Thigpen Impresses Chiefs

Though the Chiefs fell 28-24 to the New York Jets, third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen came to play Sunday. Kansas City didn't run the ball well again, but because of Thigpen's passing, the offense generated over 300 yards, nearly pulling off an upset.

In fact, Thigpen was statistically the best quarterback on the field, playing against his childhood idol Brett Favre, who threw three interceptions. Thigpen was 25 for 36 and tossed a pair of touchdowns while protecting the football, impressing his head coach, Herm Edwards.

"I thought Tyler (Thigpen), for his second start, did a good job," said Edwards. "He gave us a chance to win. He didn't turn the ball over. He didn't do everything perfectly, but he played pretty good against a good defense."

"He had some confidence. We did some things he felt comfortable doing. I thought the no-huddle helped him. He made some throws and got us going. We were able to score points, and it became a game of just playing football. That was good to see for us."

Thigpen's game was the best a Chiefs quarterback turned in all season long. He'll start again next Sunday at home against Tampa Bay, but might get some company on Tuesday. The Chiefs want to sign veteran quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who will be in Kansas City on Monday to meet with the team and take a physical.

What that mean for Thigpen? Nothing, because he'll remain the starter for now. He's earned that much after nearly leading the Chiefs to a victory in New York. So what got into the Chiefs quarterback? Even he wasn't sure.

"I'm not really sure why we played better this week," said Thigpen. "This week, I thought we had a good game plan. We studied really hard this past week and tried to get ourselves in the best possible situations."

The Chiefs were in one of those situations with five minutes left in the game, holding a three-point lead, but didn't have enough confidence to let Thigpen throw, fearing an incompletion. The offense ran three plays and punted, and the Jets took the lead on their next drive.

But the fact that Kansas City was even ahead that late in a game was a credit to Thigpen. That impressed one of his favorite targets from Sunday's game, tight end Tony Gonzalez.

"Tyler played outstanding," said Gonzalez. "He played better than I thought he was going to play. I know he surprised everybody. I don't care what anybody said, if they thought he was going to go out there and play the way he did then they're lying. That's a credit to him. He just came out and said who cares what all the critics think. I'm so proud of him."

The Chiefs' coaches put Thigpen in the shotgun frequently throughout the game, spreading the defense out. It worked this week, but after a loss, Thigpen knows the pressure will grow to win and so will the playbook.

"It was just something to change the pace and switch things up a little bit," he said. "It's obviously what I ran in college for anyone who knows that. It's more comfortable. We will probably put more plays in this week. We had a select group of plays this week. I imagine we will broaden the playbook so we are at the point where everyone can just walk to the line and not huddle."

WarpaintIllustrated.com Top Stories