Three touchdowns in three possessions was more than enough to beat the hapless St. Louis Rams, who rested most, if not all of their starters on both sides of the ball. But does it really matter who was on the other side of the line of scrimmage? Confidence is the only thing that matters for the Chiefs going into the regular season.
As the team prepares to cut 22 players in the next 24 hours, the Chiefs have split their preseason games and enter the regular season with some positives. This game initially didn't mean much, but as it evolved the offense found two different ways to reach the end zone between Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard.
Croyle's drives were set up by the run with a few passes sprinkled in. Backup running back Kolby Smith scored a pair of touchdowns. Later, Huard made a picture-perfect pass to the corner of the end zone that found the hands of Bobby Sippio.
On each drive, the offensive line blocked well for both the pass and run. That's the difference between the Chiefs being 4-12 and 8-8 this season.
The talent level wasn't equal, but who cares? The Chiefs now have some confidence and something to focus on as they prepare for the New England Patriots.
The Chiefs begin the 2008 season a much better all-around team compared to the one that ended 2007 on a nine-game losing streak. Though it's probable that number will grow to 10 in a week, the losing streak should be snapped quickly thereafter.
RB Kolby Smith - He reminds me of Priest Holmes with the way he bounces his runs outside, and though his career numbers probably won't reach the same plateau, he can carry the load if Larry Johnson is injured or struggles. Smith is good insurance for the Chiefs.
RB Dantrell Savage - For the second straight week, he made a huge mistake in the return game. Against the Dolphins, Savage attempted to field a kickoff with one foot out of bounds, and this week he fumbled the opening kickoff and quickly found himself on the bench. That opened up the door for B.J. Sams, who had back-to-back quality returns. That might have pushed Savage off the 53-man roster and onto the practice squad. For more on Savage, check out Pat Clifton's article.
RB Jamaal Charles - Now 100 percent healthy, you can see why the Chiefs are so high on him. Charles made some nice runs Thursday night by using his low center of gravity and blazing speed. If Charles can handle at least half of KC's return duties, Chiefs fans may see even more of the "Texas Comet" this season.
DT T.J. Jackson - I like his chances to make the final roster if the Chiefs keep four interior lineman. I suspect they will because they need Jackson as a backup to Glenn Dorsey. On Bernard Pollard's strip forced fumble, it was Jackson who stood up two Rams offensive lineman and kept the play going so defensive end Brian Johnston could jump on the ball for a turnover. To me, Jackson is ahead of veteran Ron Edwards, and one of the few undrafted free agent worthy of a roster spot.
CB Brandon Carr - He played his best game of the preseason Thursday, and was outstanding in man-to-man coverage. He continues to impress with his abilities and growth from week to week. Carr has talent and he's beginning to show that the jump from small college team to the NFL isn't too big. His next game, against the Patriots, will show us if he's ready for more playing time.
G Wade Smith - He held his own with the starting offensive unit at left guard. Smith is the most experienced backup the team has, and can play guard and center in a pinch. On Kolby Smith's first touchdown run, he made a key block to open a hole. The Chiefs are fortunate to have someone with Smith's ability because it's not likely the offensive line goes 16 games without an injury.
FB Mike Cox - He's an upgrade over the departed Boomer Grigsby. Cox catches the ball well and had numerous key blocks that helped the Chiefs get into the end zone. It helps that he played under offensive coordinator Chan Gailey the last four years at Georgia Tech. He's talented enough to win the job over veteran Chris Manderino.
LB Donnie Edwards - He played the entire first half and came out of the game without suffering further injury. Edwards needed to play extensive minutes Thursday because he's being pushed hard for a starting job by DeMorrio Williams, who will be available for the season opener. Edwards has one more year in him, but the Chiefs will put the best three linebackers on the field. Edwards could be on the bench when the defense takes the field in New England.
Storm Washes in New Chiefs Offense
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