Chiefs dominate Bengals in preseason opener, 38-17
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes picked up where he left off from his record-breaking debut as a starter, marching the Kansas City Chiefs downfield for a first-quarter touchdown in what became a 38-17 preseason victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night.
Mahomes did a bit of everything on the only series by the Chiefs’ first-team offense, going 4 for 4 for 66 yards while adding a 10-yard scramble and inducing an an offside penalty.
Andy Dalton was nearly as sharp for Cincinnati, going 7 of 9 for 80 yards while leading his team on a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown march to open the game. Dalton did it without the services of injured wide receiver A.J. Green or his top two running backs, Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard.
The most interesting thing to happen in the game came late in the first half, when Kyle Shurmur was marching the Chiefs downfield. His throw to Byron Pringle down the sideline was picked by safety Brandon Wilson, scuttling the drive and giving Cincinnati a chance with the ball.
But under a rule change approved by NFL owners in March, pass interference calls can be reviewed — a response to the controversial non-call in the NFC title game last season. And when officials reviewed the play Saturday night, they decided that cornerback Tony Lippett had caused interference.
The penalty gave the Chiefs the ball back and they wound up kicking a field goal.
In a delicious coincidence, the provision passed by a 31-1 vote of owners at the league’s annual meeting in Phoenix. The only team that voted against the rule was Cincinnati.
Chiefs CB D’Montre Wade, who has been competing for a backup job, was ejected in the third quarter for hitting a defenseless receiver near the head. The Bengals ended the drive with a field goal.
Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman caught a shuffle pass from Shurmur in the second quarter and went 17 yards for a touchdown. The second-round pick finished with two catches for 31 yards in his debut.
EYE ON THE BALL
Bengals punt returner Darius Phillips recovered his own muffed punt in the second quarter, but he wasn’t as fortunate in the third. The Chiefs’ Deon Yelder recovered his next one, and quarterback Chase Litton proceeded to hit running back Darwin Thompson with a 29-yard touchdown throw.
Bengals SS Clayton Fejedelem was carted off with a right ankle injury. TE Cethan Carter left with a neck strain, RB Trayveon Williams hurt his ribs and DT Christian Ringo hurt his thumb.
Chiefs TE John Lovett left early in the second half with a shoulder injury.
Bengals DT Geno Atkins joined Mixon and Bernard in getting the night off. The Chiefs sat RB Damien Williams, who recently returned from a hamstring injury, and DE Frank Clark, who has been dealing with a sore wrist after signing a $104 million, five-year deal in the offseason.
Bengals: At Washington on Thursday night.
Chiefs: At Pittsburgh next Saturday.