Bears qarterback Justin Fields, however, did admit that the field could use some improvements. He noted that the field for the game, despite being visibly damaged, was better than it was on Tuesday.
“I mean, it’s kind of always been like that. It definitely was better than the family fest earlier this week,” Fields said. “I’m just glad it was better than it was earlier this week because it wasn’t the best. The grass could definitely be better for sure.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid was not too impressed, either.
“A lot better than my high school field,” Reid said, before pausing and adding, “Not much.”
The turf being different than other fields means kicker Cairo Santos had to alter his offseason training, going to fields that mimic Solider Field rather than picking “perfect” turf fields.
He said the field is “just what we have to deal with.”
Chiefs rookie George Karlaftis brings the heat. With Patrick Mahomes and the first-team offense off to a smooth start, our attention is on the first-round edge rusher. Karlaftis displayed a V-8 engine motor and was a constant presence in the Bears backfield. The rookie seems to never give up on a play, shows excellent pursuit and provides good power and speed off the edge. The Purdue product netted a sack, two QB hits, and a tackle for loss in the first half. Yes, it came against a questionable Bears O-line, but Karlaftis dominating second-team blockers is what you want to see in the preseason. The Chiefs are counting on the rookie to help jump-start the pass-rushing group in 2022. His first preseason action showed significant promise.
Patrick Mahomes’ wife just reminded everyone that the touchdown the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback threw on Saturday in their preseason game against the Chicago Bears was only the first of many more to come.
In their opening possession, Mahomes made scoring a touchdown look easy with a sharp pass to tight end Blake Bell. He saw Bell at the five-yard line and delivered the crisp throw for the touchdown drive.
Naturally, Brittany Mahomes was ecstatic to see her husband performing well once again on the field. She then proceeded to warn the rest of the NFL that they better be ready for an improved Patrick Mahomes come the 2022 regular season.
“I hope y’all are ready for this season,” Brittany wrote on Twitter along with a smiling emoji.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Head Coach: Andy Reid
Coordinators: Eric Bieniemy (offense), Steve Spagnuolo (defense)
Having Patrick Mahomes certainly helps, but no coaching staff has proven to be more consistent over the last four years than the Kansas City Chiefs.
Andy Reid and Co. have gone 50-15 in the regular season since 2018 and have least made it to the AFC Championship in the playoffs.
It isn’t just Reid that makes the coaching staff great, either. Eric Bienemy has served as the offensive coordinator since 2018, leading the unit to top-six finishes in both points and yards in each season he’s been at the helm.
Spagnuolo has been the defensive coordinator since 2019, and while his defenses haven’t been dominant, his style and philosophy marries perfectly with the high-octane offense that drives the Chiefs.
For instance, last season the defense was 27th in yards allowed, but finished eighth in points allowed while finishing fifth in pressure percentage.
Reid and Bieniemy’s offense is capable of scoring quickly while Spagnuolo’s defense creates chaos and makes it difficult to keep up. It’s a coaching concert that has proven to be elite time and time again.
When to draft a QB?
While running backs and wide receivers will dominate the first round of your draft, your roster starts with the quarterback. The icon is sitting there staring you in the face, so when should you fill the position?
The honest answer is that it depends on how the draft board falls. If you start your draft out looking at the average draft position (ADP) of quarterbacks, you will see that Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is being selected at the end of the second round, and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is being chosen about halfway through the third round. If you can get one of those quarterbacks a little after their ADP, take them because then they are values.
With 12 teams in your league, there will be 12 starting quarterbacks each week. The first 12 quarterbacks are taken by the eighth round’s halfway point. The flow of the draft will be unique to your league and format but in one quarterback leagues, keep an eye out for your starting quarterback by the eighth round. The longer you wait on a quarterback, the more you are hoping for them to greatly outperform their projections.
Loser: Bears O-line
One of the bigger concerns with the Chicago Bears is the offensive line’s ability to keep second-year quarterback Justin Fields upright. In the preseason opener against the Chiefs, the grouping that got the start didn’t do much to ease those worries. In the early stages of the game, Chicago’s O-line did seem to let Chiefs defenders find their way into the backfield and disrupt plays quite a bit. Fields was also sacked twice and the offense punted on all three of his drives to open the game in part because of that poor play up front.
Around the NFL
70 - Tyrann Mathieu
New Orleans Saints · FS
Although the Honey Badger continues his slide from 39 two years ago and 58 in last year’s iteration of the Top 100, his versatility to make a difference both in the box and at free safety remains enviable across the league. Mathieu cashed in on his reputation this offseason with a three-year contact to join his hometown Saints. New Orleans will hope Mathieu can replicate his recent three-year run with Kansas City, which netted him 13 interceptions, four fumble recoveries and two All-Pro nods.
All of his work in team drills came in a 7-on-7 period that was more strenuous than coach Zac Taylor anticipated.
“We talked about doing two reps in 7-on-7,” Taylor said after practice. “And then he took 10. That’s how it goes sometimes.”
Previously, Burrow’s most notable work during practice occurred last Monday when he did some light tosses during an impromptu walkthrough.
On Sunday, Burrow decided to extend his limits.
Burrow took the entirety of the reps during that 7-on-7 drill. That also eased the workload on the rest of the team’s quarterbacks following Brandon Allen’s concussion in last Friday’s preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
2. The Chiefs’ talented young players lived up to their billing
Early in the season, the Chiefs’ rookies will take some lumps.
This is to be expected as they get acclimated to the NFL — and it was the case on Saturday afternoon. But despite making some hair-pulling mental mistakes, Kansas City’s rookies showed flashes of why many draft pundits labeled them the best draft class of general manager Brett Veach’s tenure.
Early on, first-round defensive end George Karlaftis struggled a little bit with mental errors before coming alive and beating Chicago right tackle (and Topeka native) Tevin Jenkins with a beautiful inside rip move to sack Bears quarterback Justin Fields for a 10-yard loss.
After that, Karlaftis was consistently applying pressure in Chicago’s backfield. For a team that struggled to get to the quarterback in 2021, it was an encouraging debut for the rookie pass rusher.
Another rookie that showed glimpses of brilliance was wide receiver Skyy Moore, who caught all three of his targets — including a tough snag over the middle in which Bears rookie safety Jaquan Brisker hit him pretty hard. While it’s a small sample size, it certainly appears that the Chiefs may have a legitimate offensive weapon on their hands.
Other rookies who had some nice moments on Saturday included linebacker Leo Chenal — who led the team with seven tackles — and cornerback Jaylen Watson, who struggled in run defense but still played pretty good coverage, making the most of the opportunity given to him.