The Kansas City Chiefs picked up their first victory of the preseason, 26-20, over the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime on Saturday night.
After dropping their first two games with Andy Reid at the helm, and five straight preseason games overall, the Chiefs finally got into the win column. They also kept the Steelers winless in the preseason.
Just like the previous preseason outings for Kansas City, there were plenty of ups and downs on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs starters showed glimpses of how Reid on offense and Bob Sutton on defense will have things running once Week 1 rolls around.
Once again we also so plenty to be excited about on special teams. Dave Toub has both return teams looking like anything but the embarrassment we were forced to watch over the last few seasons.
Maybe more important is the Chiefs managed to avoid any serious injuries. Jon Asamoah, Tony Moeaki, Jalil Brown, and Nico Johnson had issues, but early indications are none should prove to be a long term problem.
As the Chiefs get ready to make their first cuts and put a plan together for the final preseason game, here are our picks to get game balls on offense, defense and special teams.
Offense: Alex Smith
His overall numbers — 17 for 24, 158 yards, one touchdown — aren’t anything that will blow your mind, but Smith ran the show perfectly on the two final drives of the first half. With about five minutes remaining, Smith turned a 10-0 deficit into a tied game before giving way to Chase Daniel in the second half.
Smith opened one drive with a 53-yard gain (38-yard run and 15-yard penalty) and on the second drive he was nearly perfect (6 for 7) in executing the two minute offense. That last drive ended with a five-yard score to Junior Hemingway.
Once the season rolls around, we should expect to see Smith and Reid try to have the offense rolling with that kind of efficiency.
Defense: Tysyn Hartman
The second-year safety from K-State still has work to do, but he continues to impress. He led the team with seven tackles (one for a loss), shared a sack of Ben Roethlisberger with Eric Berry and even blocked a second quarter field goal attempt.
He may not take a starting job this year, but the former undrafted free agent has shown he can be an asset all over the field. Once he keeps delivering more of the highs and less of the lows, then he’ll see push for even more playing time.
Special Teams: Knile Davis
If the preseason is any indicator of what we’ll see once the games count, we can skip handing game balls to any players and just build a trophy case for special teams coordinator Dave Toub.
A week after Quintin Demps delivered a 104-yard touchdown return, Davis managed to top it with a 109 yarder. Making it even more impressive, the rookie was able to do it after losing a fumble earlier in the game. Instead of hanging his head about the mistake, he stepped up and made a play when given the opportunity.
With a 79-yard return also turned in by Davis, it looks like he will be able to contribute right away no matter how many carries he manages to pick up behind Jamaal Charles.