We have a rarity on our hands—a Chiefs game day on a Friday night.
The Kansas City Chiefs travel to Atlanta Friday night to take on the Falcons in their second preseason game of the season. Head coach Andy Reid has said that quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the first-team offense will play the entire first half.
One of the stories coming out of the game last week was how poorly the offensive line protected Mahomes in limited plays, so the top unit will be looking to show some improvement.
“Protecting the quarterback is something that we work very hard at,” Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck said this week. “We’ve got to continue to work hard at it. You see on the first play of the game, our quarterback got hit. As an offensive line, that’s not acceptable to us. We know the importance of protecting the quarterback, particularly early in the game. So, we’re busting our butts out here to work on throwing our hands, making sure we’re accurate with those punches and our technique.”
The Chiefs have shaken up offensive line positioning on their depth chart when it comes to their reserves heading into the game against the Falcons.
We could potentially see the preseason debuts of veteran running backs Spencer Ware (rehab) and Charcandrick West (concussion), as their health improves. After a strong finish to training camp, wide receiver Marcus Kemp will need to have that translate to game tape in order to make the team as its final wide receiver over Jehu Chesson and Gehrig Dieter.
On the defensive side of the football, the point of focus continues to be what the Chiefs plan to do at the safety position with Daniel Sorensen sidelined for at least the beginning of the season. And, to make matters worse, Eric Berry has missed the last few practices due to a sore heel, the same ailment he suffered from last year before the season-ending injury in Week 1. Neither is expected to play.
Rookie safety Armani Watts led the Chiefs in defensive snaps against the Texans, and it wasn’t close. How Bob Sutton and the Chiefs split up time between Watts, Eric Murray, Leon McQuay and Jordan Sterns is worth paying attention to, especially now, with veteran Robert Golden having left the team late this week.
Speaking of safeties, former Chief Ron Parker will get his first crack at his old team since the Chiefs cut him this offseason.
Once Mahomes and the first teams leave the game at the half, Reid added the second teams will get the third quarter and the third team and further reserves will get the fourth.
Nuts and bolts
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia
Game time: Friday, August 17, 2018, 6 p.m. Arrowhead Time
TV channel: KCTV5
Online Stream: NFL Gamepass
Replay: NFL Network and NFL Gamepass
Pregame show: Arrowhead Pride Tailgate, 5 p.m. on 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City | Presented by Albright Buick GMC Cadillac
Radio: 101.1 The Fox (Mitch Holthus and Kendall Gammon) | Spanish Radio Broadcast: KCZZ 1480 AM (Tico Sports)
Matchup history: Chiefs lead 6-3 (regular season and postseason)
Odds: Chiefs -1.0
Prediction: Falcons 31, Chiefs 24
Announcers: Carter Blackburn (play-by-play), Trent Green (analyst), BJ Kissel (sideline)
Enemy blog: The Falcoholic
Twitter: Arrowhead Pride
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Chiefs 2018 preseason schedule
Week 1 | Thursday, 8/9 | 7:30 p.m. CT | vs. Houston Texans
Week 2 | Friday, 8/17 | 6:00 p.m. CT | at Atlanta Falcons
Week 3 | Saturday, 8/25 | 12:00 p.m. CT | at Chicago Bears
Week 4 | Thursday, 8/30 | 7:30 p.m. CT | vs. Green Bay Packers