By Matt McMullen – Chiefs.com
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Washington Commanders, 24-14, behind two touchdown catches by tight end Jody Fortson on Saturday afternoon as the Chiefs took the field at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium for the first time this preseason.
Fortson, who was playing in his first game since suffering a torn Achilles tendon in Week 6 of last year, completed each of the Chiefs’ first two offensive drives with touchdowns as part of a triumphant return to action.
“Coming off his injury, he was in here every day busting his tail to get himself back and in good health, rehabbing with our trainers and fighting to get back on the field,” said Head Coach Andy Reid. “It’s always good for that story to come out the way that it did today.”
Fortson was part of another efficient start for the first-team offense, which has found the end zone on all three of its drives during this preseason. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 12-of-19 passes for 162 yards and the two scores, connecting with seven different receivers during his two possessions of work.
“We’ve gotten a lot of reps together now, and I think [we have] a lot of very smart guys. I think that’s the biggest thing. [They’re] guys that understand [what we’re trying to do], and they don’t make the same mistake twice,” Mahomes said. “When those guys are learning on the fly like that and not making the same mistakes, I can trust them to be in the right spots and to make the plays happen.”
Mahomes is now 18-of-26 for 222 yards and three touchdowns during the preseason, kicking off his campaign on a strong note.
Some other productive offensive players on Saturday were wide receiver Cornell Powell, who caught a team-leading four passes for 35 yards, and veteran receiver Justin Watson, whose 39-yard reception on the Chiefs’ first drive marked the longest play of the preseason so far for the offense. Watson now has seven catches for 98 yards in two preseason games.
“Camp is hard here. We get a lot of reps…but you just feel so confident in the game. [I’m] going out and knowing exactly what I have to do and seeing the game the same way that Patrick does,” Watson said. “I think we’re still growing there each week. Any pass that he throws my way or doesn’t throw my way, I want to know what he’s seeing so that I can run the best route for him.”
Rookie tailback Tayon Fleet-Davis also stood out on Saturday, adding a 1-yard touchdown run in the closing minutes of the game. It was the first score of Fleet-Davis’ professional career.
On the other side of the ball, defensive end George Karlaftis recorded another strong performance with a sack on Commanders’ starting quarterback Carson Wentz early in the game. It marked a second-straight game with a sack for the former first-round pick. Fellow defensive lineman Khalen Saunders also tallied a sack midway through the third quarter.
Elsewhere, cornerback Chris Lammons was responsible for a big play late in the game, intercepting Commanders’ quarterback Sam Howell with just over two minutes left in regulation. Lammons’ pick ultimately set up Fleet-Davis’ score a bit later.
In terms of injuries, cornerback Rashad Fenton (groin) was the only player mentioned by Coach Reid following the game.
“His groin tightened up on him. It doesn’t look like it’s a pull, but [it] definitely tightened up on him, so we got him out of there,” Reid said. “Other than that, everybody that started, finished.”
The Chiefs will next take the field on Thursday for a matchup against the Green Bay Packers at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium to wrap up the preseason.