Kansas City’s first-team offense remained perfect in the preseason while quarterbacks Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes turned in crisp performances in the Chiefs’ 30-12 over the Cincinnati Bengals Saturday night.
“They love challenging each other,” head coach Andy Reid said of his quarterback stable. “They throw the ball against the goal post and compete there. Everything is a competition — they love it and thrive on it, but they support each other and that’s fun to watch.”
Smith staked the Chiefs to an early 10-3 advantage, leading two brisk and efficient scoring drives. Kicker Sam Ficken connected on a 23-yard field goal on the first drive. Smith finished his second drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Demetrius Harris.
Smith finished his night 8-of-9 passing for 83 yards and a touchdown. Smith has led scoring drives on all three of his possessions in the team’s first two preseason games.
Rookie Patrick Mahomes, elevated to No. 2 on the team’s quarterback depth chart this week, kept the momentum rolling with two scoring drives of his own.
On his first drive, Mahomes marched the Chiefs 75 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown. From second-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Mahomes rolled out to his right and found Harris for the touchdown pass with 1 minute, 3 seconds left in the first half.
That drive took place with the Chiefs No. 1 offensive unit. The first-team offense has now scored three touchdowns and a field goal on four drives in the first two preseason games.
Cincinnati answered the touchdown with quick drive of their own for a field goal, cutting the Chiefs’ lead to 16-9 at the half.
Mahomes led another long touchdown drive opening the third quarter. Mahomes led a 12-play, 80-yard march, capped off with De’Anthony Thomas taking a wide receiver screen on the left side for a 7-yard touchdown jaunt.
Mahomes setup the touchdown with an impressive on-the-run throw to tight end Gavin Escobar. Mahomes scrambled nearly 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage eluding a tackler before firing a bullet on the run across his body to Escobar.
He finished the game 10-of-14 passing for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
Tyler Bray, who dropped to No. 3 on the depth chart behind Mahomes, wrapped up the Chiefs’ scoring on his first play in the third quarter.
Safety Eric Murray intercepted an A.J. McCarron pass tipped by cornerback De’Vante Bausby and returned it the Cincinnati 18-yard line. Bray found wide receiver Seantavious Jones on a deep slant for a touchdown with 8 minutes, 17 seconds left in the third. The Chiefs led 30-9.
Bray finished the game 2-of-5 passing for 23 yards and a touchdown.
The team mostly kept the ball on the ground after that. Running back Charcandrick West gashed the Cincinnati reserves for 113 yards on seven carries in the second half.
“He comes to work every day with a smile on his face and loves to play,” Reid said of West. “It was good to see him get out there and work. He played last year through a high ankle sprain, and that kind of slowed him down a bit.”
One week after rushing for just 31 yards on 14 carries, the Chiefs rushing attack dominated the Bengals. Starter Spencer Ware left the game after just one carry for three yards, but West along with rookie Kareem Hunt and veteran C.J. Spiller carried the load afterward.
Hunt set the tone early, coming in on the second play of the game following Ware’s early exit. Hunt rushed for 40 yards on eight carries and added three catches out of the backfield for 23 more yards.
“He has an idea of the physical demands and the shape you need to be in to carry the ball like that,” Reid said. “He did a good job at pass protection and route running.”
Spiller, fighting for a role on special teams and as a reserve back, picked up 27 yards on six carries. He also turned in a 16-yard catch for a key first down.
The Chiefs totaled 228 yards rushing on 33 carries, good for a clip of 6.9 yards per rush.
Cincinnati struggled to find any momentum against the Chiefs defense, settling for just four field goals. Starting quarter Andy Daulton finished 7-of-13 passing for 98 yards. The Bengals picked up 257 yards of offense for the game.
Defensive lineman Allen Bailey and rookie linebacker Ukeme Eligwe each picked up a sack. Linebacker Josh Mauga led the defense with seven total tackles.
Running back Kareem Hunt limped off the field following a run early in the second quarter. Head coach Andy Reid said Hunt tweaked his ankle and did not believe the injury to be serious.
Cornerback Marcus Peters left the game with a shoulder contusion. Fullback Anthony Sherman left the game after hit in the ribs. Both players are expected to be fine, Reid said.
Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.