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Chiefs vs. Packers: Game Takeaways

Posted Aug 29, 2014

The Kansas City Chiefs dropped their final preseason game 34-14 to the Green Bay Packers Thursday night at Lambeau field

The saving grace for the Chiefs is that nothing up until this point has counted.

Putting too much emphasis on preseason performances is a common occurrence—not just for the Chiefs but for everyone around the league. But that doesn’t mean mistakes or poor execution should necessarily be overlooked either.

For the Chiefs, the story of their 1-3 preseason was penalties and turnovers. They didn’t take care of business on their own end in a lot of cases and it hurt them.

But these are lessons to learn in the preseason. That’s why it’s there. Now hopefully, after four games, these lessons are understood and the application of this newfound knowledge can transfer over to the field.

With one of the best in the business running the show in head coach Andy Reid, there are plenty of reasons to be cautiously optimistic that things will improve for the Chiefs.

The Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium next week to open up the regular season schedule.

“It’s time to get on with the season,” Reid said after the game. “I'm not much on predictions other than we’re going to work hard and we’re going to take it one play at a time and crank. We’re looking forward to getting the season started.”

Reid spoke with the media after the game and just like in the Chiefs loss on the road to the Carolina Panthers—penalties were the story in Green Bay.

“14 penalties—I mean obviously that’s way too much,” Reid said. “You can cut that in half and that’s way too much. It’s just ridiculous so we have to fix it.”

Just like in the Panthers game, the Chiefs gave up 131 yards in penalties, although this time it was on 14 penalties, not 13.

Reid didn’t believe that just because it was the twos and threes playing that they should be given leniency for all of the penalties.

“They’re all ours and we don’t look at them as backup players,” Reid said. “We look at them as mistakes and we’ve got to correct those.”

One of the biggest surprises in the game came on the offensive side of the ball during the Chiefs first drive.

It was when newly signed veteran offensive lineman Mike McGlynn, who had signed with the Chiefs on Wednesday, started at left guard on Thursday night.

McGlynn, who spent three years with Reid in Philadelphia (08-10), admitted this was a lot thrown in his direction in a short time.

“It was a quick turnaround, obviously,” McGlynn said. “Something that I wouldn’t necessarily say was tough, but it was a quick turnaround—just learning the playbook in the amount of time that I’ve been here.

“That being said—getting on the field—football schematically—it’s football. You could call this and that. It’s all basically the same. Some of the terminology changes here and there from place to place but it’s all relatively the same.”

When asked whether his experience with coach Reid back with the Eagles helped him adapt quicker, McGlynn said it did.

“A lot of the protections, the scheme—a lot of the calls were the same,” McGlynn said. “Yes, some things have changed since I was there but a lot of things were the same and that definitely helped my transition I think.”

Having played at Arrowhead Stadium as a visiting player a few times, McGlynn seemed excited about being on the good guy’s side for once.

“It’s going to be awesome,” McGlynn said. “In my opinion, [it’s] the best atmosphere in the NFL, one of toughest places to play in the NFL and I’m excited to be on the offensive side.” 

Staying on offense, the biggest storyline of the offseason and even into these preseason games has been the emergence of the tight ends.

Everyone in the football-watching world knows what running back Jamaal Charles is capable of doing, but finding another avenue to move the chains for the Chiefs offense was a storyline all throughout the offseason.

The Chiefs believe they’ve solidified the tight end position in a way that should provide the offense another weapon to supplement what Charles already brings to the table.

The leader of this tight end group, veteran Anthony Fasano, believes in what this group can do if they continue to work on what has made them successful to this point.

“I think if we can take care of details, we’re going to be an asset for the offense,” Fasano said. “We’re in there and we get plays called for us and we’re able get the opportunity to make plays and help the offense score and keep drives alive on third down. All those opportunities are there for our position.”

The Chiefs tight ends combined for 21 receptions for 305 yards and two touchdowns this preseason.

As Fasano was mentored as a young player in Dallas by veteran tight end Jason Witten, now it’s Fasano who looks to be that resource to help both Travis Kelce and Demetrius Harris become better football players.

“I try to help them with any kind of experience I have had along the way,” Fasano said. “But I also learn from them. [We have] a lot of talented players in our room and we work with each other. We talk to each other and bounce things off one another and get better.

“So if I can help in some areas, just from a player’s point of view that coach can’t, or if a young guy hasn’t seen that situation, I’ll do it, but I also learn from them.”

The Chiefs team as a whole will hope to have learned from its mistakes as it prepares for the start of the regular season next week.

News and Notes

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Spoke one-on-one with coach Reid at halftime and he mentioned he liked Tyler Bray’s ability to drive down the field and score a touchdown after the interception.

That drive ended on a Bray touchdown pass to tight end Richard Gordon.

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Several Chiefs players left the game injured: WR AJ Jenkins (concussion), WR Kyle Williams (shoulder), QB Tyler Bray, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (foot), LB Nico Johnson (quad), DT Vance Walker (hand)

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Kelcie McCray, the Chiefs safety that came to the Chiefs from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for OL Rishaw Johnson, led the team with six solo tackles.

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The Chiefs must be at 53 players by Saturday at 3 p.m. CST.

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