he preseason is almost over and teams are starting to show their true colors. The Kansas City Chiefs suffered a 27-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in their their exhibition matchup. The Chiefs are 1-2 in three games, but their team is beginning to look like the Super Bowl contenders that they are expected to be.
The starters for Kansas City saw extended time against San Francisco. After week three, here are three takeaways from Saturday night’s loss.
Patrick Mahomes is Still Really Good
When the Chiefs traded up to take Patrick Mahomes in the first-round, there were many skeptics. After one season of backing up Alex Smith, Mahomes won the NFL’s MVP Award. Now, he is heading into his second season as a starter and he looks ready to repeat his 5,000 yard, 50 touchdown performance.
Mahomes finished 8-10 for 126 yards and one touchdown against the 49ers. He had it all working on Saturday. Mahomes reminded fans of his ability to scramble and throw on the run. He delivered a perfect dime on a wheel route for his only touchdown pass. So, one thing is for sure, Mahomes is still really good and so is the offense.
Mecole Hardman continued his strong start to his rookie campaign with three catches for 40 yards. Tyreek Hill finished with three catches for 31 yards. It is possible that the Kansas City offense will be better this season than 2018. If that is the reality, then we could be in for a historical season.
Defense Still Needs Work
The Chiefs had one of the worst defenses in the league last season. They made strides in improving. Frank Clark was brought over via trade and signed a longterm extension to remain in Kansas City. Tyrann Mathieu is a new addition to the secondary as well. On Saturday, the defense was far from perfect.
Clark picked up his first sack and continued to show signs of the strong weapon he was in Seattle. Aside from that, the 49ers were comfortable all night. Jimmy Garoppolo finished 14-20 for 188 yards and one touchdown. Matt Breida ran for 44 yards and averaged 6.3 yards per carry.
The Chiefs reached the AFC Championship Game thanks to their MVP quarterback and great offense, but their defense let them down in overtime. They fell just short of the Super Bowl. This season, if they Chiefs want to take that next step, their defense will have to improve dramatically.
Chiefs’ Running Game May Not Include Carlos Hyde
Andy Reid is a head coach that has always gotten the most out of his running backs. From Philadelphia to Kansas City, Reid has found different ways to use his backs in certain situations. The Chiefs will feature a running back committee this season. Damien Williams will be the starter, but there are other backs who will get significant time. One of those might not be Carlos Hyde.
Darrel Williams led the team with five carries on Saturday. Rookie Darwin Thompson has shown his ability to be a runner and a a receiver. He will be used a lot in this Chiefs’ offense. Hyde did not get his first carry until the third quarter, and it was his only one. It went for one yard. Moving forward, it is not out of the question to say that Hyde may not be on the team heading into week one of the regular season.
Even without Hyde, the Chiefs run game will be strong and it will be enough to compliment Mahomes and the pass.