It’s halftime of the Chiefs’ final preseason game, and they lead the Tennessee Titans 13-3 at Arrowhead Stadium. Here are Terez A. Paylor’s quick thoughts.
1. Patrick Mahomes flashed the good and bad
For anyone who has watched Mahomes for the better part of a month (like myself), Thursday’s performance was not surprising. The kid is super talented, and capable of making “wow” throws — like his stunning downfield heave to Demarcus Robinson in the second quarter, which came on the run and went for 46 yards. He also has some work to do inside the pocket, and he threw two near-interceptions. The future remains bright for Mahomes, but Alex Smith is the man in 2017 (as he should be). Have fun playing with Mahomes on Madden though, kids. He has a chance to be special.
2. Jehu shows promise
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We’ve been waiting all camp for receiver Jehu Chesson to flash the talent that made him a fourth-round pick; we finally saw it in the first half, when he showed off burst and playmaking in a dashing 61-yard punt return. The Chiefs are very high on his special teams ability — he does the dirty work well too — and that play, but his potential as a possession receiver — should have locked up his roster spot.
3. Demarcus shows up
We’ve also been waiting on camp for Demarcus Robinson to flash the playmaking ability he showed in OTAs. Well, the second-year pro has turned it on this week — he stood out in closed practices early this week and showed off his electric vertical talent on three long-ball heaves from Mahomes, including one that went for a touchdown. Throw in his special-teams ability and Robinson is someone who absolutely made a strong case for a roster spot on Thursday.
4. Eligwe’s pass coverage is promising
Inside linebacker Ukeme Eligwe’s interception off a deflection was hardy a surprise. Eligwe, a fifth-round pick, has shown lots of promise in coverage all month, and is absolutely worth developing in 2017. Special-teams coach Dave Toub also likes his special-teams ability, so I’d say he’s making the team.
5. Tanoh is an edge rusher – at least for now
The Chiefs spent most of training camp trying to figure out if second-round pick Tanoh Kpassagnon is an 3-4 outside linebacker or 3-4 end. He lined up mainly as a 3-4 outside linebacker recently, and he showed some nice burst and bend off the edge. His unique combination of size (6 feet 7, 289 pounds) and athleticism will allow him to hold up there, and given his troubles at the point of attack in a three-point stance over the last month, I think he’s found a home on the outside, at least for 2017.