Impressive Road Win on Short Notice for KC
As a unit the Chiefs offensive line was a site for sore eyes, putting on their most dominant performance since the first half of their season opener against the Jets. Their ability to control the line of scrimmage was the main reason for a Chiefs victory as Kansas City ran the ball at will and monopolized the time of possession with 41 minutes.
Personnel wise left tackle Willie Roaf and guard Brian Waters appeared to be back on the same page while Will Shields turned in his best performance of the season to date. The other two positions on the offensive line were however the most impressive of the night as Center Casey Wiegmann had a fantastic game against nose tackle Keith Traylor and right tackles Jordan Black and John Welbourn did a fine job containing defensive end Kevin Carter. The 330lb Traylor has usually matched up well against Wiegmann over his career but on Friday night it was the smaller and quicker Wiegmann that consistently came out as the winner in their battle. End Kevin Carter was also particularly worrisome because the right side of the line had recently struggled against Javon Kearse and Trevor Pryce. Carter ended up being a non-factor as the right tackle position looked as solid as it's been in two years.
Running backs Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson Holmes were the main benefactors of the remarkable play by the offensive line. Holmes finished the game with 90 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 18 carries while Johnson finished with 93 yards rushing and one touchdown on 23 carries. Both backs had an impressive outing but Priest Holmes stole the show with a 35 yard touchdown run in the early in the third quarter. Holmes started his run on the left side running between Willie Roaf and Brian Waters. Holmes then took advantage of the over pursuit of the defense and cut it back up the right side of the field. In fact the run was strikingly similar to his long touchdown a week earlier on the screen pass.
It would be a travesty to omit Tony Richardson's name from Friday nights accolades as he made numerous key blocks in the running game to allow big plays. He spent the entire evening blowing linebackers and safeties out of running lanes and on several occasions he was even taking out defensive linemen. If this game had been nationally televised Richardson would have just blocked his way to the Pro-bowl.
Trent Green performed very well against the Dolphins and did exceptionally well on third downs. Although his 50 yard pass to receiver Chris Horn will likely make the highlight films his 24 yard pass to Jason Dunn in their first possession in the third quarter was his most impressive throw of the night. On that particular play Green rolls out to his right and is pressured by Kevin Carter. Green looks down field and slightly throws across his body to send a bullet to Jason Dunn on a post route. This play set up Priest Holmes second touchdown run of the day which answered a Dolphins 65 yard touchdown run by Ronnie Brown.
Receivers and Tight Ends
The Chiefs receivers were the one dull spot of the evening other than Dante Hall and Chris Horn. The Chiefs wide outs looked rather pedestrian against a depleted and suspect Dolphins secondary. Their inability to fully exploit this weakness in the Miami defense should create some cause for concern.
Marc Boerigter had the chance to cement himself in to the starting line up as the third receiver but likely failed to do so with a hot and cold game. In the second quarter he single handedly killed a drive on back to back plays. He first committed a holding penalty on second down that negated a five yard run by Priest Holmes and then on the very next play he dropped a pass that would have converted a first down. Fortunately he made a nice catch down the sideline to set up a Larry Johnson touchdown on the Chiefs next possession but he'll have to be more consistent if he wants to dress every week.
Tony Gonzalez and Jason Dunn finally got involved in the offensive game plan this week. The tight end duo combined for 109 yards on nine catches. As the offensive line improves these two will have more opportunities to make plays down the field.
Defensive Front Seven
The defensive front seven had an excellent game it was their best game of the season so far. The defensive line and the linebackers are playing so well together it is almost difficult to separate them in two different units. As with all of Gunther Cunningham's defenses of the 1990's, the two groups are starting to blend together to form a wave of pressure and penetration into opposing backfields and that's the best sign of all that this defense is maturing.
The defensive line wreaked havoc on Miami's offensive line for the entire night. Even though the Chiefs only produced two sacks they were in Gus Frerotte's face on every snap. Their ability to apply pressure played a major factor in Frerotte going 11 for 29 for 125 yards.
As far as the linebackers are concerned Middle linebacker Kawika Mitchell had a strong night as he lead the team with five solo tackles and a pass deflection that resulted in a Greg Wesley interception. Derrick Johnson and Kendrell Bell also played well even though they didn't register a large amount of tackles. In this defense if a linebacker fills his gap and forces the ball carrier towards another tackler he has done his job. In many instances this season you are seeing the linebackers do just that.
Cornerback Patrick Surtain had an unbelievable game that showcased the type of physical presence that you rarely see from a corner. He made three amazing stops in the running game and had two equally impressive plays in the passing game in crucial goal line situations against Chris Chambers.
Eric Warfield returned to the starting lineup and had a fairly quiet game playing opposite of Patrick Surtain. Warfield did happen to stand out on two plays however and both ended up being long touchdown scores.
The first play involving Warfield was the 65 yard touchdown run by Ronnie Brown. The play was initially set up by a bad inside angle taken by Jared Allen and then a missed tackle by safety Greg Wesley. At that point however Eric Warfield is in perfect position to make the tackle if he isn't being blatantly held by Dolphins receiver Marty Booker. Booker's hold not only stifles Warfield but it cuts off Kendrell Bell as well.
The second play Warfield was involved in was a deep pass down the middle of the field from Sage Rosenfels to Chris Chambers that resulted in a 77 yard touchdown. Warfield and Surtain converged on Chambers at the same time and inadvertently knocked one another out of the play.
The Chiefs special teams units had a huge night as well. Dante Hall had one big return on the Chiefs first possession in the second half that gave the Chiefs a short field that resulted in Priest Holmes second touchdown.
Punter Dustin Colquitt boomed a 56 yard punt to the Miami 10 yard line on Kansas City's first punt and then followed that up with a perfectly placed 44 yard punt later in the first quarter that was downed on the Dolphins one yard line by William Bartee.
Kicker Lawrence Tynes had the game of his career kicking three field goals from 33, 51, and 52 yards out.
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