In what became a thriller of a game at the end, a missed Cleveland Browns field goal, and a Justin Reid extra point, swung the outcome of a game when the Kansas City Chiefs played a sloppy first quarter. So, what did we learn from KC’s 33-32 comeback win?
Before we do the long dive into the Kansas City Chiefs 33-32 victory over the Cleveland Browns, we must serve up props for the Arrowhead crowd on Saturday. Sitting in the stands, I was surprised at how engaged the fans were with their beloved football team. They lived and died on every snap and were in full regular season mode. I can see this emphatically; this fan base is in a league of its own.
As for the game, so many early turnovers, including a pair of pick-six interceptions, really showed the Chiefs second unit offense, has some work to do. The quarterback battle between Shane Beuchele and Blaine Gabbert, ended with the old man of the two, snatching the backup job to Patrick Mahomes.
It was clear Beuchele was out of sorts most of the game. He missed wide-open receivers and succumbed to the pressure of the Browns pass rush. The combination of not using his feet to escape pressure, and his happy feet in the pocket, sacked what was a pair of good performances against the Cardinals and Saints. Still, it was one bad game, and I would NOT be shocked if the rumors of the Chiefs interest in Carson Wentz are accurate, that could mean Reid has been trying to showcase Buechele as a trade candidate.
Rookie Wide Receiver, Rashee Rice had a horrific and forgettable game. He’s now dropped four preseason passes, including an easy touchdown catch On Saturday that would have lit up Arrowhead. However, to Andy Reid’s credit, he kept putting Rice on the field and eventually caught a couple of passes to help him with the yips. Long term, I really don’t think this is going to be an issue moving forward. He never displayed a case of the drops at SMU.
Though the Chiefs are certainly going to carry seven wide receivers, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, had another stellar performance. However, let’s temper the production, he was facing mostly second and third-tier defenses. Still, he was one of the Chiefs best playmakers in the preseason. Though I think it’s a mighty long shot, barring a trade he makes the final roster.
Staying on the receivers, Justyn Ross showed major ups and athleticism on his short touchdown catch from Beuchele. With this 6’4” frame, the Chiefs have not had this type of receiver during the Mahomes era. I’m excited to see what he can do with the first-team offense. He’s been steady since training camp started, and after a long road to get back on the football field, it does appear he’s going to be active for the Chiefs opener against the Detroit Lions.
On the defensive side of the ball former Kansas Jayhawk Defensive End, Daniel Wise continues his impressive performance, thanks in large part to the absence of Chris Jones. He had three tackles on Saturday, and when he’s been called upon to make plays, he’s done just that.
Another defender under the radar this preseason has been, Joshua Kaindoh. Though the struggles were mighty the last two years in a Chiefs uniform, he had two more tackles and a sack against the Browns. He was a bubble guy at the onset of camp, but General Manager, Brett Veach likes to keep his draft picks, so perhaps the long-shot odds he had to make the 53-man roster in August have shrunk.
Usually, the Chiefs like to keep one or two undrafted free agents on the roster. It allows them to create some much-needed cap space if they have a young guy with potential, over a veteran who costs more. That might be the case for Indiana Linebacker, Cam Jones. He had eight solo tackles on Saturday. He was a steady defender in college, and it’s clear to me, he can play at the NFL level. If the Chiefs carry an extra linebacker, he’s climbing the depth chart.
Lastly, the Chiefs have a quandary at running back. For some reason, Clyde Edwards-Helaire continues to get reps, despite the fact, that he’s displayed very little play-making abilities in three preseason games. For my money, he’s not worth keeping on the roster, but I can’t see a team trading for a player the Chiefs don’t really want. Though La’Mical Perine made some big plays against the Browns second unit defense, the journeyman reminds me a little of Damien Williams. He certainly does not have his speed, but in a limited role, I think he should be third on the depth chart ahead of CEH.