Kansas City Shows Their Offensive Swagger

Now that's more like it. On a night when Larry Johnson set a new single game rushing record and quarterback Trent Green found the end zone three times, the Kansas City Chiefs offense had their most productive game of the season after ripping the Houston Texans 45-17.

After the teams lackluster performance last Sunday in Buffalo, where the offense sputtered drive after drive, the Kansas City Chiefs finally put together four quarters of consistent offense. They managed to put up 38 points offensively. The other seven points were scored by the defense when Eric Warfield intercepted a David Carr pass and returned it 57-yards at the end of the second quarter.

But this night belonged to running back Larry Johnson. He carried the ball 36 times for 211 yards rushing. That broke the Chiefs single game rushing mark set by Barry Word back in 1990. Johnson was in a zone on Sunday night. He took a lot of criticism after the Bills game for a variety of things but he was a man against the Houston Texans.

After his record setting night, Johnson left little doubt that he's the engine that drives the Chiefs offense. With him running the ball as effective as he did against the Texans, this coaching staff has no more excuses but to keep feeding him the ball.

The most impressive aspect of his performance on Sunday night was the way he waited on his blockers. He showed far more patience against the Texans than he did last Sunday in Buffalo. That's why he was so effective rushing the ball against Houston. Larry Johnson is the heartbeat of this offense right now and he knows it. There is little doubt he has All-Pro talent and there is even less doubt that he lacks the confidence to carry this offense the rest of the season. It's obvious that Johnson is becoming one of the best running backs in the NFL.

But he wasn't the only star on offense against the Texans. Trent Green threw three touchdowns, a pair of them to Eddie Kennison and the other to Samie Parker. He completed 19 of 29 passes for 220 yards. He did have one interception but it wasn't his fault. Green threw a perfect strike to Kennison but it bounced off his shoulder pads and in the waiting arms of Texans cornerback Lewis Sanders.

But for the first time in two games, Green finally had some time to throw the ball. He hit seven different receivers including tight end Tony Gonzalez who led the way with nine catches for 98 yards. In fact it was a record setting night for Gonzalez. On the night Gonzalez caught his 50th pass of the season for the eight consecutive seasons, which set an NFL record for tight ends.

Another positive aspect of this game was the fact the wide receivers played a pivotal role in the productivity of the offense. Kennison caught two touchdowns and Samie Parker showed some grit in making a couple of big catches. One of them was a key first down catch in the first half and the other was perfect fade pattern in the end zone late in the fourth quarter. If Parker can start making plays for this offense, then defenses will be forced to shift some of their attention to his side of the field. After all Parker is the teams only true speed receiver and if he can stretch defenses just enough, this offense could return to its old form.

But the stars of the evening were the five men on the offensive line. Tackles Jordan Black and John Welbourn played their best games as members of the Kansas City Chiefs. Welbourn for the most part was left alone to fight his battles at right tackle while Black had some help from tight end Jason Dunn. Regardless of the assistance, much of the Chiefs success running the ball in the first half was to Black's side of the field.

With Willie Roaf expected to be out another week, the play of Black and Welbourn should do wonders for the confidence of this offensive line. But they weren't alone; the middle three were just as solid. In fact this might have been Will Shields best game of the season. He along with fellow guard Brian Waters and center Casey Wiegmann manhandled the Texans defensive line the entire game.

But the key in this game was the offensive lines ability to protect quarterback Trent Green. The Texans went into the game thinking they could rush only four defenders but that backfired. When that didn't work, they blitzed their linebackers and safeties but all that did was open up the middle of the field for Green.

This was a very important win for the Chiefs. Kansas City moves to 6-4 on the season and will face a New England team that has won two straight games. Granted the Patriots are not the same team that won three out of the last four Super Bowls. But they are leading the AFC East and they know how to win at Arrowhead stadium. In fact the Chiefs have never beaten the Patriots in the Bill Belichick era.

If the Chiefs can change that streak, they could slide back into contention for a wild card spot.

WarpaintIllustrated.com Top Stories