1. Interior offensive line
The entire offensive line deserves to be mentioned here, so I want to write that from the outset. The entire offensive front looks good and they’re getting better, from Orlando Brown Jr on the left side to Lucas Niang as the right bookend.
But what merits special attention here—and honestly, how many interior offensive lineman ever get a primary shout anyway?—is the interior of the Chiefs offensive line.
Joe Thuney at left guard, Creed Humphrey at center, and Trey Smith at right guard have gotten an extra special push over the course of the last two games that is definitely noticeable. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has turned around his game running behind the Chiefs interior to the tune of successive 100-yard games, and that’s largely due to the sustained success of this interior core.
Thuney was the known quantity coming in and he looks the part in every way as a dependable technician inside. It hasn’t been a completely clean first-quarter season from Thuney as a couple penalties have crept in during the learning curve with new teammates, but even he’s turned a quarter toward expected dominance on nearly every snap.
Creed Humphrey learned something against Javon Hargrave after being walked back into Patrick Mahomes at one point on Sunday afternoon, but outside of that mistake, he looked exemplary up front. Rookies will make their mistakes, but Humphrey’s push is impressive as well.
Trey Smith looked like an instant steal once the Chiefs got him into camp. Not only did he slot right into the team’s starting right guard role in camp but he’s held it down with the same ferocity we saw in spurts during training camp. Smith is a pure mauler and his presence in the middle is generating a serious ground game if the Chiefs want to exhibit one.
Brown is still giving up room inside to linemen with a quick burst and savvy moves, while Niang is allowing the occasional pressure. But even they are learning from those issues and still standing strong and the interior is really looking great. Veach has to be pleased with this front line.