What a victory for the Kansas City Chiefs, the first of the season. The final score out of Arrowhead is Chiefs 22 and the Minnesota Vikings 17. There was a solid crowd out at Arrowhead that stayed all the way to the fourth quarter and they were rewarded with a good game from QB Matt Cassel and a running back by committee approach that helped put them in field goal position for K Ryan Succop on five occassions -- and he made all five.
I just heard Todd Haley talk after the game and spoke with a few players in the locker room -- it's so refreshing to see a winning locker room out here at Arrowhead.
I took a bunch of notes throughout the game so here are 23 things to remember about the game and I'll be back in jus ta bit with some quotes from Haley and the players.
- Brandon Flowers DID start this game after being limited throughout the week with an ankle injury. Donald Washington was in for Jon McGraw, who was out with a shin injury.
- A few players are wearing pink cleats and pink towels for Breast Cancer Awareness month.
- Paid attendance for the game: 72,931. That's a little higher than the usual announced attendance, perhaps aided by more than a few Vikings fans in the crowd.
- The Vikings said throughout the week that they wanted to give Adrian Peterson more carries. Even Peterson's father was quoted in a Minnesota paper as saying he wanted more carries but Peterson didn't touch the ball at all on the Vikings first series. Interesting game plan.
- Good start for KC. Forcing a three and out on the Vikings first possession and Javier Arenas had a nice 33-yard return on a 51-yard punt. The Chiefs got to third down but lucked out when the Vikings were hit with a personal foul and automatic first down. The Chiefs then converted another third down with a pass to Dwayne Bowe. Following that, we may have had the best run of the season for Thomas Jones -- he hit a hole on the left side of the line and scampered for 11 yards but...it was downhill from there: 15-yard facemask by Brandon Albert and a 10-yard holding penalty by Terrance Copper, pushing the Chiefs back.
- 12 plays, 21 yards and the drive ends in three points. THE FIRST LEAD OF THE SEASON FOR THE CHIEFS!
- The Vikings second drive resulted in a terrific pass from McNabb to a diving Devin Aromashadu taking the Chiefs lead away from them. It really wasn't bad coverage from Brandon Carr -- just putting it in the perfect spot, which you haven't seen McNabb do a whole lot this season. (But he did pass Steve Young on the all-time touchdown pass list.)
- Interesting tweet from Josh Looney: 16 minutes into the game there have been five different ball carriers for the Chiefs.
- Those who operate the Chiefs replay system know what's up. Adrian Peterson fumbled with about 10 minutes left in the first quarter but it was ultimately reversed and the ball given back to the Vikings. The replay folks at Arrowhead did not show the replay up on the Jumbotron so the Vikings coaches didn't get a good look at it. The Vikings got it back despite that, though.
- Brandon Carr had nice pick off of a tipped pass. He had some blockers in front of him on the run back but McNabb stepped up for a nice form tackle on Carr. It was a good tackle but McNabb could always use this guy as a good example of a quarterback tackle: Andrew Luck vs. USC
- Best jersey sighting so far: Keith Cash
- Worst jersey sighting so far: Peyton Manning
- Steve Breaston and Matt Cassel warming up to each other. Last week it was a 43-yard pass and catch inside the five yard line. This time it's a 42-yard pass and catch to the Vikings 23-yard line. Nice play and some nice yards after catch for Breaston.
- First booing of the game: This is directed at the offense in general, or Cassel, specifically. Cassel threw it away on both second and third down, with the third down pass going at Le'Ron McClain's feet.
- I couldn't tell what was going on from here but it appears Cassel came off the field and he and Haley were getting into an argument. TV cameras caught the exchange.
- Awesome pass and catch again from Cassel to Breaston, who split the middle of the field. Cassel laid it in there perfectly for Breaston for a gain of 28 yards. That's now catches of 43, 42 and 28 for Breaston in the last two games.
- Ryan freakin' Succop returns. He was getting beat up in the media for starting the season 2-of-5 but he now has
fourfive field goals today -- on five attempts -- including two over 50, as well as his career best of 54 yards. Huge day for him. Two 50-plus yard field goals in one game ties a Chiefs record, and five field goals in a game ties a franchise record.
- What's up with tight ends and penalties? Last week it was Leonard Pope with three penalties and today's it's Jake O'Connell who has two.
- Dwayne Bowe is getting so good at yards after the catch. He knows how to use his body so well and demonstrated that with a sweet touchdown in the third quarter. The defender slipped and Cassel hit Bowe down the left sideline and Bowe had to sidestep two Minnesota defenders to get in. I've never cheered in the press box -- but I was close on that play. 52 yards to the house and the Chiefs lead 22-10.
- Bit of a gutsy play: Vikings had a 4th and 14 from the Chiefs 37 yard line and decided to go for it, completing a 20-yard pass to get the first. If they don't get that, the Chiefs get solid field position and can take several minutes off the clock.
- The Vikings scored a touchdown on a one-yard pass and it looked like Michael Jenkins did not get his second foot in. From the replay I saw, the Chiefs should have challenged it but Minnesota kicked the extra point without a KC challenge. Haley was quickly on the field pointing at a couple of the refs and it looked like he was pretty animated. That's likely because the refs are supposed to review every scoring play. What happened here?
- Tamba Hali is raising hell for McNabb and the Vikings. He helps keep the pressure on as the Vikings turn it over on fourth down and wrap up the game.
- Your final score: 22-17, Chiefs first victory of the season.