In the team’s second preseason game on Saturday, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Washington Commanders 24 to 14. We’re recapping the highlights of the team’s win.
Two down, one to go. The Chiefs’ second preseason game was a win by a score of 24-14. Wins and losses don’t matter much in the preseason, but it always feels better when your team comes away victorious. The starters played a much greater share in this one, including Patrick Mahomes, who compiled 19 pass attempts in this game compared to just seven in the preseason opener.
As always in the preseason, bubble players are the ones to watch as we look to determine who will make the team’s eventual 53-man roster. The NFL’s deadline to meet the 53-player mark is August 30. Here’s a recap of the Chiefs’ second preseason game.
Chiefs Starters Dominated Once Again In Preseason Game Two
Despite zero targets for Mecole Hardman and Juju Smith-Schuster (both players missed this game as a precaution), the first-team offense was clicking for the Chiefs from the very first drive of the game. On defense, it was much of the same as well.
The defense started the game for Kansas City, holding Washington to a punt on their very first series of the game. Nick Bolton was involved in three of the first seven tackles on defense, certainly a sign of things to come for the season ahead.
On the ensuing offensive drive for Kansas City — their first of the game — the unit drove downfield for 87 yards in 12 plays. A Washington defensive pass interference helped extend the drive after Mahomes targeted the rookie, Skyy Moore, on a deep pass on third and ten. With the drive extended, Mahomes eventually hit Justin Watson on a monstrous 39-yard gain before finding Jody Fortson in the endzone for the game’s first points.
Jody Fortson with the TD. pic.twitter.com/4yOyQsBBNa — Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) August 20, 2022
The Chiefs’ defense went on to hold the Commanders to punts on each of their first three drives. They mustered just 83 total yards combined between their first three drives, another sign that this season’s first-team offense might just be a dominant force. One injury of note took place in the Commander’s third drive of the game, midway through the second quarter. Cornerback Rashad Fenton was injured and reportedly suffered a mild groin injury. His status remains in the air but it doesn’t seem overly serious.
On a brighter note, in the same drive George Karlaftis showed more of his pass-rush chops in a sack of Commanders’ quarterback Carson Wentz. Despite being double-teamed, Karlaftis showed off a dominant spin move and impressive closing speed as he downed Wentz.
First Arrowhead sack for #Chiefs George Karlaftis pic.twitter.com/YrvGt76noi — Aaron Ladd (@aaronladd0) August 20, 2022
With just under seven minutes remaining in the second quarter, Patrick Mahomes was done for the day. With Shane Buechele driving the offense, the first drive without Mahomes on the day also resulted in the first punt of the afternoon for the Chiefs’ offense. Washington drove down the field for one touchdown just before halftime, and Kansas City entered the break, up 14-7.
With The Chiefs Starters On The Bench, Bubble Players Get A Shot
As we saw last week, the most intriguing part of the preseason took off in the second half for the Chiefs. With most of the starters on the bench for the second half, players that are trying to prove their worth for this season got their chance to shine.
The Chiefs got the ball to start the second half and Buechele connected with Daurice Fountain — one of those roster bubble players — for a big 27-yard gain. The Chiefs’ offense got within striking distance thanks to a solid scramble by their quarterback but ultimately settled for a field goal. On their ensuing drive after the kick-off, the Kansas City defense, led by Joshua Kaindoh and Elijah Lee, limited the Commanders to a three-and-out.
Washington was able to close the gap some early in the fourth quarter on a touchdown rush from Jordan Patterson. Rookie quarterback Sam Howell led the charge on an eight-play, 92-yard drive that brought the Commanders within three of the Chiefs.
Another nice looking ball from Sam Howell here. Finds Dax Milne, who makes a nice catch with arms extended to shield ball from DB with his body. pic.twitter.com/5FM36Kg3CG — Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) August 20, 2022
The Chiefs offense punted with just 2:45 left to play and gave Washington a chance, down by three, to win the game. The Chiefs’ defense wasn’t having it. Cornerback Chris Lammons intercepted Howell on a second-and-ten to swiftly decline any chance that Washington had at taking the lead.
The Chiefs took the ball and let the running back, Tayon Fleet-Davis, lead the charge. He ran the ball into the end-zone from the Washington one-yard line and put the Chiefs up 24 to 14. That’s where the score would finish in this one.
Bubble Players For The Chiefs Tried To Make Their Mark
Perhaps the biggest roster crunch for the Chiefs is the final two wide receiver spots for this season. Between Josh Gordon, Daurice Fountain, Cornell Powell, and Corey Coleman, there are a lot of guys looking to fill just one role. Justin Watson looks to have locked up the fifth wideout spot already, leaving just the sixth and final wide receiver role for those four players to battle over.
Watson led the team for the second straight game with 53 receiving yards on two receptions. Right behind him was Powell who had a much-needed good game for the Chiefs. He finished his day with four receptions on five targets for 35 yards. The performance may have given Powell a leg up on Fountain who finished his day with just one catch for 27 yards.
Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman did little to gain standing in the roster race. Gordon finished his day with one reception on two targets for ten yards. Coleman had one catch on three targets for 14 yards. The real star of the day was the tight end, Jody Fortson. Fortson, who enters the season after a devastating injury last season, caught four passes on the day for 19 yards and two receiving touchdowns.
Mahomes does it again! Two TD passes to Jody Fortson in the first half. 🎯 @PatrickMahomes @Chiefs 📺: #WASvsKC on @NFLNetwork 📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/tpy3uNZRe7 pic.twitter.com/ZAkfNLxlZW — NFL (@NFL) August 20, 2022
In the running game, the running backs left a lot to be desired. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the presumed starter, finished his day with just four yards on two carries. The Camp standout, Isiah Pacheco, didn’t fare much better with eight yards on four attempts. The three backs on the bubble — Ronald Jones, Jerick McKinnon, and Derrick Gore — combined for just 29 total yards. Gore had 11 rushing yards on five attempts. He also had one reception for one yard. Jones had one catch for three yards and McKinnon had one catch for 14 yards. Neither back had a rushing attempt.
On the defense, Jermaine Carter and Chris Lammons looked to stake their claim to roster spots for the 2022 season. Carter was the second-leading tackler on the team with four tackles. He’s a player that has been mostly quiet in camp so far but could be a solid depth piece for the defense moving forward. Lammons was the leading tackler on the day with five tackles, two pass defends, and a clutch interception that helped seal the win.
Chris Lammons picks off the pass and takes it inside the five-yard line!pic.twitter.com/nvQ31qRG2i — NFL Network (@nflnetwork) August 20, 2022
After tallying five sacks in Game One, the defensive line had three sacks this week. Azur Kamara and Taylor Stallworth each had a half sack. George Karlaftis had one sack and Khalen Saunders added his own as well. Less than a week after looking like a potential roster casualty, Saunders had an impressive showing with the sack and two total tackles. The needle certainly seems to be trending up for him.
Khalen Saunders wasting no time getting to the QB. 😤 @khalenNOTkaylen 📺: #WASvsKC on @NFLNetwork (check local listings) 📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/tpy3uNZRe7 pic.twitter.com/I6qMzINFdI — NFL (@NFL) August 20, 2022
There is just one preseason game remaining for the Chiefs. They’ll take on the Green Bay Packers this Thursday in the season’s final preseason matchup before the regular season gets underway. The next round of roster cuts takes place this Tuesday, August 23. Teams must trim their rosters from 85 to 80 players by the deadline. Notable candidates to be removed ahead of the deadline include Malik Herring, Matt Dickerson, Josh Gordon, Mike Rose, and Ronald Jones.
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