The Kansas City Chiefs kicking battle remains even one week into the 2014 NFL preseason schedule. Incumbent Ryan Succop and newcomer Cairo Santos rotated kicks in the preseason opener with each one going perfect.
"Even right now," Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub said.
Both kickers made field goals on Thursday night -- Succop from 27 yards and Santos from 28 yards. Succop was 3-for-3 on extra points from the 15-yard line while Santos went 2-for-2.
Succop looked like he had the stronger leg on Thursday night by kicking more kickoffs out of bounds. But Toub explained that the Chiefs were actually going for high hang times to give the kick return unit a chance to make a play. With the kickoffs being moved up a few years ago, there are less and less returns. It's also probably why you saw Knile Davis return the opening kick from nine yards deep.
By every indication this appears like a legitimate battle. Some are pointing out that a tie should go to Santos, who is the cheaper option. I am guessing Toub, who has said Santos will be kicking somewhere in the league if it's not with the Chiefs, will have a big say in which kicker stays.
The NFL this year is experimenting with moving extra points to the 15-yard line, making it the equivalent of a 33-yard field goal. This is great for the Chiefs because it gives each kicker more opportunities to show off his leg.
Also of note is that Succop has a groin pull. That could affect how much he's able to kick in practice this week. The less Succop can do, the more Santos will be able to do. In a position battle, even a few missed days can matter. But Toub didn't sound like he was too concerned with it.
Who knew that the Chiefs two best position battles would be kicker and No. 3 quarterback?