In a preseason game that was supposed to be the one that most closely resembled an actual NFL regular season game, the Chiefs were not good enough.
Most notable of the failures was the inability for the offensive line to take care of Alex Smith. Kansas City started a new left guard, Jeff Linkenbach, and shifted Jeff Allen to right tackle in response to Donald Stephenson’s four game suspension for violating the league’s PED policy. Allen and rookie right guard Zach Fulton struggled to communicate well, which led to two sacks of Smith. Linkenbach, who rotated with Ricky Henry at left guard, struggled to deal with the pressure brought by Minnesota’s defensive line and pick up blitzes.
All the shuffling, in addition to the youth and inexperience of the line, seems to be catching up with the Chiefs.
“There were issues,” said Andy Reid after the game. “I probably need to look at the tape before I say too much here, but obviously it wasn’t good enough. The quarterback was hit too many times, you can’t do that.”
Chiefs quarterbacks were sacked five times Saturday night and pressured several more times. Smith had a hard time finding open lanes to step into and throw and seemed off kilter when he did have time to throw. It seemed Smith did not trust his offensive line to make reads on blitzes (which they were not) and make the right decisions on basic adjustments (which they were not) which effected some of the decisions made by Smith and the timing of his throws.
To some degree there is solace in knowing the offensive line is young. Youth at least implies potential and therefor room for growth. Whether or not the offensive line will be able to grow enough, quick enough to handle the test of the 2014 season is a question we cannot answer, but things are not looking promising in the immediate future.
Tags: Kansas City Chiefs