Chiefs-Saints final score: Preseason start is promising for KC despite 17-13 loss to Saints

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The KC Chiefs first team offense looked excellent but the rest of them couldn't pull it off as the New Orleans Saints beat the Chiefs 17-13 in the first preseason game on the schedule. Read on for a recap of what we learned and click here for full Chiefs-Saints coverage.

The quick recap

The important players, the first team, looked excellent as the Chiefs jumped out to a 10-0 lead thanks to an outstanding 14-play touchdown drive from Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles to open the game. The Chiefs second and third teams struggled as the Saints scored 17 unanswered. Ryan Succop responded with another field goal but it wasn't enough. The Saints were able to hang on in the fourth quarter and run out the clock on the Chiefs. The Chiefs lost 17-13.

Asked at halftime by @kcchiefs_rachel, Andy Reid said that the first team did well and that the second team needed to do better. That's a fair assessment and the same takeaway I had.

The quarterback report

Alex Smith: 7-of-8, 68 yards. Alex played one drive. He did not go deep and threw mostly underneath against the zone.

Chase Daniel: 6-of-10, 42 yards. Chase took over after Alex and played the rest of the half. He struggled more than Alex but showed good mobility. Chase was sacked twice.

Tyler Bray: 3-of-7, 27 yards, 1 fumble. Bray played the entire third quarter. He didn't do much but did have a possible touchdown to Travis Kelce dropped.

Ricky Stanzi: 5-of-12, 42 yards. Stanzi came in with 10:40 remaining in the game.

Of the first 13 completions from Alex Smith and Chase Daniel: Backs (8), WRs (3), TE (2).

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Special teams BLOWS UP

The first highlight: Dexter McCluster's 55-yard punt return. He was seen later getting the fist bump from Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub, who previously called McCluster the Chiefs best punt returner.

The second highlight: A 79-yard kickoff return from Knile Davis in the third quarter. He made an open field move to make a man miss and was pushed out after taking the kick 79 yards. He has had his issues catching the ball but wow.

The third highlight: Devon Wylie getting a nice block and making his way up the field for a 22-yard punt return.

Dustin Colquitt pinned the Saints inside their own five-yard line.

Ryan Succop was 2-for-2 on field goals from 32 and 42 yards out.

First kick returner: Quintin Demps. The ball was kicked out of the end zone.

First punt returner: Dexter McCluster

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

I want to be ... Jamaal Charles fantasy owners

I don't want to be .. Vince Agnew

Eric Fisher hurts thumb, but he's fine

More information and context here but the gist of it is below:

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Notes and quotes from the broadcast
  • Paul Burmeister on Chiefs first drive: "I don't know if that could have gone any better."
  • Clark Hunt: "Many [training camp] practices have been over 100 plays of 11-on-11 and about a third of those are live (full tackling)."
  • Trent Green: Chiefs have 3 different speeds - no huddle, hurry-up, traditional huddle. Chiefs were in the hurry-up in the first quarter with Alex Smith.
  • Dexter McCluster: "This offense is amazing. Everybody gets the ball. .....It's just runnin' and gunnin'."
  • On the day Dontari Poe announced to the media he quit barbecue, the Chiefs cafeteria was serving barbecue. But he steered clear. It was apparently not a joke.
  • Paul Burmeister on Dontari Poe: "I understand he has had a tremendous training camp."
  • Paul Burmeister: "Ricky Stanzi not even taking his helmet off. He's ready to get back in there."
Alex Smith's first drive, the San Francisco perspective

David Fucillo, Niners Nation, writes:

"As a 49ers fan, I still am intrigued by Alex Smith, so I found myself watching his first drive as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. You could call it vintage Alex Smith. Andy Reid devised a game-plan that suited his strengths on shorter passes. When Alex did look deep, he did not wait too long for something to develop and went to his check-down option. That's what you get from Alex. He will go deep, but he has to feel comfortable with what is available.

"Alex put together an incredibly efficient performance against a Saints defense that played into his strengths. They gave him shorter zones and he took full advantage. And having a pass catcher out of the back field like Jamaal Charles will be a boon for him. From 2006 to 2010, Frank Gore caught between 40 and 60 passes each season. Charles will easily surpass that in this offense.

"Alex looked sharp, but the big question will be when teams get a little less vanilla, and start mixing things up. Alex started to develop into an effective QB the last two years in San Francisco, but there were still moments that had fans pulling their hair out. We'll see what the coming weeks bring in that regard."

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Three to think about

1. Will the receivers be more involved in the passing game? Little presence there tonight.

2. Is the Bray-Stanzi battle closer now? Bray struggled.

3. Was the special teams performance a fluke?

Bonus:

Best picture

Right before the Chiefs score their opening drive touchdown.

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Via @cri5tian1980

Funniest picture

Youngest NFL player EVER!

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