In the NFL preseason, Week 3 is historically seen as the most important, as that is the week most coaches give their starters the greatest amount of reps.
Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs are no different, and this year especially, it seems that Reid will actually leave his starters in longer than most other teams will in Week 3. Reid typically plays his starters into the third quarter during the third preseason game.
The Chiefs play the San Francisco 49ers Saturday at 7 p.m. Arrowhead Time.
“I’ve kind of stayed on the same schedule that I’ve been on,” Reid said after practice on Tuesday. “I always fluctuate it just a little bit. It’s normal that I give guys the same time and I evaluate off of what I see.
“It just gets them in the flow. You’ve got the one’s against the one’s and they kind of know what they’re doing. They get good work in. You need that, you just need to kick it up a notch. It’s not as fast as what you’re getting in the regular season, but you’re cranking it up and it’s the next step. I’ve had success with it, therefore I’ve been doing it.”
Last year, NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes threw 24 passes in the third preseason game against the Chicago Bears, and according to Reid, this year’s plan should keep up that trend. The game against the 49ers will serve as the last chance for the starters to work out any kinks before the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
And while it’s obvious the defense still has some issues to figure out given the scheme change, Reid acknowledged the offense has some work to do as well.
“I think everybody needs to get in—special teams included,” Reid said. “We need work on offense and we need work on defense. I thought the defense was actually a bright spot the last game. We need some work on the offense. That’s why we do it though.”
Mahomes shared that sentiment, pointing out the struggles the offense had against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Saturday.
“I think just being a little bit more successful as an offense this (Saturday) and that’s not necessarily scoring points, but just moving the ball and not making as many mistakes as a whole,” Mahomes said on what the team needs to work on heading into the season opener. “I feel like last week, we were off here and there on certain plays and when you aren’t in that perfect sync, it makes you pay in the game.
“That’s what the preseason is for, fixing those things and getting them ready for the season.”
The Chiefs’ starting offense definitely looked out of sync in their 17-7 loss to the Steelers, as Mahomes only completed two of his five passes for 11 yards.
That being said, Reid and his starting quarterback still say everything is going according to plan. The goal of the preseason, they maintain, isn’t necessarily to score a bunch or win but to be able to adapt to problems and get game experience.
“We’ve been right on plan on what we’re trying to do,” Mahomes said. “We’ll be able to go out there and play and we’ve moved the ball and then we’ve had drives where we don’t move the ball. It’s about going out there and figuring it out on the fly and being able to have that game-like experience and I feel like we’ve gotten that so far and we will get more this week.”