Chiefs Vs. Cardinals: Kansas City Wins First Preseason Game

The Chiefs officially open the 2012 season on Friday night at Arrowhead.

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NFL Preseason 2012: Inside The Numbers Of Chiefs-Cardinals

It's easy to say that the only numbers that matter in the NFL -- or any sport for that matter -- are wins and losses. While technically that might be true, it's also ignoring what many of the numbers can tell us inside the game stats and box scores that led to that particular outcome, and the Kansas City Chiefs' victory over the Arizona Cardinals last night in the first preseason game for KC in 2012 has a lot of telling numbers.

The final score read 27-17 and most fans were quite excited by the 1-0 record in the preseason for the Chiefs that signals a change away from the miserable starts that the Chiefs always endured under former head coach Todd Haley. But here's a look at some other numbers that stood out from Friday night's game:

13 to 7 - Brady Quinn's passing attempts compared to Ricky Stanzi's. Much is made of the quarterback battle behind Matt Cassel, but Quinn received twice the number of attempts last night and there wasn't much of an effort to "discover what they have in Stanzi" as one might have believed last night. This battle might not be the showdown everyone thinks as the coaching staff might have Stanzi firmly at No. 3 on the roster just for the sake of experience in 2012.

15 to 12 - Now if you're looking for a big battle for roster postions, check out the number of carries given to Cyrus Gray (15) and Shaun Draughn (12) in the backfield. While the Chiefs were just trying to put away a win last night by running the ball, they were also trying to get a solid look at both backs. Both were impressive at different points, coming away with a rushing touchdown apiece. Draughn has been very impressive in camp and Gray is the new guy everyone is excited about. The Chiefs clearly are interested to see what both can offer.

21, 21, 21 and 67 - The yardage amounts on the four big plays the Chiefs defense gave up. While it wasn't the first team that was out there, it also wasn't the first team offense of the Cardinals all of the time either. The Chiefs gave up three 20-yard passing plays and that 67-yard run by William Powell. While the Chiefs are likely very pleased with the results all around, head coach Romeo Crennel will make sure the defense analyzes what went wrong on all of these plays.

3 for 69 - The number of catches and receiving yards that Steve Maneri had. Steve Maneri. The Chiefs lost Martin Rucker for the season earlier this offseason, so it was believed the team might bring in another veteran free agent at tight end. Instead, they moved Maneri officially from his offensive tackle position to tight end and seem intent on giving him every chance to land that No. 3 TE slot on the depth chart. If it doesn't work, a veteran could always come in, but Maneri was targeted three times and caught every one of them for big yardage.

7 - The number of sacks the Chiefs had in last night's game. No one had more than one, which means the Chiefs were utilizing a number of players from all directions on the field. Justin Houston, Cam Sheffield, Jerome Long, Brandon Bair, Caleb Campbell, Jerrell Powe and Edgar Jones all have a sack last night. Given the tremendous need on the roster for another strong pass rusher or two to emerge alongside Tamba Hali, the Chiefs got a nice start against the Cards.

0 - The number of sacks the Chiefs offensive line gave up last. This is perhaps the most inspiring number along with 166 rushing yards. The offensive line excelled in the running game last night and it opened up the play action for a number of big plays. The Cards defense has some nice pass rushers and several guys fighting for their one chance in the NFL. To stave them off for four quarters from a single sack shows that the positive play at all levels of the Chiefs' offensive front last night.

64,212 - The number of Chiefs faithful to hit up Arrowhead last night. It feels good to have the NFL back again.

Read more on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Pride and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over to SB Nation's NFL hub for even more NFL news. Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel for video commentary.

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Matt Cassel Excited To Get Chiefs Off To Strong Start In 2012

While it's easy to point to the preseason and call it meaningless, the buzz from the players and coaches as well as the 60K-plus fans in Arrowhead Stadium last night show that the opening game of the 2012 season holds at least some level of merit. Perhaps that's why Romeo Crennel had a message for his team to get off on the right foot in his first season as the team's official head coach.

Matt Cassel said after the game that he was proud of the team for their ability to heed their coach's words and gain some confidence this early.

"It's definitely meaningful," said Cassel. "Coach Crennel has been preaching all camp long to get off to a good start. That's exactly what we came out and accomplished tonight. I think offensively, defensively and special teams got off to a great start. I think that gives us momentum going forward."

The Chiefs are now 1-0 and will take that momentum into next week's game against the St. Louis Rams. However as great as last night's home win might feel, Cassel said he's not reading too much into it.

"But again, we know it's only the first preseason game," said Cassel. "We've got a ways to go. We've got a lot of work to do. There will be a lot of corrections made tomorrow."

The buzz is perhaps greater at this point given the lack of winning ways in the preseason since Cassel has arrived, with only one other win to speak of in the last three seasons. A particular sour note was cast last season when Todd Haley's odd preseason approach started the team in a hole they could not recover from.

? "I don't even want to talk about last year," Cassel said after last night's game. "Last year was last year. I'm proud of how we came out tonight. We performed at home. We got off to a good start. It feels good to win in front of our home crowd - even if it is a preseason game. Moving forward, we know we've got a lot of work to do. It was a heckuva start tonight for us."

Read more on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Pride and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over toSB Nation's NFL hub for even more NFL news. Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel for video commentary.


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Chiefs Vs. Cardinals: Brian Daboll Earns Praise From Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis

Last night, the Kansas City Chiefs took care of business in their preseason home opener in the 27-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Of particular interest after the game was the way that the players were raving about the team's new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. While it's clear that everyone loves playing for Romeo Crennel, it was Daboll earning the lion's share of praise from players.

"Coach Daboll came up big tonight by calling the right plays, and the young guys did a great job of executing plays," said Jamaal Charles after the game. "We told the young guys tonight to ‘protect the house' and they did that."

Daboll's quarterback, Matt Cassel, was also impressed enough not only with the game that Daboll called last night but overall in training camp so far.

"Coach Daboll does a great job of impressing upon the guys about technique, about fundamentals, but also about just doing your job," said Cassel. "He talks about it all the time. It's about being a professional. I think the way that he does that everybody buys in. Coming out here tonight and the way that he called the game, I thought it was great."

Peyton Hillis was particularly impressive last night and both Hillis and Daboll go back to a very productive year for the running back in 2010 with the Cleveland Browns. That success continued last night on a particular touchdown catch for Hillis in the first half.

"It was a good call by Coach (Brian) Daboll down on the 11. It looked like zero coverage and my guy blitzed and the defensive end didn't peel on me. I was wide open, and it was good that Matt (Cassel) got the ball off and read it well."

The Chiefs have more offensive weapons and a better line than at any point in Scott Pioli's tenure. Hopefully Daboll is the man to bring that all together.

Read more on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Pride and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over toSB Nation's NFL hub for even more NFL news. Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel for video commentary.


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Chiefs Vs. Cardinals Final Score: Kansas City Has Big First Half, Defeat Arizona 27-17

The Kansas City Chiefs had a big first half as they rushed out to a 17-3 at the half, and held off the Arizona Cardinals in the second half to win 27-17. In the second half, the only touchdown for the Chiefs came from Cyrus Gray who scored on a seven yard run in the fourth quarter. Gray had a big game as he had 15 carries for 65 yards to led the Chiefs in rushing.

Peyton Hillis also had a big game running the ball with 41 yards on only four carries, and starter Jamaal Charles rushed the ball only three times for 12 yards.

Chiefs starting quarterback Matt Cassel played well in his two series by completing 5-of-6 passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. Backup quarterback Brady Quinn completed 7-of-13 passes for 81 yards, but he did have an interception.

Read more on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Pride and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over to SB Nation's NFL hub for even more NFL news. Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel for video commentary.

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Chiefs Vs. Cardinals Halftime Score: Kansas City Dominating Arizona, 17-3

In the first preseasons game of the season the Kansas City Chiefs are leading the Arizona Cardinals 17-3 at the half. The Chiefs raced out to a 14-0 lead by scoring a touchdown on their first two drives. The first drive was 12 plays that went 72 yards, and the score came on a 11-yard touchdown pass from Matt Cassel to Peyton Hillis.

The second touchdown came on a four yard touchdown run by Shaun Draughn on a drive that included a 28 yard run by Hillis and a 29-yard pass to Dexter McCluster which set up the Draughn's touchdown run.

Cassel saw action on the first drives and he was an impressive 5-for-6 for 67 yards with the one touchdown pass to Hillis.

The Chiefs defense are having a good showing in the first half by only allowing a field goal in the first half.

Read more on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Pride and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over to SB Nation's NFL hub for even more NFL news. Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel for video commentary.

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Chiefs Vs. Cardinals: 3 Under The Radar Things To Watch For

As the Kansas City Chiefs begin to open their season tonight at Arrowhead Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals, all eyes are going to be on some obvious targets. It will be the first real action for first round draft choice Dontari Poe. It will also be the first time to see new faces like Peyton Hillis, Kevin Boss, Stanford Routt and Eric Winston in a Chiefs uniform at Arrowhead. It will also feature the return of Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry and Tony Moeaki from ACL injuries. In short, there's a lot of subplots to watch for within the game itself.

However there are also some points of interest that could get lost amid the more well-known players and subplots of the game. Here's a quick look at three that are worth noting:

1. The Use of Dexter McCluster
DMC has been chided all offseason as a man without a position who could eventually become displaced on the roster -- perhaps even this offseason -- by new rookies like Devon Wylie and Cyrus Gray. The Chiefs have multiple return options in house with those two along with Steve Breaston and Javier Arenas and McCluster has been moved from wideout to running back and now back to wideout again.

Flexibility is one thing, but being a tweener is another. McCluster could become an diverse weapon on offense for Brian Daboll if used correctly but the Chiefs can't afford a man to take a "luxury" spot on the roster if others fit better overall. My bet is that McCluster finds his rhythm early in the offseason to quell any such rumors. We'll be watching tonight.

2. Rodney Hudson and Company
The Chiefs are likely to give Rodney Hudson a lot of reps tonight and in the games to come at center simply because he's the de facto starter and lacks the game experience the Chiefs will need to make decisive calls in the middle. Fans can take comfort in the fact that Crennel is staking his offense on Hudson's readiness, but it will be interesting to see how he's handled.

In the meantime, the team also has no obvious choice to back him up. Ryan Lilja earned a few reps behind him in training camp earlier this week, but will that translate to the game? Will the Chiefs roll with a guy like Rob Bruggeman? Will the team sign a veteran free agent before the season like Jeff Faine? Tonight will begin to tell the story.

3. Will Donald Washington Stick?
The Chiefs have stuck with the athletic talent of Donald Washington the last two seasons after selecting him in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft for a reason: they believed that the development corner out of Ohio State could turn the corner with enough time, experience and coaching. Yet he was arrested last month for DUI, marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license. It's the sort of high maintenance drama that led many to believe his days were numbered.

Yet as the Chiefs first depth chart came out of the preseason, Washington was in the middle with the rest of the secondary. The team has plenty of hopefuls for his job, even with the season-ending injury to Kyle McCarthy, so if Washington garners plenty of playing time tonight, you'll know the team is sticking with him. After all you don't invest valuable game-time reps in the preseason to a player you want to cut.

Read more on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Pride and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over to SB Nation's NFL hub for even more NFL news. Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel for video commentary.



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Chiefs Vs. Cardinals Preview: TV Time, Game Schedule And More

The Kansas City Chiefs kick off their official 2012 season schedule today with their first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals tonight at Arrowhead Stadium, and the feeling of actual football being played once again should come as a great relief for football fans everywhere.

Last night featured the debut of Robert Griffin III with the Redskins, the return of Peyton Manning to the NFL after missing a year and several other storylines. Tonight will be the same as the Cardinals attempt to bounce back from an opening preseason loss to the New Orleans Saints in the Hall of Fame game and the Chiefs welcome back several players from significant injury in 2011 including Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Matt Cassel and Tony Moeaki.

Here's the info you need to catch tonight's game:

ARIZONA CARDINALS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Game Time: 7:00pm CT

Weather: 82 degrees, sunny

Radio: Sirius 106; 101 FM

TV: Not available

Read more on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Pride and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over toSB Nation's NFL hub for even more NFL news. Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel for video commentary.

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