Columnist Vahe Gregorian offers musings about the sports scene in and around Kansas City
A-Z rewind of the Chiefs' 17-16 victory over Dallas
09/16/2013 6:41 PM
05/16/2014 10:13 AM
An A-Z rewind of the Chiefs 17-16 victory Sunday over Dallas and a fast-forward glance ahead to their game at Philadelphia on Thursday:
A is for about-face, which is what the Chiefs have executed so far in starting 2-0 for the first time in three years to match their victory total of 2012.
B is for beat at their own game, which San Diego did to the Eagles on Sunday by playing at a brisk pace to rack up 539 yards and hold the ball for more than 40 minutes in the 33-30 victory. “We kind of no-huddled the no-huddlers,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers told reporters.
C is for Charles, Jamaal, who further demonstrated his dual-threat skills against the Cowboys with a career-high eight receptions and dominated the crucial last Chiefs series by rushing eight times for 47 yards to choke off any legitimate final hope for the Cowboys.
D is for Dez Bryant, the Dallas receiver who had nine receptions for 141 yards, including astounding catches of 53 and 38 yards in the first quarter, but will remember the game for his elementary mistake in dropping a deep ball that could have changed the result. “I took my eyes off the ball; I shouldn’t have,” he said, adding, “I just can’t beat the guy and then beat us not catching the football. That’s what I did.”
E is for Eric Berry, the Chiefs cornerback who had his first career fumble recovery but had an interception nullified by his holding penalty: “Everybody makes mistakes,” he said, “and everybody has different opinions. Regardless of that fact, you just have to come back and keep playing.”
F is for Fosbury flop, the high-jump technique popularized by 1968 Olympic gold medalist Dick Fosbury and inadvertently simulated by quarterback Alex Smith at the end of his 17-yard run on third and 15 to keep alive the Chiefs opening touchdown drive. The move, though, “was a first for me,” said Smith, who led the Chiefs in rushing with a career-best 57 yards.
G is for gut-check, which the Chiefs passed after breezing 28-2 in their opener at Jacksonville. “Am I surprised?” coach Andy Reid said. “I’m not surprised. I’ve been around them.”
H is for homecoming, sort of, for Reid, who spent the past 14 years coaching the Eagles but may or may not be greeted warmly by the harsh Philadelphia fans. “I’m going to tell you this right now: It’s not about me; it’s about our football team,” Reid said. Maybe to him, but probably not to Philly.
I is for injuries, which continue to seem minimal for the Chiefs: On Sunday, they included tight end Anthony Fasano, who suffered an ankle injury and will be X-rayed today, defensive end Mike Devito, who had a stinger and was described as “sore” by Reid and left tackle Branden Albert, who hurt his shoulder but returned.
J is for Jerry Jones, the Cowboys owner and general manager who owes the Chiefs the “Preston Road Trophy” that goes to the winner of games between the teams as conceptualized by Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt. According to Clark Hunt, it looks very much like it came in under the $100 budget his father had committed to it, but after the game Reid nonetheless quipped, “I think that Preston Road Trophy is huge.”
K is for Knile Davis, the third-round draft pick from Arkansas who has been held back by his fumble-itis and sent a gasp through Arrowhead Stadium when he muffed a fourth-quarter kickoff after the Cowboys had closed it to 17-16. He recovered the ball but will have trouble recovering any confidence if Reid’s postgame words are any indication: “He was supposed to catch the football and do what he’s supposed to do,” said Reid, who noted he was in because Quintin Demps needed a breather. “You’re put in that role, and you’re a professional. You practice it and get in there and do the right thing. We’re fortunate we got the ball back there.”
L is for lucky break, which the Chiefs got when a delay of game penalty on them averted what would have been a sack and forced them to punt before the 2-minute warning. Instead, on third and 10 the Cowboys were whistled for pass interference and they didn’t get possession again until 16 seconds remained.
M is for McGrath, Sean, the reserve tight end who was one of two waiver-wire acquisitions from Seattle two weeks ago after the 53-man roster deadline. He had his first two NFL catches, including one for 22 yards.
N is for Newberry College, a Division II school in South Carolina that produced Ron Parker, who also was acquired two weeks ago on waivers from Seattle and had his first NFL fumble recovery after he stripped Dallas quarterback Tony Romo on a blitz.
O is for Oregon, where Eagles coach Chip Kelly was a year ago. Will the frenzied offensive pace that he used to make the Ducks a powerhouse prove revolutionary in the NFL, or does Kelly face a learning curve? The first two games, a 33-27 win over Washington and the 33-30 loss to San Diego, leave the jury out.
P is for punter Dustin Colquitt, who placed five of his seven efforts inside the Dallas 20 and has plopped 10 of his 16 this season in that deep terrain.
Q is for quick turnaround, which the Chiefs are facing to play Thursday, particularly as the road team traveling to Philadelphia which was at home Sunday. As of the time this posted at 7 a.m. Monday, kickoff is less than 85 hours away.
R is for red-zone efficiency, again this week: A season after being the worst in the NFL (27.03 percent) in converting touchdowns once inside the opposing 20, they are five for five after turning both opportunities into TDs on Sunday.
S is for Succop, Ryan, whose 40-yard field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter might have inspired some grumbles considering he’d had one blocked earlier and the Chiefs appeared within about a foot of a first down at the Dallas 22. But his kick made for the winning points.
T is for turnabout and turnovers: After two games last season, the Chiefs had committed six and gained none. After two games this season, they’ve been the beneficiary of four and have yet to commit one.
U is for uniform change: For the first time in the 53-year history of the franchise, the Chiefs wore all-red uniforms. “What did y’all think about that?” Charles said, rather proudly, and added, “That gave us a boost, just coming out. Everything is just different this year.”
V is for vote of confidence in Reid, expressed by Charles when he was asked about the difference in recent coaching. “I mean, he’s Andy Reid,” said Charles, who adding that Reid’s experience has given him credibility and his encouragement has allowed “personalities” to show. Unsolicited, Jones of the Cowboys said, “He’s outstanding.”
W is for Ware, DeMarcus, the Cowboys defensive end who had two of the Cowboys four sacks and generally was a menace for the Chiefs line, which struggled at times.
X is for X-factor, which the raucous Arrowhead Stadium crowd of 76,952 was for the Chiefs. “I mean, they just made it about impossible for the Cowboys to hear,” Reid said.
Y is for yards, 313, of which the Chiefs got more than half on two drives: one of 77 to open the game and one of 80 in the third quarter. Otherwise, they had just 156 to show for their nine other possessions.
Z is for Z-receiver Donnie Avery, who drew the pivotal pass interference penalty on the Chiefs last drive.