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Winners and Losers from Preseason Game 3

Chiefs running back La’Mical Perine (29) runs for a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during an NFL preseason football game on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Kansas City. (Photo by: Nick Wagner/ Kansas City Star)

Finally, preseason is over. Now it’s on to the Lions. The Chiefs returned to GEHA Field at Arrowhead to play the Cleveland Browns. Despite a sloppy start to the game with two interceptions returned for touchdowns, the Chiefs were still able to comeback and take home the victory winning 33-32. There were a few Chiefs’ standouts that played well and others that struggled mightily in the win. Now the organization can figure out the final spots on its 53-man roster.

Here are winners and losers from the Chiefs-Browns preseason game:


Ihmir Smith-Marsette, #82, WR:

Smith-Marsette deserves to be on the 53-man roster. If the Chiefs intend on keeping 7 receivers, Smith-Marsette has to be one of them. The third-year pro out of Iowa finished the preseason with catching nine passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns over the last two weeks. Smith-Marsette scored a 43-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter. His long grab came after he was targeted on fourth down to extend the Chiefs’ drive downfield and baited a Browns defender into a pass interference call that kept Kansas City’s offense on the field. Veach saw what most people didn’t see in Smith-Marsette, with great QB play, you have a great playmaker.

La’Mical Perine, #29, RB:

rushed four times for 32 yards and added three catches (three targets) for another 44 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s 33-32 preseason win over the Browns. The 25-year-old stumbled on a checkdown but made several defenders miss before taking one to the house for a 20-yard TD near the end of the first half. Perine finished the preseason rushing the ball 16 times for 97 yards (6.06 yards per carry). Perine has earned his spot on the roster as the Chiefs’ No. 4 RB while the undrafted Deneric Prince only rushed the ball 22 times for 79 yards in the last three preseason games. I do believe there is a good chance that the Chiefs keep both Perine and Prince and trade or cut Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Kahlef Hailassie, #12, CB:

Hailassie should be on this roster. I think after his preseason performance allowing just 2 catches out of 8 targets for just 8 yards in coverage. He finished with a 0.0 NFL passer rating allowed and 25.0% completion allowed percentage. Hailassie has a lot of experience in zone from his college days and fits best there in the NFL. He is good in run support and with route anticipation and awareness. Not only has Hailassie played well on defense but has shown his potential as a gunner on special teams. Don’t be surprised if Hailassie is among the starting corners at the end of the season.

Justyn Ross, #8, WR:

Justyn Ross is that dude. He has the size and hip fluidity to be an all-around receiver who will dominate at X for the Chiefs this season. After his slow start, quarterback Shane Buechele led a nine-play, 90-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Ross that looked like he channeled his inner Megatron aka Calvin Johnson. If he can stay healthy, he’s going to be a very dependable wide receiver for Patrick Mahomes. Happy that Ross is happy and healthy again.


Shane Buechele, #6, QB:

Don’t believe the hype like the old Public Enemy song says! Buechele will backup Mahomes soon but now isn’t the time unless something changes. Buechele was riding hot coming into this preseason finale. Former Chiefs and current Browns safety Juan Thornhill just probably ruined Shane Buechele chance at earning the Chiefs QB2 job. Backed up within their own 25-yard line, Buechele threw back across the middle of the field and Thornhill read the play all the way and picked him returning the ball for a pick 6 for 34 yards. Buechele was picked on the next drive after the Thornhill pick 6. He fired a pass up the left seam for Cornell Powell, who rounded off an in-breaking route and was hit as the ball arrived. Browns safety Rodney McLeod caught the ball after a couple caroms for Buechele’s second straight drive-ending interception and third pick of the preseason. Buechele finished 8 of 17 for 89 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions which could have hurt his chance to solidify the vacant spot left by Chad Henne.

Rashee Rice, #4, WR: 

Rashee Rice is going to be a great wide receiver in the NFL but he has to understand that when you are in the spotlight, you have to make the plays in order for the players around to fully trust in his ability to help them win. Midway through the second quarter, Rice found himself all alone up the right sideline, where Blaine Gabbert threw a rocket like pass that should have gone for a touchdown. As Rice adjusted to the ball, it bounced off his facemask for a brutal drop. Rice has 4 drops this preseason. Fans took to Twitter to go off on this. Remember, Ja’Marr Chase in his rookie season, 4 drops in the preseason and the rest is history. Rice will be fine but has to make that play next time.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, #25, RB:

I could’ve gone with Deneric Prince but Clyde Edwards Helaire is on here because I have a good feeling that either is going to accept his role as RB3 or get traded in favor of the Chiefs keeping not just La’Mical Perine but also Prince as well. CEH was tackled for a three-yard loss on his lone rush attempt in Saturday’s 33-32 preseason win over the Browns. Edwards-Helaire ran eight times for just 14 yards and caught four passes for 23 yards this preseason. Isiah Pacheco returned for this one, but his absence throughout the preseason allowed the Chiefs to get a longer look at CEH, who just couldn’t get going while Perine and Prince made more noise than him.

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