Week 7 Game Recap: Kansas City Chiefs 30, Miami Dolphins 20
What you need to know
Paul Tagliabue ruled that the scheduled Sunday battle between the Chiefs and the Dolphins would be moved up to Friday evening because of the advancing severe weather. The Chiefs had to cancel a practice, quickly pack, schedule and catch an early flight, and then they landed in Miami only six hours before the new kickoff time. They even had to manage with two significant players held out of the contest because they were not allowed the normal necessary additional recuperation time. No NFL team had ever been forced to prepare and play so quickly with so little preparation.
How did they respond? The Chiefs looked like the Chiefs who started this season, in control and quite possibly a serious playoff contender. The Chiefs easily handled the Dolphins on both sides of the ball. They totally dominated time of possession. The Chiefs had the ball almost 42 minutes to just over 18 minutes for the Dolphins.
The splitting carries experiment between Holmes and Johnson produced dividends again, with each back gaining good yardage and scoring. Either back could have produced monstrous yardage on their own with the Chiefs’ offensive line controlling the Dolphins’ defensive line.
The Chiefs’ passing game was efficient and produced as much as it needed to for the win. Green had great yardage totals and spread the ball around well, but with the line and the running backs’ dominance; Green did not have to throw for any touchdowns.
The Chiefs’ special teams did well, particularly the punter, Darren Colquitt. He demonstrated power and control on his kicks. He had one kick for 56 yards and another time he made a 44 yard kick that was downed at the Dolphins’ one yard line. The rookie seems to be well deserving of the early draft choice the Chiefs used to select him.
Perhaps worry over the approaching hurricane had the Dolphins players not focused on the game. Maybe they were just not ready due to the unexpected short preparation time. They also could have been aware of the noticeably sparse attendance with an unusually high number of empty seats. Then, maybe the Chiefs were just that much better. This game was not near as close as the final score.
The announced attendance was around 40,000, but the stadium did seem relatively empty by NFL game standards. The change in schedule, plus local residents’ worries over Hurricane Wilma would have justified a smaller attendance.
Except for two big plays and some excellent special teams return work, the Dolphins would have been thoroughly embarrassed. Miami was dominated on offense and defense. They had the ball on offense just over 18 minutes to the Chiefs almost 42 minutes. The Dolphins’ line was consistently beaten. Despite that, the Dolphins looked like they might be back in the game just after the opening of the third quarter. Miami received the second half kickoff and on their first play from scrimmage, running back Ronnie Brown took it outside bouncing off of a strong Greg Wesley hit and ran it 65 yards down the sideline. All of a sudden the Dolphins were one point back at 14-13 and appeared to have the momentum. However Kansas City quickly responded with a touchdown score and the Dolphins never got close again.
The Dolphins did manage one other touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Sage Rosenfels came in for the Dolphins’ final offensive series of the game and threw a 77 yard touchdown strike to Chris Chambers. That was Rosenfels’ only throw of the game so he, of course, finished with a perfect passer rating. However, it was late in the game. After the ineffectiveness of Gus Frerotte, this quite likely will generate a quarterback controversy. Keep in mind that this was during garbage time and one throw does not validate a quarterback change.
The Dolphins did have some positives from their special teams. Wes Welker was impressive. He had a combined 258 yards from kickoff returns, punt returns, and receiving. He looked every bit as impressive as his stats. The Dolphins’ special teams, with the help of several Chiefs’ penalties, also managed to contain the punt and kickoff returns of Dante Hall.
What you ought to know
|QB Trent Green, Pass: 20 - 34 - 289 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - -2 - 0|
Green was very efficient and seemed to have a great command of the entire field as he spread his passes out, throwing to nine different receivers. He had one intentional grounding call and no touchdowns but he also had no interceptions. He was initially signaled for one interception but it was cancelled due to off-setting penalties called on the play. He passed for almost 300 yards and demonstrated good pocket awareness.
Even though Johnson was not in as many series, he actually had more touches than Holmes. Johnson had 119 combined yards and was a force when driving through the middle. His one touchdown came on a two yard run straight up the middle. Johnson showed again that he can and someday will be a starter in the NFL.
Holmes bounced back from the previous week’s poor rushing totals. He ran with power. He scored two touchdowns, both on rushes. The first was on a run around the right side that his burst of speed made look easy. His second score was on a 35 yard run where you could see Holmes kept accelerating throughout the entire run. He was obviously pulling away from his pursuers with ease. Holmes looked fresh and ready for this game after a short preparation week.
Richardson did not have any rushing attempts, but he was very valuable in the passing game. He caught the only ball thrown to him, but more important, he was an excellent blocker on obvious passing downs. He contributed greatly to Trent Green’s passing statistics.
Kennison did not have a great statistical day, but he was effectively utilized by the Chiefs in various ways. He had an important role in the game plan. He rushed two times on end around plays. He caught two of the passes thrown to him. He also was very effective on downfield blocks as he helped his teammates gain extra yardage.
Hall ran excellent routes and caught most of the passes thrown his way. He was a strong performer on offense and on special teams. He contributed 123 total yards to the Chiefs’ effort. If it weren’t for several penalties on Chiefs’ players during returns, Hall’s statistics would have been extremely impressive.
With the absence of the injured starting receiver Samie Parker, Boerigter was a favorite target for Green in this game. He had a couple receptions but one was an impressive 29 yard gather down the left sideline. With Parker expected back next week, Boerigter will probably not see as many looks in upcoming games.
Horn had one excellent catch where he gained separation from double coverage for a 50 yard over the shoulder completion from Trent Green. He made the catch with two defenders right on his heels. This was on the opening drive and helped open up all phases of the Chiefs’ offense.
Gonzalez returned to the spotlight after a couple weeks of not being targeted very much. He showed he still has that special ability to run with and match up against any defender. He caught seven out of the nine passes thrown his way and was Green’s most effective passing weapon, despite often seeing double coverage.
Dunn caught both passes thrown to him. He was especially impressive after the catches though. He is 6’6” and 274 pounds and it was an extreme task for the Dolphins’ defensive backs to bring him down. He may not be as fast as the Chiefs’ wide receivers, but he has good hands and runs over opposing players.
Tynes stated during the week he was one of the top three kickers in the league. He noted David Akers and Adam Vinatieri as possibly the two best. In this game he backed up his statements. He was successful on all three extra point attempts. Then he was successful on all three field goal attempts. Each kick was a little further than the previous one and his last two kicks were each over 50 yards. It was an excellent day for point production for Tynes.
The Chiefs’ rush defense may have been fortunate in that their offense was working so well. They were unable to stop Ronnie Brown. They completely stopped Ricky Williams but Brown rolled over them. They gave up only one huge play for the day, a 65 yard touchdown run. In the end, they did give up less than 100 yards, but the Dolphins were forced to go to the pass too early and too often.
Kansas City’s pass defense looked great against Frerotte and the Dolphins’ receivers. They shut the Dolphins down and kept them off the field for more than two thirds of the game. The only real blemish was a late in the fourth quarter touchdown given up to the backup quarterback during garbage time. The Chiefs’ pass defense dominated.
Frerotte did not look in control at any time against the Chiefs. He was constantly off target with his receivers. It appeared that the receivers and Frerotte studied different playbooks during the weather shortened practice week. Frerotte never got untracked and finished the game with an abysmal 37.3 quarterback rating.
Technically he was a quarterback in this game. Statistically he was brilliant. Rosenfels finished the game with a perfect passer rating but one pass in a mop up role should not justify a quarterback controversy.
|RB Ronnie Brown, Rush: 8 - 95 - 1, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (2 targets)|
Brown was one of the few bright spots for the Dolphins. He caught everything thrown to him, ran with authority, and managed to gain the extra hard yards. He scored the Dolphins’ only touchdown. He definitely contributed to his consideration as rookie of the year.
Williams did not catch any passes and completed the day with negative total yardage. He is still a work in progress trying to regain his past strength and ability. He still needs at least a couple games to get his strength and timing back.
The fullback, Evans, caught the only pass thrown to him.
|WR Marty Booker, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 2 - 26 - 0 (6 targets)|
Booker for the most part had the same problem day that Chambers had. The passes thrown to him were mostly well off course. When he did receive it, the Chiefs’ defensive backs had him well covered.
Welker was one of the two most effective players for the Dolphins. The other was Ronnie Brown. Welker returned two punts for 55 yards, seven kickoffs for 162 yards and caught two passes for 41 yards. Thanks to the Chiefs giving him so many opportunities, Welker had an outstanding, productive game.
Chambers was targeted a lot. However most of the passes were not really close to him. He was not on the same page as Frerotte. His only impressive reception was late in the fourth quarter on a long pass for a touchdown from Sage Rosenfels. He did still produce good stats for a fantasy team.
McMichael was one of Frerotte’s favorite targets and he did have a small amount of success receiving.
The seasoned veteran Mare was perfect kicking for the day. He was two out of two in extra points, two out of two in field goals, and had excellent kickoffs.
Look at the statistics put up by Holmes and Johnson. The Dolphins’ rush defense was ineffective during this game. The Chiefs’ offensive line controlled the Dolphins’ defensive front and kept the Dolphins’ defenders on the field and moving backwards throughout the contest.
The Dolphins’ pass defense was porous. They never gave up a passing touchdown, but that was only because the Chiefs controlled the game and did not need to score through the air. They kept getting close to Green and seemed to be just a step behind. Green was able to deliver the ball usually where he wanted. The Dolphins’ pass defense did make one interception. Unfortunately for them, the pick was called back due to offsetting penalties during the play.