Gregorian Chants

October 14, 2013

From A to Z, a nearly letter-perfect win for the Chiefs over the Raiders

The Star’s Vahe Gregorian offers an A to Z rewind of the Chiefs’ 24-7 win over the Oakland Raiders and a fast-forward glance ahead to this weekend’s game against the Houston Texans.

Gregorian Chants

Columnist Vahe Gregorian offers musings about the sports scene in and around Kansas City

An A-Z rewind of the Chiefs’ 24-7 win over Oakland on Sunday and a fast-forward look ahead:


is for AFC West, where reside the only two undefeated teams in the NFL: the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs.


is Broncos, against whom the Chiefs play on Nov. 17 in Denver and Dec. 1 in Kansas City. With home games coming up against Houston (2-4) and Cleveland (3-3) before traveling to Buffalo (2-4), the Chiefs seem to have a legitimate chance to have matched the best start in franchise history and be 9-0 entering the first Denver game.


is for crowd at Arrowhead Stadium, where on Sunday Chiefs fans set the Guinness World Record for peak decibels at an outdoor stadium with a boom of 137.5 with between 48 and 42 seconds left in the game as Derrick Johnson sacked Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor. That topped the previous record of 136.6 set on Sept. 15 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.


is for defense, which continues to astound for the Chiefs. On Sunday, it had 10 sacks and three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. That makes three defensive touchdowns this season for a defense that has permitted just seven TDs.


is for expectations, which now must be that the Chiefs will be a playoff team.


is for 48, the amount of yards the Raiders needed for a first down after a holding penalty and two sacks in the fourth quarter. Marquette King’s fine punt of 46 yards couldn’t even cover that distance.


is grand, five grand, the career rushing barrier Jamaal Charles went over on Sunday with his 78 yards. Charles now has 5,011, joining Priest Holmes (6,070) and Larry Johnson (6,015) as the only Chiefs to do so.


is for Houston, which has lost four straight after a 38-13 thrashing by the Rams and where some fans on Sunday cheered the injury to struggling quarterback Matt Schaub, a development that linebacker Brian Cushing reportedly called “barbaric.”


is for inaccurate, which quarterback Alex Smith increasingly has seemed the last two weeks. He completed just 14 of 31 passes for a season-low 128 yards against the Raiders, though several of the incompletions were throwaways under pressure.


is for Johnson, Derrick, the linebacker who led the team with nine tackles and had two sacks, giving him 2.5 for the season, the most he’s had since getting four in 2007.


is for Kendrick Lewis, the Chiefs safety who called fans “fuel to keep pushing forward. We know that our fans are back and … we want them to go even crazier.”


is for laundry on the field for the Raiders, who committed 11 penalties and also suffered the indignity of Justin Houston spiking Terrelle Pryor’s towel after taking him down.


is for multi-sack games in the career of linebacker Tamba Hali, who has 16 of those after amassing 3.5 on Sunday.


is for never before: When the Chiefs fell behind 7-0, it was the first time they’d trailed by that much this season. Before that, their biggest deficit was 13-7 against Dallas.


is for Oakland, which had won six straight at Arrowhead.


is for penalties on the Chiefs, four, seven fewer than the Raiders incurred as they struggled to cope with the crowd and were whistled three times for delay of game and three times for false starts.


is for Quintin Demps, who had an interception in a third straight game to give him a single-season career high total going into the game against Houston, where he played the last three seasons.


is for rushing yards by quarterback Alex Smith, whose 29 yards on Sunday gives him 190 for the season, the most in his nine NFL seasons. Smith is the Chiefs second-leading rusher behind Charles and even had a 13-yard run on an option play Sunday.


is for sacks by the Chiefs, 10, which led to this exchange with Guinness representative Philip Robertson when he was jokingly asked if there might be a world record for those in a game: “I don’t think we can record (that) … Oh, sacks, as in s-a-c-k-s, not s-e-x.” He added, ‘I’m just teasing you. … We’re a family book.”


is for three, the number of wins the Chiefs are from matching their combined total of the last two seasons (two in 2012, seven in 2011).


is for unprecedented, which this prosperity is for these Chiefs. “I’ve never been through this before; this is something we need to get used to,” Johnson said, smiling and adding, “What a great feeling … I’m going to cherish this moment and keep playing good defense.”


is for video (or was it tape?) that coach Andy Reid dusted off for motivation, including footage of Chiefs assistant coach and Hall of Fame defensive back Emmitt Thomas intercepting two passes against the Raiders in the 1969 AFL title game that lifted the Chiefs into Super Bowl IV.


is for wins for Reid, who now has surpassed the number he had in his first of 14 seasons in Philadelphia, where the Eagles went 5-11 in 1999.


is for X-factor, which continues to be turnovers for the Chiefs. Despite Donnie Avery’s fumble inside the 10 on Sunday, the Chiefs were plus-two and are plus-12 for the season. Last season, they finished minus-24 (37-13).


is for yardage: The Chiefs were outgained 274-216 on Sunday and, perhaps surprisingly for a 6-0 team, cumulatively have just 120 more than their opponents all season (1958-1838).

Z is for zero, the number of times Oakland crossed the 50 between its touchdown with 8:40 left in the second quarter and the second-to-last play of the game.

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