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The Setup
Opening game of the preseason. Goals include: No injuries; Learn Stuff: (How well first unit played, position battles); Win the game.

The Lede
KC backups take control of game & coast to a 34 - 19 win.

The Bottom Line:
Carson looked sharp; Stanton didn't flash anything, (but was only in for 3 plays). The first unit on defense dominated play in the first quarter, but, the wheels fell off the wagon in the final three quarters - partly because #2 KC QB Chase Daniels was on fire and partly because our backup defenders made him look like an All-Pro. It wasn't that our backup units played badly; it had more to do with each guy failing to make his share of big plays when it counted whereas KC's backups made nearly every one of theirs. When the dust settled, the Chiefs were coasting to a satisfying 34 - 19 victory.

Game Recap
Cards opened up a ten-point 1Q lead featuring a 57-yard Palmer-to-Ellington hookup with Carson beating a blitz and hitting Ellington up the middle between the safeties and outrunning everybody (except the KC nose guard) to the KC 5. Two plays later, Ellington ran it in up the middle for the Cards' first TD of the preseason. Later on in the quarter, the Honey Badger picked off a deflection of an Alex Smith pass to set up a 33 yard Catanzaro FG. But KC came back to kick a FG to start the 2Q, followed by a 10-play drive capped by a 13-yard TD completion from Daniels to a wide open F Williams in the end zone. Just before halftime, KC scored again - Play/Gains sequence was: +5, +4, +10, +33, +12, a spike and +14 for the score. KC opened up the 3Q with a 9-play TD drive. Play sequence was +34, +12, +2, NG, Inc., +10, +19, +1, +3 & a TD. KC then turned an interception (on a Thomas pass that bounced of Jaron Brown's chest) into a TD four plays later when Reaves motored around left end from the 1. That made it 31 - 10. Cards scored on a safety (Gunter's sack of the KC QB in the end zone) and a mop up short-yardage TD late in the game: Sims to Harvey.

1st Quarter
  • Cards received. TB on the KO. Nifty 14-yard completion - Palmer to Smokey - on first play of game. Three plays later, Ellington split the defenders on a 57-yard catch & run. He scored three plays later on a run from the two. Cards 7 - KC 0..

  • TB on the KO. On the fifth play of the series, Mathieu picked off what looked to be a deflected Smith pass and returned it to the KC 18. Stanton in. Cards went three and out and had to settle for a 33 yard Catanzaro FG. Cards 10 - KC 0.

  • TB on the KO. The two teams exchanged possessions with Cards moving from their 7 to their own 30 where their drive stalled. KC then moved from their own 34 to the Cardinal 29 to end the quarter.

1st Quarter Score: Cards 10 - Chiefs 0.

2nd Quarter
  • Santos kicked a 48 yard FG to start the quarter. ). Cards 10 - Chiefs 3.

  • Nelson returned the KO to the Card 17. (Even with 4.29 or whatever speed, he couldn't outrun his pursuers). Logan Thomas at QB. Cards made it to their own 40 where they punted to the KC 20. Card backup defenders couldn't prevent Daniels from orchestrating a 10-play drive ending on a 13-yard TD completion to F Williams to tie the score. Cards 10 - Chiefs 10.

  • 4:34 left till halftime. TB on the KO. Cards managed to get to their own 41, but the drive stalled after 7 plays and they punted to the KC 14. 1:15 left. Card backup defenders couldn't prevent Daniel from moving his team in 7 plays from the KC 22 to the Cardinal 13 where he hit F Hammond for a TD. (Play/Yardage sequence on that final drive: +4, +5, +10. +33, +12; +14). KO returned to the Card 6. Thomas took a knee on the final play of the half.

First Half Score: Chiefs 17 - Cards 10.

3rd Quarter
  • Chiefs received. TB on the KO. Daniel still in. He moved his team to another TD in 10 plays (Play/Yardage sequence on this puppy: Pen; +34: +12: +2; NG; Inc; +10; +19; +1; +3 and a TD). G.- Chiefs 24 - Cards 10.

  • After Shipley returned the KO to the AZ 24 and KC was flagged for offsides, Thomas hit Jaron Brown in the numbers but he tried to body-snatch the throw and it ricocheted off Brown's chest and was intercepted by KC and returned to the Cardinal 4. . Four plays later, Reaves circled left end for a one-yard score. Chiefs 31 - Cards 10.,
  • Shipley returned the KO to the Card 21. Thomas led his team in 14 plays to the KC 5 as the quarter ended.

Third Quarter Score: Chiefs 31 - Cards 10.

4th Quarter
  • Two plays later, an apparent 4-yard TD pass from Thomas to Golden was reversed. Thomas' fourth down passing attempt to Spadola was complete but fell one yard short of a TD. KC ball on their one, but two plays later, Gunter zoomed into the end zone from the right side of the DL and came in untouched to nail the new KC quarterback (Murray) for a safety. Chiefs 31 - Cards 12.

  • Sims in at QB. Free kick was returned to the KC 34 but Cards went 3 & out with a 52-yard Catanzaro FG attempt blocked. KC then held onto the ball for 11 plays (6:00 minutes) before Santos' FG attempt was good from 34. Chiefs 34 - Cards 12.

  • 6:42 left. Shipley returned the KO to his own 20. Cards went 3 & out. KC moved from their own 44 t the Cardinal 48 before punting. 1:44 left. A couple of pass interference flags on passes from Sims to Momah combined with completions of +40 and +19 from Sims to Harvey helped set up a one-yard TD completion from Sims to Harveywith 0:36 left. Chiefs 34 - Cards 19.

Final Score: Chiefs 34 - Cards 19.

Game Stats.

  • Most team stats are meaningless in preseason, but there are a few worth noting:

  • Palmer went 4 for 4. Stanton went 0 for 3. Thomas was 9 for 14 and an interception that wasn't his fault). Sims went 3 for 12.

  • Gunter had our only sack. Honey Badger had our only pick.
  • Cards gained 75 rushing yards on 27 carries.

  • Cardinal Run/Pass Ratio: . (Runs: 27/Pass: 34).

  • We gave up 227 yards via air and 143 on the ground (mostly in the final three quarters).

  • Legree led the team in tackles with 7 tackles followed by Jones-Quartey with 6 and E Jackson with 5.

Bright Spots

  • Palmer was perfect in his brief debut.

  • Thomas looks like he'll earn the #3 spot if he plays consistently to the level he played yesterday. His only apparent glaring mistake was missing a hot read. The one pick he threw was when a perfectly aimed ball bounced off Jaron Brown's chest. I liked Sims' mobility; notably his movement in and around the pocket. He looks like PS material, and we should hang onto him for as long as we can during preseason.

  • Shipley was "Mr. Hands" out there. (Not bad on KR or PR).

  • Smokey Brown looked sharp in his early appearance.

  • Momah caused matchup problems (forcing two interference calls late in the game). .

  • Cardinal pass blockers gave Palmer, Stanton and Thomas consistently clean pockets.

  • The starting front seven (as did most but not all of our backup defenders) played tough physical football.

    Linebacker remains a bit of a jumble, but I remain intrigued by the play of Fua and impressed by the consistently tough play of Demens.

  • Justin Bethel's physical play and aggressiveness in coverage makes him look like he's ready to take over the "other CB" slot.

  • Some of our backup corners (including a couple of UDFA's) are going to make it tough come cutdown time.

The Dark Side

  • I can't erase from my mind, the Jaron Brown deflected pass (that turned into an interception). One mistake like that in a football game can mean the difference between winning and losing.
  • I realize that Stanton only made a brief appearance, but his lack of any completions makes me nervous.

  • The running attack - while not the clown-fest it's been in the past - is far from dominant. You didn't seen any RB's consistently racking up 6, 7 or 8 yards.

  • It wasn't as though all our backup defenders sucked in general and more like one or two different guys missing a tackle or getting caught out of position. (How, for example, when the other team only sends out 2 receivers, can you allow one of them to separate by 10-yards on crossing route in the end zone)?

  • #41 (Jones-Quartey) started out by being picked on consistently by KC (both in coverage and as a tackler), but to his credit, the longer he stayed out there, the better he played.

  • I am not at all sold on Goodwin's play calling creativity, but hey! Maybe he was calling the right plays and his players just weren't executing all that well.

Last Word:
It was preseason. (No big deal). Except it is a big deal until you win.

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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 11/26/2012