It’s Now the 3-0 Chiefs After Smacking 49ers

From Arrowhead Stadium

Maybe, just maybe it’s time to start believing in these 2010 Kansas City Chiefs.

No reason yet to run out and check on Super Bowl tickets, but after their 31-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, they are 3-0. A record they haven’t seen since 2003 and that has been accomplished only six previous times in the 51-season history of the franchise.

Yes the 49ers are now 0-3, just like the Browns team they beat last week. But the Chiefs used to reside in that same zip code. Whether they’ve moved all the way to the penthouse level is not something that’s proven yet. But they’ve definitely gone up town.

“It feels great,” said QB Matt Cassel, who led a 457-yard offensive effort with three touchdown passes. “Winning ball games is what the NFL is all about. There are a lot of guys in that locker room who went through the tough season last year and all the adversity. To be 3-0 at this point, we are all excited.

“We are not satisfied at 3-0. There is a long way to go. We are just going to keep working.” 

On this Sunday, the Chiefs outworked the 49ers. San Francisco has a reputation, especially on defense, of being a brutish team, looking to mix things up and willing to provide a little something extra on the tackle. None of that was visible in this game. It was the Chiefs who applied the licking, controlling the line of scrimmage, and in fact times dominating things. They ran for 207 yards and allowed just 43 yards, while sacking San Francisco QB Alex Smith five times.

“I’m proud of the guys,” said head coach Todd Haley. “They are working every day at the things you have to do to get better. Score-wise that wasn’t what I was expecting. But I’ll take it.”

It seems folly now that the 49ers came into Arrowhead as two-point favorites. They never had control of the game and did not produce a touchdown or much in the way of offensive yardage until the final possession of the game, when they scored at the end of a 71-yard drive. Imagine how bad the San Francisco numbers would look without that touchdown and yardage. They would have finished with 180 yards of offense and only eight first downs.

“That wasn’t good giving up that last play, but it’s not something that’s going to ruin this day,” said LB Derrick Johnson. “We had a good plan and we made it work today. We did what we had to do.”

The first quarter was very quiet and gave an indication of the way the game was likely to go. It was a battle between punters, two of the best in the game with Dustin Colquitt of the Chiefs and Andy Lee of the 49ers. The first real break in the game came about two minutes into the second quarter when CB Shawntae Spencer picked off a Cassel pass intended for WR Dwayne Bowe. It was one of those plays where Bowe needed to become a defensive back and knock the ball down, but he didn’t do that and the Niners broke serve.

But it wasn’t long before they gave it right back. Three players later, CB Brandon Flowers picked off a Smith pass intended for WR Michael Crabtree. Flowers jumped, tipped the ball in the air, landed on his back and then caught the ball as it fell to the ground.

“I’d seen them run that play on film and I knew he liked to come to that play on third down,” said Flowers. “It was time for somebody to make a play.”

That would come on the very next play, as Cassel hooked up with WR Dexter McCluster on a 31-yard touchdown play. Off play action, McCluster ran down the left side of the field and the Niners tried to cover him with LB Travis LaBoy. Once McCluster made the grab, LaBoy had no shot and bringing him down as the exciting rookie scored his first offensive touchdown in the NFL.

Succop’s PAT kick made it 7-0 and the Chiefs would never trail.

It was here that Haley pulled out one of his first of several gambling plays of the day. The Chiefs went for an onside kick and seemed to execute it perfectly, recovering the ball before the stunned Niners really knew what had happened. But S Eric Berry was called for being offsides and the Chiefs had to kickoff again.

“Yeah, I was probably offsides,” said Berry. “I wanted to get to the ball. I jumped the gun.”

San Francisco turned that opportunity into a 51-yard field goal from Joe Nedney and it was 7-3.

The Chiefs thought they had three more points of their own on the next possession, but Succop’s 38-yard field goal went over the top of the right upright and was ruled no good. But before half-time, they got one more shot. Starting at their 42-yard line, Cassel moved them down to the San Francisco 14, keyed on completions to Charles of 17 and 18 yards. On the last play of the first half, Succop hit a 32-yard FG and the Chiefs went to the locker room with a 10-3 lead.

The second half started exactly as the Chiefs wanted, as on the first offensive play of the third quarter, OLB Tamba Hali sacked Smith for a five-yard loss. Punts went back and forth between the teams until the Chiefs faced a 2nd-and-10 situation at the San Francisco 45-yard line.

That’s when offensive coordinator Charlie Weis went deep into the playbook for a little razzle dazzle. They lined up in the Wildcat formation, with Jones taking the shotgun snap and Cassel lined up far left as a wide receiver. Jones took the snap, handed off to McCluster on an apparent end around, but McCluster then tossed a lateral back to Cassel. From there, Cassel threw it into the end zone where Bowe went up and made the catch.

The 45-yard touchdown and the PAT kick gave the Chiefs a 17-3 lead.

While the defense continued to harass Smith and bottle up RB Frank Gore, the offense was moving the ball up and down the field. An eight-play, 61-yard drive ended with a sterling one-handed catch in the end zone by rookie TE Tony Moeaki for an 18-yard touchdown. That pushed the scoreboard to 24-3.

Then in the fourth quarter, backed by his own 27-yard run that set the Chiefs up at the Niners three-yard line, Jones scored on a three-yard run. The PAT kick made it 31-3.

With 83 second to play, Smith six passes, including a 41-yard completion to Gore, that set up his 12-yard TD pass to WR Josh Morgan on the final play of the game. Nedney’s PAT kick with no time on the clock set the final score at 31-10.

The bye week is next for the Chiefs, and they did not celebrate the break, or wish that they could play and continue their momentum. They just took it as a matter of fact on their 2010 schedule.

“It’s a chance for guys to rest up and it’s a chance for us to work on some things,” said Jones. “I don’t think it will hurt our momentum at all. Our momentum is built on a weekly basis. We’ll just start again the next week.”

12 Responses to “It’s Now the 3-0 Chiefs After Smacking 49ers”

  • September 26, 2010  - TX_ChiefAN says:

    Quite a good feeling…this winning thing! Wow. Forgot what it felt like. Wish I lived in or near KC.
    Btw Bob. I too thought Bowe should have fought more, but after a second look I don’t think it was possible.
    Go Chiefs. This is FUN!!!!

  • September 26, 2010  - Petey says:

    That int was on Cassel..he needed to let the ball go about 2 seconds sooner than he did as Bowe was coming out of his break, not after.

  • September 26, 2010  - Mike says:

    Tony Moeaki will probably never be a Tony Gonzalez, but the kid really looks like a player. That TD catch today was unbelievable.

  • September 26, 2010  - OMG! … Chiefs 3-0 With 2-Game Lead! | Chiefs Football at says:

    [...] Game story: Maybe it’s time to start believing in these 3-0 Chiefs. [...]

  • September 26, 2010  - Edward says:

    I’ve been saying it since training camp. Even when reading negative comments from other people who been blogging on here who doubted. I kept saying we just feel and look like a much better team. Make no mistake 49ers will still win NFC west they’ll bounce back, and they are a good football team but so are we.

    I’ve been saying if Weis kind find ways get the receivers open through good play calling Cassel numbers will get better and improve. I said also in the offseason we won 4 games last yr with garabage receivers, bad o-line, no running game, worst return game in the league, and worst run defense in the league last yr. WE came into this season improved run game, improve o-line, better receiving core, playermakers in the return game, but the only question mark was stopping the run. But like I also been saying give Dorsey time he’s going improve and get better same with TJax. But bottom line is with all the improvements the Chiefs made in the offseason it comes to no surprise to me that we’re playing the way we are playing. The writing is on the wall that the arrow was pointing up for this team as Haley says.

  • September 26, 2010  - cupp says:

    Best overall team performance in years. Bob what has gotten into the defense? A lot of people were pretty hard on the Chiefs for not adding any talent to the front 7. Here we are 3 weeks in, and have yet to give up a 100 yd rusher. Shaun Smith had a ridiculous game, haven’t even noticed the Chiefs are missing their starting DE. All in all, 3 weeks into the season KC is 3-0 and I vote RAC as team MVP.

  • September 26, 2010  - Michael says:

    Defense was a beatiful thing to see. Excellent play-calling on offense, along with some terrific performances. Good special teams play, although Succop missed one he should make and the blocking on returns needs some work. Dexter and Arenas need just a little bit more room. But, with the bye, the’ll have time to tweak the return game.

    The Kansas City Chiefs are look’n good, and now they’ll get some time to rest up and do some more work to keep it going.

  • September 27, 2010  - Tracy says:

    Just as a battleship cannot turn on a dime, a NFL franchise around will not change from bad joke to regular winner in one off-season. The derision and scorn that has come the way of Scott Pioli and Todd Haley from some quarters since their arrival here certainly sounds more and more like a bunch of squawking crows, now fading in the distance, as this season progresses.

    Sure, there was a lot about which to complain, particularly Haley’s side line demeanor as he spared no feelings when making a point during a game. However, that is much lessened now. The advent of Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel has made his life easier and Chiefs’ Nation attitude better.

    There will likely be some disappointment this season, but it is not wishful thinking to contemplate the post season. But such talk will not be found in the locker room because a “One game at a time” attitude definitely prevails there.

    Have a seat and enjoy the ride–this season promises to be fun.

  • September 27, 2010  - RW says:

    The Chief’s run defense continues to impress. You might have to go back to the 90s to say something similiar. Best all around game in years, maybe, decades? The Chiefs are definitely playing as a team and believing in themselves which is to say, they’re becoming a genuine force to be reckoned with, regardless of the opponent.

    Hey Bob, has Shaun Smith turned TJack into a modern day Wally Pipp?

  • September 27, 2010  - Roger says:

    Did anyone else notice that the “talking heads” in the post game shows didn’t talk about or really acknowledge the Chiefs victory, only “what was wrong with San Francisco?”

  • September 27, 2010  - RW says:

    Adding, my girlfriend, (an staunch Auburn fan), brought online in 2006 and having heard all my Chief rants in that time had something to say after this game:

    “This team is far better than YOU or the media people think it is. The Chiefs have turned me into a NFL fan and I never thought that would happen.”

    For what it’s worth.

  • September 27, 2010  - Russell says:

    uhh ohhh! S smith may get knocked to the bench for USL conduct… too bad, and the Chiefs are ahead of a few Goals, BUT, DIV Champs was unimaginable just 3 weeks ago. Great feeling!

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