Well as C Day (Cut down day) is right around the corner, the Chiefs players had to buckle down a day earlier and show why they deserve to make that 53-man squad. The Chiefs were able to muster their first win at the New Arrowhead, along with the preseason against the Green Bay Packers. It was their first win in the preseason since 2008, and it was a performance that either made or broke the future careers for some young players or journeyman veterans.
Though the Packers stars were not seen on the field, the Chiefs were still able to shut down Matt Flynn and the Packers consistent second string offense to four consecutive three and outs to start the game. The Chiefs defense was able to hold the Packers rushing attack to merely 67 rushing yards. However, the Chiefs secondary got torched for 377 yards, 304 coming from Flynn. One of the biggest plays came when cornerback Jackie Bates bit on a pump fake from Flynn, giving Brett Swain a 77 yard jaunt inside the 5 yard line. Though it was all backups, the young guns were unable to corral the Packer receivers, but in the end were able to ward off the hot offense for a victory.
The Chiefs Matt Cassel was once again shaky at best in the preseason, and this time it seemed a little worse as he was up against mostly backups, going 4/9 for 58 yards a touchdown and an interception. Cassel never seemed to get into a rhythm, but was able to find a wide open Leonard Pope in the back of the end zone to put the Chiefs up 7-0 early. Cassel has yet to show me he is ready to lead a team deep into the season. This game alone is not what I am judging on, Cassel struggled last year and the consistency hasn’t gotten any better in the four showcases this summer. However, in Cassel’s struggles Brodie Croyle seemed to shine as he played most of the game going 11/16 for 119 yards. Croyle seems to mature and grow with every throw and even though he is not the starter I feel he could be the answer in a year or two if Cassel does not pan out.
With the nerves of cut down day on all the players minds, one player didn’t seem to show it and has yet to show it this entire preseason/off season. Jackie Battle. Battle was a beast yet again, specifically displaying his speed and power on a 50 yard scamper punishing corner back Jarrett Bush en route. Later in the drive Battle plowed his way in from the 1 yard line on fourth and goal. Battle proved his case and some to Todd Haley rushing 10 times for 67 yards and a score. Battle should be the third running back on the Chief roster when the rosters come out.
The rookies showed their stuff on Thursday night. Alabama alum Javier Arenas showed once again his explosiveness on the punt returns as he took one 44 yards that led to a Ryan Succop field goal. It was good to see the once injured rookie tight end Tony Moeaki to get in the game and was able to snag a catch for 16 yards. Moeaki from what I was able to see made the blocks he had to and was able to be solid player when called upon. Rookie scat back Dexter McCluster rushed 3 times for 37 yards, but was unable to get any passes his way.A slightly disappointing note, probably due to the lofty expectations, was the play of Eric Berry who again only had one tackle. So far not earning the paycheck, but then again you do not get paid for the preseason.
As players are getting cut, Chiefs safety Jarrad Paige finally signed his restricted free agent contract. Paige missed the entire off season program along with every preseason game, lets hope he kept in shape. His conditioning will be tested in just over a weeks time.
The Chiefs coaching staff have a lot on their plate for the next 24 hours to make their final decisions on the roster. However, their plate is a tad lighter as seven players have already gotten the pink slips.
TE Leroy Banks, WR Rich Gunnell, G Lemuel Jeanpierre, T Ikechuku Ndukwe, CB Mike Richardson, LB John Russell, and G Dan Santucci have already felt the disappointment and let down, with more coming our way in the next day.
Check back for the final roster cuts, and the 2010-2011 predictions for your Kansas City Chiefs.
About the Author
Written by Vince Sapienza
I am a sports enthusiast pursuing an undergraduate degree in Television Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Communication Studies with a deep passion and love for all that is sports.