For Chiefs, new and returning players lead to win

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Aug 15, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs center Mitch Morse (61) blocks for quarterback Alex Smith (11) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason NFL football game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mitch Morse had a solid first game in the NFL. The interior of the line was supported well by veteran Ben Grubbs and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, allowing Smith to step up into the pocket when necessary, and Donald Stephenson continued his excellent preseason form at left tackle, protecting Smith’s blind side and creating good running lanes for Jamaal Charles.

The most difficult task fell to Jah Reid. He was most certainly thrown in the deep end, as he was tasked with controlling the best defensive end in football after only being signed this week. Reid acquitted himself well for the most part, and although wasn’t a bully right tackle, he was able to hold his own. Overall, it was a solid performance from the new and returning parts jumbled together to make the Chiefs’ offensive line, and provided much promise for the season ahead.

Perhaps the most uplifting story of the Chiefs’ offseason culminated in the return of three key defensive players from various health issues. Derrick Johnson looked, quite simply, magnificent at inside linebacker. He made a team-high eight tackles with two for a loss, recorded a sack and a pass breakup as well. DJ looked back to his best form of a few years previous and hopefully these are signs of what’s to come.

Mike DeVito also had a solid, if not so spectacular game. Rotating with Jaye Howard, Allen Bailey and Dontari Poe on the defensive line, the Chiefs’ defensive front were able to cause consistent penetration into the Texans backfield, and were better against the run. Although this may still be the weak point of the defense this year, they were able to limit the Texans to 98 rushing yards at an average of 4.7 yards per attempt. Some explosive run plays were conceded, but the Chiefs were stouter, especially against the run up the middle, something that was a particular struggle last season.

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