Here are five things to keep an eye on in the Chiefs’ third preseason game Friday night against the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium.
1. Cut day looms
For several players, this will be the last exhibition game they play with the Chiefs this year, as NFL teams have to get down from 90 players on their preseason roster to 75 by 3 p.m. Tuesday.
2. The offensive line
Big shock, right? The line has been uneven throughout training camp and struggled in the last preseason game. The right side of the line, in particular, needs to improve, as right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and right tackle Paul Fanaika had some tough moments in the run and pass game. The eventual return of tackles Jeff Allen and Eric Fisher will help, but even when they do, someone has to lock up a job at right guard, and the starting unit, whatever it will be, really needs to start building some chemistry together.
3. The return of DGB
Missouri Tigers fans will see a familiar face Friday, when Springfield, Mo., native Dorial Green-Beckham plays in his home state for the first time since he was dismissed from Missouri before the 2014 college season. Green-Beckham, a 6-foot-5, 237-pounder who ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine was a second-round pick of the Titans. He leads all Titans wide receivers in catches (five) and yards (72) through two preseason games.
4. Marcus Mariota vs. the Chiefs’ pass rush
The Titans have high expectations of the former Oregon star, who won the Heisman Trophy as a senior in 2014. The third game is traditionally the most competitive of all the preseason games, since teams use it as a dress rehearsal of sorts, so it will be interesting to see how Mariota fares against one of the league’s best pass rushes. The Chiefs finished with 46 sacks last year, the fifth-best mark in the league.
5. The Tennessee Chiefs
The Titans have six players on their roster who used to be Chiefs: running back Dexter McCluster, defensive end Ropati Pitoitua, tight end Anthony Fasano, kicker Ryan Succop, tight end Phillip Supernaw and linebacker Andy Studebaker.
Fasano played for the Chiefs last year but was released in February, while Succop was released in training camp. McCluster turned in a Pro Bowl season for the Chiefs in 2013 but was allowed to leave via free agency in March 2014.
Supernaw joined the Chiefs briefly last November after he was signed off the Ravens’ practice squad. He was released in December.