The Chiefs’ first preseason outing started out rough, but ended up in a walloping of the Arizona Cardinals 34-19.
The game will, despite being a preseason game, go down in the history books, but not in part by either the Chiefs or the Cardinals’ doing.
The NFL’s first female referee, Sarah Thomas, was a part of the officiating crew, while the NFL’s first female coach, Jen Welter, was on Arizona’s sideline, working with the linebackers.
Aside from making history, here are the highs and lows from Kansas City’s first preseason game of 2015.
• Veteran safety Eric Berry took the field in one of the all-time greatest comebacks.
Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in late November 2014 and shortly after started chemotherapy. He was declared cancer-free in June.
The former Volunteer made his way to the field with the second-team defense and recorded a tackle. Regardless of the limited production, having Berry back on the field is the highest of highs for the week.
• Quarterback Chase Daniel relieved starter Alex Smith five minutes into the second quarter and dominated in all facets, throwing for 189 yards passing, completing 17-of-21 passes, three of which were touchdowns.
If preseason games counted, the wide receiver touchdown statistic would have gone with the wind. Daniel’s three touchdown passes were thrown to Fred Williams, Frankie Hammond and Da’Ron Brown, all wide receivers.
• Rookie linebacker Ramik Wilson tore up the Arizona offense all game long.
He ended the day with six tackles, two passes defended and an interception with a 27-yard return. Wilson is currently listed as second string at left inside linebacker behind Josh Mauga.
• Two Chiefs defenders saw game time after spending the majority of the 2014 season on the sidelines.
Linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive end Mike Devito recorded their first tackle since Week 1 of 2014. They both tore their right Achilles tendon during Kansas City’s home opener against Tennessee.
Johnson finished his first night back with two tackles, including a tackle for loss. DeVito ended the game with one solo tackle.
• The new distance for point-after attempts didn’t phase kicker Cairo Santos. He kicked a perfect 4-of-4 from 33 yards out. Santos was on point on both his field goal attempts as well, knocking down attempts from 48 and 34 yards out.
• The offensive line didn’t do the offensive playmakers any favors, regardless of first or fourth string. Smith needed to scramble to get out of trouble on several occasions. Many of the rushing attempts were shut down at or behind the line of scrimmage. Aaron Murray was sacked near the end of the game.
• Injuries were rampant on the Chiefs’ side of the ball. Running back Knile Davis went down with a knee sprain. Wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas sprained his calf. Right tackle Jeff Allen was carted off and sprained his MCL. Center Eric Kush suffered a shoulder contusion.
• Smith’s start to the preseason was shaky. The former Ute completed 6-of-10 of his passes for 42 yards and an interception. Smith’s last interception came at Arizona in Week 14. The last time Smith threw for less than 60 percent was at Oakland in 2014, where he completed 55.56 percent of his passes.
• Miscommunication was evident from multiple players on offense. The play that resulted in Smith’s interception had miscommunication written all over it. Both Davis and rookie center Mitch Morse appeared to take the same linebacker, giving Arizona safety Tyrann Mathieu the opportunity for a wide open pick.
• Second-year running back Charcandrick enjoyed an excellent game, totaling 92 total yards (46 rushing). So why list him here? He fumbled the ball while running in traffic. A teammate recovered the loose ball, but coaching staffs frown on a player’s inability to secure a ball.