The Kansas City Chiefs have a chance to guarantee themselves a .500 season on Sunday at home against the Cleveland Browns, and there is one key matchup that could prevent that from happening if the Chiefs are unable to keep it from getting out of hand.
Browns’ tight end Jordan Cameron is on pace for a 1,000 plus yard, 13-14 touchdown reception season and is the best offensive weapon for the Browns. He presents a challenge in coverage due to his speed and size, and should he have a career day in Kansas City on Sunday, that could lead to ending the Chiefs’ unbeaten season.
The Snowball Effect of Jordan Cameron
If Cameron is able to create space between him and the Kansas City coverage and the Browns’ starting quarterback for Sunday, Jason Campbell, is able to get him the ball then a whole array of options become viable for Cleveland. Browns’ wide receiver Josh Gordon becomes more of a liability for Kansas City if the Chiefs have to commit more of their best coverage to Cameron.
While Willis McGahee hasn’t been much of a running threat so far for Cleveland, a few big completions to Cameron and then Gordon could make life a lot easier for McGahee. Kansas City has been noticeably less stingy against the run so far this season, and McGahee is a back capable of producing an effective complementary running game if given room to work.
Defense, defense, defense
Defensively, the Browns have been no slouches this season. The Browns rank seventh in the league in total defense, just two slots down from the Chiefs. The Browns are allowing fewer yards per play on average than any other team in the league and have the athletes to play with anyone on the defensive side. A few big offensive plays could be all the Browns need.
In the Chiefs’ press-man coverage scheme, the duties of covering Cameron will likely fall to Eric Berry and the other members of the rotation in the defensive middle backfield. When Berry blitzes, Akeem Jordan or Derrick Johnson could be entrusted to provide a second or two of coverage.
Berry, Jordan and Johnson consistently winning the one-on-one matchup with Cameron will be vital to continuing a stellar defensive season for Kansas City in this game, and another stellar defensive performance will be vital for the Chiefs to getting to 8-0.