If Andy Reid was trying not to show anything on offense in Friday's preseason game in Kansas City, he did a remarkable job. The Eagles lost their most explosive player, DeSean Jackson, on their first possession to what Reid called a neck strain and then defensive end Trent Cole was carted off the field with an ankle injury. Neither injury looks too serious, although Cole will have an MRI on Saturday. Here's some observations I've made after watching a replay of the game:
Scary injury to Chiefs rookie linebacker Cameron Sheffield in the third quarter. I sort of lost interest in the game after that. Sheffield wasn't moving his arms or legs as he was carted off the field. Hoping we have some encouraging news on him soon.
Perhaps the Eagles gave up on Andy Studebaker too quickly. He had two sacks in the first half for the Chiefs and celebrated as if we were in Week 8. And early in the fourth quarter, it was Studebaker who forced Kevin Kolb to unload the ball before he was ready in the red zone.
Cornerback Asante Samuel's been looking for a 5-foot-7 player to tackle for years. Rookie Dexter McCluster gave him that opportunity late in the second quarter. That was a pretty nice hit, although the flexing after the tackle was a bit much. McCluster's going to be a fan favorite in Kansas City. Probably the most entertaining player on the field once Jackson made his exit.
I liked how rookie defensive end Brandon Graham stood his ground when Todd Haley tried to run the ball into the end zone in the second quarter. He then came back with a nice bull rush on the Chiefs' right tackle. Ernie Sims should've had the interception on the awful pass from Matt Cassel. He threw a touchdown on the next play. Looked like Quintin Mikell and Samuel were trying to decide who's fault it was. I thought Samuel was out of position on the play.
How do you not throw those crossing patterns to Jeremy Maclin all the time? It's impossible to cover. I didn't think Maclin was aggressive enough in going for some of Kolb's passes. On the deep ball in the first half, Maclin allowed Brandon Carr to rip the ball away. Then Maclin dropped a ball late in the first half when he felt Carr closing fast.
Left tackle Jason Peters picked up right where he left off last season with some untimely false starts. The second false start knocked the Eagles out of field goal position.
Late in the first half, Todd Haley called a delayed draw to Jamaal Charles and defensive end Darryl Tapp really made a weak attempt on the tackle. On the same drive, Ernie Sims couldn't make a play on Charles in the open field after he caught a swing pass from Cassel. I kept reading how Sims was destroying his teammates in camp, but Chiefs running backs were bouncing off him for additional yardage Friday.
Somebody better teach Kevin Kolb how to slide -- and I mean now. He moves really well, but he can't keep leading with his head or we'll be seeing a lot of Michael Vick this season.
Best literary retweet of the evening: Daily News beat man Les Bowen retweeted this from HighCheese: "Kafka known for ability to portray despair, not lead football team out of it."
Chad Hall was shaky on punt returns in the second half. Hopefully he'll make it to the practice squad because there's not going to be a spot for him on the 53-man roster.
Kolb made a really poor decision to throw it up for grabs on the interception in the third quarter. Maclin didn't have a chance to make the play because he was bracketed by a cornerback and safety. Easy pick for Kendrick Lewis, a fifth-round pick out of Ole Miss.
Rookie linebacker Jamar Chaney took a really poor angle on the Thomas Jones touchdown run in the third quarter. Looked like the big tight end Leonard Pope held Quintin Demps on the play. Chiefs broadcasters laud Jones for his willingness to bypass autographs seekers in order to spend extra time in the weight room. Someone get this man an Ed Block Courage award.
I was not impressed with Bobby April's coverage units. McCluster gave the Eagles fits on kickoff returns.
Rookie cornerback Trevard Lindley has shown flashes, but I didn't like him in run support in the fourth quarter. McCluster made one little inside move and Lindley went flying out of the picture. On another McCluster run in the fourth quarter, defensive end Ricky Sapp allowed himself to be driven off the ball, leaving a large running lane.
Really nice play by defensive end Eric Moncur to bring down McCluster in the backfield in the fourth quarter. The play pushed the Chiefs out of field goal range.
Rookie left tackle Austin Howard has been impressive this preseason, but he was beaten badly on an inside move by a reserve Chiefs defensive end and Mike Kafka was sacked. In other rookie news, linebacker Keenan Clayton made a really nice open-field tackle to force the Chiefs to punt in the fourth quarter.