Chiefs Rookie Earns National Attention for Being ‘Constant Presence’ vs. Bears

Getty Kansas City Chiefs defensive end George Karlaftis.

The Kansas City Chiefs‘ preseason opener against the Chicago Bears was an opportunity for Chiefs Kingdom to evaluate rookie first-round pick George Karlaftis in his first ever NFL game. And he didn’t disappoint.

In 24 total defensive snaps against Chicago, Karlaftis recorded 2 quarterback hurries, 1 quarterback hit, 1 sack, and 1 tackle for loss, per PFF. His first ever NFL sack came on a 3rd-and-11 play in which he hunted down veteran quarterback Trevor Siemian for a 10-yard loss.

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NFL Media had high praise regarding Karlaftis after the 19-14 loss for Kansas City.

“Karlaftis displayed a V-8 engine motor and was a constant presence in the Bears backfield. The rookie seems to never give up on a play, shows excellent pursuit and provides good power and speed off the edge,” Kevin Patra wrote on August 13.

“Yes, it came against a questionable Bears O-line, but Karlaftis dominating second-team blockers is what you want to see in the preseason. The Chiefs are counting on the rookie to help jump-start the pass-rushing group in 2022. His first preseason action showed significant promise.”

Karlaftis Reacts to NFL Debut

Kansas City’s rookie defensive end reacted to his first ever NFL game.

“It was great to go up against someone else,” Karlaftis said during his postgame press conference on August 13. “New opponents and all that stuff. Kind of test where you’re at and see how things are going. It was a great first taste.”

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Head coach Andy Reid had high praise for Karlaftis after his NFL debut.

“I thought he did some good things,” Reid said during his postgame press conference. “I thought the [defensive] line — those first couple units — played well. They put pressure on, and Karlaftis was part of that. He had a sack, he had another chance for a strip sack, and was close on another sack. He was pretty productive there.

“He’s a sharp kid. He wants to do the right things. He talks to everybody — all those veteran players, he asks questions. He’s not afraid to learn. He’s got a good d-line coach that can teach him. I guess he’s a sponge right now with all that.”

Andy Reid: “Young guys had a chance to play today” | Pre Week 1 Press ConferenceHC Andy Reid speaks with the media after the preseason week 1 matchup against the Chicago Bears. Subscribe for more videos! More Chiefs NFL action! #ChiefsKingdom #Chiefs #KansasCityChiefs #NFL Follow Our Social Media! Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Download the Chiefs Mobile App: iOS: Android:

Chiefs Lose to Bears in Preseason Opener

The Chiefs lost to the Bears 19-14 on the road in their preseason opener.

Kansas City’s offensive starters played one series together. That drive consisted of 11 plays, 72 yards, and a touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes to veteran tight end Blake Bell from five yards out.

On that drive, Mahomes completed 6-of-7 pass attempts for 60 yards and the touchdown. Each of his completions went to a different pass-catcher (Michael Burton, Mecole Hardman, Travis Kelce, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Isiah Pacheco, and Bell). Mahomes was pulled from the lineup after that series and was replaced by veteran Chad Henne, who continued to play with the offensive starters.

The leading receiver for the Chiefs was Justin Watson, who caught 5 passes for 45 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown pass from QB Shane Buechele just before halftime.

Rookie linebacker Leo Chenal, one of Kansas City’s third-round picks, led the Chiefs in tackles (6) and tackles for loss (2), per ESPN. He played deep into the fourth quarter and was wearing the green dot for the defense late in the second half.

Next up for the Chiefs on their preseason schedule is a game against the Washington Commanders at Arrowhead Stadium at 3:25 p.m. CST on August 20.


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