KC-CHI grades: Chiefs rookie DE Chris Jones looking like second-round steal
Kansas City Chiefs 23, Chicago Bears 7
Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Chiefs’ 23-7 victory over the Bears:
Quarterback grades: Alex Smith, 73.7; Nick Foles, 53.2; Aaron Murray, 70.9; Kevin Hogan, 62.6
Average to below-average grades across the board for Chiefs QBs
The performance of the Bears’ defense should have allowed for a huge day from the Chiefs’ quarterbacks, but it just never happened. Some of that was due to drops, with Alex Smith suffering from three of them alone, but he was also guilty of missing far too many passes against loose coverage and with little pressure. On the few occasions the Bears actually did pressure him (seven dropbacks) he completed all of his pass attempts and had a passer rating of 104.2. When he was kept clean in the pocket, though, that rating was just 76.6. Aaron Murray looked the best among the Chiefs’ passers on Saturday, completing a few nice passes, but firing too high on a pass that hit his receiver in the hand, only to be deflected for an interception.
Alex Smith passing summary under pressure this preseason (three games)
Top offensive grades:
OT Eric Fisher, 82.5
OT Jah Reid, 78.6
OT Mitchell Schwartz, 77.9
WR Frankie Hammond, 77.5
WR Jeremy Maclin, 75.1
First team O-line solid despite late substitution at center
Zach Fulton didn’t learn until the coin toss that he would be starting the game at center due to the late illness of Mitch Morse, but he acquitted himself well, keeping a clean sheet in pass protection and making the odd play in the run game, though he was more hit-or-miss there. Eric Fisher had an excellent game at left tackle, surrendering just one hurry on 34 pass-blocking snaps, and Mitchell Schwartz looked solid on the other side. Only really Laurent Duvernay-Tardif let the side down in pass protection a little, surrendering three pressures, but still not embarrassing himself. The O-line for Kansas City has been up and down in recent years, but this was an encouraging display.
Top defensive grades:
DI Chris Jones, 83.6
S Jeron Johnson, 79.8
NT Dontari Poe, 79.8
DI David King, 77.5
CB D.J. White, 76.9
Rookie DE Chris Jones looking like a second-round steal
Chris Jones was one of the highest-graded interior defenders in the nation last season, and was No. 12 on PFF’s final draft board, but slid all the way to Kansas City in the second round at pick No. 37. In this game, he dominated the Bears, generating three hurries, a batted pass, and stuffing more than one play deep in the backfield. He displayed the strength and quickness combination that made multiple PFF analysts fall in love with him as a prospect, and looks like a true impact player for the Chiefs already.
Quarterback grades: Jay Cutler 41.3; Brian Hoyer 67.0; Connor Shaw 77.6
Not the regular-season dress rehearsal Jay Cutler wanted
Preseason needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, but the third preseason game is the most meaningful of them all, and Jay Cutler looked poor, completing just six of his 13 pass attempts from 19 dropbacks. He threw for just 45 total yards in an entire half of football, and was booed at the half by the home fans. Cutler didn’t complete a single pass that went more than 9 yards from the line of scrimmage. Brian Hoyer wasn’t much better, and it wasn’t until Connor Shaw came in with the third string that we saw any life from Chicago, but he was on the field for just 10 snaps before suffering a broken leg and being forced from the game, necessitating Hoyer to come back in—himself banged up earlier.
Top offensive grades:
OT Jason Weaver, 81.2
OT Garry Williams, 78.2
QB Connor Shaw, 77.6
G Cody Whitehair, 76.0
WR Cameron Meredith, 75.8
Could Jason Weaver push Bobby Massie to start at RT?
This is now the second strong preseason performance this year from Weaver, while Massie remains a study in unfulfilled potential. In this game, he didn’t allow a single pressure over 19 pass-blocking snaps, but Weaver only surrendered a lone hurry over 26 at RG, and added some positive run-blocking snaps, too. Massie is capable of very good and very bad play, but Weaver, if nothing else, is putting down some tape that might convince the Bears that they have other options at RT—or even the kind of tape that convinces Massie he needs to up his game to maintain his spot in the starting line-up.
Top defensive grades:
LB Jerrell Freeman, 86.9
LB John Timu, 83.8
S Harold Jones-Quartey, 82.5
ED Roy Robertson-Harris, 79.7
S Demontre Hurst, 77.6
Bears’ linebacker imports having an impact already
Chicago underwent a linebacker corps transplant this offseason, shipping out the previous underperforming LBs and bringing in new, expensive replacements. Jerrell Freeman had an excellent game, while Danny Trevathan couldn’t quite match his level, but at least flashed the kind of plays that you suspect nobody on the Bears’ roster would have made a year ago. Freeman was tied for the team lead in tackles (six), defensive stops (three), and also broke up a pass in coverage, allowing only 34 yards, despite six targets in the game.
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