Improbable Script Leads to Chiefs Victory Over Bears

From Soldier Field, Chicago

It was the type of script that would be laughed out of the meeting rooms at a television network or movie company as being too much of a farce, too unbelievable, impossibly concocted to the point that those watching would react poorly to the plot.

In the NFL they do not have focus groups that decide football games. There are no pre-arranged scripts like professional wrestling. At any moment, on any Sunday afternoon, teams can play a game that leaves one and all saying “you couldn’t make this stuff up.”

That’s what went down on the shores of Lake Michigan on Sunday afternoon. The counted out Kansas City Chiefs reached deep into their seemingly bottom-less well of resiliency and ended their four-game losing streak with an improbable 10-3 victory over the Chicago Bears.

“We did what we had to do to win,” head coach Todd Haley said. “It wasn’t pretty. We knew that’s how it would look for us to get a win.”

Added starting and finishing quarterback Tyler Palko: “We’ll take it; it’s a win. Against that team Chicago, coming out of here with a W, there aren’t many times you are going to do that.”

For a team with barely a flicker of hope to play for over the final five games, the Chiefs came into the den of the Monsters of the Midway and traded them punch for punch. The defensive stood tall for the third consecutive game, the special teams were truly special and the offense continued to have its struggles.

But when it came to slaying the home-town bruins, it was one offensive play that made the difference. A 38-yard Hail Mary throw from QB Tyler Palko that was deflected by Bears LB Brian Urlacher in the end zone and was caught by a diving Dexter McCluster. It was the only touchdown of the game. In fact, it was one of only two times where the teams came close to reaching the end zone.

It was a defensive-led effort all the way around and it was the Chiefs that got the better of the competition. They did not allow a touchdown. They did not allow a third-down conversion. They did not allow a fourth-down conversion. They battered Chicago’s struggling QB Caleb Hanie for seven sacks and three interceptions.

“We are really coming together as a group,” said CB Brandon Carr, who had one of the three interceptions. “I think we are starting to really believe in each other and what we can do. It was a lot of fun out there today.”

There was no mystery to the defensive game-plan cooked up by Coordinator Romeo Crennel. The Chiefs wanted to stop the run and put the game in the hands of Hanie, who is filling in for the injured Jay Cutler (broken thumb). Once they got the ball in Hanie’s hands, they were going to pressure him and force him to make some bad throws and some ugly decisions.

And that’s just what happened. The Bears got 181 yards of total offense, with 93 rushing yards. The Chiefs cause was helped when the biggest offensive force in the game, Chicago RB Matt Forte left with a knee injury after taking a hit from LB Derrick Johnson. He’s reportedly going to be out for the next month, and that will hurt the Bears even more.

On this Sunday they turned to RB Marion Barber, but he managed just 44 yards on 14 carries. The defense did what it wanted to do.

“Defensively, to hold a team to no conversions on third down and stop a couple fourth downs – that’s a performance where you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that the defense played really well,” said Haley.

The first half was all defense until the final possession of the second quarter. Up to that point, the teams had combined for 151 yards in total offense, with only one play that gained more than 15 yards.

But Palko got the Chiefs offense moving with 4 minutes, 16 seconds to play in the half. Taking over at their Chiefs 13-yard line, they converted a pair of third down plays as Palko hit WR Steve Breaston for 10 yards and then WR Dwayne Bowe for 14 yards. Bowe came back after the two-minute warning and picked up another 13 yards and Palko dinked and dunked the offense down to the Bears 38-yard line.

With two seconds left in the half, Haley made the decision to pass on what would have been a very long field goal (56 yards) and he called for the Hail Mary.

Incredibly, remarkably when all the pushing and shoving was over at the end of the play, McCluster had the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.

Combine that with a 21-yard Ryan Succop FG and it was all the Chiefs need to grab their fifth victory of the season. They are now 5-7 on the year, but the followed a zero-for-November performance with a winning effort in their first December game.

It’s testimony to the fact that no matter the consequences, this team has not given up on the season. The storyline may be hard to believe, but they do believe they have something left to play for.

“We told the players not to attach everything to the final results,” Haley said of the four-game losing streak. “That we were able to mentally say we are doing a lot of good things and eliminate the things we don’t like was important. It was a really gritty, tough performance by everybody involved. When your defense is playing really good, it helps you in this league, especially down the home stretch. ”

The home stretch is here, and somehow the Chiefs are still on the track. They are far behind the leaders, but they intend to make a charge.

“That’s one,” said OLB Tamba Hali. “Now we go get No. 2.”


2 Responses to “Improbable Script Leads to Chiefs Victory Over Bears”

  • December 5, 2011  - Chiefs End Losing Streak With 10-3 Victory Over Bears : says:

    [...] GAME STORY – Unbelievable script leads to victory. [...]

  • December 5, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Hainie missed a few easy throws, for example when Earl Bennett was completely wide open down in the red zone and Hainie throws it over his head by 3 yards. A WISE MAN can’t help but ask himself what the outcome would have been if they had Cutler in there instead of an inept QB. But a W is a W no matter how it comes.

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