An exciting and drama-filled first half of football between the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 leaves the good guys with a 23-7 lead at halftime.
The offense continues to look like the well-oiled machine that they were during the preseason, but it hasn’t been without challenges. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is dealing with some sort of ailment to his left wrist and playing through it. Special teams and defense have been quite impressive as well, dealing with their own share of adversity during the course of the game.
Here are a few quick takeaways from the first half of play:
Offense picks up where they left off in the preseason
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Chiefs’ offense picked up exactly where they left off in the preseason. Their opening drive looked exactly like the three drives they had between preseason Week 1 and Week 2. It was an 11-play drive that went for 75 yards and a touchdown. Four different players were targeted by Mahomes, including a tight end, two receivers and a running back. It was a good blend of run and pass plays too. The second offensive drive was even more efficient, with just seven plays, 86 yards and a score.
Everyone was wondering what the Chiefs’ offense would look like without Tyreek Hill and Mahomes told people exactly what it was going to be. They’re spreading the ball around, blending run-and-pass and moving the ball down the field methodically. In Week 1, that plan appears to be working quite well.
Justin Reid's preseason kicking performance wasn't just for fun
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
Chiefs S Justin Reid made a 65-yard field goal during training camp practice. He also kicked an extra point in the preseason game against the Chicago Bears. Many thought it was just fun and games with a player who has a strong leg and soccer background. As it turns out, the Chiefs taking things seriously there has paid off in Week 1.
Kicker Harrison Butker suffered a left ankle injury on a kickoff attempt and was carted to the locker room. While punter Tommy Townsend got some work in on the sidelines, it was Reid who replace Butker.
His first two plays as a kicker: A successful PAT and a touchback on the kickoff.
#Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker was carted to the locker room with an ankle injury and is questionable to return. Safety Justin Reid replaced him, making an XP and booming this kickoff through the endzone.pic.twitter.com/1tIWXd9XKP
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 11, 2022
Unfortunately, Reid’s next extra point attempt was wide right. He did kick another touchback just after. With a short week ahead, Butker’s ankle injury will be something to monitor. Butker eventually came out of the locker room and warmed up, kicking the field goal to end the half and bring the score to 23-7.
Defense doing a good job of corralling Kyler Murray
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The game plan for Kansas City was to corral Kyler Murray. They didn’t want to flush him out of the pocket because he’s so dangerous on the ground and making plays outside of the structure of the offense. So far they’ve done a good job of limiting Murray in the first half.
The defense has one sack and three quarterback hits on Murray. They’ve limited him to just 29 yards on the ground. In the passing game, he’s just 9-of-15 for 88 yards, which is good for a 60% completion percentage. They’ll need to do more of the same in the second half if they’re to hold onto this 16-point lead.