NFL Nation: 2014 NFL Preseason Week 5 KC at GB



Since the fourth preseason game never gives any indication about a team’s true potential, the only real takeaway from the Kansas City Chiefs’ 34-14 loss to Green Bay was that it followed a familiar pattern established in the previous two exhibitions. The Chiefs' offense struggled for long stretches. There was a dearth of noteworthy plays. And since this game was a showcase primarily for backups and players hoping to make the 53-man roster, there are still questions about how much quality depth the Chiefs have at certain positions heading into their season opener against Tennessee.

Here are some other thoughts on the Chiefs’ final preseason effort:
  • Quarterback Tyler Bray blew his opportunity to secure the coaches’ confidence. There had been plenty of discussion about Bray’s potential to unseat veteran Chase Daniel as the top backup to Alex Smith. That conversation ended with Bray completing 8 of 15 passes for 116 yards with one touchdown and one interception. This game was typical of what we’ve seen from Bray throughout the preseason. He displayed his tremendous arm strength on some plays, then made poor decisions on others, including the interception tossed to Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush in the second quarter. Bray had nearly two quarters to make a statement after replacing Daniel, who played the first quarter. The only message he sent was one Daniel surely liked hearing.
  • Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop likely has played his last game in a Kansas City uniform. Succop has been the team’s kicker since 2009 and he’s been fairly reliable (converting 81 percent of his field goal attempts). His real problem is that he’s due to make $1.6 million this coming season and the Chiefs have a cheaper option in Cairo Santos. With the team discussing new contracts for Smith and outside linebacker Justin Houston, Succop could be trade bait or just outright expendable.
  • Penalties were once again a disturbing sight, even with backups logging most of the minutes. The Chiefs were penalized 14 times for 131 yards. They also had 13 penalties in their second preseason game (a 28-16 loss to Carolina) and seven penalties in their preseason opener (a 41-39 win over Cincinnati). The good news is that the Chiefs had only two penalties in their 30-12 loss to Minnesota, when the starters played well into the third quarter. But a potential lack of discipline is something worth monitoring this season. The Chiefs just aren’t good enough to overcome those kinds of mistakes.
  • Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke has a strong shot of making this roster. When the offseason began, he was better known for having to compete against his cousin, David Van Dyke, in a crowded secondary. But he’s benefited from the numbers game when the Chiefs released Brandon Flowers, a lack of great competition (rookie Phillip Gaines has struggled mightily) and his own performance. Given that the 6-foot-1 DeMarcus Van Dyke has 4.28 speed and three years of experience (one with Oakland and two with Pittsburgh), he was an intriguing developmental option from the start. Now he could bring much needed depth to a secondary that has plenty of questions.

Observation Deck: Green Bay Packers

August, 28, 2014
Aug 28
10:12
PM ET


GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers had no intention of putting Aaron Rodgers at risk of injury in Thursday's preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Rodgers and most of the starters on both sides of the ball were held out.

And it gave them the perfect excuse to get a long look at the two players locked in a battle to be his backup.

Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien might have made the Packers' decision that much more difficult, especially if they were thinking of keeping only one of them.

Alternating quarters, each threw a pair of touchdown passes in the Packers' 34-14 victory at Lambeau Field.

Playing the first and third quarters, Flynn finished 7-of-15 passing for 102 yards and two touchdown passes for a passer rating of 108.9. Meanwhile, Tolzien finished 12-of-18 for 139 yards and two touchdown passes for a passer rating of 126.9. If the Packers were hoping to sneak Tolzien through to the practice squad, for which he remains eligible, that might be even more difficult after teams see the film from this game.

Some other thoughts on the Packers' preseason finale:
  • The only offensive line starter to play was center Corey Linsley, who assumed the job last week after JC Tretter injured a knee. The rookie fifth-round pick played the first two series, both with Flynn, and did not have any obvious breakdowns, but the Packers gave him plenty of help. On several plays, guard Lane Taylor and Linsley used combination blocks on the Chiefs' front.
  • Undrafted rookie Jayrone Elliott, who was tied for the NFL preseason sack lead, registered his fifth sack of the summer in the first quarter. He overpowered Kansas City's starting right tackle Donald Stephenson to dump Chase Daniel on third-and-12. On the previous play, Elliott used a speed move to beat Stephenson to the inside and drew a holding penalty. The sequence might have locked up a roster spot for Elliott, who left the game briefly in the third quarter with an unannounced injury but returned.
  • As good as James Starks looked in the preseason opener, DuJuan Harris has been the better running back since -- other than his fumble in Week 2 against the Rams. Harris gained 26 yards on his first four carries before getting dumped for a 6-yard loss after backup tackle Derek Sherrod whiffed on a block. Harris could have made enough of a statement that he would open the season as Eddie Lacy's backup.
  • Early in camp, Rajion Neal looked like the better of the Packers' two undrafted rookie running backs. But Neal injured a knee in the preseason opener, leaving the door open for LaDarius Perkins. Against the Chiefs, Perkins scored on an 11-yard screen pass from Flynn and also had a long run of 22 yards.
  • The Packers announced four other injuries. Tackle Aaron Adams (knee), defensive end Khyri Thornton (hamstring), linebacker Adrian Hubbard (knee), linebacker Nate Palmer (knee) left the game and did not return.

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