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An Explosive Preseason Defeat, And Chiefs Aftermath

At one point after Saturday night's preseason loss to the Chiefs, Jonathan Gannon was asked what disappointed him the most.

"Honestly, the explosives," the Cardinals coach said, noting how many big plays the Chiefs got.

"You're not going to beat anybody like that," Gannon said. "Truthfully that's what I am most displeased about."

Indeed, explosives killed the Cards -- both ways, really. On their own, the Cardinals had just three pass plays of at least 20 yards and no running plays of 15. The Chiefs had six passing plays of at least 20 and another three running plays of at least 15.

As solid as the Cardinals looked defensively against the Broncos, they looked the opposite against the Chiefs. Yes, the Broncos are not the Chiefs. But Patrick Mahomes actually hurt the Chiefs' completion percentage. Take out Mahomes' 10-of-15, and the three backup K.C. QBs were 21-of-23 passing the ball. It's tough to get off the field like that.

Gannon was even-keeled postgame. That makes sense to me. It's the preseason. No one should've been going crazy with optimism last week, and no one should be in despair now. At least, within the coaching staff and the team. But after the way Saturday went down, it feels like the week in Minnesota gained that much more importance.

-- Isaiah Simmons at safety remains a work-in-progress. After struggling against the Chiefs Saturday, he acknowledged he needs to play better.

"I feel like I obviously need to play better," Simmons said. "I feel that way each and every single game. Explosives definitely are something we need to tone down because explosives are what leads you to winning the game."

Simmons was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty early in the game for making contact with a receiver's head, a play Gannon called "bang-bang." He also was caught in coverage on a 38-yard catch-and-run, and later on scramble by QB Shane Buechele that went for a touchdown, Simmons sprinted across the field and met Buechele about the 2, but overran the play and the QB easily scored. Gannon said he needs to watch the video to properly evaluate Simmons.

"A couple times in coverage he might've lost leverage," Gannon said. "But we will go back to the tape and get it cleaned up."

-- Rookie QB Clayton Tune is getting his chance to show what he's got, but there are definitely things to work on. He still had a high throw or two, something Gannon said isn't just about the delivery but also the footwork.

-- Nolan Cooney had a nice night as he fights for the punting job. He averaged 54.3 yards on his four boots, although it was Matt Haack who held on Matt Prater's 54-yard field goal. Prater's three-pointer actually had room to spare -- looked like it would've been good from at least 58.

-- Gannon said Dennis Gardeck hurt his knee and did not say what cornerback Marco Wilson had (both walked on their own to the locker room) but missing those two guys isn't ideal. The plus is that there are still three-plus weeks before the opener.

-- Jesse Luketa and Victor Dimukeje continue to get a lot of snaps, although with Gardeck going down, and the Cardinals already sitting Cam Thomas, Myjai Sanders and BJ Ojulari with injuries, outside linebacker is thin.

-- Running back Keaontay Ingram looked very good in his snaps (7 rushes, 28 yards and a touchdown) and considering he's been banged up, he seemed to make strides as the potential No. 2 running back.

-- That's it for tonight. The Cardinals have a practice Monday in Tempe, and then it is off to Minnesota.

LB Krys Barnes makes the tackle.
LB Krys Barnes makes the tackle.