Chiefs Level Texans 45-17

The Kansas City Chiefs entered this contest with a must win mentality. They served notice to the rest of the National Football League that their once maligned offense was back on track. Behind the legs of Larry Johnson and the arm of Trent Green, the Chiefs walloped the Houston Texans 45-17.

The Houston Texans wanted to make a statement in this game with a strong opening drive. That was at least the plan going into the contest but isntead they went three and out. The goal by Texans quarterback David Carr was to pick on Chiefs cornerback Eric Warfield. That strategy would prove fatal later in the game.

For the Chiefs offense they also wante to get off to a fast start. But unlike the Texans offense, the Chiefs offense was able to put up ten straight points. On their first drive of the game, Chiefs quarterback Trent Green found tight end Tony Gonzalez for a pair of passes and a couple of runs later by Larry Johnson put the Chiefs inside the Texans 20-yard line. But their initial drive stalled and kicker Lawrence Tynes came in and nailed a 35-yard field goal giving the Chiefs a 3-0 lead.

After the Chiefs defense held the Texans again, the offense was ready to get back into the end zone. Larry Johnson started the drive by catching a short six yard pass from Green. Then nine plays later, Johnson broke four tackles and scampered 23 yards for his first touchdown of the game. That gave the Chiefs a 10-0 lead with 4:28 left in the first quarter.

However, that lead would not last very long as they gave it right back to the Texans on the ensuing kick-off. Houston return man Jerome Mathis gave the Texans new life when he returned the kick-off 99 yards for his second touchdown return of the season. On the runback, Mathis broke the initial wave, cutback across the field and then outran Tynes and that seemed to bring life to the Texans home crowd. However Houston trailed the Chiefs 10-7 and that would be the closest they'd get to the Chiefs the rest of the night.

In the second quarter, the Chiefs failed to convert a long third down and were forced to punt the ball back to the Texans. Dustin Colquitt pinned Houston inside the ten yard line and the Chiefs defense held once again did their job as Houston could not convert a first down.

Feeding off its defense the offense took charge. On the opening play of the drive, Green found tight end Tony Gonzalez for his fifth reception of the night. That gave him 50 catches on the season and that meant Gonzalez became the first tight end in NFL history to catch 50 passes in eight consecutive seasons.

After an 11-yard run by Larry Johnson and a 17-yard pass to wide receiver Samie Parker, Trent Green hit pay dirt. With Houston expecting another run by Johnson, Green found Eddie Kennison on a crossing pattern that resulted in a 26-yard touchdown run and catch. That gave the Chiefs a ten point lead at 17-7. On the touchdown pass, Kennison broke three tackles after catching the ball near the five yard line then split a pair of Texans defenders on his way to the end zone.

That touchdown fueled the defense and they wanted to get it on the action. On a short third and three the Texans ran a reverse as Carr handed the ball off to wide receiver Andre Johnson. After getting the first down, Chiefs safety Greg Wesley nailed Johnson in the gut and the ball fell to the ground. Cornerback Eric Warfield scooped up the loose ball at the Texans 43-yard line and offense went right back to work.

Taking advantage of great field position Trent Green engineered another touchdown drive. After a short gainer to Gonzalez and a run by Johnson, Green hit back up tight end Kris Wilson for a 16-yard pass that set up a first down at the Texans 14 yard line.

On the next play, Gonzalez was wide open at the goal line but the pass was off the mark. However, cornerback Phillip Buchanan was flagged for a pass interference penalty. On the pass, he pushed Gonzalez preventing him from getting to the ball. That set up a first and goal for the Chiefs. On the next play Larry Johnson ran behind a Gonzalez block and scored his second touchdown of the game. That gave the Chiefs a 24-7 lead with 6:25 left in the first half.

But the game was far from over as the Texans showed some resolve on their next drive. But after moving the ball down to the Chiefs 35-yard line, Kansas City's defense forced the Texans to attempt a long field goal by place kicker Kris Brown. However any momentum gained in the drivve was as Texans holder Chad Stanley could not handle the snap and the Chiefs recovered the ball at their 43-yard line.

Green tried to move the offense but penalties derailed their attempts to score off the turnover. But just when you thought the half would end with no excitement the Chiefs defense stepped up with another turnover.

After David Carr engineered a pair of first downs putting the ball into Chiefs territory, cornerback Eric Warfield cut in front of Texans receiver Corey Bradford and ran the abll back 57-yards for his first defensive touchdown of the season. That play gave the Chiefs a 31-7 halftime lead.

In the first half, Larry Johnson became the first NFL running back this season to gain 100 yards in back to back games before halftime. Tony Gonzalez led the Chiefs in receptions with seven catches for 83 yards. More importantly the offense didn't turn the ball over like they did a week ago in Buffalo.

In the second half the Chiefs had the ball firs but Kansas City turned the ball over to the Texans. Green threw a picture perfect pass to Kennison but the ball bounced off his shoulder and into the waiting arms of cornerback Lewis Sanders who returned it 29 yards down to the Chiefs 37-yard line.

After Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson nearly picked off a Carr pass; the Texans gambled on fourth down and converted a short pass placing the ball at the 3-yard line. On the very next play, Texans running back Dominick Davis scored a touchdown for only the second time this season. That shrunk the Chiefs lead to 31-14 with 8:54 remaining in the third quarter.

It was up to the offense to take some time off the clock and thwart the Texans momentum but they couldn't get it done and the Chiefs were once again forced to punt. They did it this time with a new deep snapper as defensive end Jared Allen handled the duties filling in for starter Kendall Gammons who left the game with a knee sprain. The snap was perfect and the Texans took over deep into their territory.

This time Carr with little pressure was able in the pocket was able to convert a handful of first downs moving the ball down to the Chiefs 3-yard line. But the defense stiffened as Davis was stopped for a short gain and then Carr misfired on two pass attempts to Jabar Gaffney. On consecutive passing plays, cornerback Benny Sapp stripped the ball from the former Florida University standout. That forced the Texans to settle for a short 22-yard field goal trimming the Chiefs lead to 31-17 with just :42 seconds left in the third quarter.

On the ensuing kick-off Dante Hall made a nifty return but fumbled the ball near midfield. Thankfully for the Chiefs back up tackle Chris Bober fell on the loose ball and Kansas City retained possession.

With the lead and the clock on their side, the Chiefs kept it simple. Larry Johnson ran the ball five consecutive plays producing two first downs before going to the pass.

Green threw a 16-yard pass to Tony Gonzalez and then Johnson ran twice setting up a forth and inches. Kansas City went for it as Johnson ran up the middle for a short two yard run. That set up a first down at the Texans 11- yard line. After an incomplete pass and another short run by Johnson, Green threw his second touchdown of the night to Eddie Kennison. This time from seven yards out. That gave the Chiefs a 38-17 lead with 8:38 left in the fourth quarter.

With the crowd running for the exits, the Texans tried to get another first down. That proved very difficult for the young Texans offense. Facing a critical fourth and one Greg Wesley shot through the backfield and tackled Houston fullback Jonathan Wells for a three yard loss.

That put the ball back in the hands of the Chiefs offense deep in Texans territory. Behind the legs of Larry Johnson and back up running back Dee Brown, the short drive ended when Green threw a five yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Samie Parker. That gave the Chiefs a 45-17 lead with just 4:35 left in the fourth quarter and that sealed the win for Kansas City.

The only question left in this game was if running back Larry Johnson would get 200 yards rushing. To this point, Johnson had 194 yards rushing. After the Texans went four and out on their next offensive series, LJ went back in the game. Two runs later he did the trick ripping off a 15-yard gain. That gave him 211 yards rushing on the nigh and that set a new Chiefs team single game rushing recrod. Johnson broke the mark set by Barry Word back in 1990 when he rushed for 200 yards against the Detroit Lions.

The Chiefs ran out the clock and secured their sixth win of the season. Next Sunday afternoon Kansas City will host the 6-4 New England Patriots. Top Stories