Long Day as Both Defense and Offense Struggle

Tony Gonzalez was mad because he'd been transformed from an offensive weapon into a personal defender. Trent Green was mad because a receiver hung him out to dry on a pick-6 interception return. Dante Hall was mad about a fumble deep in his own end that, in his mind anyway, wiped out everything good about a two-touchdown day that included a historic kick-return TD.

And that was just the unhappiness on the offensive side.

There weren't any Kansas City defenders happy, either, after giving up 31 straight points and blowing first-half leads of 17-0 and 24-6 in their eventual 37-31 home loss to defending NFC champion Philadelphia that dropped the Chiefs record to 2-2 after an impressive 2-0 start.

Kansas City, seeking redemption following an embarrassing 30-10 Monday night loss in Denver, raced to a 17-0 lead after scoring on its first three possessions against the Eagles.

"We came out and threw a bomb at them," special teams standout Gary Stills said of the early KC lead. "It opened up quite a bit of room for us.

"But then they slowly and surely rebuilt what we blew up."

The Eagles initially thought they had the early Kansas City momentum turned when corner Sheldon Brown fooled the Chiefs into running a route against a Cover-2 defense that was really something else. Green read the coverage one way, receiver Eddie Kennison read it another and Brown returned the subsequent interception 40 yards to put the Eagles on the board.

Kansas City immediately negated that score, however, when Hall returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for his NFL record-tying sixth kickoff return touchdown. The Arrowhead crowd was roaring with a 24-6 second-quarter lead, and the Eagles' momentum surge appeared to have been blunted.

"We'd been talking on the sidelines about how special teams had to get the momentum on our side, and that's what we did," Hall noted. "It's very disappointing that they got it back again. Donovan and T.O. and all of them had a great second half, but if we don't shoot ourselves in the foot with all the turnovers, they don't win."

With Donovan McNabb throwing at will for 240 of his 369 yards in the second half, and Terrell Owens adding 99 of his 171 receiving yards then, the Eagles scored on six of their last seven possessions against a completely ineffective KC defense to take a 37-24 lead. A fumble by running back Larry Johnson at midfield and Hall at the Chiefs 25 set up 14 easy points to go along with Brown's defensive touchdown.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, managed only 62 yards total offense before their too-late 75-yard drive produced Hall's second TD, a 15-yard reception, with 1:58 remaining.

Green, his pass protection leaky for a second straight game, was hurried and hassled most of the second half. Needing all the pass protection they could find, the Chiefs used Gonzalez more to hold off the Eagles' pass rush than to run passing routes. KC's top receiver from 2004 finished with only two catches for five yards.

It was hardly the way the Chiefs wanted to go into a bye week before their Oct. 16 home game with Washington.

Reeling with a No. 27 ranking in total yards and No. 29 in passing yards, their supposedly improved defense now has given up 67 points in back-to-back losses after yielding only 24 in two previous wins.

They can't be happy about the prospect of spending the next two weeks hearing of how the good old days of the bad old Chiefs defense are back.

CHIEFS NOTES: Gonzalez the Blocker?
Tight End Tony Gonzalez, who spent more time trying to hold off the Eagles pass rush than in trying to catch passes, was openly distressed at having only three balls thrown his way. He dropped one and caught two for a total of 5 yards -- his worst game since a 1-6 effort against Julian Peterson mugged him all over the field in a game with San Francisco in 2002.

Asked afterward what the Philly defense did to hold him down, Gonzalez scoffed as he tried to hold back his feelings.

"The defense didn't do anything," he began before adding quickly, "I'm not going to go there."

Clearly, Gonzalez is unhappy with being held to just 16 receptions in four games with a TD pass.

"I didn't go downfield at all," he complained. "I haven't even sniffed the end zone this year. I'm not going to lie to you. I'm really frustrated."

Kansas City actually generated some pass rush against McNabb, but the ailing quarterback still found ways to stay on his feet, either in the pocket or scrambling out of it. By staying upright, he secured time for his receivers to find available holes in KC's still-porous zone defenses.

"It's tough for a (defensive back) when you see the pocket collapse and you think you're done, but then he scrambles out and makes a play," said Chiefs safety Sammy Knight. "You try to plaster a guy and make plays, but a lot of times we couldn't."

"He was running around and making plays like the McNabb we've always seen," added Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Surtain. "I knew coming into the game that we couldn't rely on that injury thing. He's a helluva athlete, and he showed it today. When he gets moving around in the pocket, it's like basketball out there. You just try to find a man and cover him."

Kansas City's failure to hold an 18-point lead was its biggest collapse since the final game of the 1999 season. Needing to win to make the playoffs, KC lead Oakland 17-0 at Arrowhead before finally losing 41-38 in overtime. The Chiefs finished 9-7 that season and missed the playoffs.

"You can see why they went to the Super Bowl. We started fast on them, but those guys hung around and hung around and found a way to win. It really shows the character of their team in how they didn't give up when they were down. That's what champions do." -- Chiefs defensive tackle Lional Dalton on the Eagles comeback from deficits of 17-0 and 24-6.

PLAYER NOTES
LT Willie Roaf missed a third straight game against Philadelphia with his hamstring injury from the season opener, and once again Kansas City's leaky pass protection reflected his absence. The Chiefs think Roaf will be available for their next start, Oct. 16 against Washington, after taking another week off during the bye.

QB Trent Green struggled in a mid- to late-game slump when he completed only 5-of-14 passes for 42 yards with two interceptions. KC had six scoreless possessions during that time.

KR Dante Hall's 94-yard kickoff return that gave KC a 24-6 second-quarter lead was the sixth of his career and ties him with four others for the NFL career record for kickoff returns. Hall now has 10 kickoff or punt returns, third-most in league history.

RB Priest Holmes had 11 runs for 60 yards on Kansas City's first two drives when it built a 10-0 lead. From that point on, though, Holmes had only seven carries for 24 yards.

RB Larry Johnson lost a fumble for a second straight game against the Eagles, and both of his turnovers set up touchdowns for the opposition. Johnson fumbled at the Denver 12 last week and at midfield against Philadelphia. The Eagles drove 80 yards after his fumble for the first of their 31 straight points while starting their comeback down 24-6.

WR Eddie Kennison had his second straight 100-yard game with a 7-109, 1 TD effort in the 37-31 loss to the Eagles. The TD catch was his first of the year.

REPORT CARD vs. EAGLES
PASSING OFFENSE: D -- Trent Green's final numbers were almost acceptable -- 19-of-30 for 221 yards with two TD's and two picks -- but the first interception was returned for a TD that put Philly on the board at 17-6. The numbers were skewed, too, by a 75-yard TD drive in the final minutes when the Chiefs were down 37-24 and the Eagles were playing soft. Eddie Kennison had a solid 7-109 day with a first-half touchdown, but he had only two catches in the second half when the Eagles' different blitzes and zone coverages kept the Chiefs off balance and off the scoreboard until the final 1:58.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus -- Priest Holmes started strong with 60 yards on his first 11 carries, but then he fell off just as the rest of the KC offense did. His final 18-84 numbers with a touchdown still produced a solid 4.7-yard average, and KC's total rushing numbers were aided by a 23-yard Kennison run. But Larry's Johnson's fumble on his fourth carry set up Philly's 50-yard touchdown drive for the first of 31 straight points.

PASS DEFENSE: D -- The Chiefs thought they could get to an ailing Donovan McNabb. They didn't. Oh, they hurried him some, even got a hand or two on him at various times. But they couldn't put him on the ground, and so McNabb had time to complete 33-of-48 passes for 369 yards -- his third straight 300-yard game -- and three TD's against one Dexter McCleon pick. Terrell Owens ran at will through the secondary for 11 catches and 171 yards with a TD, and L.J. Smith worked open from his tight end spot for 67 yards and a TD on nine catches.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- KC went into this game intending to limit Brian Westbrook after he totaled 205 yards from scrimmage in last week's win over Oakland. The Chiefs did a good job in limiting Westbrook to a mere 15 yards on nine rushes and another 33 yards on six catches. Of course, they leaked oil every else on defense, but at least they limited Westbrook.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A-minus -- Dante Hall's 94-yard kickoff return should have put the dagger in the Eagles' hearts when it made the score 24-6 in the second quarter. Unfortunately, his fumble at the 25 after a kickoff return with 11 1/2 minutes remaining set up the eventual winning touchdown. Rookie punter Dustin Colquitt had a solid 48-yard average with a 42.5 net on four punts, one of them a career-long 62 yarder.

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