Though there were some solid moments for the Kansas City Chiefs in their 21-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, it wasn’t enough to gain the win. Though Quarterback, Alex Smith led the team on a pair of solid touchdown drives, KC's offensive line was erratic most of the night. On defense, the pass rush was again nonexistent, and the Chiefs coaching staff has to be concerned after two pre-season games, that this team can’t sack opposing quarterbacks.
So which players helped or hurt their cause to remain on the roster?
QB Aaron Murray – After a pair of fumbles, including one in the red zone, the former Georgia Bulldog is likely going to be a former Kansas City Chief. Though he made some nice throws, he crumbled under the pressure of the Rams defense, it’s clear after a bad week of practice, he followed it up with a stinker of a game. Had Murray been able to hold onto the ball perhaps he could have held on to a roster spot.
QB Alex Smith – The game manager did a solid job for the Chiefs. He finished his first half completing nine of twelve passes, 137 passing yards and a touchdown to Wide Receiver, Jeremy Maclin. The highlight of his night was the 37-yard pass to receiver, Chris Conley. That down the field pass has been a missing piece of his arsenal in recent years. However, if Smith can make those throws and complete his check downs, KC’s offense is going to score a lot of points.
RB Spencer Ware - The depth behind, Jamaal Charles, has put the Chiefs in a position to reform their offensive attack using a variety of highly talented running backs. Spencer Ware had 64 total yards running and receiving, plus a touchdown run in the first quarter. With the injury to Charcandrick West, Ware has established himself as the primary back-up to Charles. If Head Coach, Andy Reid can utilize his backs better than he has at any stage of his coaching career, he’ll have a rushing attack that will be the envy of the NFL.
DT Chris Jones – After another solid game, the Chiefs first draft pick from the 2016 class continues to impress. His bull rushing at the line of scrimmage created havoc for the Rams offensively. If he can continue to do that in the regular season, and the Chiefs somehow find an outside pass rusher, Jones could be the key to KC’s defense overcoming the loss of Justin Houston.
LB Dee Ford – Nothing irks me more than writing about the same player twice in one day. I had hoped my pre-game column suggesting Ford needed a big game would have been solid motivation. However, once again he failed to do anything of substance and never showed the energy worthy of being a former first round draft pick. It’s clear, like Murray, that Ford has nothing to offer the Chiefs defense. He has talent but has failed to work on expanding his singular pass rush move.
S Daniel Sorensen – If Eric Berry decides to bypass the start of the regular season, Sorensen can certainly get the job done at the safety position. His maturity on the field is impressive. As an undrafted free agent two years ago, Sorensen has adjusted to the NFL game and grown into a legitimate NFL starter.
Chiefs Offensive Line - From the starters to the back-ups, the Chiefs offensive line had a poor night. The first team unit struggled behind Left Tackle, Eric Fisher and Left Guard Parker Ehinger. Both were beaten soundly by a ferocious Rams pass rush. If Fisher is going to earn that new contract, he has to carry his rookie teammate. Fisher’s problems centered on poor footwork. Ehinger’s struggles fall squarely on the fact he’s a rookie and needs time to learn the position.
However, the back-up units were abysmal. Trust me there is no need to mention any names, because I’d just be piling on to a unit that could not adjust to the speed and skill set of the Ram's back-ups. Because of their play, General Manager, John Dorsey will be forced to find a couple of veteran offensive lineman, either via trade or the waiver wire, to shore up the Chiefs back up position along the offensive line.