For anyone who doubts the ability of Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, need to consider him as an MVP candidate. Green threw three touchdowns, two of them to Tony Gonzalez and connected on 20 of 25 passes. He threw for 341 yards and controlled the game from the onset. He showed tremendous poise and put the ball into the hands of his playmakers.
Priest Holmes scored three touchdowns giving him 22 on the season. He'll have two games to break Emmitt Smiths single season touchdown record of 25. Holmes was stellar today. He rushed for 94 yards on only 18 carries and he caught five passes for 42 yards. He ran the ball harder and showed bursts of speed that provided a spark to the Chiefs offense.
Kansas City opened the game with a solid drive that culminated with a beautiful 27-yard touchdown pass from Green to Gonzalez. On the next possession, Holmes scored from 14-yards and that gave the Chiefs a 14-0 first quarter lead.
In the second quarter, Holmes ran off tackle for a 9-yard score that gave Kansas City a 21-0 lead. For all sense and purposes the game was over at this point but the Chiefs offense kept attacking.
After the Lions connected on a short field goal, the Chiefs went back to work. The Chiefs rolled out their no-huddle offense and in three plays scored a touchdown. Green on an all out blitz by the Lions dumped the ball off to Derrick Blaylock and he broke several tackles and raced to the end zone completing a 63-yard catch and run giving the Chiefs a 28-7.
The Lions scored a touchdown late in the second quarter to make the score 28-14 at half but the Chiefs were not going to give up this lead.
With so many failures in the third quarter by the Chiefs offense this season, Green and company proved they could put up points in the second half. The Chiefs scored 17 points in the quarter thanks to a Holmes 3-yard run, a Gonzalez 9-yard reception and a Morten Andersen 35-yard field goal.
The Chiefs came out in the third quarter with the same energy they displayed in the first half. They shed the theory they can't close out games in the second half.
On defense, the Chiefs played better than in previous weeks but on two of the Lions touchdown drives, the Chiefs defense was flagged for some questionable penalties on third down. Both times the Chiefs defense made plays but the yellow flags still littered the field.
The umpiring crew that called this game was the same group of men who did last weeks Denver Broncos game and they are not the NFL's best by a long shot.
So with that said, the Chiefs defense played a solid but not great game. They gave up another 100-yard rushing effort by allowing Shawn Bryson to get 105 yards on 18 carries but one of his runs was for 39 yards.
The passing defense was for the most part efffective against Lions quarterback Joey Harrington who did not have a strong game.
He could not get the ball down the field and only managed 197 yards passing on 20 of 36. He did a good job of throwing underneath and took advantage of the Chiefs lack of pass rush. Until late in the game, the Chiefs played lots of cover two and zone that with little pressure on the quarterback; gave Harrington too much time to throw the ball.
However, the Chiefs cornerbacks did a poor job of tackling and supporting the run. Both Eric Warfield and more disappointing Dexter McCleon gave little effort in sealing off the run. Bryson was able to bounce to the outside when the Chiefs cornerbacks gave very little effort in assisting the front seven.
Kansas City was never in danger of losing this game and considering their struggles against weaker teams this season, Dick Vermeil has to be pleased with the win.
After all the Chiefs clinched their first AFC West Division Title since the 1997 season and they set a franchise record with their 12th consecutive victory at home.
The win however did not help the Chiefs in gaining ground on the New England Patriots who defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-13 at home. They also failed to gain ground on the Indianapolis Colts who ran all over the Atlanta Falcons 38-7 at the Hoosier Dome.
Next Saturday will decide home field advantage for the Chiefs. They go on the road to face the Minnesota Vikings at 4:00 and the New England Patriots play the Jets in New York later that night at 7:30.
If the Chiefs can win against the Vikings and the Jets can defeat the Patriots, then Kansas City can win home field advantage with a win the following Sunday at home against the Chicago Bears.
If the Chiefs lose and the Patriots win on Saturday, then Kansas City could fall behind the Colts for the third seed in the AFC if they defeat the Denver Broncos at home next Sunday.
Now if all three teams win next weekend the following scenario must play out for the Chiefs. With a win against the Bears on the final week of the season, the Chiefs would secure the second seed in the AFC playoffs and get a much needed bye week.
Kansas City loses both tie breakers with the Colts and Patriots if they are tied with either team at the end of the season.
Nonetheless if the Broncos game was a money game, the Vikings game will be the most important game the Chiefs will play this season.