gets the Bronco monkey off his back
The Chiefs were fortunate to win this football game as
nearly every ball bounced the Broncos way.
The Broncos had four fumbles, but lost only one. The
defensive line tipped numerous Jake Plummer passes, but
all either fell harmlessly to the turf, or miraculously
into the hands of a waiting Broncos receiver. That aggravating
bend but dont break defense actually worked, but
if the Broncos had been a little more creative with their
play calling, it may not have.
But none of that matters thanks top the NFLs newest
superstar. The X-factor, Big Play Dante. Thanks
to another incredible return for the ages, the Broncos
monkey is off Dick Vermeils back, and this is the
type of game championship teams miraculously pull out.
The Chiefs are 5-0 for the first time in team history.
The memo pad is full, opening with the way the
Missed fumble recovery by Gary Stills. (Though
he did recover one.)
Clinton Portis fumbles and it hits a Broncos
linemans foot and he recovers.
A sure interception is right in Chiefs LB Shawn
Barbers hands only to bounce off and fall to the
LB Mike Maslowski missed another sure interception
when he was a second late at closing on another tipped
Priest Holmes fumbles for the first time this season
and the ball bounces directly to the Broncos, squashing
a sure scoring drive late in the game.
The MVP in the NFL after five gamesDante
Hall. Go ahead; name another player that has meant more
to his team.
Dante Halls post game comments included another
reference to Al Pacinos character Scarface
from the 1983 movie classic. Props to the KC Stars
Ivan Carter for pointing out the obvious reference in
his Sunday piece
The most famous line from that film fits Big PlayDante
perfectly and it should be taken a step further. Al Pacinos
character should be played on the Arrowhead screens each
time Dante Hall goes back to return a kick.
Say ello to my little friend.
The Chiefs offense is in a bit of a funk, and many
fingers are pointing at QB Trent Green. Thats the
The reason is clear; Priest Holmes is not getting
enough touches. He only had 17 carries, and 4 receptions.
21 touches for the NFLs best running back is not
The result is Priest has had no touchdowns in two
straight games, and the league's best offense has been
slowed a bit.
For this offense to be successful, it doesnt
have to be cute. Get Priest Holmes the damn ball.
Its easy to see the Chiefs trying to force
getting other players involved, just as the Rams did once
the critics complained that Marshall Faulk was too much
of the Rams offense a few years back.
But Holmes needs his touches, and this offense
needs Holmes to get his touches. Once that happens, everything
else falls into place. Green is better, the receivers
get open more and the offense clicks.
The Broncos were 1-4 in the red zone, settling
for three FGs. Props to this defense and its coordinator
Greg Robinson. Aside from two big play breakdowns, it
really did bend but not break.
The defensive stand on first and goal from the
Chiefs four was the turning point in the game. For some
reason Mike Shanahan took the ball out of Jake Plummers
hands and ran Clinton Portis three straight times. Net
Plummer wasnt great, finishing with only
a 78.9 passer rating, but still should have been given
an opportunity to make something happen.
The result of Shanahans Marty-like
decision was a FG and a 23-17 lead, and a play it safe
policy that cost the Broncos dearly.
And Im certain Mike Shanahan will be asked
by the Denver media throughout the week why he went for
a 53-yard FG late in the game instead of playing for field
The other question for Shanahan will beWhy
are you kicking the ball to the league MVP?
This defense has passed its first real test. They
were once again ball hawks, and with a few different bounces,
this one could have turned the Chiefs way a lot sooner.
Dick Vermeil had struggled against the Broncos last season,
losing both games, but that monkey is off his back. The
Chiefs had never been 5-0, which is now history also.
The Arrowhead mystique is back, as are the rabid fans
as the noise inside the stadium was incredible, just like
in the mid-nineties.
But a tough game lies ahead as the Chiefs head to Green
Bay, where the Packers have snapped out of their early
season funk, and will face yet another version of the
West Coast offense. A win there will take a complete game
from the offense and the way to achieve that is through
Next week, Priest Holmes needs 30 plus touches.
(CK Rairden can be reached by email