Game Balls: Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

Even by preseason NFL standards, there wasn’t much to like about the Kansas City Chiefs 25-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium.  At the same time, almost every single impact player for the Chiefs either took the night off or only made just a cameo.

I highly doubt Todd Haley was walking around the locker room handing out any game balls and if this were the regular season, even we’d have trouble finding players worthy.  But since in the grand scheme or things this game doesn’t mean anything to the Chiefs regulars season, let’s have a little fun with the best of the worst on offense, defense and special teams.

Offense: Jonathan Baldwin

One catch for 14 yards with the second (and third) team offense isn’t the type of professional debut that will turn many heads, but there was much more to the first-round pick’s first game in a Chiefs jersey.

A little more than halfway through the third quarter, third-string QB Ricky Stanzi’s first throw of the night was down the right sideline on a three-step drop to Baldwin.  With the ball behind both him and CB DJ Johnson, Baldwin reached back to try and catch the ball, tipped it up in the air and over the defender.  As he was falling to the ground, with the corner on him, Baldwin tracked the ball and caught it on his way down to the ground.

The ball came out as Baldwin rolled on the ground, but he was thisclose to completing one of the more impressive plays you’ll ever see.

In the regular season no one gets a game ball for a play they “almost” make, but we can make an exception in the preseason because Baldwin gave us a glimpse into the type of athlete he is going to be for the Chiefs.

Defense: Jerrell Powe

Believe it or not, there were a handful of promising performances by some of the Chiefs rookies, including undrafted free agent Brandon Bair and third-round pick Justin Houston.  But it was the big man, Powe, that caught my attention.

As the first half was coming to an end, Tampa Bay QB Josh Johnson put together an impressive 24 yard scramble down inside the five and thought he would find his way to the end zone.  That is until the 335-pound Powe hit him from behind and nearly knocked Johnson out of the game.

Powe had taken on a double team on the play before turning on the jets and stopping Johnson.  On the night, Powe had four tackles including one for a loss.  Considering the learning curve that usually comes along with defensive linemen, Powe’s debut was something Chiefs fans can feel encouraged about.

Special Teams: Dustin Colquitt

The Chiefs kick returners didn’t get much of a chance to show what they could do thanks to the new kickoff rules and lack of space on punt returns.  At the same time, kicker Ryan Succop only got on the field once for a kickoff, giving him few options to impress.

Colquitt, on the other hand, was one of the busiest Chiefs on Friday night at Arrowhead.  He punted seven times for an impressive 48 yard average.  Though he didn’t drop any inside the 20 — one of his problems last season — I blame the lack of movement by the Chiefs offense more than Colquitt.  After a season with just a 44.4 yard average, hopefully Colquitt is ready to have a bounce back year.

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