The Kansas City Chiefs new they'd have to score early to take some of the sting out of the early start. Despite their travel wearied bodies, the offense did just that on the games opening drive. Kansas City drove 80-yards in just eight plays taking a 7-0 lead. The biggest play in the drive was a 50-yard pass from quarterback Trent Green to back-up wide receiver Chris Horn.
On the drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown run by Priest Holmes, the Chiefs converted a pair of big third down conversions. It was an impressive drive to say the least and it set the tone for things to come. Taking the charge from the offense the defense came out and forced the Dolphins offense to punt the ball after they only gained just four yards on three consecutive plays.
After both defenses held, the Chiefs offense went back to work in the waning seconds of the first quarter. Taking his shift with the offense running back Larry Johnson went to work. He carried the ball three times as Kansas City moved into Dolphins territory.
However the Chiefs drive stalled after Green was flagged for intentional grounding. Punter Dustin Colquitt then pinned the Dolphins on the 1-yard line with a picture perfect punt that was downed by safety William Bartee. But that field position was wasted by the Chiefs defense when linebacker Kendrell Bell was flagged for lining up off sides. The Dolphins quickly moved the ball out of the shadow of the end zone as quarterback Gus Frerotte hit running back Ronnie Brown for a nifty 12-yard gain.
As the second quarter began, the Chiefs defense held strong and forced the Dolphins to punt for the third time in the game. But the Kansas City offense continued to putter down the field and was unable to get first downs. Eventually the game shifted and the Dolphins tried to convert a 47-yard punt return by Wes Walker. His return set up a first and goal at the ten-yard line. But after a holding penalty put the ball back at the 20-yard line, Frerotte missed a wide open Marty Booker who beat Eric Warfield to the corner of the end zone. On the play the Chiefs sent the house and the pass fell to the ground.
That set up a 30-yard field goal by Dolphins kicker Olinda Mare that made the score 7-3 Chiefs.
It was time for the Chiefs offense to get back to work. Johnson carried the ball for a pair of successful runs before Green hit Dante Hall for a 17-yard gain that moved the ball into Dolphins territory. With Miami losing a pair of safeties Sam Madison and Lance Schulters, the Chiefs kept running the ball. That was until Green found Marc Boerigter for a 29-yard gain that put the ball at the Dolphins 4-yard line.
Two plays later, Larry Johnson dashed across the goal line from two-yards out giving Kansas City a 14-3 lead. On the drive the Chiefs used up 5:26 on the clock in their 80-yard, 10-play drive that gave the offense some confidence.
But the Chiefs let the Dolphins back in the game. Facing a third and seven deep in their territory, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham chose to employ his prevent defense and Frerotte hit a wide open Wes Walker for a 34-yard gain. That gave the Dolphins momentum and eventually landed them with a first and goal from the 5-yard line with .23 seconds left in the second quarter.
After three incomplete passes by Frerotte, the Dolphins had to settle for their second field goal of the night as Mare hit a 23-yarder making the score 14-6 at halftime.
But on the opening play of the second half, Ronnie Brown turned the corner and ran 65-yards into the end zone. On the defensive end Jared Allen was sucked in and safety Greg Wesley tried to knock him down instead of tackling the Dolphins runner and he burst down the sideline making the score 14-13. Counting the first half, the Chiefs allowed ten points on two straight plays.
But Kansas City came roaring back after a Dante Hall return put the ball at their own 41-yard line. Green hit tight end Jason Dunn for a 24-yard catch. Then Priest Holmes hit the gap and cut back against the grain and went untouched into the end zone from 35-yards out. That put Kansas City back on top 21-31 with 13:59 left in the third quarter.
On the next series the Dolphins faced a third and seven, Frerotte tried to hit Walker again over the middle but safety Greg Wesley nailed the Dolphins receiver and Miami punted the ball back to Kansas City.
After Kansas City made an initial first down; Green hit Gonzalez for an 18-yard gain that put the ball at midfield. But after a pair of failed rushing attempts by Holmes, Kansas City faced a third and nine. This time Green hit Eddie Kennison for another 18-yard gain that put the ball at the Dolphins 32-yard line.
But like the last series Holmes could not gain a yard in two rushing attempts, Green found Dante Hall for a 12-yard gain giving the Chiefs a first down at the 19-yard line. After a pair of runs by Holmes, Kansas City faced a third and one from the ten yard line but Jason Taylor knowing the Chiefs would run behind Willie Roaf stuffed Holmes for a two yard loss. That forced the Chiefs to try a 30-yard field goal. Kicker Lawrence Tynes drilled the ball through the uprights and Kansas City extended their lead to 24-13 with 3:37 left in the third quarter.
The Dolphins took possession of the ball and nearly handed the ball back to the Chiefs at their 20-yard line. Linebacker Kendrell Bell coming on a blitz knocked the ball out of Gus Frerotte but defensive end Carlos Hall tried to run with the loose ball instead of falling on it and Kansas City missed a golden opportunity. Still the defense held and was forced to punt the ball back to the Chiefs.
Kansas City went back to work using the legs of Larry Johnson who ripped off a pair of runs and Dunn caught his second pass of the night for his second 18-yard gain of the night. Two plays later Green hit Gonzalez for 11-yard gain and the Chiefs were once again in Dolphins territory as the third quarter came to an end.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Green over threw Tony Gonzalez on a go route. Larry Johnson lost five yards on the next play giving the Chiefs a third and sixteen at the Dolphins 40-yard line. But the Chiefs failed to get a first down but Lawrence Tynes hit a career high 51-yard field goal that put Kansas City up 27-13 with 13:30 left in the fourth quarter.
Sensing some frustration the Dolphins tried a long pass from Frerotte to Chris Chambers on a third and one but Chiefs safety Greg Wesley was able to prevent the pass from being completed. That forced another punt and Kansas City went back to work leading by 14 points.
The Chiefs after a 26-yard screen pass to Larry Johnson were faced with a third and seven from the Dolphins 34-yard line. But Green failed to hit Gonzalez over the middle and that set up another long field goal attempt by Tynes. This time, he beat his career high that he set minutes earlier by nailing a 52-yard field goal that put Kansas City up 30-13 with 10:41 left in the game.
Frerotte went back to work but on Frerotte's first pass attempt of the drive the ball was tipped by linebacker Kawika Mitchell and then intercepted by Greg Wesley. That put the ball into the Dolphins territory but on the play Wesley was penalized 15 yards and that put the ball at midfield.
Kansas City was unable to get a first down and punter Dustin Colquitt pinned the Dolphins back at their 18-yard line. After defensive end Eric Hicks sacked Frerotte for a six yard loss, Chambers caught an 11-yard pass that forced them into another third down situation. Flushed out of the pocket Frerotte nearly through the ball right into the hands of former Dolphin Patrick Surtain but he was unable to hold onto it as Miami punted for the eighth time in the game.
The Dolphins did get back into the end zone when back up quarterback Sage Rosenfels hit Miami wide receiver Chris Chambers for a 77-yard touchdown pass with just over two minutes left in the game.
Kansas City ran out the clock and the Chiefs move to 4-2 on the season. The Dolphins fell to 2-4. Next week Kansas City will travel to San Diego to face the Chargers in their final AFC West road contest of the season.
Chiefs Knock Out Dolphins 30-20
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