After holding off the Arizona Cardinals, 17-10, in Friday night’s second preseason game, the Kansas City Chiefs’ quest for an undefeated season is still alive.
Yes... that’s tongue in cheek.
Heading into the game, Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid expected the starters to play about a half — and this time around, he was close to the mark. The first-team defense played nearly the entire first half. Safety Juan Thornhill capped it off with an amazing diving interception,
Meanwhile, the first-team offense — minus quarterback Patrick Mahomes, wide receiver Tyreek Hill (hamstring) and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle sprain) — played the entire first half. Once again, the new offensive line impressed.
But Mahomes and Mecole Hardman displayed miscommunication problems, a reoccurring theme during their brief stint as teammates. While the duo did connect on their first two targets, they missed the next four.
After the game, the quarterback spoke on the miscues with his speedy third-year receiver.
“The first end zone play, I probably just have to throw the ball with a little bit more touch,” said Mahomes. “I threw a little hard. I tried to really rip it in there, and it was a little too high for him to get both his hands on it. The second one where he kind of ran across the field, it’s a play you always see us run with Tyreek (Hill), and we used to work on that timing of finding that right spot because he has to speed to beat that guy across the field. I don’t know what the other one was, but I thought he had a good game.”
With Hill out for the game, it was a prime opportunity for Hardman to silence his detractors. The Georgia product ended up with four catches for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Having said that, the night could’ve been more convincing if he and Mahomes had connected on a more consistent basis.
“I meant it went good,” Hardman told reporters after the game. “I think I could’ve caught the one in the corner of the end zone on the bench — it was just some miscommunication between me and Pat — but that’s why we got to get better.”
Some fans may freak out because there’s been a history of timing issues between these two players. But we must remember that ideally, Hill will also be out there the majority of the time.
Also, solving these kinds of problems is what preseason is about. But if it continues to be a problem in the regular season, there could be cause for concern.
For now, enjoy the process.