Score: Saints 17, Chiefs 13
It was over when: Truthfully? When the Chiefs pulled the first string after one drive for both the offense and defense. More literally, it was when Ricky Stanzi could complete a fourth down pass to Frankie Hammond with a 3:38 left in the fourth quarter to sustain the drive. KC had the ball at the New Orleans 47 but could not advance further.
Player of the Game: For New Orleans, Luke McCown lit up the box score by throwing for 216 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-28 passing. He did throw the game’s lone interception, however.
Best Quote: “With Andy Reid comin’ in and the whole new regime, it’s a confidence level that came in here. We need this, change is good. We got a lot of young good players, a lot of ammo on this team. Bringing in a couple acquisitions in the offseason, it’s just going to make us better.” – Derrick Johnson
Look, it is preseason. There is only so much one can take away from a game where both teams are more worried about getting out healthy than with a win. Remember, the Chiefs won their first preseason game last year over Arizona Cardinals, 27-17, and looked good doing it. Everything from there was a disaster.
So losing should be taken worth a grain of salt.
That said, there were a lot of positives and a few concerns to take from the opening exhibition.
1. Both the first team offense and defense looked good in their lone drives. We need more evidence before we can say if they are improved, but they showed everything you could show in the limited time they were on the field. Alex Smith was efficient; Jamaal Charles is going to be a PPR beast in fantasy football; Dontari Poe made plays early and often; KC appeared to have a pass rush.
2. A few guys working for backup positions had good games. Tyson Hartman had a pick and a pass defended; Allen Bailey had a tackle for loss; Austen Lane got to the quarterback (before banged up his ribs); Josh Martin had a couple nice stops in the backfield and a special teams tackle.
3. Special teams looked very good. Knile Davis had a 79-yard kickoff return that was as much about the blocking as it was the nasty cut he made to avoid the one potential tackler he faced before breaking loose. McCluster had a 55-yard punt return that was also well blocked. The unit as a whole seemed much more technically improved in the chances they saw in the first game. I’m anxious to see if that carries over into next weekend.
4. Knile Davis and McCluster come away from this game with increased hype. McCluster showed diversity on the field between where he was lining up and making plays. He seemed to appear to have a purpose on the field. Andy Reid may be his saving grace (and make him millions at the same time).
Davis showed flashes of being a playmaker himself. His 79-yard kick return was nice, as was his four catches out of the backfield. He did have the one drop, but recovered nicely. That kid is going to do some damage for the Chiefs this year.
5. KC had zero sacks in the game. They got a few hits on the quarterback, which was nice, but the lack of depth of “pass rush specialist” is a concern leaving preseason game number one.
6. Corner depth is bad. Really bad. Jalil Brown and Vince Agnew couldn’t cover a receiver to save their lives (or their jobs). Hussain Abdullah and Bradley McDougald each appeared to outplay Brown and Agnew, which may dictate the way the roster is shaped heading into the regular season.
SADNESS RECOVERY VIDEO
Sad we lost? Let this french bulldog help you out.
So, Tyler Bray…
There are plenty of excuses as to why his numbers looked poor. Jordan Roberts wasn’t ready for a pass he should have caught; a few of his incompletions were throw aways; Travis Kelce dropped a touchdown pass; Shaun Draughn dropped a pass that was in his hands.
But he did fumble the ball once (recovered by New Orleans) and he did appear to miss an open Devon Wylie on a third down play from NO’s 14-yard-line.
The numbers don’t look great but I don’t think they represent his play very well. I’m excited to seem him at Arrowhead next week when the nerves aren’t as rattled for those around him.
We talked about Knile Davis earlier, so you know my thought on his game. He took the biggest leap in terms of stock and expectations with his performance.
Kelce, in addition to the dropped pass, appeared to have some issues with route running and in pass protection. I still like what he brings to the table and think he will play better next weekend now that he has his first reps in the NFL out of the way. Would have been nice if he had hauled in that TD pass from Bray though…
Chiefs are at home on Friday against the San Francisco 49ers. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Supposedly Alex Smith used to play for them, did you know that? Weird.
COCKTAIL OF DEFEAT
It’s a preseason game, no reason to be too depressed. Give a tip of the cap to the Saints with a Hurricane. It’ll help you forget you gave a tip of your cap to the Saints.
- 2 oz light rum
- 2 oz dark rum
- 2 oz passion fruit juice
- 1 oz orange juice
- Juice of a half a lime
- 1 Tbsp simple syrup
- 1 Tbsp grenadine
- Orange slice and cherry for garnish