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Meet the Enemy: 5 Questions on the Kansas City Chiefs

Daily Norseman talked with SB Nation's Kansas City Chiefs blog, Arrowhead Pride, about Saturday night's preseason game in KC.

Alex Smith and the Chiefs starters may play into the second half on Saturday.
Alex Smith and the Chiefs starters may play into the second half on Saturday.
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The game still doesn't count. But it counts the most out of all the games that don't count.

We're two days away from the kickoff of the all-important Game 3 of the NFL preseason. The starters play the longest, the bubble players do their best to survive the first round of cuts, and the fans read into the results even more than usual.

Joel Thorman, the NFL League Manager for SB Nation and Editor for Chiefs blog Arrowhead Pride, was kind enough to answer some questions about Kansas City leading up to the game. Our Q&A is below.

1. A lot of experts are picking the Chiefs as the "regression team" in the AFC with their difficult schedule and poor record down the stretch last year after their 9-0 start. Tell us why you don't think that will happen.

It won't happen because Alex Smith is getting better in Andy Reid's system. Look at the second half of last season. He played very well and threw for a lot of touchdowns. Another year in the system and Smith is only going to get better. The Chiefs defensive problems last year came down to injuries to their two best pass rushers. If one of them goes down this year, Dee Ford is a better replacement. The Chiefs have their holes but they still have one of the NFL's best playmakers in Jamaal Charles and a top 10 caliber defense.

2. What do you think the reception will be like for Matt Cassel when he returns to Arrowhead?

Fans have two options: cheer or boo. I am guessing he will get booed. Everyone knows that Matt Cassel is a great person. No one is denying that. But this is a sporting event and when the former quarterback of your 2-14 team returns, you get booed. It's not personal. It's weekly story lines like this that make the NFL so much fun (except preseason still sucks).

3. What's the one unit on the team that is currently the cause for most concern among Chiefs fans?

It's a tie between the offensive line and the secondary. The Chiefs have one of the youngest offensive lines. No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher has struggled coming off of offseason shoulder surgery. Alex Smith was pressured consistently from the Panthers defensive line last week. In the secondary, the Chiefs are banking on in-house development from Ron Parker, Marcus Cooper and Sean Smith.

4. Jamaal Charles will be going very early in every fantasy draft. What other Kansas City players are worth drafting this year? Are there any sleepers that you think will surprise people by putting up big stats?

Jamaal Charles is the obvious one to draft. Alex Smith will probably have more than his 23 touchdown passes last year but he's not a great fantasy option from week to week. There's hope Dwayne Bowe can get back to a 70-catch, 900-yard season but no one is putting a lot of money down on that right now. Travis Kelce, a second-year tight end, is a great sleeper candidate. He was hurt all last season but gives the Chiefs a receiving threat down the middle of the field. He has shown playmaking ability in the preseason with touchdowns of 69 and 43 yards. If he stays healthy, he merits consideration.

5. Name a Chiefs player or two that most Vikings fans don't know about but could have a huge impact on Saturday's game and the 2014 season.

Offensively, you may not know Knile Davis, the Chiefs backup running back. He was a third round pick last year. Jamaal Charles doesn't seem likely to play so Davis will see his carries. Look for him to catch some balls out of the backfield. The Chiefs said they didn't change their offense last week when Charles was out and those just went to Davis. Also check out Zach Fulton, the right guard. He was a sixth round pick and like most sixth round picks we immediately overlooked him. But he taken hold of the starting right guard job. He struggled last week. Keep an eye on him.