It’s halftime of the Chiefs exhibition opener at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Chiefs trail the San Francisco 49ers 9-7. Here are my quick thoughts.
1. Tyreek Hill makes a big play on down No. 1
Because, of course he does. We’ve watched Tyreek roast defensive backs deep all preseason, and Alex Smith obliged him with the deep ball on the first play of the game. Hill sprinted past the corner and tracked a nice throw from Smith downfield for a 32-yard gain. Hill is going to have a big year.
2. Lots of rotating at wide receiver
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Chris Conley joined Hill with the first string, but we also saw Demarcus Robinson, Seantavius Jones and Albert Wilson in the first quarter. All these guys have plenty to prove, but Jones needed to do a better job as a gunner on special teams, when he lost a contain and allowed a long punt return to break on his side.
3. Tyler Bray was a little erratic
Not a perfect performance for quarterback Tyler Bray, whose best highlight of the night came ona nice deep ball to Conley that went for a touchdown that was rightly called back due to offensive pass interference. Bray completed 5 of 8 passes for 63 yards, but he dropped his head due to the oncoming rushers on one sack and was somewhat wild on his incompletions.
4. Andy Reid crafted a gameplan fit for Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes, the Chiefs’ highly-regarded first-round rookie, entered the game in the second quarter instead of the third and immediately thrilled the crowd, completing a deep bomb to Robinson that was called back due to a hold. It was interesting to watch the offense operate with Mahomes at the helm; the Chiefs used shotgun on every play, which Mahomes is obviously very comfortable in due to his days in Texas Tech’s Air Raid offense. The Chiefs even ran a tunnel screen they might as well have swiped right out of Kliff Kingsbury’s playbook. Point is, it’s going to be fun watching Reid craft gameplans for Mahomes down the road.
5. Ramik Wilson is triggering faster than he did last year
One of the most promising developments of the game was the way inside linebacker Ramik Wilson looked. Wilson has always had all the physical traits necessary to be a good pro, but it took him a while to trust his eyes and diagnose plays. It looks like he’s finally gotten it, as he was attacking the line quickly and hard Friday. If the light has fully turned on for Wilson, it will go a long way toward solidifying one of the league’s worst run defenses last year.