While the supposedly improved Chiefs defense struggled woefully in their 27-16 preseason opening loss to Minnesota, at least the Kansas City offense had a glimpse of good news.
Priest Holmes, coming back from the MCL injury that knocked him out of the second half of the 2004 season, averaged 10 yards a carry on four tries despite running at what he described as three-quarters speed.
On his first live-contact run since his Game Eight injury last year, Holmes hit the right side of his line — behind replacement right guard John Welbourn and new right tackle Kevin Sampson — and was stacked up immediately.
Yet Holmes bounced out of the pile, reversed his field and turned the left corner for 21 yards.
On the next possession, Holmes followed Willie Roaf for a 15-yard burst. He retired for the night after one more carry with 42 yards on only four tries. Concerns about his recovery from the third knee injury of his college and pro career were shelved.
"But I still have a ways to go," Holmes said. "If I was to rate myself, I'm somewhere between 75 and 80 percent.
"I've taken the option to practice only once a day (at the Chiefs' Wisconsin training camp), and that means I won't get ready as quickly as if I were practicing twice a day. But that works to my advantage in that I'm getting a little more rest.
"When it comes time to play (in the regular season), I'll be ready."
The Chiefs offense also ran at about 75 percent. It managed only three first-half points, that coming after backup Larry Johnson was ruled down inside the 1 on a second-and-goal run from the 7. When Johnson was stuffed on third down, the Chiefs took the chip-shot field goal.
"That's disappointing," Holmes said. "We hang our hat on the fact that we can score when we're in the red zone. You never like coming away with just three points."
More disappointing, though, was the play of Kansas City's supposedly improved defense, which gave up scores on two of the Vikings' first four possessions — all against the first-unit defense.
Daunte Culpepper completed all four first-series passes for 70 yards, the final 33 of which came on a touchdown to Nate Burleson.
Big plays haunted the Chiefs all of last year and continued to do so in the preseason opener. On a third-and-1, KC ran an eight-man goal-line defense that backup Mewelde Moore exploited by racing through a Jared Allen tackle at the line before running for 50 yards to set up the Vikings' second TD and a 14-3 lead.
"Terrible!" Allen said when asked to assess the defensive effort. "We gave up way too much, and I'm to blame for part of that. I let my teammates down. I didn't have a very good game. I felt like I was just running around out there playing street ball.
"I still believe we're better than that, but we didn't show it."
KC Disappointed With Results Against Vikings
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