View Full Version : Johnson, Holmes pay off for KC

10-22-2005, 11:39 AM
Johnson, Holmes pay off for KC
The Capital Journal

MIAMI -- Larry Johnson, who once described the two-man Chiefs backfield as The Church Backfield -- "Priest (Holmes) prays over 'em, and I bury 'em!" -- now has a new name for the duo.

"Sometimes we're like Blackjack -- you get the ace and the 10 at the same time," Johnson said.

Johnson was the ace in Kansas City's 30-20 short-notice victory over the Dolphins on Friday. He carried 23 times -- third most in his three-year career -- for 90 rushing yards. He also took a screen pass 26 yards to finish with 116 yards from scrimmage.

Priest Holmes is still the King. The 32-year-old veteran actually ran five fewer times than did his understudy, but he averaged 5 yards a pop and scored touchdowns of 5 and 35 yards -- the second of which immediately answered a Miami breakaway score that cut the Chiefs lead to 14-13 early in the fourth quarter.

The rotation kept both backs fresh in the withering Miami humidity. That was, of course, part of the idea all along when the Chiefs implemented a plan to keep Holmes fresh and Johnson involved.

"It was a good game for both of us," Johnson said. "We needed to get back in a rhythm, and we got that by knowing we'd run the ball. He gets two series, I get one.

"That was really important in a short week. Both guys came out prepared and ready, and the offensive line did a great job blocking for both of us.

"You could see that (the Dolphins) were sucking wind and sweating more than I was sweating along the front line," Johnson added. "It's hard to hold up for long when we're stretching things, running things from side to side (with Holmes) before we then bust it up the middle (with Johnson).

"After a couple of quarters, they were through."

Kansas City's offensive line, however, maintained its dominance throughout.

Though left tackle Willie Roaf lost a couple of pass-rush battles to former Chief Vonnie Holliday, and right tackle Jordan Black had to be replaced by John Welbourn after experiencing some heat-related stomach distress, the Chiefs line won most of its battle throughout the muggy south Florida evening.

"Sometimes you just let them play, just let them come off the ball and bang people around," coach Dick Vermeil said of his line. "Don't be disappointed if you only make two yards, four yards on a play. Come back and get six the next time."

Just like playing blackjack.