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Chiefs’ preseason struggles continue

  • Kansas City Star
  • Published Saturday, August 25, 2012, at 6:54 a.m.

— The Chiefs preferred to think of last week’s loss in St. Louis as merely one of those things, a temporary slip that would be long forgotten once the preseason was finished.

In light of Friday night’s 44-14 loss to Seattle at Arrowhead Stadium, it can now be viewed as the start of a downward trend. And it was a long way down for the Chiefs, who from a three-play-and-punt opening series were never even competitive.

“We’ve got to try to figure out what we do well as a team in all phases and then try to get that done,’’ coach Romeo Crennel said. “Hopefully we can start making progress on that and get better before we get to the regular season because it’s right around the corner and we have to get better to give ourselves a chance.’’

The Chiefs have a last preseason game on Thursday night against the Packers in Green Bay to get ready for the regular season. Normally the starters play little in the final exhibition game but they evidently need more work before they’re ready for the regular season.

“The starters played quite a bit tonight and they were the ones who were not able to get much done,’’ Crennel said.

The Chiefs may have settled on a number two quarterback. Brady Quinn replaced Matt Cassel in the third quarter and finished the game. He led the Chiefs on a fourth-quarter touchdown drive.

Ricky Stanzi didn’t play.

Otherwise, the game was a disaster across the board.

The Seahawks started a rookie third-round draft pick, Russell Wilson, at quarterback and still scored on each of their first six possessions in taking a 30-7 lead early in the third period. The Chiefs couldn’t handle Wilson as a runner (he had one scramble for 31 yards and another for 27) or as a passer (13 of 19 for 185 yards and two touchdowns).

As bad as the Chiefs were defensively against the Rams, they were even worse against the Seahawks. Wilson picked on cornerback Jalil Brown, the replacement for injured starter Brandon Flowers, on their way to 240 first-half yards.

But it wasn’t just injury replacements who had a rough night. Tamba Hali had two roughing the passer penalties in the first half.

The Chiefs were almost as much of a mess on offense. The Seahawks were too much for the Chiefs at the line of scrimmage. Cassel was under pressure most of the night.

He didn’t handle it well. Cassel committed both of Kansas City’s turnovers, each coming with the Chiefs inside the Seattle 20.

Once he fumbled after being sacked and later he rushed a throw for Kevin Boss that was intercepted

by safety Earl Thomas, who returned it 75 yards for a touchdown.

“They punched us in the face and we didn’t respond well,’’ wide receiver Steve Breaston said. “Everybody is big on the third preseason game. It’s a step back as a team.’’

Even special teams had its breakdown. The Chiefs allowed Golden Tate to return a punt 92 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, a score that put Seattle ahead 44-7.

The regular season begins Sept. 9 against Atlanta at Arrowhead and the Chiefs may not have enough time to fix everything that ails them. Flowers, who has an injured foot, hasn’t practiced in almost a month. He had his foot in a walking boot at practice last week.

Starting nose tackle Anthony Toribio left the game early with an ankle injury and didn’t return. His replacement was first-round Dontari Poe, who had a tough night against Seattle center Max Unger.

Though they allowed the Seahawks to march down the field on Seattle’s first three possessions, the Chiefs eventually got a stop each time and forced a field goal.

The Chiefs put up no such resistance on Seattle’s next two possessions. On the first, they lost coverage on tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., who was alone to catch a 21-yard touchdown pass.

Hali had his two roughing penalties on the next Seattle drive, which finished with Wilson’s 11-yard pass to Charly Martin.

The Chiefs put together a 17-play scoring drive in the second quarter. Dexter McCluster caught five passes on the drive, the final one being for a nine-yard touchdown.

The only other scoring chances came in the fourth quarter, after Cassel had been replaced by Quinn. Ryan Succop was wide right on a 50-yard field goal on the first.

Later, Nate Eachus scored for the Chiefs on a seven-yard run.

Seattle61721044
Kansas City070714

First Quarter

Sea—FG Hauschka 36, 7:29.

Sea—FG Hauschka 39, 1:55.

Second Quarter

Sea—FG Hauschka 45, 12:44.

Sea—Winslow 21 pass from Wilson (Hauschka kick), 9:43.

KC—McCluster 9 pass from Cassel (Succop kick), 2:00.

Sea—Martin 11 pass from Wilson (Hauschka kick), :30.

Third Quarter

Sea—Turbin 25 run (Hauschka kick), 13:14.

Sea—Thomas 75 interception return (Hauschka kick), 4:48.

Sea—Tate 92 punt return (Hauschka kick), 2:12.

Fourth Quarter

KC—Eachus 7 run (Succop kick), 1:53.

A—.

SeaKC
First downs2025
Total Net Yards367339
Rushes-yards28-18925-145
Passing178194
Punt Returns3-1141-10
Kickoff Returns0-05-118
Interceptions Ret.1-750-0
Comp-Att-Int16-24-024-44-1
Sacked-Yards Lost2-83-18
Punts2-55.56-57.3
Fumbles-Lost0-02-1
Penalties-Yards6-376-79
Time of Possession24:5135:09

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Seattle, Turbin 14-93, Wilson 2-58, Lumpkin 5-24, Sutton 2-8, Washington 2-5, Robinson 1-3, Portis 2-(minus 2). Kansas City, Eachus 10-98, Charles 6-32, Draughn 3-9, Quinn 2-4, Cassel 2-3, Hillis 2-(minus 1).

PASSING—Seattle, Wilson 13-19-0-185, Jackson 3-5-0-1. Kansas City, Cassel 19-34-1-168, Quinn 5-10-0-44.

RECEIVING—Seattle, A.McCoy 2-47, Owens 2-41, Winslow 2-23, Martin 2-15, Edwards 1-32, Tate 1-14, Rice 1-8, McGrath 1-5, Helfet 1-3, Taua 1-3, Turbin 1-0, Sutton 1-(minus 5). Kansas City, McCluster 7-61, Baldwin 6-37, Draughn 3-21, Breaston 2-10, Moeaki 1-31, Kinnie 1-16, Hemingway 1-14, Bowe 1-9, Charles 1-7, DiMarco 1-6.

MISSED FIELD GOALS—Seattle, Hauschka 51 (WR). Kansas City, Succop 50 (WR).

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