Seahawks vs. Chiefs: Kansas City's Biggest Winners, Losers from Preseason Week 3
Russell Wilson, rookie quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, earned the starting job for Friday's match at Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs fans were probably under the assumption that Wilson, being a rookie, would stumble against the Chiefs defense. But the Chiefs had no answer for the Seahawks on all three phases of the game.
In this slideshow, we will go over the top winners and losers for the Chiefs from this past game.
No. 1 Winner: Matt Cassel
Matt Cassel had his toughest game so far in the preseason, throwing an interception and getting sacked three times. But he rebounded before halftime with a third-down touchdown strike to Dexter McCluster.
Cassel, who has played well in the preseason so far, wanted to help the Chiefs drive the ball and put his team on the scoreboard. The offense was in desperate need of some points, and he answered by giving the Chiefs six points at the two-minute warning.
No. 2 Winner: Dexter McCluster
McCluster went through the offseason seeing the team pick up running backs and wide receivers through free agency and the draft. It was hard to figure out what McCluster's role would be in 2012, but so far in the preseason, McCluster has been one of the top offensive players for the Chiefs.
McCluster snagged a touchdown pass from Cassel late in the first half to help the Chiefs get on the board.
He had six catches walking into Week 3 of the preseason and came away with seven receptions after earning more playing time. McCluster is currently the team's top pass-catcher in terms of receptions and yards. As a slot receiver, Cassel knows he can rely on McCluster this season as the two enter into their third season working together.
No. 3 Winner: Derrick Johnson
Derrick Johnson had a good day defensively before the Seahawks offense started to fire.
Johnson, who punched his first Pro Bowl ticket last year, came away with four tackles, a sack and a tackle for a loss. He helped create some light on the Chiefs defense before giving up 21 points in the third quarter.
With Tamba Hali serving a one-game suspension to start off the season, Johnson's leadership will be the key against the Atlanta Falcons with a thin core of linebackers.
No. 1 Loser: Dwayne Bowe
Not the greatest night of football for Dwayne Bowe, who is still learning Brian Daboll's offense. Bowe's absence from OTAs and training camp is showing after a quiet game.
Bowe was targeted four times and caught only one pass for nine yards. Had Bowe and Cassel worked together in the offseason, Friday night's quiet game would have turned into a big one for Bowe. The team can only hope that Bowe has a good grasp of the offense before the Sept. 9 game against the Falcons.
No. 2 Loser: Peyton Hillis
Peyton Hillis has had the hot hand in the first two weeks of the preseason. But Friday night was a complete 180-spin for the newly acquired running back. Hillis ran the ball twice and had minus-one yard of rushing against the Seahawks.
In a preseason match where the coaches want to see their starters unleash and show everything they have, the team did not get that from Hillis and can only hope he has a good practice before the preseason finale.
No. 3 Loser: Coaches, Romeo Crennel and Tom McMahon
Head coach and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and special teams coach Tom McMahon have a lot of work to do with their players this week.
Crennel's defense gave up 30 points from the opening kickoff to the early goings of the third quarter. Even though Brandon Flowers and Kendrick Lewis are out, things won't be any better if those two are still injured while Hali serves his suspension.
But Crennel has seen some downs before, and he knows he must get his defense to move on from some losses.
McMahon's special teams defense was lit up late in the third quarter by Golden Tate, who rocked the Chiefs with a 92-yard punt return for a touchdown. Although the game was already out of hand, the Chiefs can't allow long punt returns like that, especially if a game is on the line.
Like Crennel, McMahon has to find a solution before the real games begin.