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Chiefs vs. Titans: 12 Observations

Here are 12 things that stood out during Friday’s 34-10 win over the Titans


  1. The offense came to play**

If there were any doubts about what the Kansas City Chiefs offense was capable of doing, Fiday's performance, particularly from quarterback Alex Smith, should help answer those questions.

Smith finished the game 16 of 18 for 171 yards and two touchdowns in two quarters of play.


Compared to the first two games, the Chiefs treated this week like they would during the regular season, which meant watching film of the Titans defense and what kinds of looks they were going to present.

It obviously helped and head coach Andy Reid addressed that in his postgame press conference.

"This was more of what we do," he said.

Sounds good, coach.

2. Jeremy Maclin is pretty special

Maclin finished the game with seven receptions for 65 yards and one really impressive touchdown.

The crispness of his route was the only reason Smith had a spot to throw the ball, but the best part of Maclin's 29-yard touchdown reception was the fact that Smith threw the ball before Maclin broke open.

Maclin had created about a foot of separation when he planted his right foot into the ground and broke to the outside on the third-and-5 attempt. Smith, with a guy in his face and rolling to his left, delivered a perfect pass that gave Maclin a chance to make a play.

This is a tangible example of what Smith and Maclin mean when they say they've developed trust in one another. Maclin trusts Smith to give him a chance and Smith trusts Maclin to be where he supposed to be and to make a play.

3. Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton dials up some of his creativity

Midway through the first quarter, Sutton dialed up a pretty exotic blitz that had defensive lineman Mike Catapano dropping into coverage on third-and-8.

While teams aren't showing their full deck of cards during the preseason, that was one example of Sutton giving us a glimpse of what he can dial up when the games start to count for real.

4. Justin Houston takes down Marcus Mariota


Just as he did in historic fashion a season ago, linebacker Justin Houston displayed a little bit of everything that makes him special on his second-quarter sack of Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Houston showed an elite closing ability when Mariota tried to scramble outside of the pocket.* *

5. Charcandrick West wouldn't be denied

With the Chiefs holding a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, they faced a third-and-1 from their own 39-yard line.

West took the handoff and was immediately met behind the line of scrimmage by a Titans defender. The play looked to have been a bust soon after the snap, but West spun off the attempted tackle and ran up field for four yards, ultimately extending what would become a touchdown drive that gave the Chiefs a 17-0 lead.


6. Third-down offensive domination

You'll hear it at almost every press conference during the regular season from both coach Andy Reid and Alex Smith—the all-important third down conversion percentage.

If you're successful on third down, there's a good chance you'll have a good night.

The Chiefs converted 8 of 10 third down attempts, which is one of the reasons the offense finished the game with 432 total yards.

7. Explosive plays

The Chiefs ran 55 plays for 432 yards of total offense on Friday night, and that average of 7.9 yards per play was exactly the kind of production they were looking for in the starters final tune-up before their Week 1 game against the Houston Texans.

8. Aaron Murray bounces back in big way

Murray entered the game late in the second quarter for Alex Smith with the Chiefs leading 17-3 and immediately tried to do too much, throwing an interception on just his third passing attempt.

It would lead to the only Titans touchdown of the evening.

But after that first drive, Murray bounced back and completed 14 of his final 19 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns.

Murray's best play of the night may have come on his 29-yard touchdown pass to receiver Fred Williams, who caught two on the night.

The Titans brought six on the blitz and Murray escaped outside of the pocket to the right, then found Williams deep down the field for the touchdown.

9. Game was cancelled with time remaining

Tonight's game was suspended at 9:43 p.m. with 3:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. The remainder of the game was eventually cancelled due to inclement weather.

The Chiefs last had a preseason game cancelled during the 2003 Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on August 4, 2003, when the game was delayed and eventually cancelled with 5:49 left in the third quarter.

10. The offensive line steps up on Friday

The Chiefs offensive line didn't surrender a sack on Friday night, and they rushed for an average of 6.8 yards per play.

Alex Smith staying clean and running backs picking up chunks of yards is only possible when the guys up front are doing their job.

Photos from the Chiefs third preseason game against the Titans

11. Jamaal Charles gets his first carry of the preseason

After not carrying the ball at all for the first two games, Charles carried the ball three times for 26 yards on Friday night.

12. Final observation – The Chiefs haven't lost this season

Preseason or not, this team hasn't lost, which can't ever be a bad thing.

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