Monday Morning Quarterback: Chiefs 45, Broncos 17
December 20th, 2004 @ 9:58 pm; by Raider Hater
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It took fourteen games, but I think we finally saw the team that Carl Peterson and Dick Vermeil thought we’d see all season. The offense looked great, the defense was aggressive and caused turnovers, and the special teams contributed with a touchdown of their own. As disappointing as this season has been, it sure got a heck of a lot better yesterday.
Here are some of my thoughts on the game:
Talk about getting the game off on the right foot, Dante burned Denver again, this time with a 97 yard kickoff return!
Trent Green continues to be the most underrated quarterback in the NFL. Against the league’s fourth ranked defense he connected on 16 of 19 attempts, threw three touchdown passes, and finished with a quarterback rating of 150.
The Chiefs offensive line is simply the best. Beginning on the Chiefs first possession of the game, they simply destroyed the will of the Broncos defense. Trent Green had all day to stand in the pocket and pick out open receivers and they cleared the way for Larry Johnson to run for 151 yards.
Eddie Kennison continues to step up each week. Against his former team, Kennison caught seven passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns, both when matched up one-on-one with Champ Bailey.
Larry Johnson continues to prove all his critics, including myself, wrong. He finished with 151 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and I love the power he is bringing to the Chiefs running game.
It was great to see Samie Parker finally get some playing time and he made the most of it with his 48 yard touchdown reception.
And welcome back Kris Wilson. Hopefully he can get some meaningful playing time in the last two games of the season.
The Chiefs offense put together three drives of over 80 yards, all resulting in touchdowns.
The defense played far-and-away their best game of the season. The defensive line dominated Denver, holding them to 132 yards rushing and consistently put pressure on Jake Plummer.
In fact, going into the game Plummer had been sacked only nine times all season, the Chiefs brought him down six times.
The secondary had some highs and lows. Dexter McCleon really stepped up his game, picking off two Plummer passes, but William Bartee continues to struggle. He got completely turned around on Rod Smith’s touchdown reception and appeared to give up on the play after Smith caught the pass
Kudos to Greg Wesley for not giving up on the play and running down Tatum Bell near the goal line, causing a fumble. The game was essentially over at the time, but Wesley showed a lot of heart that has been lacking from the Chiefs defense this season.
I’m still not sure whether Kawika Mitchell played a good game or a bad game. He seemed to be around the ball all game long, recording nine tackles and two sacks, but he also missed a bunch of tackles and dropped an interception that he could have fair caught.
Memo to Lawrence Tynes: Just fall on the damn ball!
The punting game continues to be a real problem for the Chiefs. Steve Cheek punted four times for an average of only 32.8 yards. A new punter is a must this offseason.
Though the Chiefs aren’t going to the playoffs this season, it’s nice to know that they helped keep Denver out of the playoffs as well.
The Chargers (2004), Chiefs (2003), Raiders (2000-02) and Seahawks (1999) have all won the AFC West more recently than the Broncos (1998).