Chiefs starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes only spent a moment on the football field, which he used to honor the late great Len Dawson with the ‘choir band’ the Chiefs made famous in the 1960s – the very first gesture in what will sound will be a celebration throughout the season of one of the pillars of the franchise. Replacement Chad Henne came on for two series, in what was an annual reminder of how lucky Kansas City is to have an MVP starter like Mahomes.
Come back Ronald Jones had 43 rushing yards on eight carries, a final opportunity for Jones to make his case to stay on the roster — or increase his trade value ahead of the final cut to 53 players on Tuesday. Jones took advantage of his opportunities with the first-team offensive line, showing that he is a capable running back in the NFL; it may not be with the Chiefs. Jones has primarily worked behind Kansas City’s deep offensive lines this preseason, a disadvantage that was apparent through the fourth and first quarters of the third quarter. Isiah Pacheco (offensive lineman Roderick Johnson missed the next trip). That said, Pacheco still got past Jones, 52-43.
wide receiver Skyy Moore showed what he is capable of off the line of scrimmage as he came down the left sideline, but he was unable to bring in the long pass. Green Bay was called for defensive pass interference on the play. Wide receiver Fountain Daurice flashed a few plays – and combined with his ability on special teams, likely locked in the sixth and final wide receiver spot. Wide tops Ju Ju Smith Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling did not play.
by Matt Bushman a wide-opening 54-yard touchdown reception (with a goal reception on the goal line from quarterback Shane Buechele), capped off a strong preseason for the tight end at depth, but it would be hard to see Bushman do anything other than practice squad. He also left the match due to a shoulder injury.
Buechele had a solid night, going 11 of 17 for 166 yards and two touchdowns. There was interest from Arizona Cardinals last year (which led to Buechele being moved to the active roster), so there’s a slight question as to whether the Chiefs would make him available by waiving him again – especially after a night like Thursday.
Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo opted to play his first team throughout the first quarter. This led to something you would never want to see in a preseason game: a starter injury. During the first quarter, the cornerback Trent McDuffie left the game with a concussion. With Rashad Fenton (groin) already sidelined, that meant the top three cornerbacks would be The Jarius Sneed and recruits Jaylen Watson and Joshua Williams.
Williams struggled at times, allowing a few catches, taking a third and long facemask penalty, dropping an interception and running into a kicker. Earlier in the week, Spagnuolo was asked if Williams – who spent much of camp as a starter after Fenton started on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list – would be the next man. The defensive coordinator was quick to mention that Watson would also have an opportunity. We may have learned why on Thursday night – and we also learned that the sooner Fenton and McDuffie can recover, the better. Still, there’s no need to panic (yet), as there are still 17 days until the Week 1 game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Beyond cornerbacks, security Bryan Cook had an interception as quarterback Jordan Love broadcast it before halftime – but what was more impressive was Cook’s patience in allowing his teammates to settle in after catching the ball . It didn’t lead to a score, but he showed good presence of mind on the game.
Two surefire bets to make the team – defensive linemen Derrick Nnadi and Tershawn Wharton— had good nights in limited rehearsals. Meanwhile, linebacker Darius Harris likely solidified his spot on the roster with his play. Wharton, defensive end Joshua Kaindoh and cornerback DiCaprio Bootle everyone had a bag. Security Deon Bush recorded his second massive hit in as many weeks, but showed some vulnerability on defense – especially on Tyler Goodson’s 24-yard touchdown run. Of note, another prospect on the roster, linebacker Jermaine Carterwas jostled on the same piece.
After kicking 60, 65 and 71 pre-gameplacekicker Harrison Butker was 1-1, making a 44-yard field goal.
And with that, the pre-season is over. As is always the case after the last preseason game, the regular season can’t come soon enough.