Gregorian Chants

Chiefs A to Z: Looking back at beating the Seahawks

The Kansas City Chiefs play the Seattle Seahawks in the second half of an NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday
The Kansas City Chiefs play the Seattle Seahawks in the second half of an NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday AP

An A-Z rewind of the Chiefs’ 24-20 victory over Seattle and a fast-forward look ahead:

A is for Arrowhead Armageddon, Nov. 30 against AFC West co-leader Denver … as long as the Chiefs avert an upset Thursday at Oakland (0-10).

B is for bitter cold: It was 21 degrees with a wind-chill of 10 at kickoff, each the fifth-coldest game-time readings in stadium history.

C is for Jamaal Charles, who recovered from a rare fumble to rack up his first 100-yard game of the season (159 on 20 carries) and score two touchdowns as he eclipsed counterpart Marshawn Lynch (24 for 124).

D is for defying logic: The Chiefs won despite committing the only two turnovers of the game, fumbles by Travis Kelce and Charles that were converted into 10 Seattle points.

E is for efficiency on fourth down, zero for three by the Seahawks, all after the Chiefs had taken the lead in the fourth quarter. Most notable was Russell Wilson’s incompletion on fourth and goal at the 2 on a play intended receiver Doug Baldwin later would insist was interference on Chiefs’ defensive back Sean Smith.

F is for four, the total number of punts in the game, two by each team.

G is for game clock, in unusual harmony with the actual clock through the first quarter as the Chiefs unfurled a 15-play, 86-yard drive that consumed 9 minutes 1 second that was immediately countered by Seattle’s 16-play, 90-yard drive that went 9 minutes.

H is for home found for cornerback Ron Parker, who had been cut eight times by three NFL teams, including five times by the Seahawks, before coming to Kansas City last season. A week after Parker tomahawked loose a game-changing fumble and made several key late pass breakups, he led the Chiefs with 11 tackles.

I is for ignoring recent history: When the Chiefs opened the game with a touchdown drive, it was the first opening-drive TD Seattle allowed in 30 games.

J is for Justin Britt, the former Missouri Tiger from Lebanon, Mo., starting at right tackle as a rookie for the Seahawks.

K is for kicker Cairo Santos, the Chiefs’ rookie who converted his 11th straight field goal (this time from 23 yards) and is 13 of 15 for the season.

L is for lucky for the Chiefs that the Seahawks opted for the low-percentage fade into the corner for Baldwin on that fourth and goal. In the hands of anything but the rare quarterback-receiver combo, the play always seems based more on faint hope than conviction. Even as thorny as the Chiefs’ goal-line defense is, Seattle would have had a better chance to score on the ground than it did on that pass.

M is for Missouri NFL teams, which on Sunday beat each of the reigning Super Bowl competitors. The Rams, who also beat Seattle earlier in the season, knocked off Denver 22-7.

N is for nose tackle Dontari Poe, whose fifth sack of the season left Seattle in a third-and-18 bind that put a crimp in any late comeback hopes.

O is for offensive line of the Chiefs, which allowed no sacks and blocked for 6.5 yards a carry.

P is for paydirt for Charles, twice on Sunday, to give him an NFL-best 29 offensive touchdowns in the last two seasons. New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham is second with 23.

Q is for quarter, third, by the end of which teams are pretty well done scoring against the Chiefs: They shut out Seattle in the fourth quarter on Sunday and have allowed 28 points in the final frame all season.

R is for Reid, Andy, 18-8 in regular-season games with the Chiefs. His 69.2 winning percentage is the best in franchise history for any coach in his first two seasons. Marty Schottenheimer is second (19-12-1, 60.9 percent).

S is for sixteen passes thrown by Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith in his 100th NFL start. Sixteen passes (he completed 11) matches the fewest he’s thrown in his NFL career in games he’s started and finished. He also threw just 16 twice in 2005, his rookie season.

T is for trend … or coincidence? The Chiefs now are 5-1 when they force a punt on an opponent’s first drive.

U is for uneven upcoming schedule: The Chiefs’ final six opponents have a cumulative record of just 28-32. But that’s skewed by two games against 0-10 Oakland. Their other games are home against Denver (7-3) and San Diego (6-4) and at Arizona (9-1) and Pittsburgh (6-4).

V is for victories, none for Oakland, in danger of becoming just the second NFL team to go winless since Tampa Bay went 0-14 in 1976. The only NFL team to lose out in the 16-game format was Detroit in 2008.

W is for wins as starting quarterback with the Chiefs, 18 for Smith, more than any other Kansas City quarterback has had in his first two seasons. He entered the game tied with Joe Montana at 17.

X is for X-factor: Despite losing a fumble late in the first half, tight end Travis Kelce reminded how he can influence a game with a 23-yard reception and, a play later, a crunching downfield block that helped spring Charles for a 28-yard run. That all led to the Chiefs’ second touchdown two plays later.

Y is for yards: 372 for Seattle to 298 for the Chiefs, who are 7-3 despite averaging a mere 328 a game to their opponents’ 326.

Z is for zero: still the number of rushing touchdowns allowed by the Chiefs this season … and the number of touchdowns their own wide receivers have scored.

To reach Vahe Gregorian, call 816-234-4868 or send email to vgregorian@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @vgregorian. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com

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