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Count Zarth
10-20-2006, 07:58 PM
Yes, it's that time again, folks. Part 7 of our ongoing 2006 series here at Chiefsplanet...

THIS WEEK IN CHIEFS HISTORY

Oct. 15, 2000

OAKLAND 20, KANSAS CITY 17

Silver and black eye

Gannon can drive a team crazy

BY JOE POSNANSKI


There can't be anything in the world more frustrating than watching Rich Gannon do this to you. When John Elway zings those wicked supersonic passes through the defense, all right, you can deal with that. When Kurt Warner throws a few long passes to that world-class 400-meter relay team of his, OK, maybe you understand.

But to watch Rich Gannon rip your heart out with all those bloops and dumps and screens and wobbles, a scramble here, an underhand toss there, man, it's almost too much to take.

"If you stay with your man, Rich runs," Chiefs linebacker Donnie Edwards said. "If you go after him, he dumps the ball over your head. It's frustrating. It's like 'Do I go? Do I stay? Do I go? Do I stay?' "

He gets inside your head. And that's all the Chiefs can think this morning, after their 20-17 loss Sunday to Oakland. Gannon got in their heads. The Chiefs were leading by a touchdown going into the fourth quarter. The last three games, they had not given up a single point in the fourth quarter. The crowd was loud. The air was damp. It was all Chiefs.

And then, Gannon went to work. There's nothing pretty about the way Rich Gannon plays football. Only once the entire game did he complete a pass that flew more than 15 yards in the air (more on that pass in a moment). No, Gannon dumps the ball, flicks it, flips it, pitches it. When he actually tried to throw a real pass down the field, it was almost intercepted by all 11 Chiefs players and several ushers. He didn't try that nonsense again.

No, on third and 17, with the Chiefs up a touchdown, fourth quarter, with the crowd expecting the Raiders to fold like they were supposed to, Gannon dropped back, then ran around, then ran around some more, and just when it seemed as if he would get splattered, he, well, ran around some more.

Finally, he flipped the ball to fullback Jon Ritchie, who sprinted for the sideline and got exactly 17 yards.

"Rich Gannon," Chiefs offensive lineman Tim Grunhard said after the game, and he shook his head. "He really amazes me sometimes."

After that, Gannon ran for 6 yards ("Do I go? Do I stay?"), and later it was fourth down, and that's when Gannon completed his one and only long pass of the day. He dropped back, ran around, ran around more, ran around more, and then, then, well, how do you describe it?

"Then he throws that duck up," Edwards said.

Right, thanks. Then, he threw that duck up, a side-armed duck, a daffy duck. He heaved the ball high in the air, like a father throwing pop-ups to his son in the back yard, and it fluttered and flittered and quivered and shivered and there was no way a pass like that should have worked. No way in the world. Only, with Rich Gannon, these passes somehow do work. Tim Brown circled under it, blocked out Greg Wesley and caught the ball.

It was pure Gannon.

"That's what he does," Edwards said. "He just makes something out of nothing! ."

Two plays later, the Raiders tied it up, and then in the last minutes, it was Gannon again, running for 12, flipping a pass to Tyrone Wheatley, another to Wheatley, zipping one to Brown, blooping one to Ritchie, then finally hitting the much-beloved Andre Rison on the pass that set up the field goal.

It was brilliant. It was remarkable. And more than anything, it just was so doggone frustrating that you wanted a giant meteor to fall out of the sky and squash that guy. Not hurt him, of course. Just squash him for a little while. After the game, Chiefs coach Gunther Cunningham was furious that the Chiefs did not blitz more, and while blitzing probably wouldn't have worked either, you can't blame Cunningham. He obviously wanted a giant meteor to squash Gannon too.

"How did Gannon do it?" someone asked Chiefs linebacker Marvcus Patton.

"Well," Patton said, "I'm not sure."

Well, he did it with his heart. A couple of years ago, the Chiefs had to make a hard decision between Elvis Grbac and Rich G annon, and I still believe they made the right call. Grbac's younger, bigger, has a stronger arm, and he's finally turning himself into a prime quarterback, the kind you can build a good offense around. He's making great throws all over the field. The Chiefs can't run the ball at all, and I mean at all, but Grbac still put them in position to win Sunday. Were it notfor a close fumble call, the Chiefs probably would have won.

Still, you have to give it up for Gannon. He's almost 35, and he's been through it all. He's been benched, and he's been traded, and he's been a backup, and he throws wobbly passes, and he's never won an NFL playoff game in his life. And he's playing the best football of his life.

Gannon is just a flat-out football player.

"This is the best game that he has played since I have been with him," Oakland coach Jon Gruden said. "His improvisation! His ability to see blitzes! His ability to take hits! He was amazing."

He was amazing. After the game, Chiefs players sat on their stools, shaking their heads, and they all wondered how the loss happened.

"It hurts like heck," Grunhard said. "What can you say? Rich Gannon. He's something else."


Oakland
7 0 3 10 -- 20

Kansas City
0 17 0 0 -- 17


First Quarter

Oak--N.Kaufman 4 pass from R.Gannon (S.Janikowski kick), 9:51.

Second Quarter

KC--FG T.Peterson 27, 8:22.
KC--T.Gonzalez 14 pass from E.Grbac (T.Peterson kick), 12:11.
KC--T.Richardson 15 pass from E.Grbac (T.Peterson kick), 14:48.

Third Quarter

Oak--FG S.Janikowski 47, 4:44.

Fourth Quarter

Oak--T.Wheatley 7 pass from R.Gannon (S.Janikowski kick), 5:35.
Oak--FG S.Janikowski 43, 14:35.
A--79,025.


INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING --

OAK: T.Wheatley 15-76, N.Kaufman 10-47, R.Gannon 8-38.

KC: T.Richardson 5-25, F.Moreau 7-18, K.Anders 4-8, M.Cloud 3-7.
PASSING --

OAK: R.Gannon 28-33-0-244.

KC: E.Grbac 23-40-0-288.
RECEIVING --

OAK: J.Ritchie 7-48, T.Brown 5-89, T.Wheatley 4-37,
N.Kaufman 3-9, J.Brigham 2-19, A.Rison 2-15, J.Jett 2-15,
R.Jordan 2-4, C.Woodson 1-8..

KC: T.Gonzalez 7-100, D.Alexander 5-78, S.Morris 4-64, T.Richardson 5-31, K.Lockett 1-13, T.Drayton 1-2.,

MISSED FIELD GOALS --

OAK: S.Janikowski 47, 59.

KC: T.Peterson 44.


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Count Zarth
10-20-2006, 07:58 PM
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Fruit Ninja
10-20-2006, 08:17 PM
I got a little history, almost 6 days ago today we got our freaking ass's kicked in. Yeah, i am still bitter about it.

Count Zarth
10-21-2006, 09:47 AM
Saturday bump!