Defensive line depth
The Chiefs’ defensive line had an impressive outing on Saturday against the 49ers. In the first half alone, Kansas City racked up four sacks—all on Trey Lance—and Chris Jones, Tershawn Wharton, Tim Ward, and Omari Cobb all got in on the action.
Cobb, in particular, was really aggressive while he was on the field. He plays with little hesitation and high pursuit. Ward was all over the field all night. The 24-year-old defensive end was always on the ball and was very impressive in stopping the run. Ward also closed out the game with a second sack on Josh Rosen. Wharton also showed promise on multiple plays.
Kansas City has struggled with pressuring the quarterback for a couple of seasons, but there are a few names on this group that continue to fly under the radar.
A mixed bag from the secondary
Defensive back is where the Chiefs have the most question marks. There are players in this group who can make an impact defensively, but there is not that one player who you can say is a true lockdown corner. They are all solid options, but cornerback is a position of weakness for Kansas City.
Jimmy Garoppolo did not really expose that weakness, but Lance surely did. On Lance’s second passing attempt, he completed a 80-yard touchdown to Trent Sherfield. One player who disappointed on Saturday night was safety Juan Thornhill, who looked a step slow last night. His reactions were a bit late and sluggish, and he had a poor coverage snap that led to a 34-yard catch by Charlie Woerner in the second quarter.
It was the first preseason game, so progress from here is all that matters for players at this point. Despite being underwhelming for much of the first half, Kansas City’s defensive backs did make a couple of plays on the ball right before halftime. DeAndre Baker and Rashad Fenton both made plays late in the half, and Lance was fortunate that he did not throw two interceptions late in the second quarter. Amari Watts also came up with an interception late in the third quarter when Josh Rosen sailed a pass right to Watts.