Chiefs Sink Dolphins with 48-30 Win
9/29/2002 1:54 PM
3 TDs today
Dolphins -- 7 - 9 - 7 - 7 -- 30
Chiefs -- 10 - 14 - 7 - 17 -- 48
SEP 29 (afternoon)--There is never a sure thing in the NFL, but the odds of the Chiefs (2-2) and Dolphins (3-1) game at Arrowhead Stadium being filled with plenty of offense and big plays were about as good as it gets. Entering Sundayís shootout, both teams were averaging over 30 points per game, and the combined 78 points on the scoreboard did nothing to hurt those figures. However five touchdown passes from Chiefs QB Trent Green inflected more than enough hurt on Miami as the Chiefs sprinted to a 48-30 win.
"You canít imagine how excited we are because we beat a good football team," head coach Dick Vermeil beamed after the win. "To become a playoff team you have to normally end up being 2-2 in the first quarter of the season. Today, with our performance, we were able to come up 50-50. Normally you have to win at home Ė at least six games. You have to break even against very good playoff caliber football teams. Last week we lost to the world champions, today we beat a playoff team that won 11 games last year and was undefeated when they got here. They were the number one team in a number of categories."
From the clubís first drive, it was apparent that Vermeil and offensive coordinator Al Saunders were looking to get the passing game revved up. Green completed 24-of-34 passes for 328 yards including a career-high five TDs, good for a sparkling QB rating of 140.7. Green found TE Tony Gonzalez for three touchdowns, and threw one apiece to WR Johnnie Morton and TE Billy Baber.
Gonzalez showed off his three-time Pro Bowl hands early when he leaped over another three-time Pro Bowler, LB Zach Thomas, for a 30-yard catch on the teamís first possession. Moments later, Gonzalez capped the drive with a nine-yard TD grab over the middle.
Green would find Gonzalez all afternoon as the sixth-year pro finished the afternoon with 140 yards on seven catches and a career-high three touchdowns. His yardage tally was the second-best of his career.
What was billed as a battle between the NFLís top two rushers, college teammates Ricky Williams and Priest Holmes, turned out to be more of an aerial onslaught. The two RBs who shared a backfield at Texas combined for just 118 rushing yards on the day, while the two quarterbacks would account for 638 yards passing.
"I think Al Saunders did a spectacular job with the offense and he was awarded the game ball," Vermeil said. "Extremely, extremely hard worker. Trent Green took what he gave him and got it done. You canít ask Trent to do any more than he did. He was in a zone and you could just see that he was there. Of course Tony Gonzalez and everybody else cooperated. (Safety) Greg Wesley came back and heís had a slow start ó he really has."
Wesley and the Chiefs defense made a few statements Sunday by forcing five Miami turnovers. Wesley had a career day, recording a personal-best three INTs on the afternoon while teammate Warfield also got his first pick of the season. In addition to the four INTs, DE Eric Hicks forced a RB Ricky Williams fumble which was recovered by LB Marvcus Patton, giving the Chiefs a plus five turnover ratio on the day.
Kansas City opened the game with four straight scores as Morton turned an Eric Warfield INT into a touchdown midway through the second quarter. Mortonís first TD catch with the Chiefs put Kansas City ahead 24-10 and capped a 58-yard drive that featured a 40-yard bomb from Green to fellow WR Eddie Kennison.
With the Chiefs defense respecting the NFLís leading rusherís on the ground, it was his aerial action that did much of the damage early. Williams, who entered the game with an NFL-best 394 yards rushing, rushed for 66 yards on the ground, but caught seven passes for 60 yards. Even when he wasnít getting the ball, the Dolphins ran play-action passes all after trying to keep the Chiefs defense off-balance.
Miami executed the play-action fake to Williams perfectly early on, as QB Jay Fiedler found his RB for a 29-yard gain and a first-and-goal at the Chiefs one-yard line. From there, Fiedler leapt over the goal line for the gameís first points and a 7-0 lead.
Trailing 38-23, Fiedler found FB Rob Konrad from six yards out for his only touchdown pass of the afternoon, cutting the Chiefs lead to eight. Although Fiedler would finish completing 29-of 45 passes for 310 yards, his four interceptions prevented Miami from getting any closer.
Tied at 10-10, the Chiefs looked to their top rusher to provide a spark. RB Priest Holmes entered Sundayís game second in the NFL in rushing with 386 yards, and added to that total early. After Green found Gonzalez on another deep pass over the middle, Holmes scored on a 25-yard run around the left end.
On the score, Holmes took the handoff to the right but found a cutback lane around the 23-yard line and sprinted into the end zone up the left sideline. A big gain from Holmes turned into a touchdown when Green threw a pancake block on Miami S Arturo Freeman to seal the corner.
Even though Williams increased the gap on Holmes (Williams now leads by 22 yards) in the NFL rushing race, Holmes hit him where it hurts mostóthe win column.
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09-29-2002, 06:46 PM #1
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