The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up the preseason Thursday night with a 30-8 victory over the Green Bay Packers in front of a friends and family crowd at Arrowhead Stadium.
For most of the first half, it looked like we would get a battle of field goals as the Chiefs starters on both sides of the ball were given the night off by head coach Andy Reid. Once Kansas City broke a 6-6 tie with a touchdown in the final seconds of the second quarter, the Chiefs never looked back on their way to a second straight win.
Leading the charge for the Chiefs offense was third-string QB Tyler Bray, who finished the night 14-of-25 for 169 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He was also sacked three times, but that’s nothing compared to backup Chase Daniel taking two sacks in just over a quarter of action.
While Bob Sutton’s defense would have liked to have more than two sacks, they were able to hold the Packers to just 218 yards on offense. Even without Aaron Rodgers suiting up, the Chiefs also have to be excited about keeping Green Bay out of the end zone.
Now that the preseason comes to an end on a high note, Reid and GM John Dorsey have the difficult task of trying to finalize the roster cuts from 75 to 53.
Before we turn our attention to those cuts, here are the three players that did their best to try and grab a spot on the bottom of the roster.
Offense: Junior Hemingway
Bray is getting all the attention, but he was never in jeopardy of not making the team. Hemingway topped off an impressive preseason with seven catches for 80 yards, including the tie-breaking touchdown just before halftime.
As the Chiefs try to decide if they carry five, six or seven receivers, it’s hard to imagine the 2012 seventh-round pick being on the outside looking in. If he does fail to make the cut, expect to see him catch on with another team.
Defense: Josh Martin
Again, Frank Zombo had a nice interception with a nifty 27-yard return and is was also already locked in on a roster spot before the game started. There were plenty of guys on the outside of the roster that helped their cause to make the final cut.
You could take S Brad McDougald or LB Orie Lemon, but I decided to go with Martin thanks to his impressive strip-sack of Packers QB Vince Young. For good measure, the undrafted free agent was able to recover the fumble.
As the Chiefs try to find players on the bottom of the roster that can help in multiple areas, Martin’s flash of pass rush could be what he needs to at the very least land on the practice squad.
Special Teams: Frankie Hammond, Jr.
Coming into the game I thought Devon Wylie needed a big game on special teams to try and grab a roster spot, but it was another receiver that had two solid punt returns to try and make a late run at making the team.
Hammond put in punt returns of 36 and 33 yards (plus an 18 yarder wiped out by a penalty) that will no doubt catch the eye of special teams guru Dave Toub. Unfortunately for Hammond, his muffed punt will do the same, but for a guy that wasn’t on anyone’s radar, getting those plays on tape is huge.
It also doesn’t hurt that he was able to sneak in a touchdown on offense on a nine-yard pass from Bray late in the fourth quarter.