The dress rehearsal game showed some positive things for both side of the football and some reasons for concerned. The next time we see the majority of the 53-man roster will be week one in Jacksonville. Here are some offensive and defensive takeaways
The most extended look of Patrick Mahomes and the first team offense showed some positive signs. The reigning MVP looked sharp on his way to an 8-10 for 126 yard and a touchdown performance. His night was highlighted by a wheel route to Damien Williams for a 62 yard touchdown.
Timing, touch and anticipation on the wheel route to Damien Williams. Mahomes is ready. Can we just fast forward to September now? pic.twitter.com/BM3Rq9xY3J— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) August 25, 2019
Mahomes and the first team offense looks ready to play in Jacksonville. Williams had 3 catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. Tyreek Hill looked good in a short, but productive performance, grabbing 3 catches for 31 yards. Sammy Watkins looked sharp on an out route and jet sweep.
Rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman didn’t get any run with the first team offense and had a quiet first half beyond an offensive pass interference call that stalled a drive. He would go on to catch 3 passes for 40 yards in the second half, highlighted by a nice curl route against off coverage.
Outside of Wiliams, there were some interesting notes from the running back room. Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson both saw time in the first half. Carlos Hyde did not. His first appearance happened late in the third quarter.
It was a rough night for the entire offensive line group, surrendering three sacks and several more pressures. The much publicized transition from Andrew Wylie to Cameron Erving did not look smooth. Erving did not look much better than he did at tackle the first two weeks of the preseason.
Nerd Squad Player of the Game (Offense)
Patrick Mahomes - It may feel like an easy answer, but Mahomes played at an exceptionally high level in his appearance. He was crisp the entirety of the game, placing the ball well, throwing with touch and anticipation. He was processing what he was seeing at a high level and that led to an efficient performance that should have Chiefs fans excited for his follow up. He looks better than last season.
The run defense looked strong for the first team defensive unit. This defensive line group is deep and stout, led by Chris Jones and Frank Clark. Both made their presence felt tonight in the passing game. Jones got a big pass deflection on third down, and Clark would get his first (unofficial) sack as a Chief.
Bashaud Breeland is currently the Chiefs’ best option as an outside corner and he had an early scare, going down with a shoulder injury. He would come back shortly after, but looked much less sharp, surrendering a big play on vertical shot downfield. Shortly after that play, a miscommunication between Charvarius Ward and Reggie Ragland led to a wide open touchdown for Matt Breida, courtesy of Jimmy Garoppolo.
Ward had his struggles again this week. He simply does not look ready to contribute at a high level through three weeks of preseason football. He or Herb Miller is likely to start in week one. At this point, that’s a terrifying proposition.
Recent cornerback addition Morris Claiborne made his first appearance, playing deep into the fourth quarter as he gets his legs underneath him in preparation for his debut in week five of the regular season. It was a largely uneventful night for Claiborne outside of a pass interference call in the fourth quarter. Tanoh Kpassagnon registered another sack on a stunt in the third quarter. He was lined up inside as a defensive tackle on the play.
Nerd Squad Player of the Game (Defense)
Frank Clark - We’ve heard Clark is an energy giver this offseason. We saw glimpses of that on display tonight. Clark had a great performance tonight, looking stout in the run game and disruptive in the pass game. The defensive front looks deep, promising, and ready to lead this defense with Clark at the forefront.