“He, for sure, had some nice plays,” Reid said. “He’s an enthusiastic kid, loves to play, and I thought he played well.”
Reid could watch a rocket bust up a meteor and say, “I thought the scientists did a good job executing,” so “for sure, had some nice plays,” is his equivalent of a cartwheel roundoff to a back handspring in a Mahomes No. 15 jersey.
During training camp, Gaines often ran with the second team, starting only as the additional corner in a nickel. Nelson has started in the base across from Marcus Peters, and in a sub-package he’s gone inside with Terrance Mitchell taking the outside.
By the time Spiller finished the game with six rushes for 27 yards — a solid 4.5-yard average — and one catch for 16 yards, it was easy to envision him competing with Charcandrick West for the job as the team’s No. 3 back this year, a tremendous comeback story for a 30-year-old who saw much of his game-changing, 4.37 speed sapped by injuries the last two seasons. Even West flashed quickness and burst, slicing up the Bengals for a game-high 113 yards in seven carries, all in the second half.
Smith was 8-of-9 for 83 yards and a touchdown while leading the Chiefs to points on both possessions he played in Cincinnati. Smith’s biggest play came on the first drive when he floated a pass to tight end Travis Kelce for a 36-yard gain that helped set up a field goal. His touchdown came on a five-yard toss to tight end Demetrius Harris.
One reason to be concerned: The short-yardage running game continues to be a problem. With their starting offensive line in the game, the Chiefs ran five times needing two yards or less for a first down or a touchdown; they converted only once. Spencer Ware, the Chiefs' biggest and most physical runner, didn't get the ball in any of those situations, but this was a shortcoming for the Chiefs last season even when he was the ball carrier.
Both the Chiefs and Buccaneers walked right down the field with guys like Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict and Carlos Dunlap on the field. Pitiful tackling, busted coverages and a lack of consistent pressure made the starting defense looks like more of a weakness than a strength in both cases.
Running back Kareem Hunt limped off the field following a run early in the second quarter. Head coach Andy Reid said Hunt tweaked his ankle and did not believe the injury to be serious.