Arizona Cardinals overpowered by visiting Chiefs in preseason loss
Aug 19, 2023, 10:22 PM
(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)
GLENDALE (AP) — Kansas City’s first-team offense didn’t play well during its first few series Saturday night, dropping a few passes, committing a few penalties and coming up well short of the end zone.
An expected light preseason night for the starters was suddenly becoming a little longer. Before the third drive, MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes had a message for his teammates.
“If we don’t want to keep playing, we’d better score,” Mahomes said.
The Chiefs responded with a 10-play, 92-yard drive that ended in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes to Justin Watson and Kansas City was on its way to a 38-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
It was the first extended preseason action for Mahomes, who completed 10 of 15 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, playing the entire first quarter. The defending Super Bowl champs never trailed and outgained the Cardinals 504 yards to 286.
Kansas City (1-1) is expected to be among the NFL’s best teams again this year, while Arizona (1-1) is a popular pick to be among the worst. Franchise quarterback Kyler Murray continues to recover from a torn ACL suffered last year.
Veteran Colt McCoy is the expected starter until Murray returns. He completed 5 of 8 passes for 25 yards. Rookie Clayton Tune — a fifth-round pick out of Houston — completed 12 of 24 passes for 133 yards. He also ran for 35 yards.
The Chiefs built a 17-0 lead by late in the second quarter following Harrison Butker’s 28-yard field goal. The Cardinals cut it to 17-7 just before halftime on Keaontay Ingram’s 5-yard touchdown.
Arizona’s Matt Prater made a 54-yard field goal with 9:33 left in the third to make it 17-10, but Kansas City would finish the game with 21 straight points.
Kansas City’s backup quarterbacks both had strong performances. Shane Buechele was 10 of 10 for 105 yards, while also running for a 15-yard touchdown. Blaine Gabbert was 7 of 8 for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
“It was a good effort, all the way around,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “Defensively, I thought we started fast, which is what we needed to do. Offensively, we had a few hiccups early. We’ve got to take care of business with that. But all in all, the groups came out and played good, respectable football.”
The Chiefs’ four quarterbacks — Mahomes, Buechele, Gabbert and fourth-stringer Chris Oladokun — combined to complete 31 of 38 passes for 393 yards and three touchdowns.
“All three phases, we’ve got to get cleaned up or that is what going to happen against a good football team,” Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon said. “You’re going to get beat pretty good. It will be very black and white to our guys what we need to improve in a hurry.”
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
It was the third time in less than a year that the Chiefs have played at State Farm Stadium.
Kansas City beat Arizona 44-21 in last year’s season opener before returning before returning to the desert for their Super Bowl win over the Eagles in February. Six months later, they were back in Glendale for the preseason game.
Kansas City won all three games.
Cardinals: Travel to face the Minnesota Vikings in their final preseason game next Saturday.