It was a fight on and off the field on Sunday. The Chiefs were fired up and ready to go. You could tell that they really wanted this one and their emotions showed that.
They started by forcing a three and out on the Vikings’ first possession and from there the defense stepped up big. When Ryan Succop knocked down his first of five field goals it was the first time the Chiefs had a lead the entire season, which had to be a great feeling for Kansas City. Although they gave up a touchdown later in the first quarter when Donovan McNabb connected with Devin Aromashodu on a 34-yard pass the Chiefs still went into halftime with a 9-7 lead.
The defense played solid all day. They held Adrian Peterson to a pedestrian 80 yards on 23 carries, which is a victory in and of itself. They were also able to get to McNabb. Tamba Hali had a great game finishing with six solo tackles including both of the team’s sacks. He now has four sacks this season and continues to be a dominant force on the line. Brandon Carr also pitched in with an interception.
There was a drama filled moment right before halftime when Matt Cassel walked back to the sideline after the offense was stopped near the goaline. Coach Toadd Haley clearly was upset with Cassel and the two had an aggressive screaming match. At this point in the game the quarterback was not playing great and it wouldn’t have been that surprising if Haley had taken Cassel out of the game. But instead he stuck with him and it paid off. Cassel stayed composed out on the field in the second half and completed a 52-yard fourth quarter pass to Dwayne Bowe for the Chiefs only touchdown. For the first time this season the quarterback showed that he could take control of the offense and lead them down the field. He finished with 18 completions on 29 attempts and 260 yards.
This definitely was not a pretty win, but the Chiefs were able to get the job done. We can finally end all of the winless conversations and they can focus on the rest of the season. They still have a long way to go as a football team, but Coach Haley and his squad get to live another week.
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Written by Matt Brody