KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For Frank Clark and Damien Williams, the Kansas City Chiefs saw all they needed Saturday night to know two of their starters are ready for Week 1.
Williams tallied three catches for 74 yards, including an elusive 62-yard score on a wheel route in the first quarter.
The Chiefs No. 1 running back, who missed much of training camp with a hamstring injury, ran straight to the sideline and passed his defender, allowing a perfect window for Patrick Mahomes II to drop the ball into. Williams then took two steps, beat the safety and sprinted away from the pack for the score.
“I knew that he was going to get matched up on the D-end and I knew with Damien that he is just as good of a runner as he is a pass catcher so I knew that was a good match up,” Mahomes said. “I went straight to it, put it out there, he made a great catch and a great move making that safety miss, and then outrunning guys to the end zone.”
It showed plenty of why the Chiefs signed him to a two-year deal before the end of the 2018 season and declared him the starter during the offseason.
Still, head coach Andy Reid admitted to wanting to see more of Williams one last time before the regular season, as the starters likely will not play much, if any, Thursday in the preseason finale in Green Bay.
“I wanted to see if we couldn’t get him some touches,” Reid said. “I didn’t really care if it was in the pass game or rush game, just wanted to get him some touches and get him back in the swing of things. We were able to get him to do that.”
On defense, the big-money man in Frank Clark recorded his first sack of the preseason after dealing with a sore wrist and illnesses throughout camp. He juked left tackle Joe Staley, beat him to the edge and brought down Jimmy Garoppolo before celebrating with Chris Jones and Anthony Hitchens on his way to the sideline.
“You just want to see progress. I feel like you don’t come in here looking for the perfect game from anyone,” Clark said. “As a coach, you’re looking for progress. You’re looking for if the guys are learning from a week-to-week progression.
“Even for myself, it’s a new system, new coach, it’s the first year, so everything is getting thrown at us fast, but I feel like everyone, for the most part, is processing everything and doing their best to go out there and showcase on the field.”
The Chiefs have yet to experiment in detail on the game field with Clark and Tyrann Matiheu at the same time, as the safety sat out with a shoulder injury as a precaution.
While that will continue to grow over the next two weeks on the practice field, Clark is looking forward to seeing that tandem in person sooner than later.
“It’s going to be awesome. I’ve seen it in practice,” Clark said. “You have guys on the back end like Tyrann, who is a veteran leader, and his presence alone is going to scare people.
“Our front seven and everybody with that, we are just going to come and play football. It’s the game we love to play.”
Aside from Clark and Williams, many of the Chiefs starters showed flashes that they’re ready for the regular season. Mahomes finished 8-for-10 for 126 yards.
Mecole Hardman and Tyreek Hill each had three catches, both averaging better than 10 yards per catch.
Safety Juan Thornhill tallied five tackles in Mathieu’s absence.
The Chiefs will wrap up their preseason slate at 7 p.m. Thursday in Green Bay, Wisconsin.