What Chiefs fans saw on Friday night was a team a Kansas City team that didn't care much about winning or losing. So how are fans or even coaches supposed to view this one sided contest.
Offensively the Chiefs first team sputtered. Quarterback Matt Cassel took eight snaps and never threw a pass. And when back-up Tyler Palko came into the game, he made a couple of nice throws to begin his night's work. But after that, he was dismal.
Entering the fourth quarter, the offense as a whole, had just a trio of first downs. So not much went right for this unit. That's not going to be the norm in the regular season or even next Friday night when the Chiefs travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens but I'd have thought they'd put on a better showing.
Still it would have been nice to see Cassel throw a pass or two in his three series of work. But when the Chiefs started back-up guard, Darryl Harris starts at center, there wasn't much Cassel could have done. The two botched a snap exchange deep in their own territory that led to a Josh Freeman five-yard touchdown run and a Bucs 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
There were a few highlights like a pair of long runs from Thomas Jones on back-to-back plays that netted 25 yards. On the runs, he showed some heart and muscle on both runs. But other than that, there wasn't much to celebrate.
Still I'm not going to be too harsh on the offense unless this type of productivity continues into the third preseason game.
On defense, it was clear to me that they were just a couple of steps too slow to react to Freeman's free style, down the field offensive style. He's turning into a solid offensive performer for the Bucs. And even though most of the Chiefs starting defense sat this game out, he was shredding them up and down the field.
What was encouraging for me was the fact the defense was on the field for most, if not the entire contest against the Bucs, the Chiefs defensive players never quit. In the fourth quarter, they were still fighting, scratching and hitting the Bucs in the mouth. The back-ups may not have had the firepower to compete with the Bucs on Friday night but they were all over the field. And that's probably the best thing that came out of this game.
In 2011, the Chiefs defense is going to have to stand up and deliver. With a daunting mid-season schedule, the back-ups who saw a lot of action in this game, gained some valuable experience.
On special teams, the NFL has to change the new kick-off rule. This season they league moved the kick-offs up to the 35-yard line supposedly to limit player injuries. But what they've done instead is negate the return game altogether.
The Bucs were able to nearly knock the ball out of the end zone on every kick-off. Let's hope the league will amend the rule before the start of the regular season. Because they are rendering that aspect of special teams useless. They might as well just put the ball on the 20-yard line after every score.
All in all there isn't much question that the Chiefs just wanted to survive this game without major injury. Remarkably they did just that. And that's the biggest win of the evening.
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