Chiefs Wide Receivers Come Up Big

In the biggest game of the season, the Kansas City Chiefs got big production on offense from the least mentioned facet of their offense, the wide receivers. Kansas City attacked the Denver Broncos' vulnerable secondary to the tune of 253 passing yards, 205 of which went the wide receivers.

Of course, statistically, that's not a huge number. It was the timeliness of several big passing plays and the way the Chiefs attacked the perimeter that stands out. Even with a Pro Bowl talent such as defensive back Champ Bailey, the Chiefs went after the Broncos defensive backs in a defense ranked first against run, but only 28th against the pass.

All season long, the Broncos have been great at keeping teams from establishing a rhythm in the running game. In order to be able to pound in the second half, the Chiefs had to put the Broncos on their heels early, with timely shots in the passing game.

"We talked a lot about the run setting up the pass," quarterback Trent Green said, "and I think our effectiveness throwing the ball in the first half really helped set up the run. I think there were some times where they were concerned with it. We were able to take advantage of some guys and really stretch the field."

The early success in the passing game loosen up the Denver defense enough to allow running back Larry Johnson to find holes in the running game. Johnson finished the game with 140 yards on 30 carries with two touchdowns. By the time the fourth quarter came around Johnson was running free through the Denver defense, helping the Chiefs seal the 31-27 victory.

Chiefs wide receiver Eddie Kennison led the group with four catches for 108 yards including a 54 yard strike over Broncos cornerback Dominique Foxworth to the Denver 15. That play would eventually lead to a touchdown by running back Larry Johnson. Kennison didn't get into the end zone, but he made plays all game long that set up scores by other players.

Fellow Chiefs wide receiver Dante Hall got into the mix with two catches for 55 yards, including a 41 yard bomb for a touchdown over Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey.

"Trent did a good job of just throwing it up there pretty soft," Hall said after the game, "I don't know if they blew a coverage, or we just caught Champ peeping in, but wow, I was wide open."

Wide receiver Sammie Parker contributed four catches for 39 yards. He had a couple of huge catches to convert and keep the chains moving when the Chiefs needed him. The Chiefs used the threat of Parker's speed to help keep the Denver defense on its heels.

I think the things we did early in the passing game kind of loosened them up a little bit," said Parker.

The Chiefs have dogged with questions about their receiving corps since the beginning of training camp. Today against the Broncos, the receivers answered with big plays and timely catches, helping balance the Chiefs offensive attack, and keep the Broncos at bay. After today, there shouldn't be anymore questions.

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