KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSNW) – The Chiefs preseason is officially over with a perfect 3 and 0 start. Andy Reid and Brett Veach have their work cut out as they look to fill a 53 man roster with 80 players. Here are a few key takeaways we saw from the 3 games as we wait to see who made the final roster.
- Offensive line gelling well
By the time Kansas City played host to Minnesota on Friday night, quarterback Patrick Mahomes looked really good. Completing 8 of 9 passing attempts, he finished the game with a quarterback rating of 158 off of two series alone. This comes complimentary thanks to the new young offensive line. Back in July, when newly acquired Kyle Long transferred to the PUP list, many questioned what would Andy Reid do to help better protect Mahomes. The past 3 games showed us exactly what Big Red plan was. Adding and having pro-bowler Orlando Brown at right tackle, Joe Thuney playing left tackle, rookie Creed Humphrey at center next to the other new rookie Trey Smith as a right guard, and Lucas Niang at right tackle; showed us how much this core group has been working together during the offseason. “I think you see us as games are going on, we’re communicating better and better and I think we’ll continue to improve throughout the season.” I mean it’s gotten better each and every week. I think they’ve had an amazing preseason.” said Mahomes after the Vikings game, ” I haven’t got hit a lot; I don’t really think I got touched today. I think that just speaks to them and how they’ve been playing. They’ve done a great job and gotten better each and every week so I’m excited for the season.” With such a compliment and statement of trust for the guys in front of him, if Patrick Mahomes is happy, then so are we!
2. Defense has the potential to be really scary, in a good way of course.
The defense has always been solid and held down their part in the past few years but this upcoming season shows a lot of promises from players returning back with a higher development when it comes to their football IQ. Usually, Tyrann Mathieu and La’ Jarius Sneed are the ones making the headlines, even Frank Clark and Chris Jones upfront; but the preseason exposed how explosive the defensive backs can be. Linebackers Anthony Hitchens and Willie Gay Jr both had a really good start to this year’s season occupying the field. “To get some action, whether it’s a tackle in the hole or it can be something simple as a pass breakup,” said Gay, “just being in a game, doing what you’re doing, and being able to make a play because you’re doing what you’re supposed to, it lets you know that you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.” Teams who plan to rush a lot this year could face a huge challenge going up against the Chiefs’ defense if K-C can keep the box sealed. Cheifs were already good in this area, but if Reid decides to sign DB Tim Ward to the mix, it can be a lot of fun to watch them.
3. Brett Veach and Andy Reid both have some difficult decisions to make with the roster cuts.
When it comes to the amount of talent on this year’s preseason team, Veach and Reid both have very difficult decisions ahead. Chiefs are already stacked with the mega 3: Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill, but a few players looked to make their case to join the trio. Wide receiver Daurice Fountain made some noise catching 9 of his 15 targets going for 118 yards in all 3 games. Running back Derrick Gore even impressed fans with a 56-yard touchdown in the 3rd quarter during the Vikings. You also can’t forget Andy Reid sending out four tight-ends to the endzone and Wichita Native Blake Bell delivering a touchdown. Jody Forston is another tight end wanting to expand the Chiefs’ personnel. Forston has been on the practice squad since 2019. “Me and Coach Toub had a discussion in early OTAs about what I needed to do, what kind of mindset I needed to have,” said Fortson, “I meditated on that all offseason, as far as what I needed to do, as far as holding guys up, putting hands-on people and being bigger. I took the advice he gave me and I’ve continued to build upon it.” Lastly, what about the backup quarterback situation? We can assume Chad Henne is the number 2 guy but will Veach and Reid sign one more QB to the kingdom? Big Red gave majority of the snaps during the Vikings game to rookie Shane Buechele who finished the night off 20 of 33 competitions on 231 yards, his best game during the preseason. Anthony Gordon saw the field for a few series but did not play in the final preseason game.
How will the Chiefs go about trimming an 80 roster down to 53 men? We find out this upcoming week with the final cuts.