It’s been six months since I’ve uttered these words; THE CHIEFS WON!! Sadly, I wasn’t able to watch the game (thanks to Florida TV for not making it available), but I’m glad I have GamePass to be able to watch it myself. A lot of players did well for the Chiefs, while others didn’t step up to make their mark for a roster spot.
With that said, let’s look at three players that trended up and down from their in-game performance against the 49ers.
Trending Up: Jody Fortson
On a push to make the final roster, Fortson has boosted himself up with his showing against the 49ers. In five targets, in reeled in three receptions for 32 yards. He also had the second-longest reception of the night for the Chiefs with a 19-yard grab from Buechele late in the fourth quarter; it was one-handed, too:
To add to his performance, he had a solid tackle as well on special teams in the first quarter. If he keeps putting up highlights and stats like that in camp and in-game, prepare to see him on a roster quite soon.
Trending Down: Marcus Kemp
When you see someone having an exciting camp, they should be able to perform well in-game. Sadly, while Marcus Kemp is having a good camp with a lot of great plays, it didn’t show this week. He was only targetted three times, and while he caught it twice, he only had a measly ten yards.
Now, while I understand that everyone was supposed to have a fair shot, he should’ve been able to a bit more with his receptions. He wasn’t able to generate any yards after he caught the ball as well. Will this kick him off the roster? No, but it does bring his stock line down a fair share as many other receivers outperformed him. This includes Cornell Powell, Byron Pringle, and Daurice Fountain.
Trending Up: Tim Ward
What we need to see is another solid backup defensive end to fill in at one of the weaker spots of the defensive line. Well, Tim Ward has put his name in the basket to be one of the main backups on the Chiefs’ defensive end after an impressive showing. He had five total tackles (four solo), two sacks, which in turn, went into two QB hits and two tackles-for-a-loss.
The speed rush has been working in his favor. He had one in the second quarter where he immediately beat the offensive tackle on the snap, ran right past him, and got to Trey Lance for an easy nine-yard sack. He also ended the game for the Chiefs too, as in the fourth quarter, he used a swim move to run past both the right tackle and the tight end that was trying to block him.
His trend line clearly went up after this week. It’ll be exciting to see what we will get to watch from him as the preseason and camps progress.
Trending Down: Darwin Thompson
Thompson didn’t have a good day, to say the least. On four rushing attempts, he had a measly 12 yards, averaging three yards per attempt. He wasn’t that reliable in the passing game either, only catching one ball for four yards. When you’re in a pass-happy system like the Chiefs, you have to do well in the passing game, and many other running did better in both rushing and passing.
Let’s now compare to some of the other runningbacks that received reasonable reps:
- Jerick McKinnon: three rush attempts for 19 yards; two catches for 21 yards, with a 16 yard recpetion.
- Elijah McGuire: one rush attempt for three yards; two catches for 27 yards, with a 22-yard reception (longest for the Chiefs).
Thompson just didn’t seem to find the rushing lanes well or just follow the blockers in general, whether it was plain gap blocking or zone blocking. He didn’t truly show a burst to the second-level (linebacker area of the field), and nothing of his game stood out for him yesterday.
Helaire and Darrel Williams are immediate roster players. McKinnon and/or McGuire may run away with Thompson’s spot unless he improves his in-game ability.
Trending Up: DeAndre Baker
Out of all defensive backs yesterday, the one who the most lockdown was none other than former first-round pick DeAndre Baker. Aside from having two pass deflections (which was tied with the most by a Chiefs’ player that game), Baker was targetted six times; the 49ers played to complete a pass in his zone:
That alone gives him props and gives him a greater shot at making the 53-man roster. If he continues to perform as well as he did here, prepare to see him in a big role once the regular season rolls around.
Trending Down: Noah Gray
Yesterday was not a memorable day of some first football action for Noah Gray. While he did have some solid blocks, he did absolutely nothing in the receiving end of the field. On two targets, he wasn’t able to reel in a single catch.
One of these passes was a clear drop that led to a horrible outcome. In the first quarter, Gray ran a simple out-route which looked to be an easy reception; the cornerback was a yard or two away from him. Well, the ball hit him right in the chest, and it popped up, which gave the 49ers cornerback, Deommodore Lenoir, to come away with an easy interception. The second pass was another catchable that went through his hands.
Hopefully, he’ll have a better day on Friday against the Cardinals. He is an exciting talent that’ll probably back Kelce up this season, so if his catching prowess improves, he’ll be exciting to watch out for.
Which Chiefs’ players trended up and down for you yesterday against the 49ers? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
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