[Kansas City.com] It had been years since a Kansas City defensive player dominated a football game for 60 minutes and handed the Chiefs a victory.
Jared Allen ended that drought Sunday afternoon inside Arrowhead Stadium, terrorizing Washington during Kansas City’s 28-21 victory.
“If we don’t take the football away, we don’t win the game. That’s all there is to it,” Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil appropriately summarized.
Allen forced two fumbles with sheer extra effort, chasing down Washington quarterback Mark Brunell from behind and hitting running back Rock Cartwright downfield. Sammy Knight picked up Cartwright’s fumble and raced 80 yards for a touchdown. Washington was moving in for a go-ahead score when Cartwright coughed up the ball in the third quarter. Defensive end Carlos Hall got the credit for forcing the fumble, but Allen was there.
Allen’s other forced fumble thwarted Washington’s opening possession of the game, which reached the KC 7. Allen sprinted around the offensive tackle and stripped Brunell of the ball just as he was preparing to sling it.
Allen was worth at least 13 points Sunday. He caused a fumble that led directly to a Kansas City touchdown, and he cost Washington two opportunities to kick short field goals. You can’t ask a defensive player to do any more than what Allen delivered.
“Jared Allen was very special,” Vermeil said. “He has such an unbelievable motor. You expect him to run out of gas, and he just keeps humming.”
Allen, KC’s sack leader last year, is supposed to be the playmaker on the Chiefs’ front four. Without a playmaker up front, it’s difficult for KC’s new defenders to make an impact. Without a playmaker up front, Gunther Cunningham’s defense looks like Greg Robinson’s defense.
“Anybody who knows football knows that everything starts up front on both sides of the ball,” Allen said.