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KChiefsQT
09-06-2005, 01:14 PM
Holmes-Martin Head-to-Head RB Battle Highlights Opening Day Match-Up
Sep 06, 2005, 6:00:00 AM by Pete Moris


Opening Day Success Can Be a Postseason Precursor

In the NFL’s 39-year Super Bowl era, 82.1% of eventual NFL champions (32 of 39) won on Opening Day, including seven of the last 10 Super Bowl Champions. The Chiefs have made 14 playoff appearances and have won on Opening Day in 12 of those seasons. The only two times KC has made the playoffs after failing to win on Opening Day were in ‘71 and ‘97. The Chiefs are 12-4 (.750) in home openers dating back to Carl Peterson’s arrival in Kansas City in ‘89. The Jets are 7-9 (.438) in their initial road game of the year over the same timeframe. Dick Vermeil is 8-6 all-time on Opening Day, while Herman Edwards is 2-2.

RB Priest Holmes Set to Resume Torrid Rushing TD Pace
In his nine-year NFL career, three-time Pro Bowl RB Priest Holmes has averaged one TD every 20.2 carries, the fourth-best mark in NFL history. In fact, during his first four seasons with KC, he’s scored a TD once every 16.5 carries, a figure that tops the career mark of 17.0 rushes per TD established by Baltimore RB Lenny Moore. Over the past three seasons, Holmes has racked up 62 rushing TDs and 66 total TDs, both totals that are the best marks over any three-span in NFL history.

KC has won 12 consecutive games at Arrowhead dating back to 2002 when the club has boasted a RB with two or more rushing TDs. Holmes has accounted for 10 of those games, while RB Larry Johnson had two rushing scores apiece in KC’s final two home games of 2004.

The Jets haven’t permitted an opposing team to score two or more rushing TDs since the Chargers had two ground scores in a 38-24 Jets win at SD (9/19/04). In fact, the Jets have gone 22 consecutive games without permitting an opposing RB to score two or more rushing TDs, the second-longest active streak in the NFL behind only Jacksonville (25 games). The last RB to accomplish that feat against the Jets was Colts RB Edgerrin James who had three TDs in a 38-31 win vs. NYJ (11/16/03). The Jets only allowed eight rushing TDs the entire season in 2004, tying as the fifth-lowest total in the league, while Holmes accounted for eight rushing TDs in his final three contests of 2004.



Holmes, Martin Seeking Opening Day Rushing Encores

RB Priest Holmes had 151 rushing yards in last year’s season opener at Denver (9/12/04), the best Opening Day rushing total in KC history and the ninth-highest Opening Day rushing output in the NFL in the past 10 years. Jets RB Curtis Martin racked up 196 rushing yards in a 31-24 Opening Day win vs. Cincinnati (9/12/04), the league’s third-highest rushing output over the past 10 seasons.

Another big day from Holmes would bode well for KC. The Chiefs are 8-3 in regular season play at Arrowhead when Holmes enjoys a 100-yard rushing game, including wins in six of the club’s last seven such games. The Jets are 31-11 (.738) when Martin rushes for 100+ yards dating back to ‘98. The Jets have lost four consecutive games when allowing a 100-yard rusher and own a 6-14 (.300) record under head coach Herman Edwards when an opponent tops the 100-yard barrier. Holmes rushed for 152 yards and had 81 receiving yards in his last outing vs. NYJ, including the game-winning 19-yard TD reception in a 29-25 win at NYJ (10/6/02), earning AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors in the process.

The Turnover Triple Crown, Chiefs-Jets Turnover Tidbits
The Chiefs own the NFL’s Turnover Triple Crown over the past 15 seasons (’90-04), leading the league in turnover ratio (+153), most takes (509) and the fewest gives (356) over that span. In fact, the next closest competitor in terms of turnover differential is Pittsburgh, which is a distant second at +83, while the Jets are tied for third with the 49ers at +64. KC has led the NFL in turnover ratio an unprecedented five times since ‘90, but were an uncharacteristic -6 (21 takes/27 gives) in 2004.

KC is 37-4 (.902) at Arrowhead with a positive takeaway margin in regular season play dating back to ‘95. The Chiefs own a +17 turnover differential (38 takes/21 gives) over their last 20 regular season home games, owning a 16-4 (.800) mark in those contests.

The Jets own a 26-7 (.788) record in games with a postive turnover ratio under Herman Edwards, but are just 9-22 (.290) when they go even or negative. The Jets have forced at least one turnover in 11 consecutive victories dating back to a contest at Miami (12/28/03), but have lost six consecutive road games with a negative turnover ratio dating back to 2002. Last season, the Jets led the league by losing the fewest fumbles (five) and commiting the fewest total giveaways (16).

QB Trent Green Typically Produces Big Numbers at Arrowhead
Chiefs QB Trent Green owns an 12-1 record at Arrowhead as KC’s starter when he compiles a passer rating of 100.0 or better. In total, Green has registered 15 different 100.0+ rating games dating back to 2003. The Jets have lost their last four contests when allowing an opposing QB to post a 100.0 rating or higher and own a 4-14 record dating back to 2001 when an opposing team produces a composite 100.0 rating or better. Green’s career 87.9 rating ranks as the sixth-best mark in NFL history and is also the top mark in Chiefs annals.

Green owns 20 career 300-yard games with the Chiefs, the best mark in franchise history. KC is 6-1 at Arrowhead since 2002 when Green registers a 300-yard passing game. The Jets have never won a game under Herman Edwards when an opposing QB registers a 300-yard game, owning an 0-5 mark in such contests. However, only one QB produced a 300-yard game against New York in 2004 as St. Louis QB Marc Bulger registered 450 yards in a 32-29 OT victory (1/2/05).

Should Green guide KC to a victory vs. the Jets, it would mark his 35th win as KC’s starting QB, a total topped by only Hall of Fame QB Len Dawson (94). In his last 16 regular season starts at Arrowhead, Green has posted a 12-4 record, completing 343 of 508 passes (67.5%) for 4,165 yards with 27 TDs and just 10 INTs, good for a 102.0 rating.

Jets QB Chad Pennington is expected to make his first-ever start at Arrowhead on Sunday. Pennington is 3-7 in his last 10 road starts, including losses in his last four road contests. Pennington’s last road victory was a 17-9 win at Miami (10/3/04). Despite that won-loss record, Pennington has put up solid numbers in his last 10 road starts, completing 166 of 263 passes (63.1%) for 1,938 yards with 10 TDs and six INTs, good for an 88.6 rating.

Six-Time Pro Bowl TE Tony Gonzalez Keeps Going Strong

TE Tony Gonzalez is already the all-time leading receiver in Chiefs history with 570 career catches and needs just 402 more yards to bypass WR Otis Taylor (7,306) for the most receiving yards in franchise history. He has caught a pass in 68 consecutive games and should he catch a pass in all 16 games in 2005, would bypass WR Stephone Paige (83) for the longest string in KC history. He also needs just nine TDs to surpass Shannon Sharpe (62) for the most TD catches by a TE in NFL history and four more TDs to overtake WR Otis Taylor (57) for the most TDs in KC annals. Here’s a look at Gonzalez’s place in NFL history among TEs.



Chiefs-Jets Scoring Stats to Consider

The Chiefs are 20-0 all-time at Arrowhead when scoring 40 points or more, including three victories against teams that reached the 2004 NFL Playoffs, getting a 56-10 win vs. Atlanta (10/24/04), a 45-35 win vs. Indianapolis (10/31/04) and a 45-17 victory vs. Denver (12/19/04). The Chiefs are 24-3 (.889) at Arrowhead when scoring 30 points or more dating back to ‘95, including a 4-1 mark in 2004. In total, KC topped the 30-point mark in five of its last six games of the 2004 campaign.

The Jets are 2-7 under Herman Edwards when allowing opponents to reach the 30-point barrier, including a streak of five straight losses dating back to 2002. New York’s last victory when an opponent topped the 30-point mark was a 37-31 victory on Opening Day at Buffalo (9/8/02).

The Chiefs are 43-6 (.876) at Arrowhead dating back to ‘95 when holding opponents to 20 points or less, including a streak of 13 consecutive victories dating back to 2001. The Jets are just 4-11 (.267) when scoring 20 points or less on the road dating back to 2002.

Chiefs Seek 200th All-Time Victory at Arrowhead
Dating back to ‘95, only Green Bay 65-15 (.813) and Denver 62-18 (.775) own better home records than KC 58-22 (.725) … KC is seeking its 200th all-time victory at Arrowhead, owning a 199-137-2 preseason, regular season and postseason record at the facility … The Jets are 6-10 in regular season road games over the past two seasons … Sunday’s contest will mark KC’s 118th consecutive sellout at Arrowhead, a streak that dates back to a 14-3 win vs. Atlanta (9/1/91) and includes five playoff contests … Since ‘94, the Chiefs are 21-5 (.808) against head coaches making their regular season debuts at Arrowhead. Herman Edwards will make his initial appearance as an NFL head coach at Arrowhead on Sunday. The most recent head coach to make an Arrowhead debut was Falcons head coach Jim Mora who suffered a 56-10 loss at KC (10/24).

The opinions offered in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Kansas City Chiefs.

jidar1
09-06-2005, 01:37 PM
In the NFL’s 39-year Super Bowl era, 82.1% of eventual NFL champions (32 of 39) won on Opening Day,

I'm going to guess that SB champs win around 80% of their regular season games on average, which would make that opening day statistic meaningless as it's going to be true for nearly every game.