Kansas City Chiefs vs Seattle Seahawks: Game Notes

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 13: The Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks gets set on the line during the second half on August 13, 2016 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 13: The Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks gets set on the line during the second half on August 13, 2016 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – AUGUST 13: Quarterback Kevin Hogan
KANSAS CITY, MO – AUGUST 13: Quarterback Kevin Hogan /

* The first two plays on offense not only featured multiple tight end formations but also passes to those tight ends. Neither of the passes were to star tight end Travis Kelce, but instead went to Demetrius Harris and Ross Travis. I don’t think this is a fluke. Look for the Chiefs to use lots of multiple tight end sets this season. From that formation they can run the football with power or utilize multiple short route passing options. Those are both things that the Chiefs like to do. While we’re on the subject…..

* I’m convinced Demetrius Harris is what he is at this point. An average at best blocker that will make a great catch on one play and then drop the next. Just mentally prepare yourself for the ups and downs with him in the passing game.

* Ross Travis looks like he’ll be another athletic weapon in the passing game as well. Too bad he (like Harris) is just okay as a blocker. He still seems to have passed up James O’Shaughnessy on the depth chart and that could mean “Shag” doesn’t make this team despite flashing a little last season before getting hurt. He’ll need to do a lot more in the next couple games to make the team and pass up Travis on the depth chart. If KC were to keep a fourth tight end it would more likely be a blocking specialist like Brian Parker.

* Kudos to the starting offensive line on that first drive. I am cautiously optimistic after watching them go head to head with a solid Seattle defensive front. Eric Fisher looked good, Mitchell Schwartz is going to be a huge upgrade at right tackle, and Mitch Morse picked up where he left off during his fantastic rookie campaign. Where I was worried was at guard. Here’s my initial thoughts on the guards from the first preseason game: they did their job. It wasn’t flashy, it wasn’t really impressive, but it wasn’t bad. I still think LDT will get beat by superior technicians and Parker Ehinger is going to get bullied by stronger NFL players, but if they can just not be terrible then the line as a whole should give the rest of the offense the time they need to make plays.

* That third down throw from Alex Smith to Jeremy Maclin was a thing of beauty. If they can make one of those plays a week this could be a scary offense. I especially liked that Smith stayed calm in the pocket and once he had to break containment he kept his eyes up and took a shot to Maclin right between the trailing corner and approaching safety. Perfection.

* Spencer Ware needs to be a regular part of the offense even when Jamaal Charles is healthy. JC doesn’t need to be pounding the ball between the tackles on short yardage with his age/size/injury history. Ware is fantastic in that situation and that way KC can keep Charles healthy to do what only he can do when he gets out in space. I’d feature a 60/40 split between Charles and Ware when both guys are healthy. That means Charcandrick West (who is still great) is the odd man out unless one of those two is banged up. I just think a three back rotation is hard to work out. I’d go with the more traditional one two punch. I’m curious to see if Ware stays running ahead of West in the preseason or if they’ll change it up next week and give West a shot with the ones.

* I was 100% convinced that Knile Davis wouldn’t make the team this year before this first preseason game. Nothing that Davis did on offense changed my mind at all. In fact, I think Darrin Reaves is clearly the better back on offense if the Chiefs needed a fourth back. HOWEVER, Davis is a really good kick returner and his opening return is what set up that touchdown drive. Will Dave Toub bang the table loud enough to keep him on the roster again or will he end up as trade bait? How well the other kick returners do as the preseason goes on is something to watch.

* It’s just one game but the Nick Foles signing already seems justified to me. Foles looks like a guy that KC could win some games with if Smith had to miss a little time. He’s not as accurate or mobile as Alex is but I liked the way he kept his eyes up and scanning the field. His accuracy looked better on short to intermediate routes and we all know that this offense is built around those so he should fit right in.

* All offseason I thought that Tyler Bray was the odd man out in the crowded KC quarterback room (even before they signed Foles). However, all the reports out of camp were that Bray was the best of the three young guys. So I sat down to watch him Saturday with an open mind. When all was said and done guess what? I still don’t think he fits in this offense. Look, I love his live arm as much as anyone, but if you aren’t accurate it doesn’t matter. KC would have to completely change their offense if Bray was at the helm where as Aaron Murray fits the same system they run with Smith (or Foles). If Bray plays well maybe they can trade him, otherwise I still think he’s gone. Murray (who looked more comfortable in the offense to me) is the number three and they either try to get Kevin Hogan on the practice squad or he develops a last minute “injury” that lands him on IR for the year. I’ll give Bray another shot to win me over next week, but I’m just not seeing it.

* Cairo Santos is the man. That is all.

* The position on the offense where I don’t feel like I saw enough yet to even make an evaluation is wide receiver (behind Maclin). I liked what I saw from both Tyreek Hill and Rod Streater (great sideline grab), but not enough to say where I would rank them along with Chris Conley and Albert Wilson. I do feel like those four combined will give KC the depth and production they have so desperately needed at the position. I just need to see more before I can make a prediction for the depth chart. De’Anthony Thomas looked pretty good as a slot receiver too, but I think he’s more likely to get traded or cut than make the roster. I was surprised by the lack of playing time for Demarcus Robinson. Surely they don’t think they can hide him away on the practice squad this year, right? One more note on Hill, I think it’s worth noting that they went out of their way to target him early. I also really like how he catches the ball out in front of him with his hands. That’s not always the case with guys that are kick returners and former running backs.

Now let’s take a look at some observations on defense.

Next: Defensive Game Notes