It was a very business at usual game for the Chiefs. Their defensive starters once again bent but did not break as Jerome Woods intercepted a pass at the goal line off Rams starter Marc Bulger that kept the Rams out of the end zone.
In fact, the Rams never made a serious run at scoring a touchdown again. The defense, in particular the back-ups were very impressive. Rookies Kawika Mitchell and Julian Battle both played very well. On consecutive plays Mitchell blew up a Rams defender catching a ball out of the backfield and then torpedoed another running back in the backfield for a loss on a running play.
The most impressive defensive performance was from former second round defensive end Jared Tomich. He has two more sacks and put pressure on Bulger that caused a fumble in the end zone that the Chiefs converted into a safety.
Tomich was originally drafted by the Packers in the second round in 1997 and also had stints in Green Bay before the Chiefs signed him this year. Tomich was not a factor and was expected to just fill in the roster for practice purposes, but he's likely to make the team now.
Another bright star was rookie defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson. He had another sack and showed an explosive move in sacking Bulger. This was by far the best performance by the defensive reserves this year.
On offense Derrick Blaylock ran for 64 yards on five carries. But his 48 yard run after the interception by Woods, set up the Chiefs first touchdown. Green found Omar Easy out of the flat and he waltzed in the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Easy continues to catch the ball very well but his blocking skills once again were very suspect. That might tempt the Chiefs to keep three fullbacks with Joe Hall getting the nod.
Hall caught one pass but did not run the ball. However, as we've previously stated, the Chiefs are very high on him and many want to keep him as a back-up. The Chiefs were caught flat last year when Tony Richardson went down and Easy was not ready to contribute.
Hall provides the Chiefs with an option of playing fullback and possibly lining him up at tight end. The Chiefs were a lock to only keep two tight ends but Bill Baber is likely to make the roster with the injury to Tony Gonzalez. The Chiefs are very quiet about the injury to Gonzalez as he might miss the season opener against the Chargers on September 7th.
It was also good to see back-up quarterback Jonathan Quinn get some playing time. Though he's not likely to play at all this season, Quinn does have the best arm amongst the three quarterbacks and he needed some work after recovering from a back injury in training camp.
He was very impressive going 15 for 21 with 231 yards passing. The ball he threw to Minnis for the touchdown was almost picture perfect. Minnis, who will be the 5th wide receiver, caught the spiral from Quinn as he easily beat his man. It was a go route and Minnis caught the ball at the 15 yard line before diving into the end zone for a touchdown that made the score 13-6.
Morten Andersen added two filed goals; one in the third quarter from 29 yards out and another in the fourth quarter from 24 yards. Andersen has been dead on accurate in the exhibition season.
Punter Jason Baker also had a good evening. He had a 41.4 average on seven punts. But his hang time was good and he angled his punts well. The Chiefs still need to cover punts but once the roster is trimmed than Frank Ganz, Jr. should have better success once he knows who has made the team.
The Chiefs must trim their roster down to the league mandated 53 players by no later than Sunday at 4:00. Soon after the cuts, the Chiefs can immediately assemble a five man practice squad.
The Chiefs are carrying 76 players and are likely to make some cuts today. They will closely be watching the waiver wire to see if they can pick-up another cornerback or defensive lineman.
Cornerback Corey Harris had a good game with an interception and a sack but he still has trouble tackling defenders. The Chiefs would like to add another veteran defensive lineman.
It was rumored ealier this week that Jacksonville Jaguars were shopping defensive end Tony Brackens. Those talks might heat up with numerous teams as Brackens was very impressive in the Jaguars 17-15 win over the Washington Redskins.
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