Chiefs vs Packers Instabreakdown: Deep players close out preseason with win

Final score: Kansas City Chiefs 17, Green Bay Packers ten

A return match of superbowl Me, the Chiefs and the Packers battled it out in the final preseason game of 2022. The Chiefs sealed the deal on a 2-1 preseason and closed out the game in the winning formation. The Cardinals will be next on Sept. 11 to start the regular season.

Offense (Bryan Stewart)

Thursday night’s preseason finale was “The Shane Buechele Show.”

Star veterans Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce did not play, while wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling rested with injuries – and it was Chad Henne, 37, who took the starting behind Kansas City’s first-team offense. line. Henne struggled for a few practices, averaging 3.3 yards per pass attempt after seven throws.

That’s when Buechele – the third-string quarterback – made the most of his opportunities while displaying a 53-man caliber ability. Buechele brought the Chiefs back from a first-half deficit, eventually helping them take the lead with two separate touchdown passes to tight end Matt Bushman.

Given his performance in two preseasons at Kansas City, there’s a good chance another team will knock him out for good if the Chiefs don’t choose to keep Buechele. There’s virtually no chance Henne will be released, but if head coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach really like Buechele, they might have to keep a third quarterback on the final roster to start the roster. season.

All around, Thursday night was the kind of forgettable contest that most preseason finales turn out to be. Now it’s all about sticking to that final roster, getting healthy, and being ready for the start of the regular season against the Arizona Cardinals 17 days from now.

Offensive player of the game: running back Isiah Pacheco

The highly touted seventh-round rookie was finally able to break loose and show off the sparkle and speed that made him popular throughout training camp. Pacheco averaged 5.2 yards per carry on 10 rushing attempts.

He still has a lot to learn and experience in the weeks to come. One thing is clear, though: When the ball is in his hands, Pacheco has an athletic brilliance that not all NFL running backs possess. Combine that with the solid hands he showed throughout training camp and we can start to see the path to production for this young player. Time will tell if Pacheco can translate the hype into a season-changing role in games that matter.

Defense (Graff Heel)

The starters got the nod on defense — and there was a new face in base defense: rookie linebacker Leo Chenal took on first-team reps with Nick Bolton and Willie Gay. During the preseason, Wisconsin’s third round was impressive — so the coaching staff rewarded their play.

The top end of the defensive line got reps early and they were disruptive while they were in it. George Karlaftis looks like an immediate boost for the front seven, while Frank Clark still looks a bit more explosive – although we can’t really tell until we see all four quarters of that. The inside defensive line – led by Chris Jones – has a good combination of speed and volume.

Once he was put in the game, backup linebacker Darius Harris immediately got to work. His first three games ended in three tackles. The latter would have forced a punt after instinctively reading a screen play on third down, but a facemask penalty from rookie cornerback Joshua Williams breathed new life into Green Bay.

On the same drive, Williams also let a surefire interception bounce off his hands. With time and repetition, he should become a reliable starter on the road. Rookie Jaylen Watson is making a big impact being a seventh-round draft pick. He plays hard in the running game and has also made plays in the air.

2022 first-round cornerback Trent McDuffie left the game during the first quarter after going into concussion protocol. As the game wore on – and the Chiefs started to turn at the younger side – quarterback Jordan Love and the Packers offense started to move the ball. But rookie safety Bryan Cook ended a practice late in the first half by picking up a navigation pass.

Packer running back Tyler Goodson’s 24-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was ugly for the Chiefs; they missed several tackles and saw too many bodies on the turf. However, the defense has been solid all pre-season, so the game felt like an outlier.

The defensive unit was tested late in the second quarter as the Packers had several goal-scoring plays to play but won just three points after a fine goal-line position that was helped by a couple of penalties from Green Bay.

But then Williams drew a flag on the field goal attempt after committing a collision penalty with the kicker. Had this been a brutal flag, Green Bay would have had another round of downs. But the Packers refused the penalty and made the field goal.

Defensive Player of the Game: Safety Bryan Cook

The freshman who is the team’s second most famous Cincinnati Bearcat put on a strong performance. He made an impact against the run but also left an imprint as a pass defender. He received plenty of praise throughout pre-season – and grew not only on the pitch, but also as a leader.

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