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Coach
10-05-2004, 06:31 PM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/9837716.htm

Three-mendous on third down

Chiefs' clutch plays make the difference in crucial situations

By IVAN CARTER The Kansas City Star


BALTIMORE — The Chiefs did more than enough right, such as pounding out 178 yards rushing Monday night, to get a win. They also did plenty wrong, such as giving up a flea-flicker and punt return for touchdowns, to walk away with a loss.

But coach Dick Vermeil and the Chiefs will head into the bye week 1-3 rather than 0-4, because they came up with a batch of crucial plays against Ray Lewis and the Baltimore defense, many of them on third down.

After converting only 39.5 percent of their third downs and seemingly none when they really needed them in the first three weeks, the Chiefs converted eight of 16 third downs, compiled an impressive 25 first downs and were a perfect three for three in the red zone.

“All credit to the Kansas City Chiefs,” said Ravens defensive end Marques Douglas. “They did what they needed to do when they needed to do it. It seemed like we just couldn't get them off the field.”

A handful of third down plays were especially crucial.

• On third and 16 from his 26 in the second quarter, Trent Green bought some time by shuffling around the pocket and found tight end Tony Gonzalez over the middle for 18 yards. Later in the drive, on third and 9 from the Baltimore 17, Green made another great play, this time scrambling for 13 yards.

Green capped the scramble by offering an uncharacteristic display of emotion when he got off the ground and spun the ball like a top. The ball was still spinning as Green coolly jogged back to his huddle. Priest Holmes scored from 4 yards out on the next play.

• Chris Horn came up with his best catch as a Chief when he snagged a Green pass for 16 yards and converted a third-and-10 play early in the third quarter. Horn finished with five receptions for 60 yards and at least alleviated the loss of veteran Eddie Kennison, who missed his second straight game because of a hamstring injury.

• A monstrous 13-play, 80-yard drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters was kept alive by a sensational 20-yard reception by Johnnie Morton.

Morton's catch, which was made over the shoulder of Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister, converted a third-and-10 play and kept the Chiefs from having to punt from deep from within their own end.

• Morton's effort was rewarded later in the drive when Priest Holmes scored from 1 yard out on third and 1. Holmes will get all the love in the highlights, but watch closely and it was nine-time Pro Bowl right guard Will Shields who cleared a path for Holmes by placing a classic pancake block on all-world middle linebacker Ray Lewis.

That touchdown took the air of the stadium, gave the Chiefs a 27-17 lead and showed that the Chiefs not only kept Baltimore off-balance with smart play-calling and great execution but also beat the Ravens physically.

“What it came down to was they were more physical than we were in about every facet of the game,” Ravens coach Brian Billick said. “We are not going to win too many games when we let someone out-physical us.”

Rain Man
10-05-2004, 06:33 PM
That catch by Morton was indeed spectacular. Kudoes to him for stepping up.

andoman
10-05-2004, 06:46 PM
“What it came down to was they were more physical than we were in about every facet of the game,” Ravens coach Brian Billick said. “We are not going to win too many games when we let someone out-physical us.”

Wasn't Ed Reed blabbing during pregame about how the Chiefs were a finess team, not a physical team?