Who said preseason couldn't be entertaining. The KC Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals preseason opener at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night was legitimately entertaining. At least for a half. The Chiefs beat the Bengals 41-39.
The Chiefs put up a whopping three return touchdowns -- De'Anthony Thomas on a punt return while Sean Smith and Malcolm Bronson took back interceptions. The Chiefs first team defense was a little shaky to start but rebounded a little bit. Meanwhile, the offense produced a turnover, which is disappointing. The question marks before this game -- the offensive line, secondary -- remain there after this game.
With this win, the Chiefs extend their preseason domination over the Bengals to 8-0.
Here are a few notes about the first teams, the big plays and a few other observations.
First team offense
The first team offense was ... meh. Not much good but not a whole lot of bad either. Smith fumbled and was sacked.
Jamaal Charles had five total touches -- three carries for 12 yards and two receptions for nine yards. He had one play where he made two defenders miss and looked like usual self doing it. Charles touched it on the first three plays.
Alex Smith completed 3-of-5 passes for 19 yards. Not much good or bad here. He was sacked once. Smith played the first quarter before Chase Daniel came in.
Dwayne Bowe had a nice catch on a slant pass. The ball from Smith was slightly behind him but he hauled it in.
The offensive line gave up a sack to Smith, who then fumbled the ball. The o-line was also giving Chase Daniel problems.
First team defense
The Bengals went over the top of Ron Parker and Daniel Sorensen for a 53-yard pass to the great AJ Green. The defense did a nice job holding for the field goal once the Bengals got into the red zone though.
Jaye Howard started in place of Mike DeVito. Do your 53-man rosters accordingly.
James Michael-Johnson had an excellent third down tackle to force the punt.
Sean Smith picked off a Jason Campbell pass on the right sideline and high-stepped it into the end zone for a touchdown. Smith stepped in front of the bad pass and on his way to the end zone ... high-stepped it! Sean Smith's high-step was the best part of the game for me. Call it what you want but if I were in the NFL and scored a touchdown I would be high-stepping it, too.
Ron Parker was called for a penalty on a play where he gave up a touchdown. Two penalties on the day for him. He'll need to get better.
A 65-yard kick return and an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown. Not bad, huh?
First two kick returns: Knile Davis, Albert Wilson
First two punt returns: De'Anthony Thomas, Frankie Hammond
Alex Smith: 3-of-5 for 19 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
Chase Daniel: 8-of-10, 126 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Tyler Bray: 2-of-2, 37 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Aaron Murray: 2 rushes, -1 yards (kneel downs)
The big plays
WR Albert Wilson had a 65-yard kick return. The Bengals were even penalized on the play.
De'Anthony Thomas had an outstanding punt return touchdown. Two things to keep an eye on here. First, check out how he catches the ball AND gets hit as he does so. That's not easy at all to do (I definitely couldn't do it). Second, watch his breakaway speed. There was a zero percent chance anyone was going to catch him. This play is the perfect example of why DAT can be an excellent draft pick.
Sean Smith picked off a Jason Campbell pass and returned it for a 36-yard touchdown return. Ahem, he high-stepped into the end zone.
Chase Daniel threw a bad pass that was intercepted by Dre Kirkpatrick and taken back for a touchdown.
Travis Kelce caught a pass down the seam and went 69 yards for the touchdown. Kelce was somehow able to get behind the safety (replay analysis coming). The best part? The dive.
S Malcolm Bronson picked off the Bengals pass and went 51 yards for the touchdown. The pass was to the sidelines and just stepped in front of it perfectly.
Andy Dalton stayed in for one drive.
Knile Davis was the top kick returner back. He took it out from about 9 yards deep on his first one. I'm guessing special teams coach Dave Toub told them to return everything.
Albert Wilson was the second kick returner. His first return was ugly as he got stuck inside the 10. But you know he made up for it (see the big plays above).
James Michael-Johnson had a great third down stop in the flat.
De'Anthony Thomas got his first touch as a running back out of the backfield.
Chase Daniel had a nice 15-yard scramble for the first down.
Minor thing but Albert Wilson had a catch right before the first down marker. He's gotta know where the line is to get across it.
Ryan McKee saw some time with the second team at tackle. Swing tackle candidate?
A Bengals player broke a kick return open but Ryan Succop was there to (kind of) push him out of bounds.
Rookie CB Phillip Gaines in coverage on that deep ball. Stayed with his man the whole way. He's coming along— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) August 8, 2014
Bengals WR James Wright caught a pass in the corner of the end zone and dragged his feet. Gaines had nice coverage -- he was all over him -- but somehow Wright held it in. The play was called incomplete but a challenge turned it over for the touchdown.
Dee Ford had a nice run stop in the second half. His first step was noticeable at times.
Jaye Howard just Clowney'd that one. In the backfield before the QB turned around— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) August 8, 2014
Good and bad of Tyler Bray: He did a nice job of shrugging off a collapsing pocket, stepping up and finding Demetrius Harris for a first down. On the next play, Bray was hit drilled from the blind side and lost the fumble.
Cyrus Gray had a nice cutback to pick up 25 yards on the run. He ended up with 55 yards on 10 carries.