The Kansas City Chiefs get a week one win over the Arizona Cardinals in the desert. The new-look offense and defense seemed to be in mid-season form.
The Chiefs were seen as a footnote in the AFC West, “everyone got better and Kansas City got worse” was the constant talking point by the media outlets throughout the offseason. The Chiefs had a lot of turnover in the roster, losing Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu and getting younger on both sides of the ball.
Many fans in the Kingdom were worried about losing the fastest wide receiver in the league and thought they didn’t do enough to replace him. All of this talk about Mahomes regressing and how these other quarterbacks had passed him in the rankings seemed to put fuel on the fire which burns inside of the mind of Patrick Mahomes II.
From the first play from scrimmage the Chiefs looked different, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was finding the space to run and Mahomes showed composure. Mahomes and his new receivers all seemed to be on the same page as he methodically took them down the field. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Travis Kelce seemed to catch everything in the first half. Even though JuJu and Montez Valdez-Scantling looked great throughout the day but the first two scores of the game went to the veterans of the team, Travis Kelce, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire respectively.
The defense took the field and looked a lot better than they did last season, they were fast and snappy, running around and tackling soundly. One of the standouts on defense today was newcomer Justin Reid, he brought stability to the defensive backfield that some of the Kingdom thought would be lost without Tyrann Mathieu.
The Chiefs’ running game and the passing game were both great all day, Mahomes only missed nine passes all afternoon. He even had a stretch in the game where he had ten straight completions and the only reason he threw an incompletion was because the defender tipped it at the line of scrimmage. And once the Chiefs had the game in hand, rookie running back Isiah Pacheco seemed to show all of the promises he had in the preseason.
Pacheco had 12 carries for 62 yards and a walk-in touchdown to put the game away for good. Pacheco, McKinnon, and Edwards-Helaire are all going to be a difficult matchup for any defense, especially when they averaged 4.7 yards per carry combined.
The Chiefs’ defense didn’t force a turnover, but they had seven pass deflections and caused three fumbles. Chris Jones and George Karlaftis had seven pressures combined against Kyler Murray and their decimated offensive line. The Chiefs’ defensive line will need to play better in bigger games this season, they did have three sacks, but they need to get home there were a couple of instances where they didn’t get home on pressures.
The biggest takeaway from this game was the Chiefs offense looking more dangerous than they did all of last season. Patrick Mahomes and his receivers are all on the same page, and they didn’t take the top off as they did with Tyreek Hill. But this new offense is just as dangerous as the other one and even more so, they were able to control the clock and really took the air out of the Cardinals. The Chiefs’ offense and defense looked a lot deeper and more complete than they did last season.
The Chiefs don’t rebuild, they reload.