The Chiefs lead the Rams 20-14 after a long first half that saw the Chiefs throw the ball 25 times and control the ball for 17:50 and had Jeremy Maclin ejected. It’s the preseason for sure.
Here’s a quick run down of thoughts from the first half.
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
Alex Smith and the ones struggled in their second drive, but they bookended it with two efficient and effective touchdown scores filled with huge third down conversions and big passing plays.
Maclin, Travis Kelce and Chris Conley had big third down conversions on the first drive, and the Chiefs finished the first half five of eight on third down conversions and added fourth-down conversion late.
Smith finished 9-12 passing for 137 yards and a touchdown and led three scoring drives in four possessions. Nick Foles proved very efficient against his old teammates in his one drive ending the first half and ran the two-minute offense to perfection with few errors. He finished the drive 10-13 for 56 yards.
Spencer Ware had a nice first half, carrying 10 times for 37 yards and a touchdown and adding four catches for 24 yards.
MVP of the first half goes to Chris Conley, who had three key third-down conversions and led the Chiefs with 66 receiving yards.
Todd Gurley is going to get his yards, but it’s a problem when Benny Cunningham is gashing the defense.
The Rams piled up 58 first-quarter rushing yards a week after the Seahawks picked up 52 in the first quarter. The Rams had just 27 yards in the second quarter, but the offense can take most of the credit for controlling the ball and the clock.
The Seahawks had success running early last week and the defense tightened up as the game progressed. It’s an area to watch in the second half, even if it is the backups.
The Chiefs first team had zero penalities last week against Seattle and the team had none in the first half. This week LG Parker Ehinger committed a relatively harmless false start penalty on the first drive and the officials flagged S Ron Parker for a huge pass interference penalty that set up the Rams first touchdown.
Take out Parker’s 41-yard penalty and the Chiefs had three penalties for 28 yards plus an ejection. The reserves need to tighten up their play from a week ago when they were flagged seven times for 57 yards.
The Chiefs took the ball with 3:20 to play and 16 plays later settled for a field goal to make it 20-14. The “two-minute” drive included 13 passes, a fourth-down conversion and two ejections.
The ejections of Maclin and Rams DB Lamarcus Joyner seemed very picky. Officials may simply want to keep preseason games from getting out of control, or send a message for the future. There have been worse “fights” that did not result in multiple ejections.