Chiefs notebook

Chiefs’ Houston credited with another sack after error is corrected

Updated: 2013-09-20T23:04:04Z

By TEREZ A. PAYLOR

The Kansas City Star

Justin Houston’s monster performance in the Chiefs’ 26-16 win over the Eagles became even more impressive statistically on Friday afternoon.

That’s because one day later, the league announced it was crediting Houston with an additional sack, bringing his Thursday night tally to 4 1/2.

Brad Gee, the Chiefs’ manager of communications, said the mixup was a “manual input error” that occurred on the Eagles’ final play of the game, when Houston sacked quarterback Michael Vick for a loss of three yards and also stripped the ball from Vick, though he was ruled down before the ball came out.

The play was then reviewed by a replay assistant, however, who ruled Vick had fumbled before he was down.

“But when they reversed the play, they didn’t put the sack in, just a tackle for loss,” Gee said.

The Chiefs inquired about the ruling on Thursday night and the league corrected the error by officially crediting Houston with the sack, which gives him 7 1/2 for the season and puts him on pace for 40 this year.

Former New York Giants star Michael Strahan holds the single-season record with 22 1/2, which he set in 2001, and Houston maintains the record remains in his sight.

“It would be great if I could get the record,” Houston said Thursday. “I’m pretty sure all pass rushers have got that in mind.”

Houston’s big night also made him the third-fastest player in franchise history to reach 20 sacks to start their career since sacks became an official stat in 1982.

Houston has 23 sacks in 35 career games, trailing only linebacker Derrick Thomas (who needed 25 games to break the 20-sack barrier) and defensive end Jared Allen (who needed 30 games).

Charles was within rules

Dean Blandino, the NFL’s head of officiating, said Friday that officials did the right thing Thursday when they didn’t penalize Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles for lowering the crown of his helmet against Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks.

A new rule prohibits running backs from leading with their head on running plays, but as Blandino noted in a video sent to reporters, Charles did so within three yards of the line of scrimmage, which is allowed to let running backs gain yards against the teeth of the defense.

Chiefs-Eagles a ratings bonanza

Andy Reid’s return to Philadelphia proved more popular than “The X-Factor” or even Tom Brady vs. Rex Ryan.

The Chiefs’ 26-16 win at Philadelphia on Thursday night on NFL Network delivered a 6.0 household rating, making it the highest-rated “Thursday Night Football” telecast on NFL Network. The telecast surpassed a Cowboys-Saints game in 2009 that had a 5.7 rating.

That made it the most-watched program among all shows on broadcast and cable television on Thursday night, beating out shows like NBC’s live finale of “The Million Second Quiz” and Fox’s “The X-Factor.”

The game was seen by an average of 9.4 million viewers, not counting those watching on over-the-air stations in Kansas City (KSHB, Ch. 41) and in Philadelphia.

The 9.4 million viewers made the Chiefs-Eagles game the fourth-most viewed game on NFL Network behind the 49ers-Ravens in 2011 (10.7 million), Cowboys-Saints in 2009 (10.5 million) and Packers-Cowboys in 2007 (10.1 million).

The Chiefs-Eagles telecast topped last week’s “Thursday Night Football” opener between the Jets and Patriots (5.5, 8.8 million viewers).

NFL Network has been televising games since 2006, and the Chiefs appeared in the first game on Thanksgiving night against Denver at Arrowhead Stadium. The NFL awarded that game to Kansas City as a tribute to then-owner Lamar Hunt, who had championed the cause to bring Thanksgiving Day games to other cities besides Dallas and Detroit.

Sean Smith knew boos were coming

On a handful of occasions Thursday, Eagles fans booed Chiefs defensive players who lay on the ground while having their injuries tended to. Philly fans obviously thought the Chiefs were doing what they could to slow down the Eagles’ uptempo offense, but cornerback Sean Smith refuted that intimation after the game.

Smith, who was lustily booed in the second half when he sat on the field for several moments because of leg cramps, got a good chuckle out of the fans’ reaction.

“I knew it was coming … everybody thought I was faking, but I had to get an IV ― I’ve got the proof right here,” Smith said with a laugh, pointing to a bandage on the inside of his left arm.

Smith, however, also credited Philly’s frenetic offense for tiring him out.

“It shows how fast-paced that offense is,” Smith said. “It’s crazy, you can’t really practice it. So when you see it for the first time, you don’t really know what to expect.”

The Star’s Randy Covitz contributed to this report.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.

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