KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs dropped to 1-2 in preseason action following Saturday night’s 30-12 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
But with any situation, there’s good and bad. Here are five highs and lows from Saturday’s game.
• Chiefs coach Andy Reid called the 13 penalties for 131 yards in last week’s preseason game against the Carolina Panthers a “significant issue.” The Chiefs had seven penalties in the preseason opener and entered Saturday night with 20. Whatever Reid said to the team throughout the week apparently worked, as the Chiefs were penalized just twice for 15 yards against the Vikings.
• The Chiefs defense totaled three sacks on Vikings starting quarterback Matt Cassel, who started for the Chiefs from 2009-12. Outside linebacker Tamba Hali, inside linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive end Jaye Howard each recorded a sack. Howard was also credited with a strip, which caused the ball to go out the back of the end zone for a safety.
• Rookie wide receiver Albert Wilson, an undrafted free agent signing, scored his first touchdown of the preseason on a 1-yard reception in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. Wilson, a training camp star, has three catches on the preseason.
• Second-year tight end Travis Kelce remains hot, recording four catches for 49 yards. His propensity for big plays continues after he hauled in a 22-yard catch. Kelce has 10 receptions for 185 yards and two touchdowns through three preseason contest.
• Third-year running back Cyrus Gray continues to makes his case for the final roster. Gray led the team in rushing for the third straight preseason game with 31 yards on five carries, averaging 6.2 yards per attempt. The former Texas A&M Aggie leads the team overall in preseason rushing with 134 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries (5.2 average).
• Preseason or not, the Chiefs first-string offensive line allowed three sacks on quarterback Alex Smith, who has now been sacked six times through three games. The offensive line as a whole has surrendered 14 sacks heading into the preseason finale.
• Smith, who is known for taking care of the football, had two uncharacteristic red zone interceptions. Reid took part of the blame after the game: “I’m sure it was a combination of things,” Reid said, “But inevitably, he’s throwing and I’m calling so that’s probably where the fingers need to be pointed, at the two of us and it’s coming from me first.”
• The Chiefs starting offense has gone three straight preseason games without a touchdown. Making matters worse, starters rarely see the field in the preseason finale and the regular season is two weeks away. Barring starters playing in the fourth preseason game, any hope of fixing timing or potential chemistry issues will need to be addressed in practice.
• The Chiefs are getting a taste of life without running back Jamaal Charles (foot) the past two preseason games. And regardless of the exhibition feel, it’s not a good taste. Second-year pro Knile Davis drew a second straight start and rushed 12 times for 27 yards, a 2.3 yards per carry average. Davis did, however, chip in the passing game with two catches for 37 yards on four targets.
• Seeing Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson get deep on a 53-yard touchdown pass brought up memories of the second half of the 2013 regular season and playoff loss against the Indianapolis Colts. Patterson got behind rookie safety Daniel Sorensen, who started in place Eric Berry (right heel). Still, the Vikings second-year pro and his blazing 4.33 40-yard dash time is a test for any defensive secondary. It’s highly likely he would’ve gotten behind a healthy Berry.