1. The offensive line has plenty of room to improve
As promised, Patrick Mahomes got one quarter of work in Thursday night’s preseason game. His first drive was solid enough, as he completed all three passes for 21 yards. But in the second, Mahomes took a beating as the offensive line fell apart. Mahomes was sacked by Angelo Blackson, and a play later, he was drilled by Duke Ejiofor as he tried to get rid of the ball. Before the game, Mahomes said he would plead his case to coach Andy Reid for a little extra time if he didn’t score during the first quarter. But whatever he said didn’t work, because Chad Henne came out to start the Chiefs’ third series of the game in the second quarter.
2. The Chiefs secondary is young
With both Eric Berry and Daniel Sorensen sidelined for the game, Eric Murray and Armani Watts got the starts at safety. Watts, a rookie, struggled to find his footing at times, and got blocked by two players as Texans’ running back Troymaine Pope picked up 34-yards on a screen. The cornerback group had more experience, but still didn’t do much of anything to stop the bleeding. Steven Nelson and linebacker Terrance Smith appeared to have a miscommunication guarding Texans rookie Jordan Akins, allowing him to grab a touchdown pass just over the goal line unscathed. Later, Akins scored again, this time guarded by safety Robert Golden.
3. Flags will fly this season
The officials didn’t wait to enforce their points of emphasis for the 2018 season on Thursday night. Cornerback David Amerson was whistled for two penalties in the same play, the first coming on a hold and the second coming on a pass interference.
4. Mahomes has good chemistry with Kelce
Mahomes targeted Travis Kelce three times in the first quarter, including his first pass of the day. Twice, Mahomes connected with Kelce for first downs on gains of 14 and 8 yards. The lone incompletion between the pair came when Mahomes overthrew Kelce on the second series, showing off the rare pitfalls of his arm strength.
5. The Chiefs’ pass rush was rough
Houston quaterback Deshaun Watson attempted — and completed — just one pass in his lone series, but the Texans’ backup quarterbacks took full advantage of the Chiefs’ weak pass rush. Brandon Weeden, who replaced Watson, completed 9 of 11 passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
6. Chad Henne has inconsistent quarter
Backup quarterback Chad Henne did a little bit of everything in the second quarter. On his first series, Henne held on to the ball for a seven-yard scramble. Two plays later, his pass was tipped and it easily ended up in the hands of Zach Cunningham. But Henne rebounded with a touchdown drive to end the quarter where he connected with Demarcus Robinson twice, including a 24-yard touchdown on a back-shoulder throw. He finished his second-quarter stint completing 8 of 14 passes for 91 yards.