2. Will Shane Buechele buck the veteran backup QB trend?
The Chiefs have a full-on quarterback controversy for the first time in decades. The competition for the right to be Mahomes' backup has been tense. Saturday night brought high drama to the desert when reserves Shane Buechele and Blaine Gabbert took the field for the final three quarters of regulation. Buechele would go 10-for-10 for 105 passing yards and a rushing touchdown (good for a passer rating of 110.4). Gabbert, not to be outdone, was 7-of-8 for 120 passing yards and two touchdowns. That performance would earn him a perfect 158.3 QB rating.
Neither player appears interested in capitulating for the QB2 role. I still believe Gabbert will ultimately secure the job. Old dogs don't learn new tricks and he has the veteran experience that Reid values in a quarterback. That said, it's impossible not to see a different dimension in Buechele. His ability to extend a play is a calling card of the Kansas City offense typically helmed by two-time MVP Patrick Mahomes.
Facing a 3rd-and-6, midway through the second quarter, Buechele felt outside linebacker Jesse Luketa get a step on Donovan Smith to the inside. He calmly broke the pocket, scampered up the boundary, side-stepped safety Isaiah Simmons coming downhill with a full head of steam, and scored.
Gabbert may be a more steady player, but he doesn't have that in his arsenal. That may well be the difference when the smoke clears and Reid trims the roster to 53 players.