In theater terms a bad dress rehearsal foretells a good opening night. Let’s hope that rings true with the Chiefs.
Kansas City botched the football version of a dress rehearsal Saturday night be getting shellacked by the Minnesota Vikings, 30-12. Alex Smith threw two interceptions in the red zone, the defense allowed a 53-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive, and the special teams unit allowed a 75-yard return. All three phases of the Chiefs failed to show up tonight.
This isn’t to say there were not some positive things that happened. Frankie Hammond Jr. held his own starting in place of Dwayne Bowe, who was inactive. Jaye Howard forced a safety in the first half by knocking the ball out of Matt Cassel’s hands and out of the backend of the end zone. Ron Parker intercepted a pass an nearly picked off another.
The defense rebounded pretty well after allowing the opening drive touchdown. And a case could be made that if Eric Berry had started the game the Chiefs would have led 5-3 at halftime. The pass rush also reappeared tonight so that should help out the secondary significantly.
Andy Reid’s screen game looked much better this week than last Sunday against the Panthers. That’s a much needed positive sign from the offense.
But the story is going to be the offensive line, which struggled to gel after switchups in the starting lineup. Jeff Allen started the game at right tackle in place of Donald Stephenson who will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season. Allen and rookie guard Zach Fulton struggled to communicate on two different stunts by the Vikings defensive line that resulted in two sacks. Instability at left guard – Ricky Henry and Jeff Linkenbach got most of the snaps – left the middle of the offensive line very vulnerable to Minnesota’s pass rush.
Maybe more concerning that the offensive line was the Chiefs inability to execute in the red zone. In three red zone appearances the Chiefs managed only three points and committed two turnovers. Finishing drives have been a significant problem for the first team offense all preseason and it hasn’t been all the offensive line’s fault for the poor execution. The return of Jamaal Charles should help but he won’t solve Alex Smith’s two awful interceptions.
Have at it, Addicts. Name one positive and one negative thing you saw tonight.
Tags: Kansas City Chiefs