"I'd say I'm sick of hearing it, but then I know it kind of drives us," Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters said of the criticism heard after Kansas City's front-line offense -- the NFL leader in total yards the last two seasons -- scored only seven points in its first two games.
"When you've got an offense that's been as good as ours, you look for things to drive you," Waters added. "So if people want to say we're old and not what we used to be, we'll use that."
The Chiefs looked neither old nor washed up in the meaningful part of their 16-12 victory over St. Louis in the third preseason game.
The offense scored on four of its five first-half possessions with a well-balanced 64-yard, 14-play drive that took 7:14 producing a first-series touchdown. Larry Johnson got it after rushing nine times for 37 yards in the drive -- a marked difference from his paltry 4-for-8 effort in the previous week's loss to the Giants.
Kansas City then drove 77 yards on 15 plays taking 6:56 before getting a chip-shot field goal on its next drive. Lawrence Tynes later added kicks of 41 and 50 yards to give Kansas City a 16-3 lead after a half in which it controlled the ball for a Herm Edwards-pleasing 19 minutes.
"We finally saw this vaunted offense that I inherited," Edwards said. "For two weeks it never got out of the garage."
Defensively, the Chiefs held the Rams to three-and-out drives on five of their first seven possessions against either front-liners or reserves destined to play a lot.
"Kansas City forced two first-half turnovers -- the first of the preseason -- on a tipped-ball interception by second-round draft pick Bernard Pollard and a sack/strip of Marc Bulger by top pick Tamba Hali, who saw his first action of his NFL career.
"It's been a little tough around here with the injuries (to himself and fellow Pro Bowl guard Will Shields) and the other things we've had to deal with," said Waters, who played without the recently retired Willie Roaf to his left. "The guys needed a pickup, and I hope my return brought some of that energy. But just playing here in Arrowhead brought more energy than anything. It was great medicine, just what we needed."
--QB Trent Green hit 8 of 12 passes for 100 yards in the two series he played against the Rams. The Chiefs scored 10 points on the two drives of 64 and 77 yards.
--RB Larry Johnson had back-to-back runs of 14 and 12 yards in the only series he played against St. Louis, a 64-yard march in which Johnson ran for 37 yards on nine carries before going to the bench for the rest of the evening.
--WR Samie Parker had catches of 23 yards (on a third-and-7 play) and 21 in Kansas City's 77-yard march for a second-series field goal against St. Louis.
--WR Eddie Kennison played in only two series but had five catches for 52 yards in the win over the Rams.
--P Dustin Colquitt, who averaged 49 yards on nine kicks against the Giants a week earlier, continued his hot preseason with a 7-47.0 game against the Rams. He had a long of 59 and a short of 38 when punting from Rams territory.
--K Lawrence Tynes was a perfect 3-for-3 with field goals of 28, 41 and 50 yards against the Rams.
--S Bernard Pollard had a mixed day that tilted to the positive in the 16-12 win over the Rams. He got his first interception of the preseason on a tipped ball in the second quarter, then forced a fumble with a trademark jarring hit late in the game. He also got a good chewing from Herm Edwards after failing to read a Rams touchdown pass that was nullified by a penalty. He also didn't stop St. Louis TE Jerome Collins from turning a medium-length pass route over the middle into a 54-yard scoring play.
--DE Tamba Hali beat NFL veteran Todd Steussie on the sack-and-strip that represented his first preseason sack and forced fumble during his first preseason game.
--RB Michael Bennett, in his first game with the Chiefs, ran for 39 yards on 13 carries and looked ready for his role as Larry Johnson's backup.
If you want more information about the only Magazine Dedicated to the Kansas City Chiefs, hit the banner below to learn how you can get 56 issues of Sports Illustrated when you order Warpaint Illustrated the magazine.