The Kansas City Chiefs played their starters for a good chunk of the first half, while the Arizona Cardinals won’t have starting quarterback Kyler Murray for weeks (if not months) — so it was unsurprising to see the Chiefs jump out to a quick 17-0 lead in Week 2 of the 2023 preseason.
Arizona brought it within 10 points on a last-second touchdown to close out the first half, with rookie quarterback Clayton Tune showing good control of the offense and some zip on intermediate throws.
New Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon was the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, so this was a revenge effort of sorts with his new team going up against the starting offense for the Chiefs. Kansas City was methodical, with Patrick Mahomes spreading the ball across the roster to finish 10-of-15 for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Offensive spotlight: Mahomes led an explosive drive to end the first quarter, delivering strikes to Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justyn Ross before showing some touch to feather the ball over a defender on an easy touchdown pass to Justin Watson after scrambling to his right.
For Arizona, it was good to see wide receiver Marquise Brown flash early with a 12-yard reception, showing off his shiftiness. Rookie quarterback Clayton Tune continues to show flashes, with an efficient touchdown drive in the two-minute drill to close out the first half.
Defensive spotlight: Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton produced a pass breakup to go along with a pressure and a tackle in the first half, and 2022 first-round edge defender George Karlaftis also tallied a pressure.
Cardinals linebacker-turned-edge defender Zaven Collins registered three quarterback pressures, and while linebacker-turned-safety Isaiah Simmons didn’t show up in the box score as much as he did on film, he was always near the play with good closing speed in coverage. Fellow safety Jalen Thompson tallied two defensive stops to lead all players in the first half.
Rookie spotlight: Chiefs second-round rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice was targeted early and often, hauling in seven receptions for 85 yards in the first half, with plenty of yards after the catch and a few highlight-reel-worthy forced missed tackles. Kansas City continued to look Rice’s way in the third quarter.
Cardinals rookie fifth-round quarterback Clayton Tune delivered a strike to wide receiver Andre Baccellia for 21 yards to kickstart a two-minute drive to close out the first half, later spinning his way out of a sack before finding wide receiver Greg Dortch for a sharp pass down to the 1-yard line with 19 seconds remaining in the first half. Arizona finished the drive with a five-yard Keontay Ingram score to get on the board in the first half, with the offensive line and Ingram collectively pushing their way into the end zone.
Offensive line spotlight: Kansas City’s starting offensive line did not allow a hit on Patrick Mahomes, but the tackle tandem of Jawaan Taylor (2) and Donovan Smith (1) allowed three total pressures in the first half.
Arizona’s first unit did play a few drives and allowed just one total pressure in the first half, with first-round rookie Paris Johnson allowing a quarterback hurry. Quarterbacks Colt McCoy and rookie Clayton Tune were operating with many clean pockets, but a few dropped passes and ill-timed penalties stalled a lot of drives.
|Blaine Gabbert||12.8||7 / 8||120||15.0||2||0||0||158.3|
|Shane Buechele||11.6||10 / 10||105||10.5||0||0||0||110.4|
|Patrick Mahomes||8.2||10 / 15||105||7.0||1||0||0||109.0|
|Chris Oladokun||3.2||4 / 5||63||12.6||0||0||0||118.8|
|Clayton Tune||8.8||12 / 24||133||5.5||0||0||0||66.8|
|Colt McCoy||1.6||5 / 8||25||3.1||0||0||0||67.2|
|David Blough||1.2||3 / 4||31||7.8||0||0||2||96.9|