It’s halftime at Lambeau Field, and the Chiefs trail the Packers 20-7. Here are some quick observations.
1. What an ugly half for the Chiefs. Seriously. They might not be running any of their good plays, but neither are the Packers. Both teams are very vanilla, scheme-wise, but right now, you can certainly say the Packers’ depth is superior to the Chiefs’ in practically every respect. You would have liked to see a little more fight from the backups.
2. Rookie cornerback Phillip Gaines certainly had a very rough half. He was beaten for at least one touchdown — maybe two, depending on the assignments — and was also whistled for defensive holding and illegal contact. The Packers have thrown at him repeatedly. Gaines has very good physical skills but he has plenty of development ahead of him. It’s up to the Chiefs’ coaching staff to get it out of him.
3. On the other end of the spectrum, veteran cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke had a very nice half. He was targeted on at least one deep pass and managed to stay step-for-step with the receiver to force the incompletion, and very nearly came away with an interception on another occasion. Given the way teams throw these days (and Gaines’ struggles tonight), he might have played his way onto this football team.
4. Quarterback Tyler Bray’s roller-coaster ride of a preseason continues. After looking very bad on a drive in which he was picked off trying to throw a short slant to A.J. Jenkins, Bray came right back and connected with Jenkins on a gorgeous go-route down the sideline off playaction for 45 yards. This led to the Chiefs’ only touchdown of the half, a two-yard touchdown pass from Bray to Richard Gordon.
5. Disappointing first half for Donald Stephenson, who was whistled for holding and allowed a sack on back-to-back plays against the Packers’ reserves. Considering Stephenson was slated to be a starter before his suspension for performance-enhancing drug use was announced, I’m sure he would agree he needs to be better.