Early First Impressions: Chiefs Show Promise Against Texans

James AdkinsCorrespondent IIAugust 15, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 14:  Larry Johnson #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs tries to break a tackle against the San Diego Chargers during the first half on December 14, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs lost 22-21.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

After one half in the Chiefs preseason home opener against the Houston Texans, Chiefs fans had reason to be optimistic about what they'd seen thus far.

On defense, Clancy Pendergast's unit already has shown more promise than any defense the Chiefs have put on the field in the past ten years.  The much publicized 3-4 scheme made plays and put pressure on the quarterback.

During the team's first defensive series, Pendergast's blitz call on third down netted a drive stopping sack by Maurice Leggett and provided a glimpse of the type of play-calling Chiefs fans can expect this season.

The Chiefs did allow the Texans to march down the field and score on a two yard Chris Brown touchdown plunge on their second drive, but this defense has already shown that they can tackle better than defenses seen under Dick Vermeil and Herm Edwards. 

On offense, the Chiefs first series was an exercise in pounding the football with Larry Johnson on first and second down. Matt Cassel was asked to make some key third down throws, and both were on the money. His first pass to Terrance Copper resulted in a first down while his second pass was dropped by Copper, forcing the Chiefs to punt.

One half of one game into the 2009 preseason, and the Chiefs defense bent without breaking and were a penalty and a Brandon Flowers drop away from forcing two turnovers that would have negated two Texans scores. 

The offense showed everyone that the receivers, especially the tight ends, still have quite a bit of work to do with the juggs machine. Additionally, the offensive line needs to shore up their zone pass blocking and give their quarterback more time to throw the ball.

Thankfully, we have a few more of these preseason tune-ups to go before the team opens the regular season in Baltimore on September 13, but the Chiefs have shown a lot of promise in their first game under Todd Haley.