Without Drama, Chiefs Dominate Arizona

From Arrowhead Stadium

There was no drama on this Sunday. For a team that has made many of its previous nine games a roller coaster at times, the Chiefs went out and put in a workman like effort against the Arizona Cardinals.

It was enough to get their sixth victory of the season, controlling the game’s tempo and beating the Cardinals 31-13 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score might indicate. It was a victory that coupled with an Oakland loss in Pittsburgh put them back in first place in the AFC West with a 6-4 record. It was their fifth winning effort of the season at Arrowhead, exceeding their total of the previous three seasons combined.

And while WR Dwayne Bowe had a game big enough that he broke his silence and talked with the media – six catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns – the rest of the day will have a tough time sticking in the memory banks.

“It was nice not having any drama for a change,” said LB Brian Waters. “We just went out there and did all the things we needed to do to win.”

Maybe it wasn’t memorable, but as victories go, it was sweet. The Chiefs came out and played a team that’s not as good as they are, and they dominated the action. That’s the way it supposed to be, but sometimes isn’t with a team still finding its way.

“It was a big victory for us, coming home today and being in front of our crowd, we knew we had to have a good performance and that’s what we did,” said QB Matt Cassel. “All three phases played well together.”

It was a game of complementary football, where offense, defense and the kicking game mixed together in just the right parts and left the Chiefs enjoying another victory.

“We wanted to get back to playing football the way we had been playing it in the pre-season and in the early part of the season,” said head coach Todd Haley. “I feel we were able to do that for the most part.”

The Chiefs offense was pretty balanced and efficient against the Arizona defense, producing 352 yards, and scoring touchdowns three of the four times they were in the red zone. The defense was classic bend-but-don’t-break, as they gave up 382 yards but kept the Cardinals out of the end zone until the final play of the game.

The keys to the Chiefs winning performances this year have been to win the competition in turnovers, sacks and penalties. They did not turn the ball over. They did not give up a sack, while getting two of their own. They had five penalties, but that wasn’t even half of the 11 penalties Arizona racked up.

“That’s what we wanted to do, to get back to playing the way we’ve been playing and we did that,” said DE Glenn Dorsey. “We weren’t perfect, but we made some plays and made the plays to win the game.”

This afternoon did not start out so well for the Chiefs. They won the opening coin toss, but elected to defer until the second half. Arizona got the ball first and moved 51 yards on nine plays before the defense got them stopped. It was three first downs and the Cardinals had a 1st-and-goal at the Chiefs 20-yard line. But a false start penalty, followed by a run for no yards, and then two passes that produced seven yards forced Jay Feely on the field for a 36-yard FG. That was Arizona’s lead for the day, at 3-0.

The rest of the quarter was a punting battle between Dustin Colquitt and Ben Graham until the last play of the first quarter when Cassel and Bowe connected on a 37-yard completion. Three plays later, Cassel beat an Arizona blitz and Bowe beat CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for a one-yard TD play. K Ryan Succop’s PAT made it 7-3 and the rout was on.

On their next possession, the Chiefs offense added another score, going 68 yards on five plays with the help of a 15-yard penalty on Arizona. RB Thomas Jones leaped over from the one-yard line. After the PAT, the Chiefs led 14-3.

Coming out of the half-time locker room, the Chiefs produce the game clincher. They had the first possession of the second half and they turned it into a nine-play, 80-yard drive that finished up with a three-yard scoring run by Jones. Bowe and RB Jamaal Charles all had contributions in the drive, topped by a pair of Cassel completions to convert on third down. Jones scored on a three-yard run and after Succop’s PAT it was 21-3 and for all intent the game was over.

The Chiefs would add 10 more points on a Succop 23-yard field goal and a 38-yard TD pass from Cassel to Bowe, where the receiver ran through the Cardinals secondary to score with less than five minutes to play in the game. Arizona added a 29-yard field goal by Feely and then on the final possession of the game, QB Derek Anderson drove the team 83 yards on 14 plays, hooking up for a three-yard TD pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald as time expired. The PAT kick set the final scoreboard at 31-13.

That gave Bowe six catches on the day, two for touchdowns as he established a new franchise record for most consecutive games with a touchdown catch at six.

But statistics were not something anybody, including the head coach wanted to talk about after the game.

“I could care less about statistics,” said Haley. Statistics are not anything these guys are concerned with and that gives us a real chance to be a good team because that really doesn’t matter.”

What matters right now are stacking victories on top of each other; the Chiefs ended their two-game losing streak. Now, they have to find a way to turn the Arizona victory into a two-game winning streak with a trip coming to Seattle.

“This was a really good team win for the Kansas City Chiefs,” said Haley. “We had a couple tough games back-to-back and we were definitely looking forward to getting back to Arrowhead.

“We were really looking forward to getting back on track, to get back to the basics as we said all week. That means back to playing football the way we had been playing it. I feel like we were able to do that for the most part today.”

5 Responses to “Without Drama, Chiefs Dominate Arizona”

  • November 21, 2010  - Craig says:

    Go Chiefs!! Great win. Dominated from start to finish. How about Dorsey? He is looking real good. Good game Offense. Great team effort.

  • November 21, 2010  - napahank says:

    I have two compliments for the offense and one question for the defense.

    Offense: 1)I was very impressed with TE O’Connell who shows good route running and great hands.
    2) Matt Cassel now has 19 TD’s vs 4 INT’s…it is time for the petty criticism to end.

    Defense: The Chiefs very, very, very rarely blitz/delayed blitz UP THE MIDDLE but when they do it is very effective so why, why, why, don’t they blitz Berry up the middle more?

  • November 21, 2010  - Walter says:

    The score looked impressive, but a good QB could have put 50 points on the board against our defense. Couple that with the injuries starting to mount up, I’m getting worried.

  • November 22, 2010  - Chiefs Hammer Cardinals 31-13 | Chiefs Football at BobGretz.com says:

    [...] GAME STORY – No drama, just victory for Chiefs. [...]

  • November 22, 2010  - jim says:

    Walter, a better QB would have been game planned for differently, so it is pure conjecture about your fictious 50 points.

    Nappie, maybe they’re saving some stuff for later. Why they would do that I don’t know, but it’s a thought. Like the “getting back to basics” part of last weeks preparation. Wed, Thurs, Fri in pads, and supported by the team captains is showing me that they have bought into hard work.

    Just keep the train on the tracks and I’ll take my chance from here on out.

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News