Wow, now that is how you open up a new stadium
The New Arrowhead looked and sounded a lot like the old Arrowhead as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Diego Chargers 21-14 on Monday Night Football. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was fun to watch and it got the job done.
For the first time in what seems like decades, the Chiefs are sitting alone atop the AFC West.
Maybe the most promising thing to take away from this game is that there are multiple players in every phase of the game that are deserving of a game ball. I’ll do my best do hand them out to the best on offense, defense and special teams for Kansas City.
Offense: Jamaal Charles
The Chiefs offense stalled in the second half and a big reason why is Charles only carried the ball 5 times. But the emerging star made sure to make the most of the few chances Todd Haley allowed him to have.
After sitting on the bench for the Chiefs first two series — both 3 and out — Charles finally saw the field after the Chargers took a 7-0 lead. All he did was take his second carry for 56 yards to the house to even up the score.
For reasons that the head coach will have to explain, Charles had a straight 50-50 split of carries with Thomas Jones. After he more than doubled Jones’ totals, the Chiefs can only hope that Charles gets more of an opportunity next week and beyond.
Defense: Derrick Johnson
Hard to find a better way for DJ to put the ILB controversy to bed.
Johnson was all over the field, racking up 12 tackles and helped turn the momentum of the game after stripping rookie Ryan Mathews at the end of a long run. Not only did he fill up the box score, but Johnson made a handful of very impressive open field tackles.
As expected, we ended up seeing his backup Demorrio Williams playing opposite Tamba Hali on nickel situations and after tonight’s performance, we should see a similar rotation next week.
Special Teams: Dexter McCluster
Javier Arenas started off as the Chiefs punt returner and that looked to be the right decision after he was a punter-tackle away from taking the ball to the house.
As the game rolled on and with Arenas getting reps on defense, the Chiefs coaching staff decided they wanted to get a look at McCluster returning punts. After a weak 6 yard return, some idiot wondered why he was on the field in place of Arenas. Well, about 2 minutes of game play later there was McCluster ripping off the longest punt return — 94 yards — in Chiefs franchise history. That return ended up representing the margin of victory.
Not too shabby, kid!