Red Zone

Halftime observations as Chiefs trail Vikings 10-5

It’s halftime at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Chiefs trail the Vikings 10-5 in their third preseason game on Saturday night.

Here are some quick observations.

Ugly first half for quarterback Alex Smith, who threw a couple of poor interceptions in the red zone. He tried to fit the first into single coverage, and Captain Munnerlyn got him. On the second, he stared down tight end Travis Kelce, and Chad Greenway read Smith’s eyes and jumped the route.

The bigger concern is the inability of the Chiefs’ first-team offense to score a touchdown. In 15 drives this preseason, the Chiefs have failed to score a touchdown. That’s unacceptable.

Jeff Allen got the nod at right tackle for Donald Stephenson, who will miss the first four games of the season due to violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Allen had a quiet first half, aside from a stunt that he and right guard Zach Fulton failed to pick up (which resulted in a sack). So that’s good. Jeff Linkenbach and Ricky Henry, who rotated at Allen’s former spot, left guard, also had quiet halves.

Minnesota’s Matt Cassel connected with Cordarrelle Patterson for a 53-yard touchdown up the seam on safety Daniel Sorensen. I need to see the tape but that was a no-win situation for Sorensen. There aren’t many guys in the league who can run with Patterson.

What a nice moment for defensive end Jaye Howard, who has taken advantage of the opportunity given to him since Mike DeVito fractured his hand. Howard sacked Cassel and forced a strip of him in the end zone, which led to a safety. For guy who entered camp on the roster bubble, that’s a good thing.

Nice half for Ron Parker, who recorded a pass breakup and an interception. He’s taken his share of heat during the preseason, but he’s bouncing back.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to Follow him on Twitter at @TerezPaylor.