The Governor’s Cup is back in the hands of the Chiefs.
Playing their first home game in four weeks, the Chiefs whipped the St. Louis Rams 34-7 on a summerlike Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.
The victory was the second straight for the Chiefs, 4-3, and sixth straight in the regular season over St. Louis since the Rams, 2-5, moved from Los Angeles after the 1994 season. And the Chiefs reclaimed the Governor’s Cup, which St. Louis possessed by virtue of a 2012 preseason win.
Jamaal Charles rushed for two touchdowns, including a season-long 36-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter; Cairo Santos made field goals of 53 and 28 yards and Knile Davis returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score in addition to a 3-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
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Meanwhile, the defense harassed St. Louis backup quarterback Austin Davis, sacking him seven times and intercepting a pass.
Davis broke open a tight game when his second-half kickoff return gave the Chiefs a 17-7 lead.
Davis fielded former Missouri Western kicker Greg Zuerlein’s kick on the hop, 1 yard in front of the goal line, followed initial blocks by Anthony Sherman and Dee Ford and got to the outside where James-Michael Johnson sealed the sidelines.
Zuerlein made a futile grab for Davis at about the 35-yard line, and then Davis outran Chase Reynolds the rest of the way for the Chiefs’ first kickoff return for a touchdown this season and the second of his career.
Santos made it 20-7 with a 28-yard field goal, capping a drive in which the Rams were guilty of two personal fouls.
The Chiefs led 10-7 at halftime on Santos’ 53-yard field goal with 1 second left in the second quarter.
Jamaal Charles’ 1-yard run, following a dazzling 17-yard catch and run by tight end Travis Kelce to the 1, tied the game 7-7 early in the second quarter.
St. Louis jumped ahead 7-0 on quarterback Austin Davis’ 1-yard touchdown flip to tight end Lance Hendricks on the first possession of the game. The Rams came out firing as Davis, on the fourth play of the game, completed a 43-yard bomb to Kenny Britt, who had a step on Kansas City safety Husain Abdullah, and was tackled at the Chiefs 13.
Two plays later, Davis bought some time scrambling and found Hendricks in the back of the end zone after he shook free from Chiefs linebacker James-Michael Johnson.
The Chiefs’ first touchdown was aided by a penalty on Rams’ rookie cornerback E.J. Gaines, a former Fort Osage High School and University of Missouri star.
Alex Smith misfired on a pass intended for A.J. Jenkins on a third-and-7 from the 50, but Gaines was called for illegal contact, extending the drive.
Both teams turned the ball over once in the half. Rams safety Ron Parker intercepted a pass intended for Britt, but the Chiefs were unable to convert. Charles and Smith botched a handoff at the Chiefs 14 that was recovered and returned to the 8 by the Rams’ William Hayes.
On third-and-goal from the 6, Davis, a third-team quarterback who was pressed into action because of injuries to Sam Bradford and Shaun Hill, backpedaled when he should have thrown the ball away, and was sacked for a 14-yard loss by Parker to the Chiefs’ 20.
That brought on Zuerlein, who missed a 38-yard field goal, his first miss under 50 yards this season.
The Chiefs took over at their 28 with 5:32 and chewed up all but 1 second of the half before Santos made the career-long 53-yarder. The Chiefs had reached the Rams 22, but a false start on tackle Eric Fisher and two sacks of Smith by the Rams’ Robert Quinn, moved the ball back to the 35, but Santos made his seventh straight field goal.