After a dismal first quarter by the Chiefs, they pulled in the win against the Arizona Cardinals 23 to 20. This game was generally poorly played by the Chiefs but had some great moments that kept us alive and eventually gave us the win. Here's the rundown...
In what was virtually a repeat performance from last week, Damon Huard played a great game in his role as backup. Huard went 26/38 for 288 yards and two passing TDs. Huard looked sharp yet again despite key drops by Samie Parker. Still, Huard's pass to Parker for the second TD was absolutely beautiful. Its obvious that Huard is becoming more and more comfortable as a starter. He minimized mistakes, except for another fumble that was lost. Also, Huard did not throw an INT for the second straight week. In fact, he has yet to throw for an INT this season. Oh, Huard threw to 8 different Chiefs recievers yesterday too.
After anticipating a big day from Larry Johnson, the running game was shut down by the Cardinal's defense. Shut down. LJ rushed 16 times for 36 yards, which is something I don't think anybody anticipated. The Cardinals are in the lower 10 as far as rush defense is concerned but they looked like #1 yesterday against a stagnant Chiefs rushing offense. As I watched the game, I noticed that LJ just could not get a damn thing going on the groud. His only bright spot was the 78 yard catch and run that resulted in the game winning field goal. Which brings me to this...
Antrel Rolle is the new public enemy No. 1 for the Kansas City Chiefs. His blatant, malicious facemask tackle of Larry Johnson left Chief's fans stunned. As LJ layed on the field, motionless mind you, for those few minutes, I could feel the rage building against yet another thug from the University of Miami. They really know how to mold them down there at the U. LJ got up and appeared to be fine but he is scheduled to have an MRI today. Keep LJ (and our season) in your thoughts....
Back to the game. Tony Gonzalez was yet again absent from the passing game. After grabbing 5 catches for 59 yards last week, TG only caught one pass for 25 yards against the Cardinals. TG is being used much more as a blocking tight end this season, with the recent losses to the offensive line. I guarantee he'll blow up in at least one game this season.
Overall, the offense never seemed to get into a rhythm and we had to rely on the play of the defense to really win this game for us. I still can't believe how the Cardinals kept Larry Johnson in check. It really was a fantastic job on their end. Almost everytime LJ touched the ball, it seemed like there were about ten Cardinals right on him. Kudos to their rush D for a damn good job against one of the NFL's top runners.
After forgetting to defend the pass in the first quarter, the Chiefs D rallied a bit to hold the Cardinals offense to only six points in the remaining three quarters. The defense played pretty stellar after the first quarter in fact. They totalled 4 sacks, 1 INT and 1 forced fumble which was not recovered. Ty Law's INT on Matt Leinert was HUGE in creating a Chiefs win. Huge. I kept saying throughout the game that there was no way that in his first NFL start, Matt Leinart would not throw an INT.
The Chiefs defense played a simliar game to the Cardinals defense. We gave up 253 yards in the air and 76 yards on the ground. The defense was really a tale of the first quarter and the rest of the game, like I mentioned above. After just blowing it in the first 15 minutes of the game, the Chiefs D buckled down and did a fantastic job.
Dante Hall was down for most of the game with a hip pointer but his replacement, Jeff Webb, had a great 50 yard return that just came out of nowhere. Good to know that we have some possible talent behind Dante.
The special teams play of the day was undoubtedly Bernard Pollard's blocked punt. Pollard's second quarter special teams breakthrough set up Damon Huard to LJ for a 6 yard TD pass. If you were watching it, the punt block was awesome. Pollard sped in from the left side of the field and got most of his left hand on the ball to force it out at the Arizona 6 yard line. Beautiful.
This game was a lot closer than I thought it would be. I figured the Cardinals to be a slightly better 49ers team but apparently I was wrong. They shut down LJ and Leinart was impressive in his debut. Thankfully, the Chiefs are sitting at 2-2, with Denver coming up tonight against the Baltimore Ravens. With a loss tonight, the Broncos are tied with the Chiefs for second place in the AFC West, sitting a game behind the 3-1 Chargers.
I'll be breaking down the game some more as the week goes on and as we prepare for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the meantime, start up a diary and point out anything I missed.
[editor's note, by Chris] Check out the Fanhouse for some good commentary and analysis on yesterday's game.