The Chiefs knew Donnie Avery would be a go-to receiver Sunday because of the one-game suspension of Dwayne Bowe for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy, but the passing game appeared skewed toward Avery.
Avery was targeted on 13 of Alex Smith’s 33 passing attempts, and he caught seven for 84 yards. The only other wide receiver to catch a pass was Frankie Hammond Jr., who caught one for 22 yards.
“Certainly we felt like, yeah, it was an opportunity there for him,” Smith said of Avery. “We felt good about that matchup … we felt like we had a good package with him and could get some things done.”
Avery was Smith’s target on all three of his interceptions — one from the Chiefs 2 just before the half; the second from their 14 in the third quarter; the last a desperation heave at the end of the game.
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“We had one-on-one with Donnie, and that’s what we were looking for,” Smith said of the first interception. “They matched him most the day with (Jason) McCourty and it felt like that was what we were looking for back there. We had a miscommunication …
“The second one, when I threw that ball, I didn’t see the corner. I was looking at the safety and I thought Donnie had him. I was just trying to give him a catchable ball and the corner made a good play on it. Then the third one there at the end, the tipped ball, it’s tough.”
The Chiefs said linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive end Mike DeVito suffered ruptured Achilles’ tendons which could be season-ending.
Right tackle Jeff Allen suffered a bicep strain. Allen was replaced by Ryan Harris but returned to the game.
Rookie Fulton cracks lineup
Guard Zach Fulton, a sixth-round pick from Tennessee, was the only rookie to crack the starting lineup and became the first player taken in the sixth round or seventh round to start on opening day in 30 years. In 1984, Kevin Ross, a seventh-round pick started at cornerback.
Milestone for Titans
The victory was the 400th regular-season win for the Titans, who began operations as a charter member of the American Football League in 1960 with the Chiefs’ predecessors, the Dallas Texans.
“That’s quite an accomplishment,” said Tennessee’s first-year coach Ken Whisenhunt, who will give a game ball to owner Tommy Smith, the son-in-law of franchise founder, the late Bud Adams.
“I don’t think anybody gave us a chance (to win). Our guys believed in what we are doing, and it was team effort. That speaks volumes for our first game, on the road in Kansas City. That’s not easy.”
Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker, who caught a 5-yard touchdown pass, and deep snapper Beau Brinkley were playing in front of friendly faces. Walker starred at Central Missouri, and Brinkley, from Kearney, played at Missouri.
“Coming back, I felt like I had to show up,” said Walker. “I knew there were going to be a lot of UCM fans here. There were a lot of people who knew me, went to school (with me), were at the game. I just wanted to perform at the best level to represent Central Missouri.”