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Chiefs beat Falcons: 5 winners and 5 losers

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Karma — both good and bad — from Friday night,

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Winners

Kansas City Chiefs fans got to see one of the magical passing plays they have hoped and prayed for — and over the past few seasons, fought over — when Patrick Mahomes chucked it into the upper atmosphere, and Tyreek Hill brought it in for a landing just before halftime. It was a meaningless pass in a faux game, but 20 years from now, Chiefs fans will still be talking about it.

Patrick Mahomes played pretty darned well, by golly! Shoot... we all just knew he’d throw more interceptions than y’all are used to seeing in these parts, and he did. Just one of ‘em went on that stat sheet over yonder — there was another’n that Atlanta fella probably shoulda picked off — so I guess our boy’s a lucky one, too! But my pappy always said you should never count on luck. Andy’ll learn him, though. Don’t worry about it, y’all. Boy’s got talent.

Ben Niemann has been the talk of the analysts this week, and he looked the part Friday night, with a 26-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach. Let’s give Armani Watts an honorable mention for punching out a fumble on Atlanta’s final drive. These are the kinds of plays that have kept the Chiefs defense effective during Bob Sutton’s tenure. They’ll get you noticed.

Tremon Smith had three solo tackles, a pass defensed and four kick returns — one of them a nifty 37-yard punt return. That’ll work.

The Chiefs run defense gave up 3.3 yards per attempt on the ground, which is a much more acceptable number than what we saw last week. That’s good... buuuut...

Losers

The Chiefs pass defense gave up a lot of big plays early on. The Falcons quarterbacks combined for just 195 yards in the game, but 89 of those came on just three plays in the first half. Those big plays kept the defense on its heels, and the Falcons marching down the field. Not good.

Eric Berry didn’t play, still nursing a sore heel. Just in case nobody has explained it to you yet, it is not the same foot he injured last year. But he’s a valuable starter — a team leader — and you can’t blame the Chiefs for keeping him on the preseason sidelines until he’s 100 percent. But we’d all have a much better idea of what to expect from the Chiefs defense if Berry was running with the 1s right now

De’Anthony who? He was reported to be in uniform and on the field. What happened?

The Chiefs offensive line is a loser only because they lost some of the negative karma that’s been surrounding them all week. I’m sure you’ll hear a lot of people complaining about this play or that play this week, but if your quarterbacks go 25/32, you must be doing something right. We’ve been here before. There’s always a lot of mystery about Andy Red’s offensive lines before Week 1, as they shuffle guys around. They’ll figure it out.

Sammy Watkins didn’t have a fun night. He didn’t play last week, but this week, the result was exactly the same: no receptions. In fairness to Watkins — who was targeted three times — one of those passes was intercepted and another one probably should have been. But Watkins dropped the third one. Maybe he shouldn’t have cut his hair.