Romeo Brings Back Marty Ball For Upset Over Pack

From Arrowhead Stadium

As he prepared to face the Green Bay Packers in his new role as Chiefs head coach, Romeo Crennel pondered all sorts of pearls of wisdom that hopefully would make his struggling team more relaxed about taking on the unbeaten Packers.

Ultimately, Crennel simply relied on the lessons learned over a many years of coaching. “You’ve got to play the game,” Crennel said. “And when you go play the game you just don’t know what’s going to happen and that’s the thing that makes it so interesting.”

Interesting it was on Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium as Crennel and his Chiefs stunned the NFL by beating the Packers 19-14 in what will go down as the upset of the 2011 season in professional football.

“Everybody had marked it off as a win for the Packers,” Crennel said after the game. “But those guys in the locker room, they’re football players. They decided they were not going to give up. They went out and played a tremendous game.”

It was a script right out of the dusty scrapbook of games played in the same stadium 15 to 20 years ago. What Crennel laid out of his team was this – we are going to simplify, we are going to rely on fundamentals, you are going to have to handle your man one-on-one, we are not going to take a lot of chances and we are going to pressure the opponent to make mistakes.

Very simply, it’s a redo of Marty Ball, the type of attitude the Chiefs took on the field for a decade under then head coach Marty Schottenheimer. It worked in that decade, and there was no reason it wouldn’t work again. It’s basic football – make limited mistakes and take advantage when the other guy screws up.

“As it turned out, it was a great script,” Crennel said. “I don’t care how you get them. If you can win, that’s a positive.”

It was the first loss of the season for the Packers, as their record is now 13-1 and their winning streak that stretched back to last season ended at 19 games. So did their attempt to go unbeaten on the road, something only five other teams have done in league history.

“We talked about it being a spirited football game today and we did not answer the bell,” said Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. “We were beaten today. The Kansas City Chiefs outplayed us.”

It was an improbable outcome for Crennel and the Chiefs. It was just six days before that head coach Todd Haley was fired and defensive coordinator Crennel was elevated into the job for the season’s final three games. At no point has team management call him an “interim” coach and Crennel made it very public that he wanted the job in 2012 as well.

Pulling off a victory like the five-point decision over the Packers will go a long way in convincing management that he should stay.

“We all want Romeo to be the guy,” said CB Brandon Flowers. “If this helps him, then it was really worth it.”

Common belief was that the Chiefs chances for victory rested on doing the impossible – playing a perfect game. They were far from perfect, but in the areas where it mattered most, they followed an ages’ old winning script. They did not turn the ball over. They had a 37-yard edge in the rushing game. They did not allow a sack, while getting four of their own. Plus, they had a 12-minute, 22-second advantage in time of possession.

At no point did the Chiefs defense allow NFL MVP candidate and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to feel comfortable in the pocket.

“We didn’t catch the ball like we normally catch the ball,” said McCarthy. “We had opportunities in the first half, but we had too many penalties. We were not very detailed today.”

Added Rodgers: “(Kansas City) had a good plan today. We just didn’t execute. We didn’t throw it well, didn’t catch it well and didn’t get open enough.”

Maybe the Packers missed their wakeup call Sunday morning because they slept walked through the first 30 minutes of play. Only the Green Bay defense kept them down just 6-0 at intermission, as coordinator Dom Capers’ group bent and bent, but did not break. Three times the Chiefs had the ball inside scoring territory and three times they were unable to get a touchdown.

The first time Kansas City was 1st-and-goal at the Packers four-yard line, but then had to settle for a 19-yard FG by Succop. The second time came when they had a 1st-and-10 at the Green Bay 18, but managed only four more yards and Succop kicked a 32-yard FG.

On the third Chiefs attempt to score, they put together a long second quarter drive that ate up nine minutes of the clock. They had a 2nd-and-1 at the Packers three-yard line, but two runs by RB Jackie Battle and one by RB Thomas Jones produced no yardage and Green Bay took over on downs.

Shut out in the first half for the first time in the 2011 season, the Packers got on the board in the third quarter.

Rodgers connected with WR Donald Driver for a two-yard scoring pass. When K Mason Crosby hit the PAT, it gave the Packers their only lead of the game, 7-6.

But Succop soon added his third field goal, this one from 46 yards and giving the Chiefs a 9-7 lead. When the K.C. offense couldn’t get into the end zone again in the fourth quarter, Succop made field goal No. 4 on a 20-yarder and the score was 12-7.

The Chiefs wrapped it all up with a eight-play, 66-yard touchdown drive with just under five minutes to play when RB Jackie Battle broke into the end zone over right guard on a one-yard run that with the PAT kick gave them a 19-7 lead.

Rodgers came back with an eight-yard TD run to close the gap to five points. The Packers onside kick attempt went out of bounds and the Chiefs were able to kill the remaining time with their running game.

“Nobody gave us a chance to win this game except us,” said ILB Derrick Johnson. “We knew we could do this. We just had to be prepared and execute. That’s what we did.”

15 Responses to “Romeo Brings Back Marty Ball For Upset Over Pack”

  • December 18, 2011  - ED J says:

    30 million under cap we better resign Orton if he continues to play well

  • December 18, 2011  - James Morrison says:

    I don’t know how well he executes the rest of the offense, but Orton throws a much better deep ball than Cassell. Today they at least looked like an NFL offense.

  • December 18, 2011  - slingblade says:

    With all the sports radio chatter about Pioli’s success being tied to Cassel let’s hope we don’t have a Grbac/Gannon redux. Hopefully we resign Orton and have a real competition.

  • December 18, 2011  - el cid says:

    The question is after a good win…..Who looks worse Pioli, Haley, or Cassel?

    See what happens when you have a QB who know what to do in the NFL and a HC who has a clue and less ego than the neighbor bully.

  • December 18, 2011  - the other dave says:

    I agree with you, James. Orton can throw a very nice ball.

  • December 18, 2011  - the other dave says:

    Marty ball is a proven formula to win games. What I love is that you don’t have to have the world’s greatest Qb to be successful. This is how we need to move forward.

  • December 18, 2011  - COCHIEF says:

    What a difference having a capable, if not franchise, quarterback makes!

    The offense looked good and would have looked even better if they had made plays within the five yard line. And they controlled the ball the majority of time.

    With the defense getting some rest between possessions and playing less minutes, they showed what they are capable of being a top defense.

    Plus, the game plan and play calls were significantly better than earlier this year.

    Eliminate careless mistakes, improve red zone offense and we can be competitive with any team in the league. Sure we can to improve several weak spots in the starting lineup and improve depth. However, with key injured personnel returning and a few personnel improvements, I’m optimistic about next year.

  • December 18, 2011  - DanO says:

    We need a short yardage play. Maybe they can line up dorsey at fullback and run McClain behind him. Also thought Orton goes through his reads much better that Cassel.He doesn’t lock onto his receiver.

  • December 18, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Just got home from the game. What a beautiful day in Kansas City. Much more fun driving home. Fun passing all those cars/trucks bearing Green Bay magnets. Told some fans in the parking lot after the game I was thinking about getting Kyle Orton tatooed on my forehead. Thank God it was Sunday and all of the palors were closed. I’m OK now. I love how the defense played. It was fun and the fans in green(there were a lot of those) were very quite after the game. Go Chiefs.

  • December 18, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Yes johnfromwichita, the drive always seems shorter after a victory!
    Like I said on the other article, sign Romeo tonight. It’s obvious the players love and respect him.
    Bring Orton back and let him and Cassel battle it out. Either way we’ll have the best back up QB in the league.
    We still need 3 O-lineman in the off-season.

  • December 18, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    cychief24 – I’ve been down on O Line all year but they were not a problem today. Orton had quick looks and reacted quickly. Made a difference. I don’t know if he is a quick fix but I’ve started to have doubts, for the first time, about Cassel. I still think we need a first round quarterback.

  • December 19, 2011  - Chiefs Pull Upset of the NFL season With 19-14 Victory : says:

    [...] GAME STORY: A touch of Marty Ball from Romeo. [...]

  • December 19, 2011  - RW says:

    For the first time since I can’t remember, the Chiefs looked like a good NFL team against the Pack. What a huge difference good QB play can do! Orton was magnificent.

    Romeo had an excellent gameplan and the players executed it the best they could which was good enough for the upset victory. Sometimes things work out beyond expectation and this was one of those days.

  • December 19, 2011  - chewbone says:

    Chiefs can’t keep both Cassel and Orton. Cassel is getting paid to much plus if Orton keeps playing like this he is increasing his value in free agency. As a previous poster said we may be at a Gannon and Elvis crossroads again.

  • December 19, 2011  - Flyboy26 says:

    What a great game, from the coaches and players. The Chiefs were a different team than we’ve seen in quite awhile. Could a change in HC and QB have made such a difference? I saw only a few hiccups from Romeo, Muir, and Orton. I wonder what all the fans who have been knocking old men (64 and older for the coaches, 32 and older for the players) have to say now. I think they’re eating crow, even if only for one game. Let’s hope that yesterday wasn’t an anomaly.

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