Kansas City Chiefs lose preseason opener vs. New Orleans Saints 26-24

The Kansas City Chiefs dropped their 2023 preseason debut on Sunday, losing on a game-ending field goal to the New Orleans Saints 26-24.

Leading by one point with just over a minute to go, Chiefs fourth-string quarterback Chris Oladokun threw an interception to Saints defensive lineman Kyle Phillips deep in New Orleans territory. After three short runs and a pair of Kansas City timeouts, New Orleans kicker Blake Grupe hit the 31-yard game winner as time expired.

Shane Buechele was the leading passer for the Chiefs in the exhibition loss, going 11-of-18 for 155 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes played just one series to open the game and completed both of his attempts for 15 yards. Veteran backup Blaine Gabbert also threw a touchdown pass in the first half. Kansas City coach Andy Reid had previously indicated that starters would play throughout the first quarter, but several key players, including Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce among others, only played one drive.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire started the game at running back with Isiah Pacheco still recovering from injury. Edwards-Helaire had three carries for seven yards and two receptions for 15 yards. Undrafted free agent Deneric Prince tacked on 14 yards and handled kickoff return duties to open the game.

Three different Chiefs caught touchdown passes Sunday, including free-agent addition Richie James. In the second half it was Justyn Ross and Kekoa Crawford with touchdown receptions. Undrafted free agent wide receiver Nikko Remigio led Kansas City in receiving with four receptions for 71 yards.

All three of the Saints’ quarterbacks who saw the field threw touchdown passes in the game, including presumed starter Derek Carr, the former long-time Oakland and Las Vegas Raider.

The Chiefs will have a short week before their next preseason game, which will be on the road again against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday, Aug. 19. Kickoff for that game is set for 7:00 p.m.