Chiefs Defense Similar to Vikings?

Herm Edwards has implemented a successful defense with the Chiefs, but they still need to find a way to score more points. Sound familiar?

Let's try to accentuate the positive first.

The Chiefs defense is becoming just what Herm Edwards envisioned it would be upon arriving in Kansas City in 2006. That is, a unit that not only gives up points reluctantly, but is also a turnover-producing group that creates field position and scoring opportunities for the offense.

Kansas City did plenty of that against the Bears in Chicago's home opener Sunday at Soldier Field. They forced three turnovers that set up the Chiefs offense at midfield, then again at the Bears 45 and the 25.

Now, if Edwards can just develop an offense that converts those prime opportunities into more than three points.

That's all the Chiefs got from their turnovers in a 20-10 loss, one in which they got nothing on 27 fourth-quarter snaps in a 10-point game that could have turned their way with any kind of opportunistic attack.

Instead, the Chiefs had a 35-yard TD bomb wiped out by a penalty, a field goal blocked and a third-and-one play at the Bears 16 result in an interception on a throw to the end zone. All those plays came in the game's final 12 minutes.

"That's the difference between a good team and a bad team, and right now we're playing like a bad team, especially on offense," said offensive captain Brian Waters. "We've done a horrible job of taking advantage of the opportunities given to us.

"I wish I could say we're getting better," Waters added, "but we're not doing what we need to do to win."

The Chiefs defense did its part, limiting Chicago to 239 yards, 79 coming on a 15-yard second-quarter scoring march that represented the Bears' only sustained offense.

But Kansas City's offense went three-and-out on four of its first five possessions, and six of the first nine. Its only touchdown in two preseason losses came when rookie receiver Dwayne Bowe broke off his route and grabbed an overthrown ball intended for Tony Gonzalez in the end zone just before halftime.

A touchdown almost by accident, as it were.

Kansas City's special teams were equally bad. Of course, Chicago's Devin Hester can make people look that way. The best returner in the game had a 73-yard punt return go for a score. Later, a 95-yard kickoff return was called back on a penalty.

NOTES

  • The Chiefs could laugh about it afterward, but TE Tony Gonzalez would prefer that rookie receiver Dwayne Bowe not run pass patterns into his area of the end zone when a ball is being thrown there.

    Gonzalez, who needs one TD to tie Shannon Sharpe's NFL record for career TDs by a tight end (62), was scrambling to get to Damon Huard's throw when Bowe broke off his route and grabbed the 16-yard TD pass.

    "I know it was intended for Tony, but being a playmaker, I've got to make plays," Bowe explained. "He told me, ‘D-Bowe, don't bring your man over to me.' I told Tony I thought (Huard) was scrambling, so I just went up and made a great catch."

    "He said, ‘Great catch. Keep doin' it.'"

  • Coach Herm Edwards was second-guessed considerably after a crunch-time scoring opportunity was wasted when a third-and-one play from the Bears 16 resulted in an interception on a throw to undersized receiver Samie Parker in the end zone.

    Edwards, whose conservative offensive philosophy is infamous, was left to explain why he didn't run Larry Johnson or throw short to Gonzalez in a 10-point fourth-quarter game when the Chiefs simply had to come up with some points.

    "He was our third option," Edwards said of Parker's deep route to the end zone. "We were trying to throw (underneath) to Tony or Bowe, but we got man coverage (on Parker) and the quarterback decided to try the fade. The other guy (Chicago's Charles Tillman) made a great play."

    "It's funny," Edwards added, "but when you don't try for the big play, you get criticized for being too conservative. Then when you do try for one and get intercepted, (the criticism) goes the other way."

  • QB Damon Huard was not able to finish the Bears game after experiencing some wooziness from a blow to the head. Huard, already moving gingerly on a sore calf, also took a blow to the left (non-passing) wrist.

  • QB Brodie Croyle got the quarterback controversy ball rolling in Chicago when he replaced a battered Huard and led a drive from the KC 19 to the Chicago 24. He hit four passes for 55 yards in the drive, with a long of 34 to Jeff Webb, before Michael Bennett fumbled at the 16 with 2:21 remaining.

  • LT Damion McIntosh missed much of the second half after experiencing pain in the right knee he sprained early in training camp. His status for Sunday's home opener against Minnesota bears watching all week.

  • LB Donnie Edwards recorded his 28th career interception, tops among all active NFL linebackers, in the fourth quarter. His return to the Bears 25 set up a prime scoring opportunity Kansas City couldn't convert.

  • LB Derrick Johnson had one of his best days as a third-year pro in getting two sacks, two QB hurries and deflecting two passes.

  • K Dave Rayner, brought in just last week to replace released rookie draft pick Justin Medlock, made his first Chiefs kick from 45 yards, but had a 48-yarder blocked when his protection broke down.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "We've got a long season ahead of us, and we've got to get better. Because right now, there's only one way for us to go." — Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez.


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