How Chiefs Will Handle First-Team Reps in Preseason Finale

Getty Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens is introduced prior to the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans

The Kansas City Chiefs are set to take on the Minnesota Vikings for their preseason finale on Friday, Aug.27, at 7 p.m. CDT. The game is the final opportunity for both teams to take a look at the 80 men on their rosters and decide which 27 of them will have to be cut loose before the regular season begins.

Because of the preseason being shaken up this year — with one game being removed and only three in total being played — every game is a different experience for those watching, as we don’t quite know how much playing time each unit will receive. However, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid gave us a bit of detail on how much we can expect to see his starters play Friday night at the newly-designed GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

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Starters Will Play First Half

“What we’ll do with this game is we’ll play the ones for the first half and then we’ll see about after that and go from there,” Reid said of the preseason finale during his Wednesday press conference. “Then, the other guys will jump in and fill in.”

The outlier in this situation is and always will be star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. During the preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers, Mahomes played just four snaps. However, in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals, he played 32 snaps. We knew heading into the preseason that Kansas City’s coaching staff wanted Mahomes to get reps with his revamped offensive line. But the fluctuation in reps between the first and second games leaves us wondering how many snaps Mahomes will take against the Vikings.

Reid was asked about Mahomes’ playing time in the preseason finale but was non-committal on how much the former MVP would play.

“Yeah, we’ll see how it goes. He got quite a few snaps, 33 snaps or so last game,” said Reid. “That was a long first half. I wasn’t anticipating 45 plays, but that’s OK. We needed the work and he got good work in.”

What Should We Expect?

Judging by how valuable Mahomes is to the franchise, one has to imagine that we will not see an entire first half of Mahomes Friday night. If he struggles — as he did against the Cardinals — then several drives — 2-3 at the most — may be in the works for him. However, if he comes out and is able to drive the offense down the field and put points on the board, then Mahomes could very well be on the bench after just one drive.

The starting offensive line will likely see an entire half of football, however. Even if Mahomes isn’t in the game, Reid wants to get them reps with backup quarterback Chad Henne, who should see the field plenty this season if the Chiefs are able to rack up points during the regular and postseason like we expect them to.

Reid noted during his Monday press conference this week some things he will be looking for in the final preseason game.

“There are always things to work on,” Reid said. “I didn’t think we did a great job of keeping ourselves onside. We jumped a couple times with that first group, and you don’t want to do that. Then, the small things of your game you can always better—each individual guy and coaches, myself included. We can all get ourselves moving a step forward and better.”


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