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Cheifs Chatter


Monday Morning Quarterback:
Chiefs learning how to win

12/31/2001

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

The Chiefs tried to give this one away, but the Jaguars wouldn’t take it. KC turned the ball over 4 times, dropped two sure interceptions late in the game in the endzone and still hung on for a 30-26 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Is this team learning how to win football games? It sure seems so. The Chiefs, after a dismal 1-6 start to the season, have won three straight and are 5-3 in their last eight games.

The Jaguars outgained the Chiefs by nearly 80 yards. The Jags out gained the Chiefs on the ground by a 2-1 ratio. It didn’t seem to matter as the Chiefs made big plays when they needed them.

•The Chiefs defense stopped the Jags twice in the fourth quarter on multiple passes in the endzone.

•WR Eddie Kennison had the first 100+ yard game by a KC WR this season. TE Tony Gonzalez got involved and had 2 TD’s.
•The Jags keyed their defense on stopping RB Priest Homes and did an admirable job at that holding Holmes to 91 yards on 27 carries, but Holmes scored an early rushing TD and grabbed 7 catches for 53 yards.

•That opened up passing lanes for Gonzo and came back to bite the Jaguars defense all day. On both TD passes to the Chiefs All-Pro TE the Jacksonville defense keyed heavy on the run and Gonzalez got lost in the shuffle.

The result: 2 TD’s for Gonzalez.

The Chiefs even made the right call late in the game when they took a safety instead of punting from their own end zone after the first defensive stand.

How big were those two defensive efforts? The Jaguars threw four straight endzone incompletions inside the two-minute warning. None of those were drops; all were well defended by the Chiefs secondary.

The result: A win in Florida. That kind of a victory would have seemed impossible earlier in the season.

The MMQB skinny:
•The Chiefs have now played their way out of a very early draft pick and finish on the road against a Seattle team that still has an outside shot at the playoffs.

•That’s OK, though if… they can carry this momentum into next season.

•With a win they will equal last year’s total but finish much stronger than last season’s effort in Atlanta.

•WR Eddie Kennison has given the Chiefs the speed threat needed to make this offense work. It seems he is a mid-season steal.

•RB Priest Holmes now trails the Jets’ Curtis Martin by 17 yards for the NFL rushing title. Holmes is the best free agent pick up of the year.
—TE Tony Gonzalez had his first multiple TD game of the season. Perhaps that will quiet his NBA dreams.

The Chiefs now head to Seattle to try and thwart the Seahawks playoff chances. They eliminated Denver from the picture two weeks ago and now will give a shot to ruining Seattle’s off-season.