There is plenty of room for debate in this list but unfortunately there aren't plenty of performances to choose from. If you try to do your own list, you'll quickly find that many of the best performances came in one game - the win over San Diego in Week 4. It was easily the signature win for the Chiefs in 2007. We were confident, optimistic and most importantly tied for the division lead at the time. Hopefully these fantastic performances by the Chiefs this year will lift your spirits and bring back that same optimism.
#5 Week 10 - Derrick Johnson, 11 tackles, 1 INT, 1 FF
Remember Week 10? After the loss to Denver, the Chiefs were only a third of the way in to their nine game losing streak and were tied with the Broncos at 4-5. It was the first time we really got to see Brodie Croyle play when he came in for an injured Damon Huard early in the second half of the game.
Derrick Johnson quickly made a name for himself at the beginning of the season but quietly stopped being a force in the second half of the season. The one exception to that was his huge performance against the Broncos in a losing effort in Week 10. DJ registered eleven tackles and picked off an early Cutler pass to make the game competitive. Three of those tackles were for negative yardage. With a little luck, the Chiefs recover DJ's fourth quarter forced fumble and make the game competitive.
Unfortunately, like most of the Chiefs games in 2007, the offense was unable to fulfill its end of the deal and committed four turnovers in the loss. I hope to see more consistency from Derrick Johnson in 2008 and more performances like he had Week 10.
Honorable mention: DJ's performance against San Diego in Week 4. His INT and forced fumble both led to touchdowns.
#4 Week 12 - Kolby Smith, 31 rushes, 150 yards, 2 TDs
In his first NFL start, Kolby Smith made Chiefs fans forget the name Larry Johnson, even if for just one game. In Week 12, Kolby Smith had far and away the best rushing day for the Chiefs this season. The rookie carried the rock thirty-one times in his debut and finished with a very impressive 4.8 YPC average. Smith also had his only touchdowns of the season in this game, scoring on runs of ten and five yards.
Smith provided a running style that was the direct opposite of the injured Larry Johnson. Scatting his way behind offensive linemen, Smith was able to do what Larry Johnson couldn't - produce first downs. Smith produced more first downs in his eight games played than Larry did in his six games played.
Unfortunately, Smith's great debut was overshadowed somewhat by his stuff on fourth down late in the game. That stuff by the Raiders' defense all but sealed the win for Oakland.
#3 Week 3 - Jared Allen, 8 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF
Ah those halcyon days of September. The Chiefs may have been 0-2 heading into the Week 3 contest with the Minnesota Vikings but little did we know what was to come.
Beating Minnesota was one of KC's four wins this year and it was partly accomplished on the back of Jared Allen. #69 was key in holding RB Adrian Peterson to only 102 yards. Allen kept Peterson from getting to the outside and breaking off big runs.
Allen's forced fumble, his second in two plays after a previous fumble was reversed by a challenge, directly led to a 39-yard Dave Rayner field goal and was ultimately one of the difference makers in a game with few points scored. Allen's two sacks at the end of the first half single-handedly killed a Minnesota drive that was already in KC territory.
Perhaps Jared's biggest accomplishment this season was forcing opponents to game plan around him and more often than not, use two blockers to contain him. You often saw Allen disappear in the second half of games, precisely for this reason.
#2 Week 4 - Dwayne Bowe, 8 catches, 164 yards, 1 TD
Remember when the AFC West was competitive?
Dwayne Bowe had already showed promised in the first three weeks of the season, catching eleven passes for two touchdowns. But little did we know that the D-Bowe Show would arrive so early in the season.
With the game tied at sixteen, the Chiefs faced 3rd and 19 on their own 49-yard line with just under twelve minutes left in the game. Damon Huard dropped back, made a short pass to his right to Dwayne Bowe and Bowe was gone. Fifty-one yards later....touchdown Dwayne Bowe.
Bowe had catches of 22 and 28-yards to go along with his big 51-yarder. Seven of his eight catches were for first downs.
#1 Week 6 - Tony Gonzalez, 9 catches, 102 yards, 2 TDs
Tony Gonzalez gets the #1 nod because he not only had one of the best season's of his career in 2007, he's had the best career of any tight end in the history of the NFL.
You could put a number of Tony Gonzalez's '07 performances in this spot but I chose his record breaking game against Cincinnati in Week 6. His three-yard catch in the first quarter put him ahead of Shannon Sharpe for the most touchdowns caught by a tight end in NFL history. TG also caught another touchdown pass from Damon Huard in the fourth quarter to put the Chiefs up 27 to 11. Nine catches later and Tony yet again went over 100 yards receiving for the day, something he would do five times in 2007. He comes in at no. 1 not only for his record but for scoring points, which were a rare commodity this year.
Tony Gonzalez was the rock of our feeble offense in 2007. He was there when Damon Huard and Brodie Croyle called on him. I especially loved it when he injured his ankle in the second half of the blowout loss to the Broncos and still chose to come back later in the game, injured ankle and all.