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Chiefs-LA Rams: 3 winners, 4 losers from the preseason game

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The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Los Angeles Rams 21-20 on Saturday night. Let’s look at a few winners and losers from the game.

Winners

Chiefs first team offense is good

It’s looking pretty good, right? The Chiefs first team has scored on four of their first five drives this offseason. The one bad drive came when Aaron Donald welcomed rookie Parker Ehinger to the NFL. Alex Smith is efficient. He’s spreading the ball around. He’s also throwing passes down the field with completions of 37 yards to Chris Conley and 20 yards to Jeremy Maclin (touchdown). The Chiefs are using multiple tight ends. And they’re doing all this without Jamaal Charles. Remember that. This offense should be better Week 1.

Feeling better about Nick Foles

Foles wasn’t going to be cut or anything like that but I still wanted to see a performance that showed why he was the clear choice for the Chiefs No. 2. He did that on Saturday with a very Alex-like 18-of-22 passing. This is a complete team so their backup should be someone experienced who won’t screw it up.

Darrin Reaves for the fourth back?

The Chiefs top three backs are set: Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West. With West out on Saturday, Darrin Reaves and Knile Davis had a chance to step up and prove they should be the fourth back on the roster (if the Chiefs keep four backs). Reaves outshined Knile with 32 yards on six carries along with three catches. Reaves’ skillset seems to be a better match than Knile, who remains the Chiefs top kick returner.

Losers

Chiefs first team defense

The run defense is highlighted because we were waiting on this. Todd Gurley was a good test after the run defense struggled in Week 1. Gurley had 20 productive yards in his one series and then something named a Malcolm Brown and a Bennie Cunningham picked up over 100 yards on 16 combined carries. Cunningham was in by the second drive so this wasn’t all second and third teamers.

Additionally, the Chiefs gave up two first half touchdowns to a Case Keenum-led offense. Sound the alarms.

Aaron Murray can’t close it out

He went 5-of-9 for 58 yards. Sure, a decent performance but what we’ll remember is his fumble with less than two minutes left and the Chiefs in scoring position. That’s one of those fatal blows. Can’t do that.

Cairo Santos misses a field goal

He made a 58-yarder last week but missed a 43-yarder this week. Overall he’s still a solid kicker. I’ll take him over a lot of other kickers. The Chiefs made the right choice in him over Ryan Succop three years ago. But that missed 43-yarder? I hope something like that doesn’t come back to haunt the Chiefs at some point this season. Any missed field goal can be a big problem.

Andy Reid’s clock management

I know it’s just preseason but the end of the first half was a little annoying. The Chiefs had a first and goal from the one yard line with 12 seconds left and ended up having to kick a field goal. I will note that this cost them - they lost by one point.