Cliff Notes: Chiefs vs Cardinals

The Chiefs first-team offense continued to move the ball this preseason on Saturday against Arizona, orchestrating two 12-play drives, but only scoring six points on two field goals. Running back Larry Johnson put to rest any doubt that he's not healthy, however, carrying the ball 14 times for 61 yards.

Johnson's performance didn't go unnoticed by his quarterback, Brodie Croyle.

"We had some nice runs, especially on that last drive where we really got them going," said Croyle. "It was good to see Larry get back out there and tear up the yards."

Backup Kolby Smith also contributed by ripping off a 15-yard run. Collectively, the starting offense averaged five yards per carry.

While 58 of the starting unit's 76 rushing yards came on their last drive, the run was abandoned after Larry Johnson lined up at quarterback, gaining three yards on a direct snap. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey then called three consecutive pass plays, resulting in zero yards.

The Chiefs then settled for a field goal after running the ball on third and long. It was an interesting decision by Gailey to go away from Johnson in the red zone after riding him all the way down the field. That might upset a running back in the regular season, but not so much right now.

"You can't game plan against an Arizona team or any team right now in the preseason," said Johnson, "because you're going to show your hand as far as what you do on the goal line. That's the thing about the preseason, you don't want to show too much."

Gailey has said all along the key to a successful offense is keeping the defense guessing, and while he may have been protecting his goal line strategy, as Johnson indicated, he also might have been trying to keep the defense on their toes. He was certainly trying to keep them guessing when he called for passing plays on first down multiple times.

I understand this strategy, but when one of the most talented running backs in the league is on a roll, you feed him the ball. Chiefs fans should hope Gailey is just holding his cards close to the vest.

Kansas City's two scoring drives ate up a lot of yardage, but were separated by two three-and-outs. That was fact wasn't lost on the starting quarterback.

"It was good to come out two weeks in a row and get a sustained drive and some third-down conversions," said Croyle. "But we want touchdowns; we don't want field goals. Then we've got to eliminate the three-and-outs. We can't go long drive, then two three-and-outs and then go another 10-play drive. We just have to have sustained drives. If we can go back out there and get four, five, or six-play drives, it at least gives our defense a little rest."

Croyle's point was proven when the Chiefs defense yielded a touchdown drive to Arizona after KC's offense went three and out.

The running game was the highlight of Saturday's preseason contest against Arizona, but it wasn't the only bright spot as Dantrell Savage nearly stole the show in the return game. Savage's success comes as no surprise to Oklahoma State fans, who saw him give fits to opposing Big 12 defenses, and it shouldn't come as a surprise to the rest of Chiefs Kingdom after glowing reports on Savage from training camp.

The rookie running back refused to be tackled Saturday night. He's a stocky player who runs low to the ground with speed, and is reminiscent of another Sooner state product the Chiefs once signed as a college free agent in Quentin Griffin, who didn't make as big a splash with Kansas City as Savage has, but burned the Chiefs with a 156-yard performance as a Bronco.

With so much depth at running back, Savage looked like a long shot to make the final roster when he originally signed, but he's made noise in the preseason and Chiefs fans certainly don't want to see him don the orange and blue like Griffin. There are multiple scouts from many NFL teams in the press box during games, so it will be almost impossible to sneak Savage onto the practice squad. If the Chiefs want him, they'll have to find a spot for him on the 53-man roster. Top Stories