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“I'm not sure the Chiefs offense can keep up” and more Kansas City scouting from Arrowhead Pride

We hear about the Chiefs from Joel Thorman, one of SB Nation’s finest and the editor of Arrowhead Pride.

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Dave Choate: What is the fanbase's feeling toward Alex Smith? He seems like a solid but unsexy quarterback, but are the Chiefs ultimately going to look at a young player in the next couple of seasons?

Joel Thorman: The Chiefs have drafted (and cut) two quarterbacks since Alex Smith has been around. They have a veteran backup in Nick Foles and undrafted free agent Tyler Bray behind him. They're always going to be looking for quarterbacks. Alex Smith's contract is up in two years so at his age (32) I would imagine they start looking for the future soon. Alex Smith's rep in KC is kinda weird. He's won a ton of games and brought the Chiefs back from 2-14 in 2012 to a 10 win a year team. It's hard to argue the results. The Chiefs have been pretty good.

On the other hand, you've seen Alex Smith play, right? He's so conservative that Chiefs fans are getting tired of it. They're imagining a future with a top flight quarterback who can fling it down the field and come from behind to win (I guess this isn't the week to be talking about comeback wins with Alex Smith). I'm not really sure I can say the entire fan base feels one way. There are people who love Alex Smith and then there are people who respect the results but want a shot at a better quarterback. The other thing to remember here is that the Chiefs have never really had a homegrown quarterback. They haven't had a drafted quarterback win a game for them in a generation. There's more history here of wanting a quarterback than just wanting to replace Alex Smith.

Dave Choate: The Falcons are vulnerable to short passes over the middle and an effective ground game. How can (and will) the Chiefs attack that weakness?

Joel Thorman: That's pretty much who they are offensively. They're going to screen you to death. Alex Smith will dump it over the middle to the open man.He'll find Travis Kelce on a crossing pattern. They'll draw you in hoping to catch Tyreek Hill on a go route. They are slow and steady in the passing game. If you give them four yards every passing play, he'll take it. The running game has been more up and down but they're getting healthier. Spencer Ware has the ability to take over a game. He's a pounder and will lower his shoulder and deliver a hit. You don't think of those types of backs as good receivers too but Ware is solid in that area as well. Charcandrick West will spell him and is more of a shiftier player.

The running game is all about Ware though. The thing that can stop the Chiefs effectiveness (the offensive is effective?) the most is being one dimensional. If the Falcons get a 10-point lead in the first half, Andy Reid is going to stop running and you'll know what the Chiefs are doing.

Dave Choate: We all live in fear of Justin Houston. How does he look this year, and how can the Falcons possibly slow him down?

Joel Thorman: I was sure the Chiefs would ease him back in a couple weeks ago but he came out and played 55 snaps in his first game back. He didn't look completely right in that first game. The solution? The Broncos right tackle. Houston embarrassed the right side of the Denver line with nine pressures and three sacks in 75 snaps. He looked as good as every rushing the passer last week. It does appear that he's back. He really doesn't have a ton of weaknesses because he can go speed or power (he's freakishly strong). Additionally, he can stop the run. That's his most underrated trait and the one that arguably made the biggest difference the past couple of weeks (OK, maybe the sacks were bigger). The way to beat this, the way that Peyton Manning used to do it, is get the ball out quick. That'll take him out of the game pretty fast.

Dave Choate: Turning your question about Julio Jones around, how will the Chiefs PLAN to stop Julio Jones, regardless of whether that plan will actually work?

Joel Thorman: Maybe they shade a little safety help that way but the Chiefs defensively are going to do their thing. They usually don't change things up for one player. Marcus Peters won't travel with Julio and will be on the left side of the defense. If you want to avoid him, you just line Julio up on the other side where the other corners have been getting picked on with Peters' dominance this season. I know the safeties will be aware of Julio. They'll be talking about it all week. He's one of those guys though that is going to get his and there's not much the Chiefs can do about it. Just hope it doesn't wreck the game.

Dave Choate: What's your score and final record prediction?

Joel Thorman: If this were at home I would probably take the Chiefs. The Falcons offense has enough firepower that I'm not sure the Chiefs offense can keep up. I'll take Atlanta, 27-23.