The K.C. Chiefs continued their preseason campaign on Friday night against the Arizona Cardinals. Head Coach Andy Reid kept most of his starters in for the entire first half, and there were many positives and negatives during that time.
This season, there will be three weeks of preseason, and the team’s win over the Cardinals is likely to be the most entertaining of all of scheduled games. This may be the last time we see the starters play before the team opens the regular season on September 12 against the Cleveland Browns, since Reid (and most NFL coaches) save the final game for backups and fringe roster players.
Here are some key takeaways from the Chiefs win in Arizona.
Developing offensive patience
The Chiefs’ first-team offense struggled to put up points in the first half, but this team is going to be a headache for defenses. Yes, Patrick Mahomes only completed 10 out of 18 passes for 78 and threw a questionable interception in the red zone, but did you notice something different about the Chiefs’ offense? This team has taken that Super Bowl loss to heart, and is no longer going to play into opposing defenses’ hands.
This will be a much more efficient offense. The Chiefs look like they want to set the tone early in games by running the ball early and often. Mahomes also looks like he is more inclined to take the checkdown option, instead of forcing the ball deep. Mahomes averaged 4.3 yards per attempt, and the offense took two drives that consisted of 15 plays (30 plays combined). Those drives amassed only three points, but it is clear that this offense will be more patient and take what the defense gives them.
Kansas City always has the deep bomb in its back pocket, but sometimes producing long drives is the best for the team overall. The team’s defense receives longer stretches of rest, keeping the unit fresh, while exhausting the opposition. It may not have looked like it based on the amount of points the offense produced in the first half, but the offense should be a well-oiled machine.