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Kansas City Chiefs Loose To New Orleans Saints 26-24 In Preseason Starter

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The defending league champions took the field for the first time since Super Bowl LVII on Sunday afternoon, but the Kansas City Chiefs were defeated by the New Orleans Saints, 26-24, in the preseason opener.

Before turning over control of the offense to Blaine Gabbert, quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 2-of-2 throws for 15 yards in his sole series of action. With a 1-yard pass to wide receiver Richie James, Gabbert then threw the Chiefs’ first touchdown of the day. James had a good day overall; three plays prior to the touchdown, he hauled in a 43-yard reception.

James’ efforts propelled the Chiefs, who overcame an early 17-point deficit to seize the lead late in the third quarter, on a run of 24 consecutive points. With two touchdown passes, quarterback Shane Buechele, who entered the game after Gabbert’s scoring drive, helped Kansas City complete its comeback.

After Kahlef Hailassie’s interception, Buechele took over on offense. He dodged several pass rushers to connect with wide receiver Justyn Ross for a 15-yard score midway through the third quarter. One series later, Buechele returned the Chiefs to the end zone and gave Kansas City the lead with a touchdown pass of 8 yards to rookie wide receiver Kekoa Crawford.

Midway in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs added a field goal to increase their lead to seven points, but the Saints remained competitive.

In the waning minutes of the game, New Orleans closed the gap to one point with a touchdown drive. On the Chiefs’ subsequent possession, defensive end Kyle Phillips intercepted quarterback Chris Oladokun deep inside Kansas City’s own territory.

The Saints regained the lead with 0 seconds left in the game after New Orleans missed a game-winning 31-yard field goal attempt due to a turnover. Blake Grupe’s kick went through the uprights as time expired.

The Chiefs’ second and third teams’ potential heroic comeback was tragically put to an end, but as is typical in preseason games, Kansas City still has a lot to gain from Sunday’s contest.

“All in all, it was good to get a game in,” said Head Coach Andy Reid. “The [starters] need to pick up the tempo on both sides of the ball. It wasn’t good enough, so we have some things to work on, but it was good to get the young guys in. I thought they played [well]. There were some good things from all the different positions…You just can’t finish with a mistake.”

Nikko Remigio, a rookie wide receiver, stood out from Sunday’s game despite the final score after catching four catches for 71 yards. Linebacker Drue Tranquill, safety Chamarri Conner, and defensive tackle Danny Shelton all recorded sacks for the Chiefs, who also made some plays defensively.

Both defensive back Anthony Witherstone (toe) and rookie cornerback Nic Jones (fractured fingers) had to leave Sunday’s game early due to injuries.

Before completing the preseason with a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday, the Chiefs will now travel back to training camp for another open session at Missouri Western State University on Tuesday.

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