What We Saw: Preseason Week 1

Catch everything you missed from a weekend chock full of football

Chiefs @ Saints

Final Score: Saints 26, Chiefs 24

Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)


The Saints drove down the field for a touchdown on their opening drive on the backs of Derek Carr, Juwan Johnson, and Alvin Kamara, while Mahomes and company couldn’t convert a 4th down attempt at midfield on their first drive. It was all backups from there, and they actually made it a pretty entertaining game in the second half. Justyn Ross scored a TD and looked pretty darn good on his few targets/catches, a welcome sight for the WR who has faced so much adversity over the last few years. Meanwhile, Rashee Rice showed off his speed but he also had a bad drop that stood out. There is an opening at the WR spot for someone to step up and earn a big role and something tells me it will be one of those two names.



Kansas City Chiefs




Patrick Mahomes: 2/2, 15 yards | 1 carry, 5 yards


Kansas City debuted a new QB out of Texas Tech named Patrick Mahomes. He looked pretty good in this one, connecting on both of his attempts and earning five yards on the ground. It’s tough to say whether he’ll ever win multiple Super Bowls based on his performance in this game, but he’s put himself on the right track. Who knows, maybe he’ll end up being one of the all time greats? You read it here first.


Blaine Gabbert: 4/8, 59 yards, TD


Gabbert is a 12 year vet who is still missing wide open receivers in the end zone, as he did to Richie James midway through the second quarter. He made up for it two plays later by nearly overthrowing a wide open James again, though this time James was able to go up and get it for the score.


Shane Buechele: 11/18, 155 yards, 2 TD, INT, sack



  • Came in down 17-7 with under two minutes left, bullet to Rice between two defenders on first throw
  • Second throw tipped by a defender and intercepted. Not a good decision to force that one
  • Did have some nice throws in the third quarter
  • Slick move to avoid a sack and find a receiver open in the back of the end zone for a go ahead score. 21 unanswered points for KC


Chris Oladokun: 5/12, 52 yards, INT, sack | 1 carry, 30 yards


Running Back


Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 3 carries, 7 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards



  • Both catches came from Mahomes on the first two plays of the game
  • Given two straight carries immediately after


La’Mical Perine: 6 carries, 24 yards | 2 targets

Deneric Prince: 4 carries, 14 yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Rashee Rice: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 30 yards



  • Dropped a throw right through his hands
  • 13 yard gain on a quick screen. Really fast, didn’t wait to follow his blockers and honestly didn’t need to


Justyn Ross: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 29 yards, TD


I was looking forward to see what Ross could do after missing multiple years due to serious injuries, and he delivered. His routes looked crisp, he looked elusive, he was fast and he scored to boot. He played a lot in the second and third quarters, but from the sounds of it Mahomes likes him and I wouldn’t be surprised if he forces his way into the starting lineup at some point this eason.


  • Shook a defender on his first catch and broke a tackle to earn additional yards. Ran a nice route too. Impressive play
  • Next play may have overrun his route
  • Scored his TD on an inside slant against zone defense. Didn’t really face much competition. He was hyped and it’s great to see him score that TD after everything he’s been through in recent years

Missed Opportunities

  • Wide open on a crosser, underthrown


Richie James: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 44 yards, TD



  • Beat his defender 1 on 1 on a seam route, nice job hauling in the catch
  • Went up and made a play on the ball to haul in the TD, though Gabbert did his best to overthrow him once again

Missed Opportunities

  • Wide open in the end zone, overthrown by Gabbert


Cornell Powell: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 42 yards

Nikko Remigio: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 71 yards


I loved what I saw out of Remigio. He’s got a hell of a motor and is super quick. Looks tough too. Took a big hit on a lobbed pass where he couldn’t really protect himself and got right back up. Followed it up with a catch on a screen and initiated contact with the defender. Two plays later he went up to catch a ball that was tipped just five yards in front of him. It wasn’t the sharpest route I’ve ever seen run but the catch was a tough one to make. All of his work came in the 4th quarter, but it was really impressive.


New Orleans Saints




Derek Carr: 6/8, 70 Yards, TD


Derek Carr came in and immediately drove the offense down the field for a score on his only drive of the game. The offense was cooking early on thanks to big plays from Alvin Kamara and Juwan Johnson. Carr looked comfortable and in control in the pocket, and he looked natural in a Saints uniform. His 2023 fantasy outlook will depend on the emergence of Johnson at TE and whatever Michael Thomas has left in the tank, not to mention if Kamara can return to his prior form.


Jameis Winston: 11/13, 92 yards, TD, 3 sacks | 2 carries, 14 yards


Overall, Winston looked good. He didn’t make any mistakes and didn’t try to force anything that wasn’t there. He gave his weapons opportunities to make plays and they went out and made them. Nothing spectacular, but it could have gone a lot worse.


  • Terrible at sliding. Like, legitimately bad. Just drops to his knees every time. It’s very strange
  • Might have gotten hurt after getting sacked. Appeared to be walking gingerly


Jake Haener: 10/17, 105 yards, TD, INT | 1 carry, 8 yards



  • Another two glove QB
  • Threw to a receiver on the sideline, attempted a back shoulder throw. Receiver dogged it and put in no effort. Not a great throw but not totally his fault
  • Very inaccurate at times. Careless and reckless, even. Lucky he only had one INT


Running Back


Alvin Kamara: 3 carries, 14 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 21 yards


Looked fresh on his first run, 12 yard gain from scrimmage. It was vintage Kamara. He also looked fantastic on a 17 yard screen that he took down to the four yard line, setting up a four yard touchdown pass to Keith Kirkwood two plays later. I was not expecting Kamara to look as good as he did in his lone drive today. Obviously he will be suspended for the first three games of the 2023 season, but at his current ADP he could be a steal.


  • Had nowhere to go on his other two carries


Jamaal Williams: 9 carries, 28 yards


Solid, always gained yards, always falling forward. Should be a solid contributor to fantasy teams while Kamara is out, but could still deliver value even after he returns.


  • Four straight carries on third drive


Ellis Merriweather: 9 carries, 24 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 17 yards, TD


Merriweather was impressive in his limited action. The O-Line struggled to open holes for him but once he had some room to run he was elusive.


  • Another UMass RB for the Saints
  • Slick stop and go move to avoid a defender in the backfield

Missed Opportunities

  • Great run up the gut for 15 yards called back on a hold


Kendre Miller: 4 carries, 5 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 1 yard


Had nowhere to run up the middle and failed to get around the edge a couple of times.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Chris Olave: 1 target


Only target was a designed roll out to Olave on the first play from scrimmage. Off the mark from Carr.


Michael Thomas: 2 targets, 1 reception, 16 yards


Nice sliding catch on his first target in a long time. He’s a huge question mark for this team and their success this season could hinge on his performance.


  • Second target was a jump ball in the end zone, a little high


Juwan Johnson: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 29 yards


I love Johnson as a sleeper TE this season and will be looking to draft him everywhere I can. He made two big plays on the Saints’ opening drive, including a third down conversion. I don’t think his emergence late last season will end up being a fluke.


  • Nice catch and run on third play from scrimmage. A “preferred target” for Carr per the broadcast
  • Two plays later made a nice move to shake a defender on a crossing route, converted 3rd down


A.T. Perry: 6 targets, 6 receptions, 70 yards, TD


Accounted for basically all of the yards on New Orleans’ second drive, including a wildly acrobatic diving TD catch.



Perry looked pretty good actually. I had never heard of him before this game but he’s now on my radar.



  • Nice catch on a timing route, ball was right on him when he turned around and he was able to haul it in


Jimmy Graham: 1 target, 1 reception, 10 yards


He’s back! Per Drew Brees on the broadcast, he kept in shape this summer by cycling across Europe. Curious to see how much he still has in the tank on the field, but I’d rather watch Juwan Johnson eat up opposing defenses.


Bryan Edwards: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 37 yards

Keith Kirkwood: 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards, TD


Kirkwood found himself open in the back of the end zone and caught a TD pass from Carr. Earning the trust of your QB in the red zone is a good way to make the team for the undrafted WR out of Temple.


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