The first game of the season for the Kansas City Chiefs is in the books. They did not look good at the beginning but made a furious comeback from 24-3 down to force overtime. In the extra period, the Chiefs were able to come out victorious, courtesy of an Alex Smith rushing touchdown. The offense had a pretty decent drive to start off the game before finishing it off with a 47-yard field goal by Cairo Santos. Since that field goal it was all San Diego Chargers for most of the game. But the Chiefs didn’t give up and, as a result, are 1-0 on the young season.
This is a breakdown of three main takeaways from the game.
Kansas City Chiefs Game One Takeaways
Going into the half, the Chiefs were already down 21-3. Philip Rivers had plenty of time to throw the ball. With news that Justin Houston is out until at least November, that is not good. Dee Ford needs to step up if he is to fill the void that Houston leaves. Tamba Hali spent a lot of the game double teamed since he is a known force. This will give players like Ford a chance to put pressure on the quarterback. It may make sense to give preseason standout Dadi Nicholas a chance as well. Rivers spent most of the day not getting sacked. If there is no pressure put on a quarterback like Rivers he will pick apart defenses with ease. Kansas City has always prided itself on its pass rush and it was nonexistent against San Diego. This cannot happen in future games for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs have young corners with Sean Smith leaving for Oakland. A good pass rush will help them out by forcing opposing quarterback to make quick throws. By doing this, the quarterback doesn’t always see a defender waiting for the pass. Phillip Gaines and Marcus Peters have both played one full season with the Chiefs. Other than that, the Chiefs have a couple of players who haven’t seen a whole lot of playing time. Rookie D.J. White came in with a big hit earlier but is listed as third string corner.
The offensive unit as a whole gets a bullet on this. At times the offensive line would block pretty well but Alex Smith would look uncomfortable. Smith would try to roll out of the pocket to make something happen and would get sacked. At times, it would seem that the Chiefs would forget they have a Pro Bowler at tight end in Travis Kelce. Tyreek Hill showed some promise with a touchdown reception near the end of the third quarter. With De’Anthony Thomas being a healthy scratch, it’s important for Hill to step up.
All this being said, Kansas City can easily improve all of these things. It should be well noted that these are all fixable issues. The Chiefs have some young players that need to step up. Jamaal Charles also was inactive against San Diego as well. The team will learn from this overtime victory and come back firing on all cylinders against the Houston Texans. That was a great game to start the season. Andy Reid is a veteran coach and will right the ship. An overtime win is nice but Kansas City will make some changes to correct what they did wrong today.