Peyton Hillis, Matt Cassel Help Propel Chiefs Over Cardinals For 27-17 Win

August 10, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Peyton Hillis (40) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
What can we say about this first game? I can't remember the KC Chiefs looking this good in preseason in a long, long time. Matt Cassel looked like Pro Bowl Matt Cassel; Jamaal Charles showed us he was healthy; Dexter McCluster shined and the defense had a sack party.

Folks, your 2012 Kansas City Chiefs. For one game, at least.

The final score against the Cardinals: 27-17. The St. Louis Rams are up next.

Your Cardinals vs. Chiefs recap, full of highlights, is below...
KC Wolf came onto the field and, per usual, beat up the opposing mascot, the Cardinal. There were some other kids on the field watching it. Seems worse when I type it out -- like KC Wolf is some kind of monster!

First play of the year: Javier Arenas with a 30 yard kick return.

Jamaal Charles started this game. And almost fumbled on his first carry. Charles took the ball up the middle of the field and appeared to drop the ball but the referees ruled that he was already down before it came out.

By the way, folks, Jamaal is fine.

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The Chiefs first fourth down conversion of the year. On the 46 yard line, the Chiefs faced a fourth and one, electing to go for it. They lined up in a two-back set before Cassel motioned out of it, leaving an empty backfield. Empty backfield on fourth and one? Indeed, Cassel took the snap and lunged forward with the sneak, converting for the first down.

Chiefs first TD of the year is Cassel to Hillis. The blitz came along the left side of the offensive line and Cassel dumped it right over the top of them to Hillis, who waltzed into the end zone.

The Chiefs defense started the game equally as hot. On the Cards first drive, Jovan Belcher jumped over a Cardinals defense on one play, leading to an incomplete pass.

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On the next play, DJ burst through the line to shut down a run. Ya know, just DJ being DJ.

Dexter McCluster was a nice addition to the offense through the first quarter. A 29-yard reception, his third catch, put the Chiefs in the red zone. On the next play, Shaun Draughn showed some nice vision cruising along the right side of the line to get into the end zone.

Peyton Hillis rumbling 28 yards? Peyton Hillis rumbling 28 yards.

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The Chiefs offense had the ball twice in the first quarter and they scored both times. Each drive was 72 yards -- the first one was 11 plays and the second one was four plays. This offense looks extremely good and not just one area. They're clicking everywhere.

A nose tackle sack! Anthony Toribio with the big play.

More sacks! DJ, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston collapse to sack John Skelton.

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Shaun Draughn was given a big opportunity tonight. Cassel and Charles were done after two series', meaning Draughn and the other backs had a lots of time.

Terrance Copper was blown up on one play. Brady Quinn threw a high pass over the middle to Copper, who jumped up to try and catch it. The Cards defensive back came at him and rocked him. There was no call from the referee. Copper stayed down for about a minute as the Chiefs medical staff came onto the field and walked off with him.

The only downside to the Chiefs in the first quarter was the play of Brady Quinn. He had a number of errant throws and never really established a rhythm. He just wasn't accurate.

Quinn was also picked once. But it came on a tip so I'm not laying that completely on him.

Abe Elam had a nice looking interception. The problem is, I'm fairly certain he stepped out of bounds -- right in front of the (replacement) ref -- but they gave him the full return yards anyway.

Josh Bellamy, undrafted free agent, had a drop. The defender was right on him but it was a play he should have made. Someone in his position can't be dropping balls they should catch. Undrafted free agents are already on the fringe.

A Cameron Sheffield sighting! I remember sitting in this seat two years ago when Sheffield was carted off with a season-ending neck injury. Today, he sacks Kevin Kolb.

Your second half analysis from Rob Riggle:

It must be the second half if...

The Cardinals started the second half with a touchdown drive -- 9 plays, 80 yards in 4:28.

Remember Devon Wylie? Not just a slot guy. He's also a return man and had a great punt return midway through the second quarter. He got a couple of nice blocks to beat the initial Cardinals defenders and returned it 34 yards. Also, a Cardinals defender wrangled him at the end and tacked on half the distance to the goal.

There are jerseys. And then there are Snoop Minnis jerseys.

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Jerrell Powe showing up on the stat sheet. He broke through the line a couple of times and then finally came away with a sack. After the sack? The Land Shark celebration:

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Surprise player of the day: Steve Maneri. The converted tight end looks sharp in the passing game. Plus, as a former offensive tackle, he's a solid blocker. I believe he's gotta be leading the third tight end battle.

Cyrus Gray went out and got him some with a seven-yard touchdown run, pushing the Chiefs to a 27-10 lead. Gray and Shaun Draughn will be competing for snaps.

Tonight's attendance: 64,212.

Lemme get this right: A Chiefs defense has SEVEN sacks tonight? Wow.

Last year at this time, the Chiefs lost 25-0 to the Bucs. This year, they take care of business against the Cardinals, 27-17.

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