The 2005 season may not have finished the way we all would have hoped – with a Super Bowl victory or even a playoff appearance – but the Chiefs do have a lot to look forward to in 2006. But before we look to far ahead, I thought it would be fun to look back at the best and the worst of this past season.
So without further delay, here are the 2005 Warpath Awards.
Best Offensive Performer in 2005
QB Trent Green
I don’t know what this team would do without Trent Green, and we all saw how much the offense suffered when tackle Willie Roaf was out, but you don’t give the MVP award based on what-ifs. It goes to the best player on the team, and this year that player was clearly Larry Johnson. After taking over the starting position when Priest Holmes went down on October 30, Johnson put together a streak of nine-straight 100-yard games that he will take with him into the Chiefs opener next year. He finished the season with a franchise record 1,750 rushing yards and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
Best Defensive Performer in 2005
LB Kawika Mitchell
Mitchell went from one of the Chiefs biggest weaknesses, to one of their best players in just one season, leading the team with 105 total tackles including 84 solo. In just his third season Mitchell started all sixteen games and was a big reason why the Chiefs finished the season as the NFL’s seventh ranked rush defense.
Best Special Teams Performer in 2005
K Lawrence Tynes
In his second year on the job, Tynes turned into a truly reliable NFL kicker. Though his kickoffs could still use a little more distance, Tynes did connect on 27 of 33 field goal attempts including two from over fifty yards.
Best Rookie Performer in 2005
LB Derrick Johnson
The Chiefs number one pick in the ’05 draft, Johnson stepped right in and made an immediate impact on the Chiefs defense, finishing the season with 95 tackles, second best on the team. Johnson brought to the Chiefs the speed and athleticism that the defense had been lacking for years. He should develop into a Pro Bowl caliber linebacker in the next couple of years.
Best Coaching Job in 2005
Mike Solari, Offensive Line
Because of injuries to Willie Roaf and Jordan Black, and the suspension of John Welbourn, the Chiefs were forced to rely on their back-ups for much of the season and they stepped in and did a fine job. That can be contributed directly to Solari. Despite all the missed time, the offensive line still cleared the way for the Chiefs to rush for 148 yards per game, good for fourth in the league.
Best Victory in 2005
Chiefs over Broncos – Dec. 4, 2005
The 7-4 Chiefs and the 9-2 Broncos met on the first Sunday in December in one of the most memorable games in recent history. The two teams were tied at the end of the first, second and third quarters, before Kansas City finally took a 31-27 lead early in the fourth quarter. After the two teams traded punts on their ensuing possessions, Denver took over at their own 25-yard line with 3:42 remaining. After picking up one first down, the Broncos found themselves facing a 4th and one at their own 47-yard line with 2:11 left in the game. Running back Mike Anderson carried the ball to the right side for what was originally ruled a first down, but after the Chiefs challenged the play, referee Bill Leavy overuled the call on the field and gave the ball to the Chiefs. The Chiefs were able to run out the clock and hang on for the much needed win.
Worst Loss in 2005
Chiefs @ Buffalo – Nov. 13, 2005
The 5-3 Chiefs went to Buffalo in mid-November to face the 3-5 Bills in a game that looked like a sure win for the Chiefs who were fighting for their playoff lives. But like usual, Kansas City had their problems with a team they should have easily defeated. The Chiefs offense moved the ball into Buffalo territory on seven occasions, but came away with only three points. Quarterback Trent Green played his worst game of the season, throwing three interceptions and getting sacked six times in the loss.
Best Plays in 2005
Worst Plays in 2005
Best Free Agent Acquisition in 2005
S Sammy Knight
Signed as a free agent from the Miami Dolphins, Knight took over the starting strong safety position and quickly became the leader of the Chiefs secondary. Knight finished third on the team with 89 tackles (70 solo), two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
Missing in Action in 2005
TE Kris Wilson
Remember Kris Wilson? The Chiefs second round draft pick in the 2004 NFL Draft who was hailed as a future star for the Chiefs? After missing thirteen games his rookie season with a broken leg and the last two games in 2005 with a thigh injury, the only thing Wilson has caught is the injury bug. This season he hauled in a whopping three passes for 33 yards, running his career totals to… three catches for 33 yards.
Best Offensive Performance in 2005
Chiefs VS. Bengals – Jan. 1, 2006
In the season finale, and what would wind up being Dick Vermeil’s final game as head coach, the Chiefs offense proved once again that they are one of the best in the NFL. Led by Larry Johnson, who rushed for 201 yards and scored three touchdowns, the Chiefs put up 537 yards of total offense. Quarterback Trent Green connected on 23 of 29 passes for 335 yards and one touchdown and wide receiver Eddie Kennison hauled in seven receptions for 151 yards.
Worst Offensive Performance in 2005
Chiefs @ Buffalo – Nov. 13, 2005
The Chiefs had success moving the ball, putting up 316 yards of total offense and moving the ball into Buffalo territory seven different times, but penalties and turnovers stalled one drive after the other. In fact, the Chiefs managed to put just three points on the board, their lowest output of the season.
Best Defensive Performance in 2005
Chiefs VS. Chargers – Dec. 24, 2005
The Chiefs defense held Pro Bowl running back LaDainian Tomlinson to 49 yards on 15 carries and kept another Pro Bowler, tight end Antonio Gates, in check – 4 receptions for 52 yards – in Kansas City’s 20-7 victory over San Diego. For the game, the Chiefs held the Chargers high-powered offense to just 233 total yards and forced two turnovers.
Worst Defensive Performance in 2005
Chiefs @ NY Giants – Dec. 17, 2005
With their playoff lives on the line, the Chiefs defense reverted to their 2003 form, allowing the Giants’ Tiki Barber to rush for 220 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs 27-17 loss. The Chiefs gave up 406 yards of total offense to the Giants and missed more tackles than one could count. To make matters even worse, the defense acted as if they could care less that they embarrassed themselves on national television.