Chiefs Enjoy Season’s First Victory, 22-15 Over Vikings

From Arrowhead Stadium

It would be wrong to describe the Chiefs post-game locker room as a place of great celebration Sunday after their 22-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Oh, make no mistake that the Chiefs were excited about their first victory of the season and the end to a losing streak that stretches back to before New Year’s Day 2011. They shouted, they jumped about, they laughed and they smiled.

But it didn’t take long for that room filled with guys wearing red and gold to stop and wonder “what took us so long!”

“It feels so good,” CB Brandon Flowers said. “I just don’t know why we haven’t enjoyed this before. Hopefully, we remember it all and take it through the coming weeks. Man, this is so much better.”

Behind good performances from offense, defense and special teams, the Chiefs won their first game of the season, ending a five-game losing streak that stretched back to the final game of the 2010 season. It was not a good afternoon for the Vikings, who are now 0-4 on the season and falling further and further behind the upstart and still undefeated Detroit Lions in the NFC North.

The key for the Chiefs was staying away from three items that had destroyed their ability to win the first three games of the season: turnovers, inopportune penalties and poor field position. They protected the ball, they had six penalties but none were the type that killed momentum and their special teams answered the call and provided good starting points for the offense. Plus, K Ryan Succop added five field goals, including a pair from beyond 50 yards.

“I thought all week that it was critical that we build on last week,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said, referencing last Sunday’s three-point loss to San Diego. “We had to get better in some minor areas of the game. We were able to do some of that a little bit better and it makes a difference. We are an evolving team and we are trying to evolve into a good team. Those first couple games we did a number of things to hurt ourselves. In these last two games we showed we have some guys who know how to preserve through difficult times.”

Chiefs QB Matt Cassel threw for 260 yards and a 52-yard TD play with WR Dwayne Bowe, who ended up catching five passes for 107 yards. The Vikings just never got their offense into any type of rhythm. RB Adrian Peterson had 80 yards, but those came on 23 carries and he was unable to break loose against the Chiefs defense. QB Donovan McNabb threw for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but was sacked twice and threw an interception in the scoring zone that proved to be at least a six-point swing on the scoreboard.

Only WR Percy Harvin was able to make anything happen against the Chiefs defense, as he had 67 rushing yards on four end-around runs and another 52 yards on five catches.

“They did a good job of stopping the run,” McNabb said of the Chiefs defense against Peterson. “They brought seven and eight in the box sometimes. That’s why we went with (Harvin) on those runs, trying to take advantage of them bunching up.”

Something happened in the first quarter for the Chiefs – they had a lead, their first of the season. After holding the Vikings to three plays and punt on the first possession, Javier Arenas got a pretty 33-yard return and set up the K.C. offense with great field position at the Minnesota 43-yard line. They had 1st-and-10 at the Vikings 11-yard line, but a penalty and then a two-yard loss pushed them back and Succop kicked the first of his field goals, this one from 40 yards away and the Chiefs were on top for the first time this season, 3-0.

That margin did not last long. McNabb led his offense right down the field on a nine-play, 80-yard drive with the touchdown coming on a pretty 34-yard pass down the left sideline from McNabb to WR Devin Aromashodu. Ryan Longwell’s PAT kick put Minnesota up 7-3.

In the second quarter, the only points came off the foot of Succop, who hit field goals of 24 and then a 51-yarder at the end of the half that gave the Chiefs a 9-7 lead. Minnesota’s only visit to scoring territory in the quarter ended when McNabb’s pass for RB Toby Gerhart was tipped and picked off by CB Brandon Carr.

The third quarter proved to be a defensive struggle between these teams and the only points that went on the scoreboard came in bunches of three. Succop hit from 22 and 54 yards, while Longwell was good from 33 yards and as the field was turned at the end of the third quarter, the Chiefs led 15-10.

Kansas City added it’s only touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter on the 52-yard pass and run play from Cassel to Bowe. But the Vikings came right back and put together a 13-play, 70 yard drive including a one-yard pass to WR Michael Jenkins from for the score. After the PAT kick, the Chiefs lead was back to five points, 22-17.

Minnesota had one more chance with the ball, but that ended when they gave it up on downs, as the Chiefs defense forced four straight incompletions with the ball at the K.C. 41-yard line and two minutes left to play.

From there, the Chiefs got a first down rushing from RB Jackie Battle and the victory was theirs.

“We waited a long time for this one,” said DE Glenn Dorsey. “We waited too long. But we hung together. Nobody gave up and nobody will give up. That’s not what this locker room is about. We finished the first quarter with at 1-3. Now, we go onto the second quarter. We have to be better.

“And it sure is nice to go into that second quarter with this victory.”

7 Responses to “Chiefs Enjoy Season’s First Victory, 22-15 Over Vikings”

  • October 2, 2011  - ED J says:

    Now build off this win guys. We can get this thing going if we can continue to stack the wins. We got fairly easy schedule against colts, Chargers, Raiders,Broncos and Dolphins. If we can win the majority if not all that’ll put us in good position to claim the division. No one is going to run away with if we can get to 8 or 9 wins will be able to get this thing.

  • October 2, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    Cassel embarrassed himself and responded very well. As much as I want the Chiefs to draft a franchise QB this year, it was good to see him finally perform like he belonged on the field.

  • October 2, 2011  - Rick says:

    It would sure be nice to whip up on Indy next game. I can’t stand the damned Colts.

  • October 2, 2011  - Michael says:

    Yes, and to get baldwin back this week could really boost Cassel. How about the play of the offense and defensive lines. They deserve the game ball.

    GO CHIEFS!!!!

  • October 2, 2011  - Petey says:


    Can you find out why the officials did not review the last vikings TD? From the limited number of replays we got on TV, it looked like Jenkins only got one foot in? How can the league say they will review every close TD call and then ignore one when it happened? I mean they reviewed the first Minnesota TD and that one wasn’t close.

  • October 2, 2011  - Tim says:

    I agree Petey! I also agree w/ Tenand6!

  • October 2, 2011  - Victory Finally Visits Chiefs : says:

    [...] GAME STORY: Victory smiles on Chiefs, at last. [...]

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