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Chiefs serve notice on first play for passing attack plans

The Kansas City Chiefs served notice on their first offensive play of the preseason what direction they intend to take their passing game. Quarterback Alex Smith threw deep down the left sideline for new wide receiver Jeremy Maclin in Saturday’s night game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Arizona.

The play didn’t work. Maclin was well-covered by cornerback Justin Bethel, and the pass was incomplete.

In fact, judging from the play of the starting offense against the Cardinals, Smith and the passing game needs plenty of work. Smith completed 6-of-10 passes but for just 42 yards.

He threw one interception when the Chiefs failed to pick up blitzing safety Deone Bucannon. Smith had to rush a throw and missed wide receiver Jason Avant, connecting with Arizona’s Tyrann Mathieu instead.

The Chiefs managed just a field goal in their three possessions with Smith and the starters in the lineup.

But it’s noteworthy the Chiefs went down the field in their first try. They signed Maclin to a long-term contract to help energize their passing game.

Maclin had just one catch, for 12 yards. Neither he nor any of the other regular receivers, including Avant, De’Anthony Thomas and Albert Wilson, caught a touchdown pass, something none of their wide receivers did last year.

They left that for the backup wide receivers. Reserve quarterback Chase Daniel did what Smith couldn’t. He threw three touchdown passes, all to wide receivers.