The Kansas City Chiefs won their first game under Andy Reid Friday night, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-20 in overtime.
While some NFL coaches prefer to “go for it” in close preseason games to avoid overtime, Reid did the opposite.
He used kicker Ryan Succup’s leg to tie the game and Chase Daniel’s arm to win it overtime. For moral and building purposes, Reid and his Chiefs needed to leave Pittsburgh with a win.
While the win was just what the team needed, the overall results were mixed. Positives included the quarterbacks. Alex Smith played the entire first half and went 17 of 24 passing with a two minute drill touchdown pass to Junior Hemingway right before halftime. Chase Daniel was 14 of 24 and led the team on a game-winning touchdown pass to receiver Rico Richardson.
Smith’s ability to run was finally showcased on a long 38-yard run. Chase Daniel also rushed for 45 yards, and had the moxie to lead the team to victory and solidify his position at the backup slot.
Chiefs fans have seen zero rushing ability from the position for two years plus. It’s a welcome sight and Reid has done the team a tremendous service acquiring Smith and Daniel.
Receivers Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery were in the stat line catching 6 balls a piece. Another positive, since both have been very quiet in the preseason so far.
Negatives would be the in ability of the run game. The team failed to pick up a 4th and one on the Chiefs' own 21 yard line. A call that would get the punt signal in the regular season got sniffed out quickly by the Steelers. Jamaal Charles is a dynamic runner, but he may not be the bulldozer the team needs for a one-yard push.
Bob Sutton’s defense is going to make some noise this year. Don’t be surprised if the defensive play outshines Reid and his offense early in the season. However, over-pursuit of the football is a concern, and when you hang on to Ben Roethlisberger, you better bring the big QB down, or he will burn you.
Former first round pick, and often injured tight end, Tony Moeaki fractured his shoulder in the game and will likely be headed to the injured reserve. Rookie tight end Travis Kelce will need to show the team something. He has been unimpressive in the preseason games.
The Chiefs will finish the preseason schedule at home Thursday against Green Bay. This game will be used to decide the final roster cuts.
Overall, this looks like an average football team. If the Chiefs start the season hot and young players start believing, that look could change to something better.