In week one of preseason action, the Kansas City Chiefs and Alex Smith stacked up well against the New Orleans Saints. Although the Saints don’t field a bad defense, they’re also not what most would consider an elite defensive group, something that the 49ers’ defense is. Tonight, Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs will face Smith’s former team, and with the game, Andy Reid’s new offense will get its first major test of the preseason.
Against the Saints, Alex Smith was nearly perfect in his limited time on the field. He was accurate and efficient, quickly marching the Chiefs down the field for a relatively simple touchdown. There was nothing flashy going on with the Chiefs’ offense. It was a simple, straightforward approach and very difficult to prevent.
Alex Smith’s greatest asset was on full display against the Saints. He’s a smart veteran player that can make snappy decisions, and he gets the ball out accurately and on time. In Andy Reid’s system, quick delivery is essential, and by all accounts, Smith is comfortable in such a system.
Tonight, however, receivers won’t be quite as open, windows will be tighter, and the Chiefs will have to be more precise than ever to make Reid’s system work. With that challenge, the Chiefs have the opportunity to show the football world that they can move the ball against top-notch defenses, something that hasn’t been true for some time.
It’s not all about Alex Smith and Andy Reid, however. The Chiefs’ defense will have its own challenge in containing the 49ers’ unique and explosive attack. Against the Saints, the first team defense was able to pin down the Saints’ offense for the entire first half. Like the offense, much is expected from the defense, and success tonight would give them a sign that they’re on the right track.
Sure, preseason games aren’t about wins and losses; they’re about playing sound football and finding out exactly what’s in the deck. The Chiefs think they have a solid team under them, but they’re not sure how much work is left to be done before they’ll be able to compete with the top teams in the league. Tonight’s game against one of the NFL’s best teams should tell the Chiefs, and us, a lot about what to expect from Kansas City in 2013.