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Three Big Things: Chiefs Week

A look at the top storylines for Sunday's game



The three biggest things to watch for Sunday when the Cardinals play the Chiefs at State Farm Stadium:

Kliff Faces His Protégé

Patrick Mahomes turned himself into a first-round draft pick under Kliff Kingsbury when both were at Texas Tech. Kingsbury downplays his role, as he often does, but Mahomes said Kingsbury was the one who helped him become the man he has become. That man just happens to be one of the best, if not the best, quarterbacks in the NFL. Mahomes said this week he hoped Kingsbury wouldn't have anything on him that he could use against the Chiefs, although Mahomes also rightly said he's grown a lot in his NFL career since Mahomes went pro. This isn't the Super Bowl, but it's an important opener, and certainly both these guys would like to be able to come out with the win. How Kliff (and his staff) prepare to deal with Mahomes will go a long way in determining that fact.

When Last We Left Kyler …

Kyler Murray said this week how last season ended, in ruins during a playoff game against the Rams, wasn't on his mind. And I don't think it is. Months have passed. The things that made that game that game are in the past. This game isn't about how Murray and the Cardinals played against the Rams; it's about Murray, the freshly-paid long-term quarterback who will probably be down two of his top receivers (the suspended DeAndre Hopkins and the hamstrung Rondale Moore). Preparing for a game that counts is all Murray cared about in preseason. He got through relatively unscathed (save for a bout with Covid.) The last two years, he's started well. The Cardinals need him every week, but they may be leaning even harder on him this first month or so.

State Farm Stadium As Home Sweet Home

Home-field advantage has become less of a thing in the NFL, for a bunch of reasons. Teams have learned how to take care of their players better, and how to attack a road trip compared to once upon a time. Charter flights make travel much easier. But the Cardinals still don't want a situation where they lose five straight in their own building, which is how they finished the 2021 season. Not when they are trying to make a playoff push, not when they are trying to create that advantage that every team craves. It's not easy to do against the Chiefs, but a win means that much more given the opponent.