The Morning Fix

Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster were on the Chiefs’ sideline. Their appearances didn’t last long, but they didn’t have to hang around to leave an impression.

Two of Kansas City’s smallest players showed Friday night that they could be the team’s biggest playmakers, invigorating an offense that looked ineffective and bored before a pair of pipsqueaks gave them something to feel good about.

“Somebody’s just got to come up and do some plays,” Charles said.

Yes, the Chiefs lost their first preseason game Friday in Atlanta, a 20-10 defeat to the Falcons in the Georgia Dome. And it didn’t look all that promising, either. But it wasn’t because Charles lost a step this offseason or because McCluster’s talent was overrated on draft day.

Charles, McCluster provide bright spots in Chiefs’

Here’s the bad: plenty, and in particular the starting front seven, which got floored against Atlanta’s starters. This is one area the Chiefs didn’t do much to address in an otherwise productive offseason.

Throw in the funny — McCluster lining up next to 6-foot-8 Leonard Pope — and you have the talking points.

The more important issue, of course, is what this means going forward. The answer is something close to not that much, other than perhaps to provide some reality against eight months or so of hype.

For instance, the Chiefs’ defense did much better against the run after the Falcons’ first drive, but it’s hard to get excited about stopping the backups.

First preseason game offers expected dose of

Berry, the Chiefs’ first-round draft pick, gave them something to cheer for immediately, though Kansas City would go on to lose 20-10. He tackled Atlanta’s Eric Weems after a 31-yard gain on the opening kickoff.

Berry also had another tackle on defense before leaving the game for good in the second quarter.

“It’s always good, especially when you have those pregame butterflies,” he said. “I always want to get that first hit out of the way, especially on kickoffs so I can be ready for defense. That’s what I try to do.”

The Chiefs’ starting defense allowed the Falcons to move down the field for a field goal on the game’s first possession. It then held Atlanta without a point on two subsequent possessions.

“I just wanted to get out there and get a feel for it,” Berry said. “It was a lot faster, but I adjusted early.

Berry makes a quick impact in first Chiefs

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