win over San Diego
KC keep its
Eric Lewis of The Landmark staff
-With a must win on Sunday, the Chiefs did not disappoint
true hardcore fans. Going into the game, critics didnt
believe KC had enough firepower to put up points on the
stingy Charger defense. Yet some how, the Chiefs rallied
at Arrowhead and put up 30 points on the number one defense
in the NFL from San Diego. The team came together in one
of the finest football games I have seen in a while.
Despite the mistakes, Herm Edwards' team found a way
to win. The defense answered everything the Chargers threw
at them. In the first four drives for the Chargers, the
defense forced three turnovers and gave the offense a
chance to grab an early lead. The offense answered right
back putting up a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
And finished on top of the Chargers 30-27.The Chiefs looked
sharp, playing together and making things happen. With
an even record standing at 3-3, and only one game behind
the division leading Broncos. Let's just say playoff hopes
Once again Kicker Lawrence Tynes came through with a
huge kick to seal the deal for the Chiefs. His 53-yard
game winning field goal was a career best.
From the very start of the game I could tell something
was different about this team. Thus far in the season,
I have seen the Chiefs play more physical, but on Sunday
you could see a sense of pride from every player on the
field. Coming off last week's stomping from Pittsburgh,
the Chiefs knew they had to make a statement against the
Chargers, and a statement was made.
The offense once again rallied behind Huard giving him
a solid day, finishing with 232 yards and 2 TDs
, and capping off with an awesome 108.9 passer rating.
Finally finding Tony Gonzalez open, gave the offense
some big plays downfield. Gonzalez finished with 6 catches
for 138 yards a season high. As Ive been saying
all along, they need to find a way to utilize him more
in the passing game. And offensive coordinator Mike Solari
did just that. His play calling looked much better on
Sunday. The offense did not seem as predictable, and he
is finally utilizing the offensive weapons we do have.
Speaking of weapons, L.J carried the ball 28 times for
128 yards and a pair of TDs. After last week's dismal
numbers, L.J ran all over the Chargers punishing would
be tacklers. His numbers will only get better, as the
passing game has evolved into a sure weapon.
L.J has handled some strong adversity this year. With
all the hype of his 2000 yard campaign this season, the
unexpected loss of Trent Green made for some tough pressure
on the Pro Bowl back. Despite this obstacle, L.J has put
together a fine season so far, and is making plays that
count for the Chiefs. The talk of him running soft or
not being the same as he was last year is garbage. Every
game he has faced tough defenses that all key on him,
and practice specifically to stop his rushing attack.
L.J is doing a fantastic job this year, and regardless
of what critics say about his numbers, he is helping this
Chiefs team win games period. And as for his stats, trust
me they will only go up from here.
With Greens highly anticipated return, good news
comes to Chiefs fans this week. He returned to practice
this week and is expected to return within a few weeks.
There is talk of a QB controversy, but I guarantee there
will be no such thing. Green is the number one guy, and
when he is healthy enough to play he will step in and
continue to lead this Chiefs squad. You dont have
a Pro Bowl QB sit on the sidelines because the backup
has had some good games.
I do believe Huard has done a great job so far taking
over for Green, something that was highly unexpected.
He has been able to manage the team just as well as Green
would have, and actually looked impressive in doing so.
Yet once the time comes, he will step down and continue
his role as a solid number two QB. On the other hand,
if Green is slow in returning and isnt making a
strong comeback, Edwards shouldnt have a shred of
doubt in putting Huard back at the realm.
Also returning is offensive tackle Jason Welbourn. He
could battle RT Kevin Sampson for the starting job. Even
though his expulsion from the league for a failed urinalysis
and his sudden retirement looks like a troubled record,
Welbourn is an excellent offensive lineman and will be
another option at the tackle spot.
The receivers looked decent this week, Kennison had a
respectable day putting up two 15-yard catches and a TD
pass from Huard. I dont say this often but Samie
Parker made a great block on Sunday to spring Tony Gonzalez
for a 57-yard gain.
The Chiefs third TE Kevin Wilson also had a TD grab and
is filling in for the injured Ronnie Cruz at fullback.
He is big and athletic and is proving to be a vital role
in the Chiefs offence, he has more responsibilities now
due to injuries, and so far he has shined.
The defense was phenomenal, in the first half of the
game they dominated to Chargers offensive attack. They
looked impressive in all aspects of the game, forcing
several early turnovers. This kind of big play from the
defense sets up easy scores for KC's offense, and thats
how you win football games. It may be cliché to
say, but the defense really does win games.
Exceptional play from rookie Tamba Hali is nothing new
this year. He is a fantastic football player, and is improving
every week. With Hali and Jared Allen dominating the defensive
end spots, our relentless pass rush is one of the best
in the league. They each recorded sacks and had Chargers
QB Phillip Rivers frustrated all day. And with KC's linebackers
flying to the ball, pro bowl running back L.T had nowhere
to go. The speed of the linebackers has looked impressive
this season. Derrick Johnson is a dominant young linebacker,
and with Kawika Mitchell and Kendrell Bell our linebackers
are a force to be reckoned with.
The secondary made some big plays as well. The interception
from safety Greg Wesley set up an early Chiefs score.
The veteran secondary stepped up their game after the
Steelers tore them apart last week, scoring at will on
huge pass plays downfield. This week they looked more
focused, and didnt give up as many big plays. They
will need to continue this against the Seahawks, with
an inexperienced QB in Seneca Wallace taking over for
the injured Matt Hasselbeck. The secondary could have
a huge day with the benefits from our outstanding pass
Altogether the Chiefs looked exceptional, they are winning
games despite the losses and misfortune that has been
thrown their way. Edwards is pulling this team together,
and making winning a priority, something I can get used
to. With this new hardnosed smash mouth mentality, the
Chiefs have been able to manage a 3-3 record so far, and
they will only get better. As Ive said this whole
year, this is a good football team; we have high quality
players, in the right positions. Yes there are some holes
at receiver, and perhaps not enough depth in other valuable
positions like the offensive line. Yet some how this squad
has come together with what they have, and are making
some noise in doing so. If they can dominate the Seahawks
this week, with the return of Trent Green on the horizon,
there is no telling what this team cant do.
(Eric Lewis provides Chiefs' commentary
for The Landmark. Reach him at Platte County's most powerful
newspaper by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org)