“Winning cures all” No one statement may ring more true for Herm Edwards and the Kansas City Chiefs today. The Chiefs defeated the Denver Broncos 33-19 in a game that could have been a lot worse score wise for the Broncos.
The Chiefs started well out of the gate setting up the run with Larry Johnson. On the second play of the game LJ took the ball up the middle and motored 65 yards down the field. Eventually Johnson ran out of gas and was caught from behind at the Broncos 21. The Chiefs would get the ball down to Broncos five setting up a Nick Novak 23 yard field goal. With the Chiefs up 3-0 they had something they had not possessed in 21 ½ quarters…..a lead!!!
On Denver’s opening drive rookie receiver Eddie Royal was stripped from behind by DE Turk McBride, after a 20 yard gain that would have got Denver out of some bad field position. Kansas City responded on a drive led by Damon Huard that would again see the Chiefs get inside the five yard line and again settle for a Nick Novak field goal.
Denver would retake the lead early in the second quarter with a 16 yard Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall touchdown pass. After a stalled Chiefs drive the Broncos would again fumble away their scoring opportunity, this time the culprit was Brandon Marshall who was stripped by linebacker Derrick Johnson.
The fumbled was scooped up by corner Brandon Flowers and returned 37 yards to the Denver 2 yard line, setting up a one yard touchdown plunge by Larry Johnson giving the Chiefs a short lived lead. The Broncos would follow the Chiefs score with a 56 yard field goal by Matt Prater with 35 seconds left in the half that should have been worth 4 points. The Chiefs were content after receiving the kick to take a knee and send the game into half with the lead 13-10.
Opening the second half the Broncos would tie the game with another 50 plus yard field goal by Matt Prater. Kansas city answered right back with a 43 ward field goal of their own and giving Kansas city a lead they would not relinquish the remainder of the game.
After the field goal the Chiefs and the Broncos played turnover tag, with Jay Cutler throwing a interception to LB Derrick Johnson only to have the Chiefs give the ball back the very next play on a Larry Johnson fumble that was challenged and upheld. Two plays later QB Jay Cutler would again be picked off this time by cornerback Brandon Carr.
Despite the opportunity’s that stared the Chiefs in the face they did not regain offensive traction until late in the third quarter, when Damon Huard went 6 for 7 passing and capped off a 10 play 5 plus minute drive that culminated in a 10 yard touchdown reception by Tony Gonzalez.
The persistent Broncos would again pull with in one score as they answered back on the ensuing drive with a field goal. Not to be outmatched the Chiefs would respond with their own field goal putting the score at 26-16. Down by 10 points Jay Cutler and the Broncos hurried down the field in yet another drive that started promising but sputtered and ended in a field goal.
After a failed onside kick Kansas City would take advantage of the good field position and put the game out of reach once and for all on a 16 yard touchdown by Larry Johnson with 1:45 left. The defense would hold the remainder of the game.
A victorious Kansas City Chiefs walked out of NFL stadium with a win for the first time in 13 contests. Next week the Chiefs face a Carolina team that has looked very tough and has a 3-1 record. The Chiefs may have found their identity, bend but don’t break defense, mid range passing game and a dominant running attack. When the Chiefs face the Panthers they will need to bring these elements of their game if they want to walk out of Charlotte with a victory.