[Kansas City.com] This time, the Chiefs had no choice. With Priest Holmes dazed on the sideline, the Chiefs had to play running back Larry Johnson. And in the fourth quarter, with the Chiefs trying to come back against San Diego, Johnson twice failed to get into the end zone on short-yardage plays.
And it reminded everyone once again just how important Holmes has been to the Kansas City offense the last four years.
“It was very frustrating,” Johnson said after the game. “But I don’t call the plays. I just run them. It’s my job, no matter what, to punch the ball in the end zone.”
Holmes was hurt in the third quarter when he was leveled by San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman. It was a ferocious hit, one that seemed to echo throughout Qualcomm Stadium. Holmes left the game because of what trainers called “a mild head trauma.” He would not return.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs had the ball on the Chargers’ 3. On third down, they gave the ball to Johnson, who tried to slam in behind right guard Will Shields. He was stopped at the Chargers’ 2.
The Chiefs then called timeout and thought about whether to go for it.
With Holmes on the sideline, they decided to kick the field goal.
Later in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs again had the ball at the 3. Again, they gave it to Johnson behind Shields. This time, he was stopped for no gain. And this time, the Chiefs came away with no points.
“Those were big plays,” Johnson said. “I’ve got to get in there. If I’m going to be a top running back, I’ve got to get in.”