The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Green Bay Packers by a score of 17-7 on Thursday night in the final preseason game for both teams.
Despite most of the starters on both sides of the ball for both teams not playing, there were plenty of big plays and great performances.
Here are 10 observations from the game:
- Defense holds strong on goal-to-go situation
After a Chiefs turnover deep in Packers territory gave them great field position with a little more than 4 minutes left in the game and trailing by 10 points, the Chiefs defense was put in a situation with its back against the wall.
The Packers immediately went deep down the right sideline on first down and were able to get a defensive pass interference call, which resulted in a 35-yard penalty and put the ball at the 4-yard line.
If the Packers would have been able to score quickly and get it to a 3-point game before the 2-minute warning with timeouts remaining, things would have gotten interesting, but the defense held strong.
A first-down pass from the Packers fell incomplete and two consecutive runs of 1 and 2 yards, respectively, set up a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
That's when Tyrell Adams and company stuffed the fourth-down attempt for a loss of 2 yards on the play.
It was the play of the game.
"They got a lot of snaps," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of the defenses performance on Thursday. "That was a big thing tonight. They haven't played that much up until this point and now really we're asking them to play four quarters—and special teams—along with their positions.
"They were able to suck it up there down the stretch, made some big plays during the last four downs. They did a good job out there.'
- Tyler Bray had a nice streak before that 2nd touchdown
For the third time in four years, quarterback Tyler Bray started Kansas City's fourth preseason game.
After the offense had three straight three-and-outs to begin the game, Bray and the offense got things going on the next two drives, both of which resulted in touchdowns.
Bray started the game 1 for 7 on those first three drives, but he would complete 9 of his next 10 passes to finish 10 of 17 for 104 yards.
The 2 touchdown drives in the second quarter proved to be enough for the Chiefs to pick up their second win of the preseason.
- De'Anthony Thomas makes one of the best catches of the preseason
One of the reasons Bray was able to extend that fourth drive was because of a third-and-6 completion to De'Anthony Thomas across the middle that went for 8 yards.
That play set up one of the best catches by anyone this preseason, as Thomas fully extended down the field to haul in a 22-yard completion from Bray just a few plays later. The play set up Knile Davis' touchdown run that gave the Chiefs a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.
- Darrin Reaves, Knile Davis carry the load at running back
The two running backs combined to rush the ball 31 times for 121 yards on Thursday night, and each of them walked away with a touchdown run.
It's a position the Chiefs are already deep at with the return of Jamaal Charles and the depth displayed by the emergence of Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware last year.
The Chiefs have more than 20 players who have to be released between now and Saturday by 3:00 p.m. CT, when all NFL teams must be down to 53 players.
- Nick Williams' big day
Williams led the Chiefs with 5 tackles on the day and also chipped in with 2 sacks, which says a lot about the 6-foot-4, 308-pound defensive lineman known for his run-stopping ability.
"[Williams] had a couple of real nice rushes," Reid said of Williams after the game. "I thought he did a real good job, change of direction back there. You saw early that quarterback was slithery. He was tough to bring down.
"He was able to get himself nice and low and change directions, that's tough for a big guy to do."
- Demarcus Robinson, Dustin Colquitt show off on special teams
While the box score will show just 2 catches for 19 yards for rookie receiver Demarcus Robinson, the 2 special teams tackles he made on Thursday led the Chiefs and showed something in the fourth-round pick.
Both of them were in the open field and had to catch the eye of special teams coordinator Dave Toub.
One of the other things that probably caught Toub's eye was the tackle made by punter Dustin Colquitt late in the third quarter, when he showed some physicality by finishing the play on a 42-yard return by the Packers that went right in front of the Kansas City bench.
After the play, Colquitt's teammates seemed impressed by the play.
- Dadi Nicolas makes more plays
Nicolas filled up the box score in one of the more important statistical categories for defensive players once again on Thursday night, particularly for pass rushers, finishing with 2 sacks on the night to tie for the team lead with Williams.
It was another solid performance by Nicolas, although Chiefs coach Andy Reid did say after the game that Nicolas suffered a strained neck and will have an MRI on Friday morning.
We'll have more on Nicolas' status when the information becomes available.
- Frankie Hammond gets into the mix
Hammond caught 5 passes for 51 yards to lead the Chiefs on Thursday night.
It was a nice showing from one of the few veteran receivers in the Chiefs locker room.
- Nobody was more excited on the sideline than Tamba Hali
How can you not love veteran Tamba Hali?
Here's how excited Hali, who ranks second in franchise history with 86 career sacks, was getting on the sideline on Thursday night watching his teammates:
Hali came off the PUP list and began practicing last week.
- The regular season is finally here
The preseason is over, which means the regular season is here, finally.
After general manager John Dorsey and the personnel staff make these tough decisions over the next 24-48 hours to get this roster down to just 53 players, plus the 10-man practice squad, the team will prepare for Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers, who come to Arrowhead for the regular-season opener a week from Sunday on September 11.
There's plenty of reason to feel optimistic about what the Chiefs have the opportunity to accomplish this season, and it all starts against the Chargers next week.