NEW ORLEANS, La. — Fans must always take preseason performances with lots of grains of salt.
The Kansas City Chiefs lost their first 2023 preseason game to the New Orleans Saints 26-24 but the result of these games doesn’t matter. Most times the performance of the game doesn’t matter either.
The first-team offense played two drives with quarterback Patrick Mahomes playing only one drive.
His stat line: 2 for 2 with 15 yards and five yards on the ground.
The defense is the “concern” after their performance.
The first-team defense played two drives and was scored on by the Saints’ first-team and second-team offense.
Former Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr led a 12-play, 80-yard drive to open the game and threw for 70 yards on his lone drive of the game including a touchdown pass.
The Chiefs’ first-team offense gained one first down before getting stuffed on fourth down on a defensive effort led by former Chiefs defensive tackle Khalen Saunders. Kansas City attempted their signature tight end Blake Bell quarterback sneak.
Jameis Winston led the Saints on a four-play touchdown drive with a 29-yard TD pass to rookie A.T. Perry; Winston’s ball went right over the outstretched hands of cornerback Trent McDuffie.
But the Chiefs answered back with three touchdown drives from Blaine Gabbert and Shane Buechele.
Gabbert connected with receiver Richie James for a TD midway through the second quarter.
Buechele had a really good performance and connected with highly regarded second-year receiver Justyn Ross for a touchdown and followed that up with a TD pass to receiver Kekoa Crawford after avoiding several defenders.
The game ended with QB Chris Oladokun throwing an interception with 58 seconds left and the Saints winding down the clock to kick the game-winning field goal as the clock expired.
Buechele ended the game with 11 for 18 with 155 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Ross garnered two catches for 29 yards and a touchdown.
Undrafted rookie Nikko Remigio had an impressive showing, leading the team with 71 receiving yards on four catches.
But even amidst a defensive performance that is less than desired, several depth players showed their skills.
Rookie safety Chamarri Conner and defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah were impressive, with Conner notching a sack along with solid coverage ability and FAU getting consistent pressure on the QB and standing firm in the run game.
Rookie corner Ekow Boye-Doe also had a good day in coverage and was among the top tacklers on the team with four.
The Chiefs hit the road to Arizona for their next preseason game to play the Cardinals on Saturday at 7 p.m.