Five fun facts about the “Honey Badger”
Five questions to consider as the Chiefs play host to the San Francisco 49ers in the third preseason game on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p..m.
What is the level of concern for an offense that scored seven points last week?
None, really. A year ago, the Chiefs’ starting offense recorded two touchdowns and two field goals in 10 possessions in the second and third preseason games. The Chiefs led the NFL in points and yards.
But offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy wants to see his unit handle adversity better this week. The Chiefs came out sluggish after the one-hour rain delay in Pittsburgh.
“I’m looking forward to watching our guys get back in sync and in rhythm,” Bieniemy said. “I want to watch them handle the sudden change. I didn’t think we did a good job of handling the schedule of last week.”
Has the running back depth chart been shuffled?
It appeared so in practice this week, rookie Darwin Thompson ran with the ones and twos. Damien Williams remained the first player at the position when the offense takes the field. But Thompson has been next up, moving ahead of Carlos Hyde and Darrel Williams.
But on Thursday, Andy Reid said he wanted to give each back a chance with first-team reps.
“We’ve kind of given all four of those guys an opportunity to jump in there over the last three weeks,” Reid said.
Still, don’t be surprised if Thompson is the second running back to play on Saturday.
Will Tyrann Mathieu see more action?
It would be difficult to see any less. Mathieu has played four snaps in the first two preseason games. He came out after two in the opener along with some other defenders. Last weekend at Pittsburgh, Mathieu suffered a shoulder injury and left the game. Had it been a regular season game, Andy Reid said, Mathieu would have continued.
As the new defense comes together, having the key pieces in place becomes a priority as the regular season approaches. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo addressed this subject on Wednesday.
“The group that we envision to be out there for a lot of snaps against Jacksonville, it hasn’t had a lot of snaps in a game situation,” Spagnuolo said. “So, there’s a little concern there, but if we can get all of those guys out there Saturday night, it’ll be about chemistry, it’ll be about communication.”
What’s going on with the offensive line?
Reid has been tinkering with the guards. shuffling Cam Erving and Andrew Wylie on the left side. Wylie has gotten some reps at tackle. Erving is listed as a backup tackle on the depth chart.
“We feel like both of those guys are starters, you just don’t have enough spots,” Reid said. “Listen, they’re all going to play. You can’t have enough of those guys.”
What’s this week’s injury of concern?
Breeland Speaks is unlikely to play on Saturday because of knee injury suffered against the Steelers.
“I’m having him meet with some doctors here and just checking that thing out and letting it calm down and see where we’re at,” Reid said. “Some of it’s the swelling.”