What Can We Learn?

DT Jerrell Powe

When the Kansas City Chiefs invade Lambeau field Thursday night they'll put a close on the 2012 preseason. So what does this team want to accomplish against the Packers?

There aren't many questions that can be answered when the Chiefs invade Green Bay in the final August contest before the start of the regular season. With roster cuts looming Friday night, this game serves only to benefit a precious few of the remaining roster hopefuls.

But after a pair of lackluster preseason games where the Chiefs players appeared to be out-matched and out-skilled, likely won't get a chance to redeem themselves against a Packers. In fact, it's probable the Packers might only play there starters for a series or two.

The Chiefs are facing a similar decision. But what the Chiefs can't do is what they did a year ago in the final tune-up game at Green Bay. Safety Eric Berry tweaked his knee, which was blown out a week later on opening day. And starting tight end Tony Moeaki, not 100%, blew out his knee. Both players missed the entire 2012 season so it's highly doubtful that Chiefs Head Coach, Romeo Crennel, is going to play anyone if they have a hangnail or blister.

Still there are a trio of players that could make things interesting either when the cuts are announced or find themselves in new roles come opening day against Atlanta.

1. Guard Jeff Allen - In my view, I'd have no issues with the Chiefs starting the rookie from Illinois over veteran, Ryan Lilja. I know Allen is the future and in 2013 will be a starter. But his maturation process has grown in leaps and bounds since the first preseason game.

Sure he has a weakness at pass blocking but he's already up to speed in the running game. And let's face it; the Chiefs offense is going to be run heavy this season, so why not use the more gifted run blocker. Though Lilja is a superior pass blocker.

Now I know that's not going to happen - at least not at the beginning of the season. But the Chiefs should at least ponder the equation if Lilja struggles at any point in the run game.

2. DE Tyson Jackson - I know go ahead and start bashing me! I really do think that he could be a roster cut on Friday night. Again, I know he's a pretty solid run defender and someone came up with that the stat that he and fellow end, Glenn Dorsey, were the best duo in the NFL a year go in stopping the run.

Well that's great but at some point a defensive end on this defense, needs to sack the quarterback. Dorsey isn't likely to garner many sacks this year – despite the fact this is his contract year.

But Jackson is another story altogether. To me he's a 4-3 interior defensive lineman and not an outside end in a 3-4 defense. I mean it's been three years and you count his sacks on one hand. He had more than that in his junior season at LSU, playing mostly inside.

So is this a big game for him Thursday night? No because I doubt he's going to get much playing time. That is unless the Chief sign veteran, Shaun Smith who is still hitting Twitter about what a mistake it was to leave Kansas City a year ago.

If Mr. Smith comes back to the Chiefs; Mr. Jackson might find himself in another uniform come opening day.

3. DT Jerrell Powe - He might be the most unsung hero of the Chiefs defense the last three games. He's made plays in all of them and right now he could enter the season as the back up to first round pick, Dontari Poe.

In fact, you could argue the 2011 Powe has as much potential as the 2012 Poe. But that hardly matters; because the Chiefs might have two of the youngest defensive tackles in the game that each has the potential for some pretty high ceilings.

I've said this many times, Powe was a late round draft gem a year ago and it's clear that he's seizing the day and pushing for more playing time come opening day.

Are there any real roster spots up for grabs Thursday night?

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