Chiefs football finally returns this Thursday, as Kansas City will open their preseason schedule by hosting the Houston Texans. There will be plenty of eye candy to look out for in this first rehearsal for the regular season. Let’s break down three things to watch for in this contest.
Arrowhead won’t be as rocking as a regular season game, but it will be important nonetheless. Rookies and newly acquired free agents alike will get the chance to showcase themselves. They will also feel the pressure of playing in their home field for the first time; a great evaluation tool. Most of the Chiefs rookies are on the defensive side of the ball. That means every level of the defense will be filled with tight position battles in the game against the Texans.
Safety Armani Watts was touted by some to be the Chiefs best draft pick. Daniel Sorensen will have to have knee surgery causing him to miss time early in the regular season, and Watts will now have one of the better opportunities to get a chance to start on defense. The top draft pick, Breeland Speaks was listed as the second string LOLB, behind Justin Houston, on the Chiefs’ first depth chart of 2018. Given last season’s pass rush, that is big for Speaks to be that high on the depth chart before any real game reps. Others like Sammy Watkins and Kendall Fuller will likely only get one or two drives max, but there is plenty of hype surrounding those new additions to watch as well.
The defense is looking for a major turnaround after finishing 28th in total defense last year. The pass rush and secondary will be two things to watch in this game. Opposite of Speaks, second-year player Tanoh Kpassagnon is looking to breakout and both players are going to have a role to fill for the Chiefs. In the secondary, Marcus Peters is gone, but the defensive backs have had a really strong camp overall. Steven Nelson may be on the verge of having his best season. But being able to find more strengths than weaknesses with those make or break roster guys, like Arrion Springs and D’Montre Wade, will be major in the second half.
Lastly, this will be offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy’s first game in his new role. Andy Reid always has a stranglehold over the play calling, and that will continue in 2018. Bieniemy is getting a chance to lead an offense that has plenty of new faces. He has been with Reid in Kansas City before as the running backs coach. Bieniemy’s mindset exemplifies Reid very well. How he handles certain situations in this game will be fun to watch.
Enjoy the game Thursday and the three things to watch that were mentioned in this article. Excitement is building as we continue to get closer and closer to the regular season. Be sure to stay tuned to Full Press Coverage for more great sports content.
You can follow me on Twitter: @ebearcat9