Green and Company Do Just Enough in Victory

On a day when tight end Tony Gonzalez only caught two passes and wide receiver Eddie Kennison didn't catch a single pass. The teams number two receiver, Sammy Parker left the game with an injury and did not return. The numbers leader was not a receiver but the star running back Priest Holmes.

It wasn't his best performance but Quarterback Trent Green did have a passer rating of 95.65 and in school we'd give that a resounding ‘A'. But this is the NFL and Green for his part led and willed his team to victory. He used the turnovers created by the defense, his arm and his legs to lead Kansas City to a 28-21 victory over the Washington Redskins. Well one thing is certain if you're a Chiefs fan; we can no longer use the excuse that the offense struggled through the first four games because of the absence of left tackle Willie Roaf. On Sunday the Chiefs offense resembled that of the Kansas Jayhawks who shot blanks the night before at Arrowhead Stadium against the Oklahoma Sooners.

At other times, they looked unbeatable. But it was the time in between that had to be a concern for Head Coach Dick Vermeil and his offensive staff. This team is still searching for its offensive rhythm. On Sunday they found some but they also know the search for the leagues number one offense for three years running is still AWOL.

Running back Priest Holmes showed flashes of that big play ability that had been missing in recent weeks. He scored a pair of touchdowns one through the air off a nifty 60-yard screen pass. On that particular play, Holmes darted out of the backfield to the left side of the line, then he cutback across the field outrunning the entire Redskins defense to the goal line.

The other was a more conventional score as he took a pitch from Green for a six-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter. Though Holmes didn't run for many yards on the day totaling only 18 yards on 14 carries, the Redskins he did the best he could do as the Redskins defense keyed on him all game long. Numerous times Washington defenders shot through the gaps of the Chiefs interior line to ransack Holmes in the backfield for on several occasions.

The passing game outside of the run and catch by Holmes didn't really produce very much pizzazz. Trent Green only completed 15 of 25 passes for 181 yards on a day when he tried in vein to get the ball to the teams two leading receivers.

The Redskins without cornerback Shawn Springs relied heavily on rookie cornerback Carlos Rogers who played solid man coverage on Kennison all day long. Safety Sean Taylor and linebacker Marcus Robinson did an even better job containing tight end Tony Gonzalez.

Knowing that, the Chiefs to their credit used their opening drive of the game by using a no-huddle offense. It was effective as the team came out trying to find Gonzalez as their first option. But after the first drive ended in a field goal, the team was held to only six points at halftime, Kansas City came out in the second half and was more efficient on offense.

But in the teams first drive of the second half, Green made the play of the game that gave the Chiefs offense just the kick start it needed to end their doldrums. On the first possession of the second half with Green facing a third and nine, he tucked the ball under his gut and ran for an eleven yard gain that seemed to spark the offense.

That single play changed the course of the offense for the rest of the game. That play was the catalyst that led to the first touchdown of the game and though they struggled at times in the second half; Kansas City was at least heading in the right direction as they found some offensive synergy.

After the Redskins tied the game at 21-21, Green and the offense went back to work with a renewed confidence. They used the run to set up Holmes 60-yard touchdown pass that gave them a lead that they'd never relinquish the rest of the game.

For the game, Green was up and down. In the first quarter he was high with several passes. He so wanted to find Tony Gonzalez that he looked at him far too often. He nearly threw an interception in the end zone trying to force a ball to his All-Pro tight end on the teams initial drive. But eventually he settled down.

Back-up running back Larry Johnson had a solid game leading the team in rushing with 53 yards on 13 carries. The positive for Johnson was the fact he held onto the ball. Over the last two games he fumbled in the teams back to back losses at Denver and at home against Philadelphia.

Tackle Willie Roaf was back on the field but he was torched a couple of times and struggled some in pass protection. That was to be expected considering that he has not played a game since the season opener against the New York Jets back on September 11th.

Now I'm not going to say this offense is healed because it has a long way to go to get back to the force its been the last three years. If that happens and the defense can play with the passion and play making style they showed on Sunday, then the Chiefs might end up playing some of their best football down the stretch. And that would be a switch from years past.

Sunday was a game for this team to build on and they'll have to play better than they did on Sunday considering they'll play four of their next five games on the road. That above anything else makes their 28-21 victory over the Washington Redskins even more important.

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