If his three-game trial as coach last year didn’t announce things would be different for the Chiefs under Romeo Crennel, Friday night’s preseason opener against Arizona was yet another indication.
The Chiefs were crisp and efficient on both sides of the ball in building a 17-0 lead in the second quarter before the starters retired for the night. The Cardinals briefly made the game interesting in the second half before the Chiefs pulled away again for a 27-17 win at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Offensively, we took the ball … and they were able to take it down for a score,” Crennel said. “That was a good, positive sign. Then the defense going in and getting out … getting off the field. Then the offense goes back and drives it again.
“I feel good about those things happening and occurring in the game.”
Much of the buzz surrounding the Chiefs on Friday had nothing to do with the game but wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, their unsigned franchise player. He flew to Kansas City, arriving in the afternoon, sparking speculation he had decided to sign his one-year contract offer worth about $9.5 million.
But there was no indication Bowe was at Arrowhead for the game or that he had signed the contract and would join the Chiefs for practice Monday when training camp resumes at Missouri Western in St. Joseph.
The Chiefs had no use for Bowe in their preseason opener. The starting offense scored touchdowns on each of its two possessions. Both touchdowns, an 11-yard pass from Matt Cassel to Peyton Hillis and a 4-yard run from Shaun Draughn, came from inside the 20.
The Chiefs were last in the league last season in touchdown percentage inside the 20.
In scoring 27 points, the Chiefs had better offensive production that in any of their 12 preseason games in the three years they were coached by Todd Haley. Their highest scoring total in the preseason under Haley was 19 points.
The Chiefs were also 1-11 in exhibition games under Haley.
The starting defense, held the Cardinals scoreless in three possessions. Derrick Johnson ended one Arizona drive with a tackle in the backfield. The other Arizona possessions ended with a Justin Houston sack and an Abram Elam interception.
After Arizona narrowed the Chiefs’ lead to 17-10 in the third quarter, they put the game out of reach. With Ricky Stanzi, their third quarterback, in the game, the Chiefs received a 24-yard field goal from Ryan Succop and a 7-yard touchdown run from Cyrus Gray.
The impressive showing is meaningless for the Chiefs in the bigger picture. They will still be 0-0 when they begin the regular season on Sept. 9 against Atlanta at Arrowhead.
But it increases the chances the Chiefs will be more prepared at that point than they were last season, when they were outscored 89-10 in their first two games.
KC—Hillis 11 pass from Cassel (Succop kick), 8:09.
KC—Draughn 4 run (Succop kick), 4:13.
KC—FG Succop 22, 11:20.
Ari—FG Feely 40, :02.
Ari—Powell 2 run (Feely kick), 10:32.
KC—FG Succop 24, 4:33.
KC—Gray 7 run (Succop kick), 13:31.
Ari—J.Johnson 18 pass from Bartel (Feely kick), 8:28.
|Total Net Yards||283||356|
|Time of Possession||26:30||33:30|
RUSHING—Arizona, Powell 9-92, Smith 9-40, Clayton 3-14, Bartel 1-3, Lindley 1-3, Stephens-Howling 1-1. Kansas City, Gray 15-65, Hillis 4-41, Draughn 12-26, Quinn 3-13, Charles 3-12, Stanzi 3-7, Cassel 1-2.
PASSING—Arizona, Bartel 5-6-0-69, Lindley 6-11-0-48, J.Skelton 3-6-1-35, Kolb 1-5-0-21. Kansas City, Quinn 7-13-1-81, Cassel 5-6-0-67, Stanzi 2-7-0-42.
RECEIVING—Arizona, Byrd 3-33, Roberts 2-18, Sampson 1-21, I.Williams 1-21, J.Johnson 1-18, Fitzgerald 1-17, S.Skelton 1-12, Crump 1-9, Powell 1-9, Dray 1-6, Heap 1-6, Floyd 1-3. Kansas City, Maneri 3-69, McCluster 3-45, Copper 2-16, Newsome 2-16, O’Connell 1-15, Charles 1-11, Hillis 1-11, Wylie 1-7.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.