View Full Version : "Offense is best defense"

10-05-2004, 08:45 AM
Do I only post articles when they're good? Yes. Especially coming from Sportsline.

I'd give the D a lot more credit than he is giving, but the offense did keep the defense off the field for about 2/3 of the game which is huge. Would the defense have been able to stop the last drive otherwise? Given the way they played today I think so, but our drained defense at the end of games was a huge factor last year.

Offense is best defense as Chiefs get off schneid

Clark Judge Oct. 5, 2004
By Clark Judge
SportsLine.com Senior Writer
Tell Clark your opinion!

BALTIMORE -- Don't count out the Kansas City Chiefs. Not yet. Not now.

One of pro football's biggest disappointments has a pulse after Monday's 27-24 defeat of Baltimore, and I'll tell you why: The Chiefs' offense is beginning to look a lot like it did a year ago when it led the league in scoring.
Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez catches four passes as the Chiefs spread the ball around. (Getty Images)
Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez catches four passes as the Chiefs spread the ball around.(Getty Images)
If that doesn't unnerve upcoming opponents, videotapes of Kansas City's first win should. The Chiefs didn't beat the Ravens as much as they humiliated them, gaining nearly twice as many yards (398-207) on nearly twice as many plays (78-41).

But here's what will impress you most: The Chiefs had four drives of 10 or more snaps and 60 or more yards, including an 80-yard march late in the third period that produced the game-winning touchdown by Priest Holmes.

Holmes scored twice, which is nothing unusual. He ran for an NFL-record 27 last year. Having him rush for more than 100 yards is nothing unusual either. His 125-yard effort was his second straight game in three figures.

But against Baltimore? In Baltimore? The Ravens hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in nine straight games, tying Detroit for the league's longest current streak. They hadn't lost at home in seven tries, or since Kansas City was last in town. And they absolutely throttled their last two opponents, holding them to two touchdowns combined.

Yet Kansas City torched the Ravens with an offensive attack that was so overwhelming it controlled the football for two-thirds of the game and held a 22-4 edge in first downs by the end of the third quarter. That's how you win football games, and, until now, that's what the Chiefs haven't done.

"We still have a long way to go," said tight end Tony Gonzalez. "Losing our first three was bad enough, but if we started 0-4 it would have hurt our chances to get this thing rolling. But we're not going to get ahead of ourselves. I mean, we're not going to worry about the Super Bowl right now."

Good thing. They are, after all, 1-3 and last in their division, with upcoming games against Jacksonville, Atlanta and Indianapolis. But they suddenly look like the Chiefs of 2003, mixing Holmes with an effective passing attack that punctured Baltimore for 223 yards.

Johnnie Morton had five catches. Chris Horn had five catches. Gonzalez had four. Jason Dunn had three. I think you get the idea: Even without the injured Eddie Kennison, the Chiefs receivers were able to find holes in one of the league's best defenses.

"It's not only a perfect script," said Holmes, "but it's a way for us to decide to start playing. We started out 0-3, and there were a number of people saying we were desperate -- even players. One thing that changed this week is we changed our attitude, and we were more determined to come in here and get a win."

Credit the Chiefs' maligned defense for stopping Baltimore on two fourth-quarter drives, including the Ravens' last possession that fizzled when Kyle Boller overthrew Kevin Johnson in the face of a Chiefs' blitz. But the defense looked better because the offense looked better. Remember, because Trent Green and Co. wouldn't yield the field, the Chiefs defense was called on for only 41 plays.

Sure, credit the Chiefs for holding Jamal Lewis to 73 yards. Credit them for surrendering just one big play, a 57-yard flea-flicker that became Baltimore's first touchdown. Credit them for their best performance in months. But the offense gave its counterpart a huge boost by controlling the ball, the play and the game -- and at just the right time.

Any idea how many teams in the last, say, 10 to 15 years made the playoffs after an 0-4 start? I do. One. The 1992 San Diego Chargers. I don't know if the Chiefs saved their season, but I know they have a chance as long as they perform as they did Monday.

"We didn't play like a desperate team," said winning coach Dick Vermeil. "We played like a determined team."

It's about time.