KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs opened the regular season 0-1, falling 26-10 to the Tennessee Titans.
Even though the Chiefs didn’t pull out the win, there were still diamonds that could be harvested from the game. Here are the highs and lows from the season opener.
• When quarterback Alex Smith connected with the Chiefs receiving corps, things went well. The average pass for Smith was 10.6 yards. Rookie tight end Travis Kelce had the longest reception of the afternoon for 27 yards.
• Kelce showed promise in his inaugural professional game. Smith targeted him five times and he made three receptions. He recorded 49 yards on the afternoon, averaging 16.3 yards per reception.
• Safety Eric Berry stood out on defense. He accumulated 15 combined tackles, the highest number for both the Chiefs and the Titans. He also accounted for one quarterback hurry and one pass defended.
• Wide receiver Donny Avery stepped up in place of suspended wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Avery lead all the Chiefs receivers and accumulated 84 yards on seven receptions.
• The defense as a whole sacked Titans quarterback Jake Locker four times. Linebacker Justin Houston accounted for two of the sacks for losses of 3 yards total. Defensive lineman Allen Bailey tossed Locker for a loss of 10 yards. Defensive end Vance Walker snuck up on Locker behind the line of scrimmage as well for a loss of 10 yards.
• The Achilles heel for the Chiefs defense was the Achilles tendon. Both linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive lineman Mike DeVito suffered Achilles tendon injuries (Johnson in the second quarter, DeVito in the third quarter). After the game, coach Andy Reid confirmed they both ruptured their Achilles tendon.
• Smith had trouble with interceptions. Last season, Smith threw seven picks, recording only one game with more than one ball thrown to the wrong team. On Sunday, Smith threw three interceptions, two of which resulted in Titans field goals.
• Two ex-Chiefs played well at their former home. Kicker Ryan Succop was a perfect 4-of-4 on field goal attempts, including a long from 47 yards, and two extra points for the Titans. Running back Dexter McCluster rushed eight times for 29 yards and had one reception for 17 yards.
• Counting preseason games, the Chiefs offensive starters played in 26 straight drives without scoring a touchdown. The streak was snapped early in the fourth quarter with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Smith to tight end Anthony Fasano.
• Running back Jamaal Charles had seven carries for 19 yards on Sunday. That is dramatically less from last season where he averaged 17.3 rushing attempts per game.