Red Zone

Halftime report: Chiefs lead Saints 10-3

Three observations at halftime of tonight’s preseason game between the Chiefs and Saints. The Chiefs lead 10-3.

• Andy Reid must have liked what he saw from the starters on both sides of the ball because he pulled them from the game after one possession for each team. The offensive possession to start the game was a thing of beauty. Alex Smith was seven of eight with the incompletion coming when he unloaded the ball to avoid a sack. The Chiefs converted twice on third down on the 80-yard drive that finished with Jamaal Charles’ one-yard touchdown run. The drive consisted of 14 plays with the long gain being just 13 yards. The starting defense allowed New Orleans one first down but forced a punt on a third down after a strong pass rush by Dontari Poe.

• The special teams provided a big play that was all too rare last season when Dexter McCluster returned a punt 55 yards. McCluster’s return set up a 42-yard field goal by Ryan Succop after Chase Daniel replaced Smith at quarterback.

• The Saints left their starters in the game for two more possessions on each side of the ball after the Chiefs had taken out their regulars. The Chiefs still played the Saints to a 3-3 tie during that time.