The first game of the preseason is in the books for Kansas City. The result was a hard fought victory over Cincinnati with the final score being 41-39.
In true Chiefs fashion, the first string offense looked shaky and should be talked about. The starting offense was three and out in their first appearance of 2014. That’s something I didn’t want to see after months of waiting for them to take the field after the embarrassing loss in Indianapolis. Alex Smith was 3-5 with 19 yards, Jamaal Charles had three carries equalling 12 yards, and Dwayne Bowe had one catch for ten yards. Even if we shy away from the starters, there were only 13 completed passes equalling 182 yards for the entire team in last nights win. That’s an average of 14 yards a catch between nine Chiefs players. The star of the receivers was tight end Travis Kelce who had a monster reception of 69 yards that resulted in a touchdown. Another stat to take notice is the three turnovers and only managing 15 first downs the entire game. Cincinnati had 24 first downs and Andy Dalton also completed 3 of 5 but for 71 yards. The offense managed two field goals and two touchdowns in the game. Those aren’t the numbers people are talking about.
Chiefs special teams made an impression early in the game. De’Anthony Thomas nabbed Kansas City it’s first touchdown with an 80-yard punt return with only 38 seconds left in the first quarter. This excited the team and just 16 seconds later Sean Smith intercepted Jason Campbell and ran it back for another touchdown giving the Chiefs it’s first lead of the game. In the third quarter Malcom Bronson nabbed another pick six from Campbell. Over half of the points scored in last night’s victory did not come from offense.
Preseason does give fans a chance to see those guys trying to make the cut onto the 53 man roster but you do have to look at the game play. Despite the two interceptions last night, the defense still allowed 39 points. The final numbers for defense were 54 tackles and two sacks. The Bengals had 50 tackles and 6 sacks. There are some fans that believe defense wins games. If you want an example check out how the Seattle Seahawks defense halted the impressive offense of the Denver Broncos in last year’s Super Bowl to come away with the win. Overall, the defense playing was strong but there had so be some improvement in the secondary to not allow receivers like A.J. Green a 53-yard reception.
All in all, Chiefs fans can celebrate winning the first game at home in 2014. However, there needs to be some improvement to the team over the next three weeks or the regular season could be a disappointment coming off the heels of an exciting 2013 season.