KANSAS CITY — NFL preseason games don’t matter, so teams can try anything.
Kansas City’s 26-16 victory against Minnesota at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday didn’t show fans much about the teams’ returning starters. Few stayed in the game for the entire first quarter, let alone the first half, making way for a contest between the second-teamers hoping to start and others hoping to make the team.
Chiefs wide receiver Marc Boerigter probably won the contest, outrunning Vikings Willie Offord and Denard Walker to score on a 59-yard touchdown pass from Trent Green.
“It’s great for our offense to get that going,” Boerigter said. “We needed to stick something in the end zone and a play like that kind of breaks the ice for us.”
Boerigter led the Chiefs with 85 yards receiving on two catches; backup Chris Horn was second with 76 yards on three catches and also ran a reverse on a toss from backup quarterback Todd Collins.
“It was good to get everybody involved, and that’s what we just talked about, all the quarterbacks at halftime,” Green said.
When he played, Priest Holmes, the Chiefs’ All-Pro running back, rushed for 41 yards on nine attempts, which was more for him than in the Chiefs’ first two preseason games combined. In the Chiefs’ 24-6 loss to San Francisco on Aug. 9, Holmes left the game after the Chiefs’ first possession and did not return. He missed the final two games of 2002 with a right hip injury.
“I thought he broke through and had some nice moves and made some guys miss,” Green said. “Instead of those 2- and 3-yard runs, he was able to pop a couple of 8-, 10-yard runs. It was nice to see him get more involved.”
In the fourth quarter, former Missouri tight end Dwayne Blakley caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Collins.
“(Blakley) was here a year ago, and we liked him,” Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said. “It’s exciting to see a young kid make a play like that.”
Blakley was released Sept. 1 but spent most of last season on the practice squad. He also played in NFL Europe for the Rhein Fire.
Although the Vikings controlled possession, they managed only bookend touchdowns — Onterrio Smith’s 1-yard run in the first quarter after Dante Hall fumbled a kick return at Kansas City’s 14 and a late fourth-quarter 1-yard reception from third-stringer Shaun Hill to Nate Burleson. Vermeil said the Chiefs’ defense looked much better than against the 49ers.
“I was pleased to see the second unit in the second half be a little bit better than they were last week,” Vermeil said.
Even with the improvement, Vermeil said because of the nature of the game, scores were bound to happen.
“They got a little drive on us when we had all four of our backups in at the same time,” Vermeil said. “But that’s what this preseason game is for.”
The Chiefs are 2-1 in preseason games; the Vikings are 0-2.