Immediately following his final dress rehearsal of the preseason last Thursday night at Lambeau Field, Chiefs Pro Bowl WR
“Preseason is all about evaluating guys and I think we’ve done our evaluating,” Bowe said. “Now is when the real thing gets going and we’re looking to pick up where we left off last year.”
For Bowe, that means being a reliable big-play threat each and every week.
His eight catches for 85 yards with a touchdown against the Packers was a very regular season-like performance. Playing well into the fourth quarter alongside a number of other Chiefs starters, Bowe led all receivers with 11 targets.
Bowe’s final stat line topped all receivers and his toe-tap TD reception was highlight reel material.
“It was a hurricane (route); a quick hitter and Tyler (Palko) threw the ball to the back pylon,” Bowe said of the touchdown grab. “I tried to do my best to catch it and get both feet in and it happened for me.”
But it wasn’t the touchdown catch Bowe wanted to expand upon following the game. Instead, it was a missed opportunity on the game’s first play where
“I knew he could throw it that far,” Bowe said of Cassel’s deep attempt. “I didn’t turn my head back to look in time and when I did the safety was covering Matt up so I couldn’t see him. I think it was thrown to where I could get it if I would have seen it. We’ll keep working on those things in practice leading up to this Bills game.”
Bowe’s performance in the preseason finale helped make him Kansas City’s preseason receiving yardage leader despite playing sparingly in the first three exhibition games. It was the third-straight preseason Bowe has led the team in receiving.
He finished preseason play with 12 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown.
“It felt good working with Matt for a longer time (Thursday night) and it brought me back memories of last year,” Bowe said. “I’m trying to stack good performances on top of another to be a better player than I was last year.”
The end of that quote might as well be from the mouth of Todd Haley himself. We’ve heard “stacking good performances on top of one another” from Haley more than few times over the past two seasons and you can bet that Bowe has heard the same thing as well.
It’s a good first sign that, even after Bowe’s Pro Bowl season a year ago, Haley still has the wide receiver’s complete attention.
Bowe set career highs last season in receiving yards (1,162), and average yards per catch (16.1 avg.), while leading the NFL with 15 touchdown receptions. His breakout season came after posting career lows across the board in 2009.
The quest for Bowe to build off his 2010 performance has gotten off to a good start. His training camp was impressive, reporting to St. Joseph in shape following an offseason away from Arrowhead and the supervision of the Chiefs strength and conditioning staff.
That reliability carried over to preseason consistency with difficult catches like this one-handed first down grab against Baltimore.
In a winless preseason, Bowe was one of Kansas City’s bright spots.
“I feel good and I think we have a great team,” Bowe says.
“I feel like we’re going to come out fired up and hot. Guys are going to learn from their mistakes from (the preseason). We know that we have to focus on closing games and not giving the football up. If we focus on those things against Buffalo and don’t turn the football over, we can come up with a win.”