The K.C. Chiefs ended the preseason in style, topping the Minnesota Vikings 28-25 in their final game before the regular season.
Despite the close final score, the game never felt that way, with the Chiefs blowing the Vikings out of the water early on. Kansas City scored on their first two possessions to open up a 14-3 lead after the first quarter on their way to a 21-3 lead at the half, with almost 300 yards of total offense in the first half alone.
The Chiefs and Vikings traded turnovers and touchdowns in the third quarter and Minnesota reduced Kansas City’s lead late with another touchdown, but the game always felt like it was firmly in Kansas City’s control.
Despite earlier saying starters would play the first half, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was happy with what he saw early on and benched his starters after the first quarter.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs look regular-season ready.
Patrick Mahomes was 8/9 for 117 yard and two touchdowns in his limited action. Travis Kelce had two receptions for 35 yards, while Tyreek Hill had one catch, a 35-yard touchdown.
Shane Buechele stepped in at QB and looked solid (20/33, 231yards, 2 TDs). However he did have one fumble and later threw a pick-six.
At running back, Derrick Gore had 80 receiving yards and a touchdown to go with his 26 yards on six carries on the ground. Jerick McKinnon had 23 yards on four carries, the second-most yards behind Gore. Meanwhile, Marcus Kemp had 41 yards on three catches with a touchdown and was KC’s second-leading receiver.
If you missed the game, here are some of the night’s biggest highlights.
A sidearm pass and a bomb to start things off
The Chiefs started things off with a bang and came out firing on their first drive of the game.
Mahomes set the tone, once again showcasing his athletic ability with a beautiful sidearm pass to Kelce for a 28-yard gain on his first pass of the game
Moments later, on just the fifth play of the game, Mahomes threw a perfect pass down and hit a wide-open Hill in stride for that aforementioned 35-yard touchdown. Hill was untouched off the line as he burned former Chief Bashaud Breeland, running down the sideline before making a nice catch at full stretch.
Bell rings up a touchdown
The Kansas City offense kept on rolling on their second drive of the game, capping off a 10-play, 70-yard drive down the field with a five-yard touchdown pass to tight end Blake Bell.
Mahomes moved out to the right before throwing across his body to find the open Bell back in the middle. Bell did well to get low and secure the ball, catching it down near his knees before falling into the end zone for the score.
Buechele’s dart finds Kemp
With just over two minutes left in the first half, Shane Buechele led the Chiefs down the field and into the end zone with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Kemp. Kemp ran down the middle of the field and found a pocket between the Vikings defenders, with Buechele delivering a strike in the end zone.
The good pass capped off a 105-yard, 12-play drive in just 1:37 of game time. It was a nice drive for Buechele, who also had a nice 23-yard pass to Noah Gray and a 15-yard pass to Daurice Fountain down the sideline for 15 yards.
Derrick says Gore-bye
Derrick Gore provided the biggest highlight of the second half with a spectacular 56-yard touchdown on a screen pass mid-way through the third quarter.
Gore caught the short pass in the backfield and then turned on the jets, slipping a tackle before bursting down the field. With a couple of blockers in front of him, Gore cruised all the way into the end zone for the score.
Chiefs D makes an impression
Kansas City’s defense looked sharp, with a number of nice plays throughout the game.
Anthony Hitchens burst through the Minnesota line to sack Kirk Cousins for a nine-yard loss in the first quarter.
Armani Watts had the first of Kansas City’s two takeaways of the game, picking off a pass from Vikings backup QB Kellen Mond in the third quarter.
Later in the quarter Kansas City earned its second turnover. Tim Ward laid a hit on Mond that knocked the ball free, with Joshua Kaindoh reaching out to claim the loose ball.
Kansas City’s D also made an impressive goal line stand, making four stops on their own two-yard line to keep the Vikings out of the end zone.