Notebook: Cairo Santos returns, quarterbacks thrive in finale

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kicker Cairo Santos returned to the line on part-time basis, kicking extra points and field goals while backup Sam Ficken handled kickoffs.

Kicker Cairo Santos boots an extra point try during the team’s 30-6 win over the Tennessee Titans in the preseason finale for both teams on Aug. 31, 2017. (Photo courtesy Chiefs PR, Chiefs.com)

Santos missed his first kick, an extra point try, but proved perfect the rest of the way. He converted three extra points along with a 48-yard field goal.

He appeared to show head coach Andy Reid enough to return to full duty for the season opener against New England next Thursday night.

“I thought he did well,” Reid said. “He had a big kicking day on Sunday and felt great coming out of that. Felt good tonight, so I think we’re in a good spot.”

THE OTHER BACKUP

Reid confirmed after the game the unsurprising fact that Patrick Mahomes won the No. 2 quarterback job. Tyler Bray, meanwhile, appears to be the No. 3 quarterback for now.

Bray played the third quarter, finishing 6-of-8 passing for 63 yards and a touchdown. Stave finished the game in the fourth quarter 2-of-2 for 70 yards and a touchdown.

“I thought they did a good job,” Reid said. “Joel didn’t have quite as many opportunities as what Tyler had. They were blitzing a little bit. (Titans defensive coordinator) Dick (LeBeau) is a wizard at that stuff. They had a couple of zero blitzes in there.

“I thought Tyler hung in there and held his own, did a nice job for us,” Reid said.

PRESEASON LEADERS

Statistics leaders in the preseason come in all shapes and sizes. This year’s Chiefs preseason proved no different.

Mahomes lead the team’s quarterbacks with 390 passing yards, nearly half of those coming against Tennessee. He also led the team with four touchdown passes. Joel Stave ranked the top-rated passer with a 113.2 rating.

Charcandrick West led the team in rushing with 118 yards. Marcus Kemp caught six passes to led in receptions while Demarcus Robinson finished on top with 134 receiving yards.

Sam Ficken, the emergency kicker brought in to backup the injured Santos, led the Chiefs in scoring with 18 points.

ON FURTHER REVIEW

Instant replay review played a role in a few critical plays in the preseason finale.

Tennessee challenged a Patrick Mahomes incompletion on the team’s first drive. The Titans believed cornerback Adoree’ Jackson picked off the pass that went through the hands of tight end Ross Travis. The replay official upheld the call on the field of an incompletion.

The Chiefs caught a huge break when repay overturned an interception by linebacker Javon Brown. Mahomes could not get the ball over Brown in zone coverage. But the linebacker juggled the ball going to the ground, leading to the overturned call.

The Titans caught a break on the final replay of the game. Tennessee cornerback Manny Abad’s foot seemed to touch a Dustin Colquitt punt as it rolled to a stop. Long snapper James Winchester quickly grabbed the loose ball. Officials on the field rule Abad did not touch the ball, and replay officials allowed the play to stand.

Winchester believes it was a live ball.

“It was,” he said. “One hundred percent.”

INJURY REPORT

The Chiefs escaped the preseason final relatively unscathed. Rookie safety Leon McQuay sustained a stinger and did not return. Offensive tackle Donald Hawkins suffered a concussion.

Linebacker Earl Okine limped off the field in the fourth quarter after tending to by trainers but later returned to the game.

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.

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