Red Zone

Halftime observations: Chiefs 17, Packers 7

skeyser@kcstar.com

It’s halftime at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Chiefs lead the Packers 17-7. Here are some quick thoughts.

1. The fourth preseason game doesn’t include any regular-season starters, so the list of players who end up starting this game is always interesting – and likely an indication of where they stand before the 53-man roster deadline, which is 3 p.m. Saturday. Here they are on offense: Left tackle Zach Sterup, left guard Daniel Munyer, center Jordan Devey, right guard Jarrod Pughsley, right tackle Jah Reid, tight end James O’Shaughnessy, quarterback Tyler Bray, running back Knile Davis and receivers Rod Streater, Tyreek Hill and De’Anthony Thomas. Here they are on defense: defensive linemen Rakeem Nunez-Roches David King, outside linebackers Dezman Moses and Andy Mulumba, inside linebackers Rakim Wilson and Terrance Smith, cornerbacks Kenneth Acker, Marcus Cooper and D.J. White, and safeties Brock Vereen and Eric Murray. Others who made an appearance early on defense include defensive tackles Nick Williams and Jimmy Staten, while tight end Brian Parker also made an appearance on offense.

2. With all that said, here are the players that were not included on offense or defense in the first quarter that surprised me a bit: receiver Frankie Hammond, receiver Da’Ron Brown, receiver Demarcus Robinson, inside linebacker D.J. Alexander, outside linebacker Dadi Nicolas, safety Jeron Johnson and cornerbacks KeiVarae Russell and Jamell Fleming.

3. Early on in the first quarter, it was easy to see why the Chiefs brought in Nick Foles. Tyler Bray has been better than Aaron Murray during training camp, but his inability to manage the strike zone has been an ongoing storyline, and he opened the game by misfiring on six of his first seven attempts for only eight yards. He did bounce back after that, though, connecting on nine of 10 passes for 99 yards and guiding two scoring drives.

4. The Chiefs are going to have to make some tough decisions to make at defensive tackle. The top four of Dontari Poe, Allen Bailey, Jaye Howard and Chris Jones – none of whom played tonight – is set, but the Chiefs probably won’t be able to keep all three of their backups, all of whom had nice moments on Thursday. Nick Williams recorded a run stuff and an effort sack, while made a nice effort tackle in pursuit on a running play. Defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches also played with great effort and notched a quarterback hit. They all played like they knew a roster spot was on the line Thursday, and did their best to state their case.

5. Other players who flashed in the first half include: running back Knile Davis, who scored a rushing touchdown; running back Darrin Reaves, who also scored a rushing touchdown; outside linebacker Dadi Nicolas, who recorded a sack by ducking under the right tackle; and receiver Demarcus Robinson, who made a nice special teams tackle as a gunner on the punt team.

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