The Kansas City Chiefs made a stride towards returning to respectability today with a 17-16 home victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
Quarterback Alex Smith went 21 of 36 for 223 yards and two touchdowns. Jamaal Charles rushed for 55 yards on 16 carries and led the Chiefs with eight catches as the Chiefs offense racked up 313 yards of total offense and just enough points to win.
Getting beat everywhere but on the scoreboard
The Chiefs went the distance on the opening drive of the game but after that there wasn’t much progress on offense for Kansas City until the third quarter. Pass protection was an issue for the Chiefs for most of the game, but the Kansas City offensive line finally gave Smith and the receivers time to find the holes in the Dallas zone and it resulted in Dwayne Bowe’s first touchdown catch of the season in the third quarter.
Through the first three quarters the Chiefs’ defense was the epitomy of bend but don’t break as they allowed plenty of yardage but limited the Cowboys to 13 points. The fourth quarter was when the Chiefs’ defense made its statement. Akeem Jordan and Ron Parker forced fumbles to stop Dallas drives and the Chiefs forced a three-and-out on another fourth quarter drive to make the 17 points that the offense scored stand up.
The Chiefs’ offense still has work to do in order for this team to be a serious championship contender. Getting three points off the two turnovers in the fourth quarter, with chances to build on what was just a four point lead, is a cause for concern. However, getting this win was an important step in the growth of this team and a sign of change. The last two years in Kansas City this game would have been lost.
Tense moments in Arrowhead
In the last four minutes of the game, after the Cowboys’ kicker Dan Bailey hit a career-long 53 yard field goal to trim the Chiefs’ lead to just a point, the offensive line was finally able to make some room for Jamaal Charles. Charles rushed eight times for 47 yards on the following drive and allowed the Chiefs to take the clock down to 29 seconds remaining when the Cowboy defense was able to force a punt.
Chiefs’ punter Dustin Colquitt was able to pin the Cowboys inside their own five and with only 16 seconds remaining, the Cowboys were unable to get into field goal range and the Chiefs squeaked by.
There is still work that needs to be done in order to get the Chiefs into the playoffs for the first time since 2010 but being able to win a close game and make the plays that you need to when you need to make them is a definite step in the right direction.