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Chiefs vs. Seahawks: 12 Observations

Posted Aug 25, 2017

Here’s what stood out during Friday night’s game in Seattle

The Kansas City Chiefs fell to the Seattle Seahawks 26-13 Friday night in Seattle in the third preseason game for both teams.

Here are 12 observations from the game:

1. De’Anthony Thomas takes it to the house


Don’t forget that this guy is fast, too.

On the kickoff following the Seahawks’ first touchdown of the game, third-year player De’Anthony Thomas took the kickoff back 95 yards for the touchdown.

Thomas took the short kick on the run and after some nice blocking—which kept him clean up the middle—made a nice cut to the outside to give himself a lane down the field.

Seahawks’ kicker Blair Walsh was going to have trouble making an open-field tackle on Thomas, who brought the Chiefs back to within a field goal on the electrifying return as the Chiefs cut the Seahawks lead to 13-10 at the time.

2. Chiefs’ opening drive results in points, again

The Chiefs opening offensive drive resulted in a 30-yard field goal from kicker Sam Ficken.

Much like last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Chiefs focused on the ground game, rushing for 26 yards on the first four plays of the drive—one of which was an 8-yard scramble by Alex Smith.

One of the key plays on the drive was a nice third-down reception from running back Spencer Ware, who unfortunately would leave shortly after the play with a knee injury.

Ware left on the cart and was quickly ruled out for the game. He finished the game with three carries for 15 yards, and two receptions for nine yards.

Overall, it was the fourth drive of the preseason for the Chiefs’ first-team offense with Smith under center, and all had resulted in points (two touchdowns, two field goals).

3. As a group, the Chiefs’ offense uncharacteristically dropped a number of passes early

The first half of Friday’s game was not indicative of what the Chiefs’ offensive playmakers had been doing at training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri.

On multiple occasions, Smith’s passes hit the hands of Tyreek Hill, Albert Wilson and Travis Kelce, and they weren’t able to secure the catches. A few of the passes probably could have been better, but several of those plays are normally made.

The Chiefs ran 31 plays and gained 102 yards of offense (3.3 yards per play) in the first half.

4. Daniel Sorensen steps up on Seahawks’ first offensive drive

Chiefs fourth-year safety Daniel Sorensen is almost to the point that he’s discussed so often as an underrated player that those who follow the Chiefs closely understand just how valuable he is to the defense.

That was never more apparent on the Seahawks’ first offensive drive of the game.

As the Seahawks drove into Chiefs’ territory, Sorensen stepped up on second down, filling in on run defense.

Then, on the very next play, Sorensen made a nice play on the outside in coverage to keep Seahawks’ tight end Jimmy Graham from getting a first-down on a quick reception.

The drive resulted in a Seahawks’ field goal and tied the game, 3-3.

5. Zach Fulton shows his versatility once again

During the Chiefs’ second offensive drive, the versatile Zach Fulton stepped in with the first-team offensive line at right guard.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who through two preseason games has been Pro Football Focus’ top-rated guard, was standing on the sideline. he returned for the Chiefs’ third offensive drive, when Fulton moved over to center for Mitch Morse.

During his three-year career, Fulton has started games at all three interior offensive line positions, and over the past couple of weeks at practice has worked at both right and left tackle as well.

6. Seahawks first TD drive extended by penalties, but overall, Chiefs stand tall in red zone

The Seahawks capped off an 8-play, 62-yard drive midway through the second quarter on a two-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Tre Madden. It gave the Seahawks a 13-3 lead.

Wilson finished 13 of 19 for 200 yards and a touchdown.

The drive was extended in large part because of four Chiefs’ penalties (Chris Jones, Dee Ford, Daniel Sorensen and Steven Nelson). The Chiefs had six penalties for 51 yards in the first half, and four of them were on that defensive drive.

On a positive note on an otherwise sloppy performance in the first half, it was the only touchdown for the Seahawks in the four drives they had inside the red zone.

The Chiefs defense, which was without Eric Berry (rest-heel) and Justin Houston (illness), stepped up again when their backs were against the wall in the red zone—despite giving up almost 400 yards of offense. It has been one of the identities of this group over the past four years.

7. Marcus Kemp makes a couple of plays on special teams

During training camp in St. Joseph, Marcus Kemp made a name for himself by the plays he was making down the field for the Chiefs’ offense.

On Friday night, Kemp made a name for himself on special teams.  

Midway through the second quarter, Kemp delivered a huge hit on kickoff coverage, backing up the Seahawks’ deep in their own territory following Thomas’ touchdown return.

Then, a bit later in the third quarter, Kemp made a huge play on punt return, knifing in and blocking the punt. Although it was for not as the Chiefs touched the ball as it was dribbling down the field and the Seahawks’ recovered to take possession.

For a young player, particularly an undrafted free agent fighting for a roster spot, that was a nice look from Kemp on Friday night.

8. Chris Jones picks up a sack in his preseason debut

On second-and-10 from the Chiefs’ 22-yard line early in the second half, Chris Jones, who was making his preseason debut after offseason knee surgery, picked up a huge sack for the Chiefs’ defense.

Jones shrugged off the offensive lineman on an inside move and was in the backfield before the play could develop.

The loss of seven yards on the play stalled the Seahawks’ drive and forced them into their fourth field goal of the day.

Last year, Jones, the second-year standout, ranked as Pro Football Focus’ best interior pass-rushing 3-4 defensive end in the league. Jones made his presence felt Friday night and reminded us of just how good he was last year getting after the passer.

9. De’Vante Bausby makes diving interception

Midway through the third quarter, Chiefs’ cornerback and local prep standout (Hogan Prep, Pittsburg State), De’Vante Bausby, made a nice diving interception across the middle of the field.

Seahawks’ backup quarterback Trevone Boykin was forced to throw on the run as he stepped up in the pocket because of pressure off the edge from linebackers Frank Zombo and Earl Okine, and Bausby took care of business on the back end.

It was the first turnover of the day for the Chiefs’ defense, and came right after the blocked punt that was touched by the Chiefs’ coverage unit. At the time, it was a nice flip back in momentum for the Chiefs.

10. Rookie Patrick Mahomes puts up solid drive at the end of the third quarter

Trailing 19-10 midway through the third quarter, rookie first-round pick Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs’ second-team offense on an impressive 15-play, 74-yard drive that culminated with a short field goal from Ficken.

Mahomes, who bobbled the third-down snap in the red zone and had to dive on it, was 4 of 7 for 49 yards on the drive, and converted two big third downs to extend it.

But perhaps the best play of the drive was a 19-yard strike from Mahomes to rookie receiver Jehu Chesson, who hauled in the catch as the Chiefs faced a second-and-17. Mahomes had pressure in his face and stepped into the throw and delivered a dime to Chesson on the outside. It was also a fantastic diving catch from Chesson on the outside. The Seahawks challenged the play, but it was confirmed and was the biggest gain of the drive.

Mahomes finished 8 of 15 for 70 yards.

11. Undrafted free agent receiver Gehrig Dieter made a few plays late

Late in the fourth quarter with Tyler Bray at quarterback, Gehrig Dieter, who goes by the nickname “sheepdog,” made some plays for the Chiefs’ offense.

Dieter caught a few passes across the middle and turned them into something, ultimately leading the Chiefs in receiving on the night with three catches for 42 yards.

12. Penalties mount up again Friday night

In the first two preseason games for the Chiefs, they were called for a total of 18 penalties for 103 yards.

Between the Chiefs and Seahawks, there were more than 25 penalties called combined that accounted for more than 250 yards.

The Chiefs finished the game with 14 penalties for 126 yards.

Last year, the Chiefs had one game with 10 or more penalties called against them.

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