How good was the Chiefs’ offense in Friday’s 34-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans? Let’s count the ways on the statistics sheet and beyond.
The Chiefs rolled up 432 yards and converted eight of 10 third-down situations. They averaged 6.8 yards per rush and 10.2 yards per reception.
The Titans had no sacks or tackles for loss, which means the Chiefs never went backwards. The offensive line, which throughout the preseason has worked without two who probably will open the season as starters, had its best game to date.
Punter Dustin Colquitt was a lonely guy. The Chiefs didn’t punt. Their possessions ended this way: touchdown, field goal, touchdown, interception, halftime, field goal, touchdown, touchdown and before snapping the ball late in the fourth quarter, game suspension because of rain.
The final 3:50 wasn’t played and it was just as well. Nothing else was left to be determined.
Aaron Murray’s interception and Cario Santos’ missed extra point gave coach Andy Reid some postgame grumble points, and he allowed that teams hold back in the preseason.
But the Chiefs used only a portion of the playbook as well, using the third-team Murray late in the first half and giving rookie wide receiver Chris Conley 52 snaps, the most of any player.
The Chiefs were at their best in the game that’s the most important of the preseason.
“Tonight,” said quarterback Alex Smith in the postgame, “was a good look.”
A more detailed game plan was in effect, and the Chiefs offensive starters, who scored 17 points on their three possessions together, executed across the board. By halftime, seven different Chiefs had caught one of Smith’s 16 passes in 18 attempts.
“Everybody was kind of on the same page,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “We’re a little more in tune with the game plan this week.”
Kelce tip toed up the sideline for a 34-yard reception, and Jeremy Maclin took a similar path on a 29-yard touchdown catch to open the scoring. Last season, the Chiefs had 20 passing plays longer than 25 yards, matching the Cincinnati Bengals for the NFL’s lowest output.
Things were going so well for the Chiefs, Reid decided to insert Murray earlier than anticipated. The idea was to play the starters into the third quarter and give Murray reps with the first team then. But the opportunity presented itself late in the second quarter with the Chiefs ahead 17-3.
An overanxious Murray ended the series with interception, but he came back strong in the second half with two touchdown passes. A rough start turned into a happy finish for Murray. It was that kind of nights for the Chiefs.