Patrick Mahomes was a bit off in his limited snaps on Friday night, but that didn’t stop the Kansas City Chiefs from enjoying a very strong preseason showing against the Arizona Cardinals in a 17-10 victory at State Farm Stadium.
The Chiefs should feel very good about the way the preseason is unfolding for the team for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the team remains healthy after another game, with only running back Darrel Williams among the ailing after being checked for a head injury in the second quarter.
As for the offense, the Chiefs looked very good throughout the game despite playing with a limited playbook. Mahomes allowed a number of passes to sail a bit beyond his pass catchers, but those are the sort of preseason kinks that will work themselves out by the regular season. Tyreek Hill also got the night off, so the offense was limited there, too.
The K.C. Chiefs looked very good against the Arizona Cardinals.
Despite all of that, the Chiefs were able to put together a couple impressive touchdown drives led by Chad Henne and Shane Buechele. The line opened solid holes in the running game for Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darwin Thompson. Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle came up with big catches early, while Daurice Fountain and Marcus Kemp did the same in the second half.
The Chiefs defense also played lights out from the very beginning by forcing Kyler Murray and the first-string Cardinals offense to sputter with three straight three-and-outs. The secondary came up strong with several big plays, while the pass rush put significant pressure on Murray and forced some missed throws. Murray finished the short night with a single completion for two yards and was sacked twice, and the defense had 6 total sacks on the night.
The most memorable plays of the night came for a couple players who needed a preseason boost. First, Mecole Hardman, who has taken plenty of criticism for failing to emerge as a bigger target for the Chiefs, came up with a very impressive touchdown haul on an adjustment to an under thrown pass from Henne.
Hardman was targeted early and often by Mahomes, and missed throws by the Chiefs star quarterback could have made Hardman look even better. If the Chiefs were hoping to see some growth from Hardman, this game certainly gave them some tape to watch.
The night’s other most memorable play came from safety Juan Thornhill who has been running with the backups in order to get his reps in training camp. The team’s second round pick in 2019, Thornhill enjoyed a very impressive rookie campaign, but a torn ACL in Week 17 robbed him of a Super Bowl run as well as an effective 2020 season. Instead, Thornhill spent most of last year working his way back into shape, especially after being overused early.
On Friday night, Thornhill’s instincts had him completely laid out in order to grab an interception of Colt McCoy that halted a nice drive for the Cardinals. Watch Thornhill lay out like an elite wideout.
The Chiefs are now 2-0 to start the preseason and will play at Arrowhead for the first and only time before the regular season begins next Friday, August 27, when the Minnesota Vikings come to visit. Meanwhile the Cardinals will visit the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, August 28.