FINAL SCORE: KANSAS CITY 17, DALLAS COWBOYS 16
This one was an entertaining, early season tilt that ended with the Kansas City Chiefs matching their 2012 win total at two. It wasn’t always pretty offensively but did feature two aggressive, athletic defenses.
So how did the Chiefs grade out?
RUNNING GAME: For most of the game, the Chiefs running game was non existent. The only ground gained was by way of Alex Smith rushes. He had 8 carries for 57 yards. Until the Chiefs final possession of the game, Jamaal Charles had 7 carries for 1 yard. That is right – 1 measly yard. On the final drive however, when the Chiefs were trying to burn some clock, Charles carried the ball nine times for 54 yards. Still, head coach Andy Reid can’t be just abandoning the running game like that.
PASSING GAME: Alex Smith completed 21 passes in 36 attempts for 58.3%. He also threw two touchdowns. He was under pressure much of the day and only really went down field with the ball a couple of times. The passing game was just good enough to win the game.
OFFENSIVE LINE PLAY: Smith was sacked 4 times and hit 5 other times. These numbers could have been worse if it was not for Smith taking off and earning some yards running the ball. The line failed to open holes for Charles, the few times they were asked, at all until the final drive.
OFFENSIVE GRADE: C-
RUN DEFENSE: The Chiefs kept the Dallas running game completely under wraps, holding DeMarco Murray to 25 yards on 12 carries. Kansas City gave up just one good carry, a 12-yard gain by Lance Dunbar. As bad as the Chiefs’ running game was, the Cowboys’ was worse.
PASS DEFENSE: Tony Romo was 30 for 42 through the air for 71.4 %, racking up 298 yards. These higher numbers were a direct result of Dallas being unable to run the ball. Dez Bryant just dominated Brandon Flowers early, pulling in 5 balls for 100 yards and a touchdown in the first two Dallas possessions. After adjustments, he only caught 4 passes for 41 yards the rest of the game. Chiefs defenders tended to let Dallas receivers catch the ball in front of them but didn’t let them get past them. The Chiefs epitomized the bend but do not break defense on Sunday, only giving up the one first quarter touchdown.
PASS RUSH: Kansas City recorded 3 sacks, including 2 more by Dontari Poe, and only hit Romo three other times. The Cowboys fast paced offense seemed to tire out the pass rushers through out the game. Still, Romo was seldom comfortable in the pocket as the Chiefs blitzed from all directions, applying at least mild pressure on most plays.
DEFENSIVE GRADE: B+
Dexter McCluster returned 3 punts for 41 yards, a healthy 13.7 average.
Dustin Colquitt punted 7 times, averaging just 43.9 yards per kick. The average means absolutely nothing because he dropped 5 inside the 20 yards line, helping the Chiefs control the field position all day. These numbers don’t even include an incredible 64-yard boot Colquitt dropped on the one that was ruled a touchback because Maurice Cooper ran out of bounds, then was the first player to touch the ball down.
Ryan Succop had a kick blocked at the end of the first half, but it was a very long attempt (57 yards) that had to maintain a low trajectory. He converted his other attempt.
SPECIAL TEAMS GRADE: B+
MORE GAME NOTES
Dallas had 20 first downs, Kansas City 19.
The Cowboys won the time of possession 31:47 to 28:13.
Dallas converted just 3 of 11 (27.3%) third downs while the Chiefs converted 4 of 13 (30.8).
Turnovers: Dallas 2, Kansas City 0.
OVERALL GAME GRADE: B
Andy Reid will return to Philadelphia on Thursday night at 7:25 p.m. CDT on the NFL Network.