With the Chiefs’ first preseason game of the 2022 season kicking off on Saturday, there are countless storylines to keep an eye on. Here’s what to watch for in Saturday’s matchup.
On Saturday, the Chiefs travel to Chicago to face the Bears in their first preseason game of the year. Look for most of the starters to play the first series tomorrow, then the backups the rest of the game! Even with the starters sitting for most of the game, there are plenty of players to keep an eye on. There are other storylines to watch as well.
Key Chiefs Players To Watch As They Take On The Bears Saturday
Rookie running back, Isiah Pacheco has been a hot topic around camp. Pacheco fires into the camp and gets the attention of many in the organization! In tomorrow’s game, look at how much they use Pacheco out of the backfield, as well as how many snaps he sees with the first team. It could be the first real indicator of what his role will be for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs signed Ronald Jones this off-season to bolster up the running back room. With Clyde Edwards-Helaire being healthy, and the re-signing of Jerick McKinnon, Jones has been the odd man out in camp. Something to watch for is Jones’s snap count in the game. If the Chiefs decide to give him multiple series, it could be to improve his trade value. Jones will need to string together 3 great games this preseason to make the roster!
Chiefs’ long drive period in today’s look — CEH, Jerick McKinnon and Isiah Pacheco all reps with first team. Derrick Gore with the second team. Ronald Jones with the third team. — Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) August 11, 2022
Rookie wide receiver Skyy Moore is off to a great start to training camp! Head coach Andy Reid has used Moore in a number of different ways to start training camp. Moore has been used in the slot, the backfield, and in the return game. Against Chicago, watch how the Chiefs use Moore in both the pass and run game.
Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown made it a point this offseason to cut weight and become more athletic. Brown came into training camp looking more nimble and quicker than in previous seasons. Something to watch for tomorrow is how well he moves in the left tackle spot.
Orlando Brown vs Frank Clark – 2nd rep pic.twitter.com/8US1QfXSMT — KC Sports Network (@KCSportsNetwork) August 6, 2022
Nick Bolton has started out camp as the mike linebacker, and defensive play caller. Bolton looks likely to take the next step for the Chiefs this season. During the game, look for how vocal Bolton is with the defense. Another thing to watch is how well he flies around the field to make plays.
Nick Bolton has been running as the Dime LB in #ChiefsCamp, meaning the Chiefs are preparing to use him as a three-down, every-snap LB We saw him play the Dime and take 99% of the snaps in the Wk15 Chargers game last yr; he racked up 14 total tackles and 3 passes defended pic.twitter.com/5d07XFmie2 — Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) August 10, 2022
Rookie cornerback Trent McDuffie has been running with the ones in camp. The Chiefs believe McDuffie can come in and be a starter on Day 1. Look for how well the rookie fits with the defense and becomes a force on the perimeter.
This offseason, the Chiefs signed safety Justin Reid to replace Tyrann Mathieu. One thing about Reed is that he likes to fly around and hit. On defense tomorrow, look for how well Reid covers ground not only in coverage by in the run game as well.
Chiefs Position Group Battles To Watch In Preseason Week One
One of my favorite position battles of camp is the wide receivers. As I’ve said in previous articles, the top 4 wide receiver spots are locked down by JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Skyy Moore. The last two spots come down to many different guys. One big thing the Chiefs value from their receivers is their effectiveness on special teams. In the game Saturday, key in on this group and see who takes that next step and stands out on offense and special teams.
After trading star receiver Tyreek Hill in the offseason, see how Coach Reid and Coach Bieniemy changed this offense to better suit their talent levels. Look for quarterback Patrick Mahomes to spread the ball out more this season.
The starting offensive line is set for the most part. Something to watch for with the ones is how much push they get in the run game. This group has the potential to be one of the best offensive lines in the league this season. In the right tackle spot, pay attention to who gets reps with both the ones and twos. In my previous article, I mention how this spot is Andrew Wylie’s to lose. Watch for him as well as Darian Kinnard to make their presence known Saturday.
ESPN ranked the Chiefs offensive line as the #1 o-line in the NFL for 2022 pic.twitter.com/oHe0EJ9qot — Braiden Turner (@bturner23) August 5, 2022
The defensive line is one of the most important groups for the Chiefs this season. Coming off of a rough year with this position group, look for them to bounce back and play with a chip on their shoulder. Every Chiefs fan knows what they are getting out of Chris Jones. He is going to be the leader of this group. Something to watch is how well Frank Clark looks and moves with his new frame. Another battle to pay attention to is between Mike Danna and Carlos Dunlap. Who can come into this line and make a difference?
One of the big problems the Chiefs had last year was stopping the run and getting to the quarterback. Something to watch for with this group is how well they can communicate this season with a new captain. Losing a player like Tyrann hurts in more ways than people tend to realize, and could impact the pass rush as well. Another thing to keep an eye on is how well they tackle tomorrow against the Bears.
In tomorrow’s game look for the Chiefs to come out early and have success with their first team. I wouldn’t expect to see the starters for more than a couple series. Keep an eye on playing time and who can stand out.
We’re hiring multiple contributing writers for the 2022 season! Please submit an application here!
Want more Chiefs content? Be sure to check out the site here for more on the Chiefs, and follow our network Twitter @StadiumRantHQ for more sports content. Also, follow @ChiefsEdge on Twitter for more Chiefs content! Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic day!