What to watch for in Chiefs-Texans preseason tilt

First-team offense

If you want to see Patrick Mahomes and the starting offense, tune in early. Mahomes and the ones should only play a couple of series in the first quarter, maybe less if successful early or a bit more if they struggle. The debut of wide receiver Sammy Watkins might be delayed due to a his recent hip injury.


Daniel Sorensen is out with a leg injury and Eric Berry doesn't typically play many preseason games, so don't be surprised if Eric Murray and rookie Armani Watts start with the first team. That also means additional looks Leon McQuay, Robert Golden and Jordan Sterns. The Chiefs have some questions to answer at safety with Sorensen expected to miss time into the regular season.

Rookie draft picks

Tonight's game should provide a good look at the Chiefs draft picks, especially the five defensive newcomers. Watts and Breeland Speaks might see time with the first team. Dorian O'Daniel and Derrick Nnadi have battled injuries in camp, but Nnadi should get some at defensive tackle. Tremon Smith might play the biggest role on the second-team defense and as a returner. Offensive guard has been running with the third-team, which should play much of the second half.

Second-team cornerbacks

The Chiefs have a drastically different look on the second-team defense with three young rookies manning the corner spots with the twos. Smith along with undrafted free agents Arrion Springs and D'Montre Wade have all flashed during training camp. Each player comes from a press-man college scheme with good production, especially at breaking up passes. That's the aggression the Chiefs favor in the secondary, and it wouldn't surprise if the these players play a pivotal role in the second quarter.

Chase Litton

The rookie Litton and veteran Matt McGloin have shared the reps at third quarterback during camp, but the camp battle should be decided more by how Litton performs during the preseason. Both quarterbacks have had good moments and struggles, justifying their shared playing time. But if Litton proves he can run the huddle, call the plays and operate the offense efficiently, that's should help him win the job. If both players are equal, the tie goes to the younger player with upside.