The Kansas City Chiefs’ offense was a little slow to get started against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night — but just before the first quarter ended, quarterback Patrick Mahomes found wide receiver Justin Watson for an 18-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead. Kansas City never looked back on the way to a 38-10 victory that evened its preseason record at 1-1.
Arizona won the opening coin toss, deferring to the second half. The Chiefs started with the ball.
The Chiefs’ starting offense came out with a third down immediately, following a clean drop by rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice. On third down, a completion to wide receiver Justin Watson was negated by offensive pass interference. The corresponding third and long failed to be converted with a screen to running back Jerick McKinnon. The Chiefs punted away.
On the Cardinals’ opening drive, the Chiefs’ defensive line noticeably caused disruption. Defensive tackle Matt Dickerson got some push on the first two plays. On third and four, cornerback Trent McDuffie drove on a short pass and tackled the receiver short of the sticks.
The first-team offense stumbled out of the gates in their second drop as well, but some Mahomes magic moved the chains. On third down, he scrambled right and threw back across the middle to tight end Travis Kelce to move the chains. The following third down was nearly converted with another magical throw on the sideline, but the ball fell incomplete. Kansas City punted again.
The Chiefs’ starting defense took the field for their second drive of the game with rookie defensive tackle Keondre Coburn in the lineup. He penetrated the pocket on his first snap, but the Cardinals moved the chains anyway. A few snaps later, Arizona converted a third down with a completion that beat safety Bryan Cook in man coverage.
On the next third down, pressure forced a quick deep pass to cornerback Trent McDuffie’s coverage, but the throw was too far. Arizona punted back to the Chiefs.
Mahomes stayed in the game for a third possession, looking for wide receiver Justyn Ross on the second play of the drive; the low pass couldn’t be hauled in. On third and short, a quick dart to wide receiver Skyy Moore was secured for a first down. A catch and run by running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire moved the chains again.
The team kept driving, with big completions to wide receivers Justyn Ross and Marquez Valdes-Scantling to set them up near the red zone. From there, Mahomes rolled right, bought time and eventually put it on a sprinting Justin Watson. The sixth-year wideout secured the pass and got Kansas City on the board. Chiefs lead 7-0.
Arizona’s offense continued going against the Chiefs’ defensive starters, finding a seam through the run defense to move the chains initially. However, on third and short, linebacker Nick Bolton broke up a pass to the tight end with tight coverage.
Third-string quarterback (or backup?) Shane Buechele took over for the following drive, even with the starting offensive line still in. He hit on a big play quickly by finding Rashee Rice on the run for a 38-yard gain. That play was preceded by a big run from running back Jerick McKinnon. In the red zone, Buechele faced third and six, but took off himself from 15 yards away and scored on the ground. It pushed the Chiefs’ lead to 14-0.
The Chiefs’ second-team defense took the field on the following drive, and forced a quick three and out. Defensive tackle Danny Shelton stood out again with a run stop on first down. On third down, safety Mike Edwards closed out on a sideline pass and made sure it wasn’t caught in bounds.
Buechele continued driving the Chiefs, and continued finding his former college teammate in Rashee Rice. A few more big completions to him got the team close to striking distance, but they did settle for a field goal around the two-minute warning. They kicked back to Arizona with a 17-0 lead.
In the two-minute drill, the Cardinals put together an eight-play drive that was aided by multiple penalties committed by cornerback DiCaprio Bootle. A nice rush by defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah was negated with a successful scramble, and then Bootle was targeted in coverage again to get inside the five-yard line.
From there, a false start took Arizona back and got them into third and goal. However, a run up the middle couldn’t be stopped, as the ball carrier pushed through Chiefs defenders and scored. The Cardinals tightened the score to 17-7.
After a kickoff, the Chiefs kneeled the ball, going into halftime with that 17-7 lead.
Arizona got methodical right out of the gate in the third quarter, putting together an 11-play drive that went 54 yards. It lasted nearly six minutes, but ended with a field goal. The highlights from the Chiefs on the drive include a run stop by linebacker Jock Cochrane, and good tackles in space by both cornerbacks Kahlef Hailassie and Ekow Boye-Doe.
The Chiefs’ second-team offense continued to work, this time with backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert taking the snaps. Just like he did in New Orleans, he found a deep completion quickly: wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette found open space for a 44-yard completion.
After Gabbert missed an open Justyn Ross for a potential touchdown, he gave Smith-Marsette another opportunity to make a play — and he did. The third-year wideout front flipped into the end zone and scored, pushing the Chiefs’ advantage to 24-10.
After a quick three and out by Arizona, Gabbert continued dealing with the Chiefs’ backups on offense. Tight end Matt Bushman got involved with a 25-yard completion on this drive. However, the possession heavily featured running back La’Mical Perine, who gained 27 yards on three carries.
At the end of the possession, Gabbert rolled out and found wide receiver Cornell Powell in the back of the end zone for another touchdown. The Chiefs stretched the score to 31-10.
Anudike-Uzomah continued penetrating the line of scrimmage to start the following drive, chasing down the quarterback on a hurried throw. A few plays later, the third quarter ended.
Arizona did drive deep into Chiefs’ territory, getting chunk gains against the Chiefs’ third-string defense. Eventually, pass rushers Joshua Kaindoh and Malik Herring got outrun by the quarterback to the sideline for a nine-yard gain. A penalty pushed the Cardinals outside the 10-yard line on fourth and goal, where the Chiefs pass coverage gave no open windows to complete a pass. It was a turnover on downs.
Fourth-string quarterback Chris Oladokun substituted in for the Chiefs as the clock winded down, and immediately made a Mahomes-esque play. After scrambling left, he reversed course and eventually threw back across the middle to Smith-Marsette. Smith-Marsette took it up the sideline for a huge gain; unfortunately, the play was negated by an illegal man downfield.
Oladokun made another play despite that setback, avoiding a pressure and finding wide receiver Ty Fryfogle for 28 yards down the field. On another play out of the pocket, Oladokun once again hooked up with Smith-Marsette, who broke tackles and nearly scored. On the next snap, rookie running back Deneric Prince punched it in for a touchdown. The Chiefs led 38-10.
The last of the Chiefs’ defense finished out the game, with rookie edge rusher B.J. Thompson closing the game out with a sack. The final score was 38-10, Chiefs win.
Punter Tommy Townsend has one punt that traveled 40 yards, then another that went 51. That return attempt was stopped inside the 20-yard line.
Kicker Harrison Butker has made all five of his attempts at the point-after kick. In the second quarter, he made a 28-yard field goal.
Punt returner Richie James gained 13 yards on his only attempt.
Wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette was the second player up for punt returns, taking one of his two returns for a nine-yard gain.
|Yards per play||8.5||4.1|
|Yards per rush||5.50||3.90|
|Passing Gross Yards||286||98|
|Passing Net Yards||286||98|
|Yards per pass||9.50||4.30|
|Rushing first downs||3||4|
|Passing first downs||14||7|
|Penalty first downs||1||3|
|Third down (Made/Att/Pct)||4/7/57%||3/9/33%|
|Fourth down (Made/Att/Pct)||0/0/0%||0/0/0%|
|Goal to go (Made/Att/Pct)||0/0/0%||1/1/100%|
|Red Zone (Made/Att/Pct)||3/4/75%||1/1/100%|
|Extra Points (Made/Att)||3/3||1/1|
|Field Goals (Made/Att)||1/1||1/1|
|Two-Point Conv (Made/Att)||0/0||0/0|
|Gross Punting Avg Yds||45.5||52.6|
|Net Punting Avg Yds||43.5||48.4|
|Total Rtn Yds (No KOs)||21||4|
|Punt Returns (Num/Yds)||3/21||2/4|
|Kickoff Returns (Num/Yds)||1/21||4/54|
|Int Returns (Num/Yds)||0/0||0/0|
|Time of Possession||21:24||19:21|
|CHIEFS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|CARDINALS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|Antonio Hamilton Sr.||2||0||2||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|CHIEFS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|CARDINALS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|CHIEFS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|CARDINALS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|