The Chicago Bears beat the Kansas City Chiefs 19-14 at Soldier Field Saturday afternoon. Even though the Chiefs’ offense was shut out in the second half, some players may have earned more playing time.
The Chiefs kicked off their 2022 preseason on defense and the defense was able to force a three and out against Chicago and forced a punt. Chris Jones was able to get a sack and Justin Reid was able to make a clean hit at the line of scrimmage on a quick pass to the wideout. The new defensive players were going to be a theme throughout the game, George Karlaftis forced a quick pass for an incompletion and Justin Reid was all over the field. Defensive captain Nick Bolton and fellow linebacker Willie Gay Jr were, flowing to the ball with ease, getting to the ball carrier and making solid contact. The secondary starters seemed to be getting used to playing with each other, struggling with assignments and missing pass deflections in the first quarter.
The biggest takeaway from the defense is the potential of George Karlaftis, he seems to have a lot of promise. He was able to get his first sack but provided constant pressure throughout the game, totaling four pressures on 13 pass-rushing snaps. Karlaftis helped to ease tensions felt by fans after the lackluster showing by the defensive line last season, and Karlaftis seems like he can hang. The new-look Chiefs defense needs some work on the back end, but the front seven seem to be gelling early.
Patrick Mahomes and the offense were up next and executed well on their first drive. The Chiefs were able to drive downfield and score a touchdown, which would be the starters’ only drive of the game. Mahomes was able to go 6 of 7 passing totaling 60 yards and a touchdown to cap off his only drive of the game. He was able to connect with Kelce for a 19-yard gain and finish off the drive with a touchdown pass to Blake Bell. Also, he was able to hit Mecole Hardman on a nine-yard pass and Marques Valdes-Scantling on an 11-yard reception to extend the drive on 3rd down.
The offense looked poised and they had strong chemistry making it a clean possession for Reid and the coordinators to pull them after the first drive. The second-team offense had a strong end of the drive capitalizing on a pass across the middle to Justin Watson, a receiver the Chiefs were able to acquire in the off-season. He had stellar reps in this game as he was able to total five receptions for 45 yards and one touchdown separating himself from guys that are looking to fill that fifth receiver spot in this offense. Rookie Skyy Moore was able to haul in three catches for 23 yards having strong grabs on passes across the middle helping to extend the drive for the offense. Offensively, with the starters, it does not look like it missed a step. With the second week of preseason upcoming, the Chiefs should get more action out of their starters and the Kingdom will finally see the passing offense on full display.
The first half was well played by the starters and second-team units on both sides of the ball, they were able to shut out the Bears 14-0 before the rookie and backup units gave up 19 unanswered points to Chicago. Although the backup unit did not look great, a standout of the group was Leo Chenal, who was able to lead the Chiefs’ defense with seven tackles and two for loss. Karlaftis, Chenal, McDuffie, Cook, and Williams will need to show improvement in the preseason for the Chiefs to see how good the team can be in the future, even though these guys will be major contributors this season. Next Saturday the Chiefs take on the Washington Commander in Arrowhead Stadium, expect the starters