Vic Carucci

Can the Kansas City Chiefs continue their roll by knocking off the skidding St. Louis Rams?


The Chiefs have been fortunate to get solid quarterbacking from Damon Huard, who has started in place of injured Trent Green. But this is a game where Huard's pronounced lack of mobility could prove to be a problem. The Rams have an aggressive, blitzing defense that should be able to place enough pressure on Huard to force him into mistakes that he so far has kept to a minimum. Although Larry Johnson has been highly impressive running the ball, Huard is still going to be called upon to make plays in the passing game. And that is where the Rams' attacking defensive scheme can make a difference.

The Rams have run a more methodical, plodding offense under first-year coach Scott Linehan. For the most part, it suits them well. Steven Jackson, who has averaged 20-plus carries per game, figures to have a big day against a mediocre Chiefs run defense.

That is not to say the Rams won't make use of their passing game, which ranks in the top five of the NFL. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson likes to spread the field with three- and four-receiver formations. Consequently, the Chiefs, who are not particularly deep in their secondary, will have trouble maintaining coverage beyond what they can get from starting cornerbacks Ty Law and Patrick Surtain. In addition, the spread formations will help create running room for Jackson, especially when the Chiefs are caught with smaller, pass-oriented defenders on the field.