In a season that has been filled by injuries, horrible defense, and costly turnovers, the Kansas City Chiefs received the medicine that can only be described as “Pain Reliever”.
The Chiefs went into Sunday’s game at 3-8 and out of the playoff hunt, riding a very rough four game losing streak, but the much needed help was in Oakland waiting with open arms. The Oakland Raiders (A.K.A. Faiders) were coming off a very impressive win in Denver last week and seemed to have the look of a team with a lot of momentum coming into the game against the Chiefs. But as the game went on, the Faiders usual collapse was well on the way.
The Chiefs first drive of the game was very nice as they went down the field with ease and capped it off with a Trent Green to Derrick Blaylock touchdown pass. The Raiders then snapped off 20 unanswered points and seemed to have a firm grasp on the game as they went into halftime with a 20-10 lead on the Chiefs.
Gunther Cunningham gave the defense a message during the halftime break, to put it in terms that are suitable for the kids who might be reading this, Gunther said “get your rears in gear and do your bleeping jobs”!
Needless to say the defenses responded with their best half of defense in some time, allowing only seven second half points to the Raiders and getting pressure on quarterback Kerry Collins. Sacks by Jared Allen and Gary Stills were very important to that pressure, but Stills’ sack was huge because it came in the Raiders last drive as they tried to come back and tie the game.
The Chiefs secondary was abused again during this game, but improved in the second half and did just enough to get the win. My hats off to Willie Pile and Shaunard Harts for filling in as the starting safeties and proving to be a more than capable duo in the secondary.
In my view I thought the Chiefs showed some very nice heart and emotion coming from behind and taking the victory away from the Raiders. The way the season has gone this year, a 20-7 hole would be reason enough to fold up the tents and call it a day to some players and teams, but the Chiefs never blinked and put up a very impressive 17 play drive just before halftime. Even though they had to settle for a field goal, it was very important to get points at that time.
Needless to say the second half was all the Chiefs. Four possessions and four scores put the Faiders away. I don’t think there would be anyone that would disagree that Larry Johnson and Trent Green were the stars of the game. Trent was as perfect as a quarterback can be in the second half, completing 14 of 15 passes for over 200 yards and two touchdowns. Trent abused that Faider defense and left the game with his ribs and back feeling much better, after a win.
In my opinion though the game was won on the legs of Larry Johnson, the Chiefs third string running back. Johnson was going to play anyway, but after Derrick Blaylock was knocked back to week three by a Raiders defensive back, he was turned into the feature back for the rest of the game.
LJ produced 118 yards rushing and almost 60 yards receiving, and two very big touchdowns. Larry Johnson was showing some of the things that made him the Chiefs number one draft choice last season, and why he has been thinking he should be the starting running back here in Kansas City all along. Priest Holmes has already been ruled out for the upcoming contest on Monday Night Football against the Tennessee Titans, so that means we get to see more of the auditions between Derrick Blaylock and Larry Johnson.
Speaking of this coming game on Monday Night against the Titans, there are things to get done during this game I believe, and they are important to the future of the Chiefs.
Larry Johnson needs to get at least half the carries as long as Priest is out, because when Priest’s time is over here in Kansas City, I think LJ will be his replacement.
Trent Green needs to keep doing what he has been doing, because unless you have not noticed, Trent is helping produce three possible 1,000 yards receivers. It’s probably not going to happen, but with four games left they all have a shot. Johnnie Morton only needs to average 62.5 yards per game to reach 1,000 yards, Eddie Kennison needs 58.5 yards per game and Tony Gonzalez needs 32.5 yards per game, all are reachable, especially the way Trent Green is delivering his passes right now. If the Chiefs can continue what they did in the second half against the Faiders, I think they can beat everyone else they have on their schedule.
Thank you Faiders for getting the Chiefs out of the funk they had been in for several weeks now, I knew we could count on you, your always there for us to smack around, see you on Christmas. Go get the Titans boys, bring us home a winning streak.