Nov 6, 2006

Chiefs Game Day

Chiefs 31 - Rams 17
Sunday, November 05, 2006

Postgame Notes
Game Book
Chiefs-Rams Photos

By Patrick Herb

Thanks to three first-half turnovers by the Rams and a season-high 172 rushing yards out of RB Larry Johnson, the Chiefs escaped St. Louis with a 31-17 win in the Governor’s Cup series. The Chiefs jumped out to a 17-0 first-half lead, then let Johnson protect it en route to the win.

St. Louis entered the game with the NFL’s third-best turnover ratio at +10, but that did very little to help its cause on Sunday. The Rams fumbled three times in the first quarter and the Chiefs capitalized on all three, jumping out to a 17-0 lead before the I-70 rivals knew what hit them.

On Kansas City’s first possession, RB Larry Johnson helped get the club out of bad field position at their own two-yard line when he broke off a 44-yard run. The drive stalled just across midfield, but Dustin Colquitt’s punt was muffed by WR Dane Looker at the Rams 14-yard line. Chiefs RB Dee Brown pounced on the loose ball setting up a Johnson one-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead moments later. The Chiefs excitement was tempered a bit on the drive when Pro Bowl G Brian Waters was carted off the field with a right knee injury.

Another Rams turnover led to the Chiefs next score as Chiefs DE Jared Allen sacked and stripped St. Louis QB Marc Bulger at the Rams 46-yard line. Rookie DT Stephen Williams recovered the fumble and watched his offense go for a knockout blow on the very next play. QB Damon Huard tossed a perfect 43-yard pass to WR Samie Parker down to the three-yard line. Huard then found TE Tony Gonzalez wide open in the end zone for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. Gonzalez’s 58th career touchdown catch moved him past WR Otis Taylor (57) for the most touchdown receptions in franchise history.

LB Keyaron Fox forced the third St. Louis fumble on the next series when he poked the ball free from RB Steven Jackson. Allen recovered the ball for Kansas City at the St. Louis 33-yard line, giving the Chiefs another short field. KC settled for a 42-yard Lawrence Tynes field goal to open the game with 17 unanswered points. Staring down a 17-0 deficit and searching for answers, the Rams switched to a no-huddle offense to shake things up. The change in gameplan seemed to ignite them as Bulger fired back-to-back big gains to WR Isaac Bruce to move inside the Red Zone. From there Jackson bulled across the goal line from two yards out to cut the Chiefs lead to 17-7 midway through the second quarter.

Unfazed, the Chiefs would answer with a crisp, eight-play, 80-yard scoring march just before halftime. Huard completed three passes on the drive including his second touchdown pass to Gonzalez, this time from 25 yards out. On the play, Huard side-stepped a blitzing CB Travis Fisher and found his Pro Bowl tight end down the seam to take a 24-7 lead with 0:48 left in the half. The Rams would sneak in a 41-yard field goal from Jeff Wilkins as time expired on the half to make the score 24-10 at the break.

After the two clubs exchanged punts to open the second half, St. Louis would edge closer with a methodical 12-play, 80-yard third-quarter drive. The Rams converted a fourth-and-one play and scored on a Bulger-to-WR Kevin Curtis pass on third-and-goal from the two-yard line. Bulger completed five of six passes on the drive with a 27-yard hook-up to WR Torry Holt and a 22-yard run from Jackson moving the chains. Bulger’s touchdown pass brought the Rams within one score at 24-17 with 3:50 left in the third quarter.

It looked as though all the momentum was headed in the Rams direction as they tried to comeback from a 17-point deficit. Kansas City’s offense struggled to find their footing in the second half as it mustered just one first down in the third quarter. Then early in the fourth quarter the Chiefs were backed up at their own six-yard line and needed to burn some of the clock and slow down the St. Louis attack. Kansas City did that and more. Johnson ripped off runs of 15 and 16 yards, then Huard hooked up with Gonzalez on a big third-down conversion to keep the drive rolling. On the very next play from the 11-yard line, Huard (who finished with 148 yards and three TDs) capped the seven-play march with an 11-yard touchdown pass to TE Kris Wilson to take a commanding 31-17 lead with 6:20 left in the game.

St. Louis tried to get back in the game with a quick drive inside the Chiefs Red Zone. However, the Rams comeback bid came up short when Bulger’s third and fourth-down passes from inside the five-yard line were batted down. First, S Sammy Knight knocked down the third down attempt, then S Bernard Pollard iced the Chiefs 31-17 victory on fourth down.

The Chiefs (5-3) now travel to Miami (2-6) next Sunday, December 12th to take on the Dolphins. Kickoff is scheduled for Noon (central).