Chiefs About to Face Reality
By Andy Benoit, NFL Contributing Editor
(Sports Network) - If you couldn't tell Sunday, what happened to the Chiefs was this: led by their sturdy young defense, they went up against another team (Green Bay) with a sturdy young defense. Both clubs jousted for three quarters and, in the end, one club pulled away because it had a superstar quarterback.
You probably don't need any clues for figuring out who we're talking about.
Yes, Sunday's Packers-Chiefs outcome was quite simple, really. Brett Favre simply did to Kansas City what he did to Denver six days before: broke its back with the long ball.
"I thought we had him bottled up (early), but in the last five minutes, he made all the big plays," said venerable Chiefs veteran linebacker Donnie Edwards, recalling Kansas City's two first half interceptions of Number Four. "We had the opportunity to seal the deal and didn't get it done. That (60-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings) was the deal-breaker."
Live and learn if you're Kansas City. And, move on.
The Chiefs are still atop the AFC West division, thanks to the dreadful road outing put forth by the San Diego Chargers up in Minnesota. With a record of 4-4, Herman Edwards's team welcomes the reeling 3-5 Broncos to Arrowhead on Sunday. The Chargers host the now angry 7-1 Indianapolis Colts.
The Chiefs have a golden opportunity to take command of their division, though that opportunity comes with one little caveat: they'll most likely have to do it without Larry Johnson. The mercurial star was injured late in Sunday's loss to Green Bay when his right foot got caught underneath him as he was being tackled out in the flat. The Chiefs are calling Johnson's injury a mid-foot sprain.
"They're running some more tests," coach Herm Edwards said late Monday afternoon. "(Johnson) came in to get treatment, but they took an MRI and they're still studying it. We won't know for sure until probably (Tuesday) sometime exactly what the severity is and if he's going to be out, and if so, how long."
Johnson, who rushed for just 53 yards on 19 carries but did have a 30-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass, left Arrowhead Stadium on crutches, wearing a boot.
If the $45 million star is unable to go, Kansas City will have to rely on the recently returned Priest Holmes. Many never figured to see Holmes back on the field, let alone starting.
Through two games, Holmes has just 19 total yards on nine touches. At 34 years old and still shaking rust from his two-year, injury-induced hiatus, it is almost silly to think he can carry a feature back's load by himself in Week 10.
"We'll probably have to do some things different," said Edwards of his team's running back situation. "You can't give Priest all those carries, obviously. (Rookie Kolby) Smith will have to play, too, if Larry can't go."
With wide receiver Dwayne Bowe out with a hamstring injury for much of the Green Bay game, Kansas City needed tight end Tony Gonzalez to step up in the worst of ways. He did. Gonzalez caught 10 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. The rest of the Chiefs tight end/wide receiving corps had five catches for 54 yards.
The entire Chiefs secondary had a tough game down the stretch, yielding 360 passing yards to Brett Favre. Notably, Bernard Pollard took several bad angles to the ball, and Ty Law didn't have the speed to match the Packer receivers on the outside.
The Chiefs stay home to face the 3-5 Denver Broncos.