2. The rookies shined bright
We already mentioned what Edwards-Helaire was able to do in his NFL debut, but L’Jarius Sneed was also a drafted rookie who got thrown into the deep end for the first game of the season. Sneed – a fourth round pick out of Louisiana Tech – filled in for the suspended Bashaud Breeland and did quite well, defending 2 passes and grabbing 1 interception.
Sneed might have to step up even more if Charvarius Ward isn’t able to return to action due to a hand injury, but fans feel much better after seeing him in action.
3. Linebackers showed little improvement
The biggest weakness defensively last year was at the linebacker position and it continued to be a rough patch for the Chiefs.
As the tweet above indicates, the three Chiefs linebackers in Thursday’s game were the worst performers defensively. This team continues to rely heavily on the likes of Anthony Hitchens, Benn Niemann, and Damien Wilson and did very little to upgrade the position this offseason.
The addition they did add – second rounder Willie Gay Jr – did not play, which is troublesome. It’s only one game and the linebackers have a chance to turn things around, but if they don’t, then this is a position that the Chiefs will be forced to spend multiple draft picks on next year.