Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn indicated that the Chiefs’ players planned to create a benefit fund for Zoey, the 3-month-old girl who was orphaned Saturday when linebacker Jovan Belcher shot her mother — Belcher’s girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins — and then killed himself.
“Without having either parent in her life now, I think it is important that she understands what type of love she should get from a family,” Quinn said. “Jovan was part of our family. We make sure to take care of our own, so we want to put together a fund. We will have more information and details as to where you can donate.”
A spokesman for the Chiefs said the team hasn’t made its plans final in response to the tragedy but indicated a fund for Zoey or victims of domestic violence might be appropriate.
Belcher’s photo present
Inside the stadium Sunday, there was little hint of the tragedy.
In section 116, fans chanted on “FIRST DOWNS!” and followed the action as usual. They talked about Quinn’s first-half quarterback rating — 105, they thought, a high mark for the year. And that was before his late touchdown pass at the end of the second quarter.
The only tell-tale signs showed up along a wall near the team’s Hall of Honor that features a row of current player photos affixed to it, between sections 120 and 122. At halftime, fans stopped to touch or take pictures of No. 59, Belcher. A crowd of young men gathered. One tried to unscrew it with his fingers.
It didn’t budge.
Dealing with society
Quinn hopes the Belcher tragedy will lead to better understanding of relationships between people.
“We live in a society of social networks, with Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine,” Quinn said, “but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we are more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships that we have right in front of us.
“Hopefully, people can learn from this and try to actually help if someone is battling something deeper on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to-day basis.”
Charles reaches milestones
Running back Jamaal Charles reached several season and career milestones with his second straight 100-yard rushing game.
Charles, who didn’t stick around to talk to reporters, finished with 27 carries for 127 yards and topped 1,000 yards for the third time in four seasons.
He joined Priest Holmes as the only running backs with three 1,000-yard seasons in franchise history and became the fifth Chiefs running back to top 4,000 yards in his career.
Charles, who also reached 700 career carries, has 721 carries for 4,082 yards.
The Chiefs filled the 53rd roster spot left after Belcher’s death by promoting fullback Patrick DeMarco from the practice squad. DeMarco was busy, serving as a lead blocker for most of Charles’ 127 yards and Peyton Hillis’ short-yardage runs for first downs and 2-yard touchdown run.
The Panthers were not surprised to see the Chiefs play with so much emotion in light of the tragedy.
“You would have to be an idiot not to (expect it),” said veteran wide receiver Steve Smith. “We had New Orleans several years with Katrina, and we saw that. This is an emotional game, and guys draw from tragedy and whatever the case may be.
“We were not unprepared for the emotional aspect of it. I think we underperformed, and we allowed a team with a heavy burden, a heavy heart, to hang around. They made some key plays, and they finished us off. We were unable to answer.”
The Chiefs committed just one penalty — for delay of game with 3:36 left — their fewest in a game since Sept. 11, 2011, against Buffalo.
The Panthers were flagged seven times for 45 yards, but they weren’t making any excuses on the differential.
“We don’t blame anything on penalties,” defensive end Greg Hardy said. “Mental mistakes are mental mistakes, and it happens. Nobody is going to play a perfect game. The plays that were there to be made, we didn’t make them.”
Albert out again
Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert missed his second straight game because of a back injury, and rookie Donald Stephenson had another solid game in Albert’s place.
Also inactive for the Chiefs were safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder), wide receivers Steve Breaston and Devon Wylie, center Brian Mattison, defensive lineman Jerrell Powe, quarterback Ricky Stanzi and newly signed offensive lineman Hayworth Hicks.
Interest in Wildcats
A couple of Chiefs players kept an eye on a certain college football game being played Saturday night in Manhattan, Kan.
Lineman Ryan Lilja and defensive back Tysyn Hartman, both Kansas State grads, were happy to see their alma mater lay it on Texas, 42-24.
“It was exciting, said Hartman, who made a team-high six tackles on Sunday. “We’ve had a great history playing Texas. I have a lot of great memories playing Texas.
“I was just most of all excited to see the seniors go out on Senior Night and beat a quality opponent like they did.”
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