The Chiefs’ big play makers led the way on Sunday.
In a game they absolutely had to win, the Chiefs held off the Cincinnati Bengals 27-20 as tight end Tony Gonzalez caught two touchdown passes; running back Larry Johnson ran for 119 yards and his first touchdown of the season; and defensive end Jared Allen had 2.5 sacks.
The victory gave the Chiefs a 3-3 record and put them back in the AFC West race. Cincinnati, 1-4, lost its fourth straight game.
Gonzalez’ 3-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter was the 63rd of his career, surpassing Shannon Sharpe as the NFL’s all-time leader among tight ends.
Then, Gonzalez caught a 26-yarder from quarterback Damon Huard in the fourth-quarter, giving the Chiefs a 27-10 lead.
Johnson, who had been bottled up for most of the season, took advantage of the NFL’s 29th-rated run defense. He appeared to score his first touchdown of the season on a 34-yard run, but the ball was stripped by cornerback Deltha O’Neal and bounced through the end zone for a touchback.
Johnson later scored on an eight-yard run in the second quarter.
Allen was such a terror in rushing Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer, the Bengals benched veteran left tackle Levi Jones in favor of second-year man Andrew Whitworth. Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught two touchdown passes from Palmer, a 42-yarder in the first quarter and a 30-yarder in the fourth quarter that pulled Cincinnati to within 27-17.
The Bengals kicked at field goal with 18 seconds left to make the score 27-20. Cincinnati's on-side kick was recovered by the Chiefs, ending the game.
HOW THEY SCORED
Cin - Field Goal - 33-yarder by Shayne Graham. 13:54 Time Remaining. (8 plays, 37 yards. Time of Drive: 2:54).
KC- Touchdown - 26-yard pass from Damon Huard to Tony Gonzalez. (Dave Rayner extra point is good). 8:03 Time Remaining. (5 plays, 56 yards. Time of Drive: 3:10).
Cin - Touchdown - 30-yard pass from Carson Palmer to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. (Shayne Graham extra point is good). 5:03 Time Remaining. (8 plays, 90 yards. Time of Drive: 3:00).
Cin - Field Goal - 36-yarder by Shayne Graham. 0:18 Time Remaining. (7 plays, 68 yards. Time of Drive: 1:35).
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis appeared to panic midway through the period, ordering his team to attempt to convert on fourth and one from the Cincinnati 36 and trailing 20-7. The move backfired when the Chiefs tackled Watson for no gain. Lewis compounded the error by requesting a video review of the spot, which only cost them a time out when the ruling was upheld . . . The Chiefs couldn’t gain a first down. Huard was sacked on third down and the Chiefs punted . . . The teams traded punts until Webb fumbled after a short gain late in the period. Cincinnati recovered near midfield and the Bengals had the ball at the Chiefs’ 22 as the period ended.
KC _ Johnson 8 run (Rayner kick); 6 plays, 44 yards, 3:30 drive time, 6:27 remaining.
KC _ FG Rayner 20; 10 plays, 58 yards, 1:27 drive time, 0:00 remaining.
Jared Allen continued his assault on Palmer. He blew past Bengals tackle Levi Jones for the third time for a sack. Palmer also fumbled on the play and Ron Edwards recovered for the Chiefs . . . Johnson was on the verge of his first touchdown of the season after busting loose up the middle from the Cincinnati 35. But the Bengals’ Deltha O’Neal ripped the ball away from Johnson just short of the goal line. The ball bounded out of the back of the end zone, giving the Bengals the ball . . . Patrick Surtain took it back for the Chiefs by intercepting a pass at the Bengals’ 44. Huard’s 17-yard pass to Gonzalez took the Chiefs to the 22 and a 10-yarder to Bowe put them at the 12. Johnson didn’t fumble this time and scored two plays later . . . Johnson went over 100 yards with a 22-yard run later in the period . . . Three straight passes to Gonzalez in the final minute gained 32 yards and pushed the Chiefs to the Cincinnati 27. Huard then threw 16 yards to Jeff Webb, leading to the field goal.
KC _ FG Dave Rayner 32; 12 plays, 49 yards, 5:21 drive time, 9:39 remaining.
Cin _ T.J. Houshmandzadeh 42 pass from Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham kick); 4 plays, 73 yards, 2:00 drive time, 7:39 remaining.
KC _ Tony Gonzalez 3 pass from Damon Huard (Rayner kick); 7 plays, 44 yards, 4:06 drive time, 0:53 remaining.
Cincinnati’s Blue Adams gave the Chiefs 30 yards in penalties on the game’s first drive. The Chiefs also picked up 15 yards from Larry Johnson and 14 yards on a third-down pass from Damon Huard to Dwayne Bowe and the Chiefs scored for the first time of the season in the opening period on Rayner’s field goal . . . Bernard Pollard missed a tackle attempt on Kenny Watson’s 19-yard run and Jarrad Page missed one on Houshmandzadeh’s touchdown . . . The Chiefs later took over at the Cincinnati 44 and one play later Johnson ran 20 yards to the 20. A 10-yard pass to Gonzalez took them to the 9 and he scored his tight end record-breaking 63rd career touchdown two plays later.
| Adam Teicher, email@example.com