Kansas City dropped their first pre-season game to the Niners last Friday by a score of 27-17. Despite the loss, there was notable progress and regression from many Chiefs. Rookie QB Patrick Mahomes completed seven of nine passes for 49 yards and a score. However, all was not flowers and rainbows. The Chiefs running game was particularly terrible, gaining 21 yards on 12 carries. Charcandrick West was notably disappointing, gaining six yards on five carries. Against the Cincinnati Bengals this Saturday, here are the five players I’m looking forward to having better performances.
QB Patrick Mahomes
Upgraded to the QB2 spot this week, I’m looking for Mahomes to continue his ascent. He showed good poise and displayed all the traits that made him worth trading up for. This weekend he’ll go with the twos, and thus will be facing a slightly tougher challenge. If he can continue to play at a high level, it’ll be hard to contain the hype train if Alex Smith were to struggle.
All the running backs
Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West rushed for a combined twelve yards, disappointing considering the former led the team in this department last season. Rookie Kareem Hunt gained nothing on his only carry, so the ground game has a lot of work to do. Tampa Bay Buccaneers gained over a hundred yards on the Bengals last weekend, maybe the Chiefs will see brighter fortunes in Week Two.
CB D.J White and Steven Nelson
Along with most of the Chiefs backup defensive backs, White and Nelson struggled on Friday. Nelson allowed a long completion to Aldrick Robinson in the first half, and the two continued to give easy completions to Matt Barkley. Granted, the Chiefs were playing outside when he’s far better in the slot, but the lack of quality coverage dissapointed regardless.
WR Chris Conley
Expected to be the Chiefs WR2 this season, he stood out on Friday, catching two passes for 46 yards. Now, he’ll have to continue to demonstrate the ability to be more than just a deep ball receiver. The Chiefs have a shortage of proven receivers, so the faster Conley refines his game, the better off the Chiefs will be.
DL David King
A carry over from last season, King was all over the 49ers offensive line. He pressured and blew up runs in the backfield, showing tremendous strength and tenacity in both run and pass defense. With a deep defensive line, King will make it hard on Andy Reid to let him go if he continues performing this well.
Game Prediction: Chiefs 17, Bengals 22
I’m not encouraged by the Chiefs backup defensive backs, but I am looking for Mahomes to continue his progression and understanding of the Chiefs offense.
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