As mentioned, the first quarter was a complete embarrassment, with the Chiefs' fumbling to start the game and then going three and out on their next two possessions. They didn't pick up a first down until the final minute, and Matt Cassel didn't complete a pass until the second quarter.
Things picked up from there, however, with the team mounting a 17 play drive that culminated in a Cassel to Dwayne Bowe touchdown pass. The drive actually started off as yet another three and out, but an Eagles' penalty during the ensuing punt allowed Kansas City to keep the ball. Given some extra life, they made the most of it by driving 55 yards for the score.
On their next possession, the Chiefs started on their own 11 with just a minute left in the half. They ended up driving into Eagles territory with a chance for a game-tying field goal, but as mentioned, a costly holding penalty ruined the drive.
Wiegmann and Cassel are proving to be a good fit in KC's offense .
In the third quarter, the offense finally got to operate on a short field courtesy of a Kendrick Lewis interception. They made the most of the opportunity, converting the turnover into a touchdown and coming back from their early deficit to take a 14-10 lead.
Individually, Cassel took a definite step back from last week, going 14 of 23 for just 85 yards. He also threw a touchdown, had an interception on a tipped pass, and fumbled the ball while scrambling.
Perhaps more than any other factor, his small yardage totals continue to be a concern. Whether it's due to a lack of protection, the lack of receivers getting open downfield, or a lack of confidence in Cassel, the Chiefs' passing game has been operating almost entirely within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. That strategy has barely been effective in the preseason, so it's certainly not going to cut it when the regular season starts.
Given all the discussion about the running back situation, the game's most interesting tidbit may have come on the Chiefs' first play from scrimmage, where it was Jamaal Charles and not Thomas Jones in the backfield. Unfortunately, Charles immediately turned the ball over with a fumble, putting the team in an early hole to start the game.
KC Running back Thomas Jones dives into the end zone against the Eagles.
Charles recovered nicely, however, amassing 40 yards on just six carries. But he suffered an apparent arm or wrist injury just before halftime and didn't return to the game.
Jones had a solid performance, converting a key fourth down and turning in a nice 11-yard touchdown run. Backup Jackie Battle continues to solidify his case to be the team's third running back, rushing for 49 yards mostly in the fourth quarter.
Once the passing game finally got into rhythm, Dwayne Bowe came through with four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. Chris Chambers contributed two catches for 17 yards, including a third down conversion in the red zone that led to a touchdown on the next play.
For the first time this preseason, the Chiefs' offensive starters actually managed to operate with a lead. Overall, the team should feel good about not only clawing out of their early hole, but taking the lead and seeing their starters matching up well against a tough team like Philadelphia.
But unless the defense can rise to the occasion like this every week, these sort of performances from the offense aren't likely to translate into too many victories.