Allen Shows the Way for the Chiefs

Looks like the Kansas City Chiefs may have found their spark plug. In a game that the Chiefs needed to win to keep pace in the AFC West, defensive end Jared Allen stepped up and led the defense in a 28-21 win over the Washington Redskins. The free spirited player's dynamic performance rubbed off on the entire Chiefs team, inspiring them to not to give up even when the Redskins made some back breaking plays.

Sometimes, all it takes is one guy.

Allen, easily the goofiest character of the Chiefs, was all over the field, terrorizing Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell. He sacked the quarterback three times. He forced two fumbles. He beat double teams. Even on a day that saw the Redskins gained almost 400 yards, Allen left his stamp on a game the Chiefs sorely needed to stay within a game of the red hot Broncos.

Let's be honest. The Chiefs defense hadn't looked very good the two games before the bye week. They couldn't rush the passer. They weren't getting turnovers. It seemed they couldn't stop anyone when it mattered, even when spotted an 18 point lead against the Eagles two weeks ago. The Chiefs needed someone, anyone to step up and be a catalyst not only on the defensive side of the ball, but for the team over all. On Sunday against the Redskins Jared Allen did just that.

Jared Allen played a great game for us," said safety Sammy Knight. "He was all over the field making plays."

The Chiefs expected big things from Allen this season. After pacing the team with nine sacks in his rookie campaign, the Chiefs felt Allen could be a key part of the reborn Kansas City Chiefs defense. After being relatively quiet the first three games, Allen broke out with a bang on Sunday in front of an appreciative Arrowhead crowd.

"That's an effort, right there," said defensive end Eric Hicks. "That's a definite AFC Player of the week nod in my opinion. If he doesn't get it, then he got robbed, that's my opinion. He shut them down when we needed to and what else can you say about him? He's a player on the rise and I guess you could say he arrived today."

Hopefully, this effort can be the start of a change defensively. At times, the entire Chiefs defense looked very good. The Chiefs held one of the league's best teams on third down to a 33% conversion rate. The Chiefs defense got the Redskins off the field when it counted, particularly on the Redskins last drive, where the boys from Washington within a Sammy Knight tipped passed on tying the game at the end.

After the game, looking particularly suave in a Miami Vice style cream-colored suit and the obligatory salmon pastel shirt, Allen was a mixture of excitement and disbelief. "I don't think I have ever caused all three turnovers in a game and got two of them," Allen gushed. "This was awesome! But what makes it better is that we won."

That's a good word for Allen's performance - awesome. Mark Brunell agrees.

Good player," Brunell said. "He just had a big day. You've got to give him a lot of credit. Very good athlete, very good football player."

For Allen and his defensive mates, they now take their show on the road. With four of their next five games away from the home crowd, Allen will need to keep the momentum going after their 28-21 victory over the Washington Redskins.

We know two things going into the Dolphins game next Sunday. Allen will steam roll into Miami with both the momentum and the wardrobe that would make even Sonny Crockett stand up and applaud with appreciation.

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