Good morning, Chiefs fans.Tough loss where the defense looked mortal. Jacksonville is up next. Here's your Kansas City Chiefs news.
"I don’t know if I can (explain the game) right now," safety Jon McGraw said. "I’m just trying to take a minute and process what just happened."
The Chiefs will have plenty of time to break down exactly what happened before Sunday’s game against Jacksonville at Arrowhead Stadium. For the time being, it was enough for them to contemplate that they allowed more points in the fourth quarter than they had in any full game this season.
Kansas City took over on its own 33 with 3:25 to play after Houston scored a touchdown to cut the lead to 31-28. On third down and two from the Chiefs' own 41 with 2:36 to play, quarterback Matt Cassel couldn't connect with rookie tight end Tony Moeaki on a deep route down the Kansas City sideline.
Had the Chiefs converted the first down, they likely would have been able to run out the clock.
"That was the play I wanted," Haley said. "That was the first option. We just couldn't make that last play. It's another step we have to take."
KC Star Photo Gallery: Texans 35, Chiefs 31 | Sunday, Oct. 17
NFL.com Video: GameDay: Chiefs vs. Texans highlights
NFL.com Video: Chiefs postgame press conference
The Chiefs lost a game they should have won on Sunday. There's no excuse for blowing a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, and the learned response in Kansas City is to feel defeated. Memories of John Elway come rushing back, and we're so used to those groin punches that it's just natural to expect another.
It's just that there are also reasons to believe this time, to think that what we saw on Sunday wasn't a snake-bitten franchise losing another heartbreaker as much as a rising team making a hard but necessary step toward helping ease our pent-up sports angst.
"It hurt," Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles said after the Houston Texans’ 35-31 comeback victory. "Really hurt."
But by the time Kansas City awakens this morning, with the hangover of Sunday’s disappointment beginning to subside, one thought is likely to emerge: The Chiefs’ rushing offense is one of the league’s best, and if it continues being as effective as it was Sunday — loss or not — these feelings won’t be as common as they used to be.
Chiefs’ ground game is bright spot in loss from KC Star
But Haley was Bowe’s only public friend last week. The coach defended the receiver and was rewarded in Houston for his words.
"I told him during the game at one point and I told him in the locker room that this isn’t about some plays he made out there today," Haley said. "This is about what he’s been doing, and because he’s been doing the things you’re supposed to do as a football player/wide receiver, I think you see some results like (Sunday’s).
Bowe bounces back with big game from KC Star
What happened to the defense?
It picked a terrible time to be bad. The defense had been the Chiefs’ strength, and with this team, scoring 31 points should be more than enough. There wasn’t much of a pass rush, and Texans quarterback Matt Schaub had no trouble finding open receivers. Coordinator Romeo Crennel put together outstanding game plans in the Chiefs’ first four games, but against Houston, his plan didn’t work. Kansas City won’t be able to withstand future defensive breakdowns.
But while 4-2 Houston managed to keep pace in the AFC South clump, the truth is the Texans are going to have to win most games like they did on Sunday, simply because their defense can't stop anyone. Even Matt Cassel shredded the Houston pass defense for 201 yards and three touchdowns, with Kansas City rolling to 228 yards rushing the ball and 417 total yards.
INSIDE THE NFL from Sports Illustrated
On the final play, defensive end Antonio Smith flushed Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel from the pocket and defensive tackleAmobi Okoye ran him down for a sack as time expired.
Okoye said that before the final play, there was a distinct moment that he'll remember that motivated him.
Texans notes: Okoye delivers defining moment with sack from The Houston Chronicle
These Texans - with a defense that can't stop anybody through the air (and this day on the ground, either) - are 4-2 and in first place after their second double-digit come-from-behind victory of the season.
This time it was the Kansas City Chiefs who did almost everything right except win the football game. The Texans scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to claim a 35-31 win that on a normally bad day would have been a loss.
This team takes the good from bad from The Houston Chronicle
Cassel was sharper than he's been all season, completing 20 of 29 passes without an interception against the Texans' NFL-worst pass defense. Dwayne Bowe made two TD catches and finished with six receptions for 108 yards.
''At a number of different points in the game, we felt we were in control,'' Cassel said. ''We were confident about where we were in the game. We were playing a great opponent, and their offense just continued to come back and come back.''
Texans rally late to beat Chiefs from Fox Sports
Surest hands: Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel caught a 2-yard touchdown while lining up with the offense in the 35-31 loss at Houston. That marked Vrabel's 12th career TD (including the postseason), and all of his 12 career catches have gone for scores.
Chiefs fans may kill Charlie Weis for calling a pass on third-and-two when a first down could have essentially won the game. Kansas City has won by making aggressive calls and Matt Cassel converted a lot of third downs all day, so I can't fault him for the call. It just didn't work.
Quick Slants from Week Six early games from Pro Football Talk
No matter the outcome of Monday night's Jacksonville Jaguars-Tennessee Titans game, the Jaguars need to take advantage of two straight away games prior to the bye week on November 7. The Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville's next two opponents, have each lost their last two games. Three of those four losses have been to the other three AFC South teams.
World of Sports: Brantley, Ponder and Klitschko from The Jacksonville Observer