Here's a quick synopsis of the Chiefs 28-16 loss to the Panthers on Sunday night.
Chiefs look to learn from mistakes
On paper, the Chiefs looked like they did enough to win the game, if not for one glaring statistic: penalties.
That was the story on Sunday as the Chiefs couldn't overcome 131 total yards in penalties, plus one costly turnover, in their loss to the Panthers.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid talked about the penalties after the game.
"Offensively, we took big plays away from ourselves," Reid said. "That's not the way you function and be successful in the National Football League. We've got to do better there.
"I told the players—those things, you get back, you work on it. You discipline yourselves, make sure you get it right and then when you look at the tape, see what kind of team you could be if you eliminate those penalties."
The Chiefs outgained the Panthers 330 to 279 in total yards, including averaging 5.4 yards per play to just 5.0 for the Panthers.
Unlike the Chiefs, the Panthers didn't commit any turnovers. The Chiefs had one costly interception that led to a Panthers touchdown.
The interception was thrown by rookie Aaron Murray, who talked about his learning process after the game.
"I have to make sure I'm accurate on every single ball," Murray said. "I think I've continued to learn over this past month in training camp and tonight that if you make an errant throw by just a little bit, the defensive guys at this level are so much more talented at this level that they're going to make a play and that happened tonight with the interception."
Kelce coming up big, again
After a 69-yard touchdown reception in the Chiefs preseason opener last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, tight end Travis Kelce had a big opportunity against the Panthers.
With another big game, he become the front-runner for the Chiefs other receiving threat outside of Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe.
Against the Panthers, Kelce finished with four catches for 63 yards, including another highlight-reel 43-yard touchdown reception.
Reid spoke on Kelce after the game.
"He did a nice job on that route (touchdown)," Reid said. "He's just got to keep coming with it and there's more than just route running. You have to be able to run block and then you have all the detail work there. But you sure have to give him credit for the effort he's putting in the pass game and he's got a nice skill level."
But it's more than solely just Kelce's skill. The versatility of all of the tight ends and their ability to be on the field together contributes to the matchup advantages they're finding with Kelce.
The Chiefs showed a lot of two-tight end sets on Sunday and found favorable matchups with that package once again.
Midway through the third quarter, Kelce caught a pass up the seam, perfectly placed by rookie Aaron Murray, for the long touchdown reception.
Murray spoke about the touchdown pass in the locker room after the game.
"It was a perfect play call for the coverage," Murray said. "Kelce did a great job of not only making the catch but then being a great athlete and then finishing it up and getting in the end zone."
• Chiefs had great field position for the Kelce touchdown thanks to a great special teams play by veteran receiver AJ Jenkins, who altered a punt that netted just eight yards and gave the Chiefs great field position.
Gray carrying the load
Since Jamaal Charles didn't make the trip to Charlotte for precautionary reasons as he's dealing with a foot issue, Knile Davis was given all of the carries with the first-team offense.
Therefore, an opportunity presented itself for Cyrus Gray to see more action.
Gray carried the ball 10 times for 44 yards against the Panthers on Sunday night.
But these weren't easy yards as Gray consistently made Carolina defenders miss to help turn a negative play into a three or four-yard gain.
Coach Andy Reid spoke about Gray after the game.
"He's got great feet and vision," Reid said. "He did a nice job and ran hard. I appreciated it."
The Chiefs started with the ball in the second half and marched 73 yards down the field before having to settle for a short 25-yard field goal by Ryan Succop.
But that 73-yard drive was primarily the work of Gray carrying the football. He picked up 31 yards on six carries to start the second half, including four straight carries to start the drive.
Despite averaging 4.4 yards per carry in the game, Gray knows there's more work to do moving forward when talking after the game in the locker room.
"It wasn't my best," Gray said. "I have a lot to learn and at the end of the day we didn't win, so I'm not too happy about it. But the offensive line was doing a tremendous job moving guys out of the way and helping me get to the second level."
Chiefs: 1Q 9:20 R. Succop 54-yard field goal 3-0
Chiefs: 2Q 14:55 C. Santos 44-yard field goal 6-0
Panthers: 2Q 12:37 J. Stewart 2-yard run (Gano kick) 6-7
Panthers: 2Q 6:23 J. Stewart 3-yard run (Gano kick) 6-14
Chiefs: 3Q 9:39 R. Succop 25-yard field goal 9-14
Chiefs: 3Q 8:24 T. Kelce 43-yard pass from A. Murray (Santos kick) 16-14
Panthers: 3Q 3:58 B. Bersin 16-yard pass from D. Anderson (Gano kick) 16-21
Panthers: 3Q 0:18 F. Whittaker 1-yard run (Gano kick) 16-28
Chiefs: 16 Panthers: 28 - Box Score
Photos from the Chiefs second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers