboys, the Chiefs have a new defensive coordinator. Bob Sutton replaced Romeo Crennel and instituted an attacking style.

“Our main goal is to show what we have early, meaning this is going to be a long day, to let the offense know that and to keep it going the whole time,” said linebacker Derrick Johnson.

Like the Cowboys, the Chiefs emphasize creating turnovers. Last year, they had only 13 takeaways, fewer than the Cowboys’ 16.

Like the Cowboys, the Chiefs got results from all their talk.

“Last year is just so far behind us,” Flowers said. “New regime, just new spirit.”

Poe in the middle

The Chiefs rave about nose tackle Dontari Poe, their first-round pick a year ago who started this year with a bang. The 6-foot-3, 346-pound lineman had five solo tackles, 1.5 sacks and a tipped pass.

Poe showed the quickness that, for his size, made him the 11th pick in the 2012 draft.

“He’s a monster, man,” linebacker Justin Houston said. “If you’ve got a guy in the middle like that, it will make your whole defense’s job easier.”

Numbers game

18.5Sacks in 33 games for Justin Houston, a third-round pick of the Chiefs in 2011.

44Yards for the Chiefs’ leading receiver, fullback Anthony Sherman, against Jacksonville.

100Percent touchdowns in the red zone for the Chiefs against Jacksonville.

They said it

“They had one pressure early when they got him on a bull rush, and I thought he settled down and played good, tough, solid football. That’s what we expect of him.” — Andy Reid on right tackle Eric Fisher, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft

Injury report

• Jamaal Charles suffered a quadriceps injury in the game. Knile Davis had five touches in his place, four carries for 12 yards and one catch for five yards.
• The Chiefs are optimistic about right guard Jon Asamoah, who has a pulled calf muscle. He could practice this week.
• Inside linebacker Nico Johnson, out with a high ankle sprain since Aug. 24, is not expected back this week.
• Tight end Travis Kelce (knee bruise) was active but did not play against Jacksonville.

(This report includes material from Kansas City reporters).

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