In an unexpected move by Andy Reid’s Chiefs, star cornerback Brandon Flowers was matched up with the Titans’ slot receivers. Despite being completely different from playing on the outside like Flowers is accustom to, the decision worked to perfection on Sunday. Despite giving up a rather large number of catches, they were all minimal. Flowers quickly wrapped up and tackled Kendall Wright and anyone else that he was lined up across from.
Cornerback Marcus Cooper stepped in and played a lot on the outside against Tennessee and was often matched up with Kenny Britt. Overall, his performance was extremely impressive.
According to Reid, the move was not made to relieve pressure off of Flowers’ knees. As a matter of fact, if that were the case, there would be a whole lot more to question in Kansas City. If anything, playing in the slot applies more pressure to the knees due to the smaller, shiftier receivers that line up there. Also according to Reid, the move was purely strategy. Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton felt as though it would fit their defensive scheme better if Flowers were in the slot as opposed to outside.
It will be interesting to see what the Chiefs do from here on out. Flowers is an established cornerback on the outside, but also proved that he is effective inside. Cooper opened some eyes, and has to be a bright spot for Sutton and Reid. With more and more slot receivers like Wes Welker and Victor Cruz, the importance of a corner that can play inside continues to increase.