View Full Version : Teicher: Chiefs see up close what a champion looks like

11-23-2004, 02:08 AM

Chiefs see up close what a champion looks like

By ADAM TEICHER The Kansas City Star

The Chiefs valued Monday night's game against the Patriots for the chance to show the football-viewing nation that they could hang with the defending Super Bowl champions.

They may have accomplished some things, but they didn't come close to realizing their biggest goal. Their 27-19 loss illustrated why the Patriots are 9-1 and possibly headed for the Super Bowl while the 3-7 Chiefs are no longer contenders.

“I'm not sure we can't play better in certain areas than we did,” coach Dick Vermeil said. “But maybe that's because they wouldn't allow us to.”

The Patriots played with the precision for which they're known, a fourth-quarter fumble by Corey Dillon at the Chiefs' 3 notwithstanding. The play cost the Patriots a chance to extend a 24-13 lead.

Otherwise, quarterback Tom Brady carved the Chiefs like a Thanksgiving turkey, completing seven passes of 20 yards or more. Dillon scored from the 5 and the 1.

The Chiefs made their plays offensively. Trent Green had another big statistical game, completing 27 of 42 passes for 381 yards and two touchdowns.

He helped cut the Chiefs' deficit to 24-19 midway through the fourth quarter with his 26-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Kennison.

But the Patriots were able to chew up most of the remaining 6 minutes and 13 seconds. The Chiefs got the ball back with 1:39 left, but by then they trailed 27-19 after New England's Adam Vinatieri kicked a 28-yard field goal.

The Chiefs failed for the third straight week to score the tying or winning points. Green was sacked on fourth down by Willie McGinest.

The Chiefs were almost in awe of New England's precision.

“I understand why they're 9-1 and why they've had such a long (winning) streak,” Green said. “It makes sense why they're so good. They play such a great team game. Their offense is solid and doesn't make many mistakes. Their defense is solid and doesn't make many mistakes.”

Defensive tackle Ryan Sims said: “They aren't going to beat you by 20 points, but they're tough to beat. There's a reason they've won most of their games the last couple of years.”

The Patriots led 17-10 after a first half that ended with disaster for the Chiefs. The Patriots converted three first downs on the game's first possession. First, Brady beat Greg Wesley's blitz and threw to the uncovered Daniel Graham for 27 yards. Later, Dillon ran 14 yards and Brady threw 17 yards to Deion Branch, setting up the game's first touchdown, Dillon's 5-yard run.

The Chiefs bounced back and took a brief 10-7 lead. Lawrence Tynes kicked a 44-yard field goal, and Kennison got behind the secondary along the right sideline and caught a 65-yard scoring pass from Green.

New England moved ahead on Dillon's second touchdown, a 1-yard run, and Vinatieri's 37-yard field goal, a score that gave the Patriots a 17-10 lead.

The Chiefs missed a scoring chance on their last possession of the half. Aided by a 36-yard Green pass to Johnnie Morton, the Chiefs moved to the Patriots' 23, where they faced fourth and 1.

Coach Dick Vermeil initially sent in Tynes and the rest of the field-goal unit but reconsidered during the break afforded by the 2-minute warning. Derrick Blaylock gained the necessary yard for the first down, but the Chiefs wound up coming away with nothing when, on third down, Green's pass intended for Tony Gonzalez was intercepted in the end zone by Rodney Harrison.

Green and Gonzalez complained to officials that Harrison interfered with Gonzalez, but they received no satisfaction.

“It looked like he was getting mugged,” Green said. “It was a no-brainer, but maybe my brain saw something that wasn't there.

“It's interesting because we get letters from the league every week (reading), ‘Oops, sorry' (for missed penalty calls). We'll get (another) letter in a couple of days saying, ‘Sorry,' but it's not going to do us any good.

“It's unfortunate Tony doesn't get a little more leeway in that department, but there was no leeway needed on that play.”

11-23-2004, 02:56 AM
the new no contact downfield has no impact on TG. They just ignore it. Not that it would make a difference anyway.