Chiefs Inside Slant: Hail to the Chiefs Offense

The offense was just short of perfect. But the Kansas City Chiefs defense continues to be encompassed by question marks in the wake of a 45-17 pounding of out-manned Detroit that clinched the AFC West title.

Trent Green posted the best possible passer rating (158.3) and engineered scoring drives on seven straight significant possessions; when tight end Tony Gonzalez made two tough catches for touchdowns of 27 and 9 yards; when Priest Holmes rushed for 94 yards and three touchdowns in only three quarters and backup Derrick Blaylock had 106 receiving yards with a 63-yard pitch-and-run score, Kansas City's embattled defense could not rest even in a 28-point rout.

That's what happens when you go into a game against the league's worst rushing offense and give up 137 ground yards (Detroit had been averaging only 79) and a 100-yard rusher (Shawn Bryson) for the first time in 21 Lions games. Detroit averaged 4.6 yards a carry and converted eight of 14 first downs.

That's not exactly what the Chiefs defense had in mind in a game where its stated goal was redemption after giving up 270 ground yards in the previous week's drubbing at Denver.

gain, one big rushing play -- a 39-yard Bryson run in mop-up time, the biggest part of his career-high 105-yard day -- skewed the statistics.

"But it all counts," said disappointed safety Jerome Woods. "Especially after an ugly loss last week. We came into this game saying we wanted to stop the run and not give up the big play. And we had the guy stopped for no gain, but he somehow found a way to bounce out.

"It seems like the longer the game goes, we slack up a bit," Woods added. "It seems like we lose focus or something. We've got to play the whole game like we do in the first and second quarters. We can't wait for the playoffs and think we can turn on a switch and play well for four quarters.

"We need to work on our weakness and get ready for January. We've to eliminate those big plays because we know they'll eventually bite us in the butt."


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