Johnson Powers Chiefs To Victory In St. Louis
LJ ran the Chiefs to victory.
LJ ran the Chiefs to victory.
Warpaint Illustrated Columnist
Posted Nov 6, 2006


After talking about hitting defenders during the week, Larry Johnson was in a giving mood against the Rams Sunday, helping the Chiefs retain the Governor’s Cup after a 31-17 win at the Edward Jones Dome.

Johnson had several long runs on a key fourth-quarter touchdown drive that essentially clinched the game for Kansas City. He finished the day with 172 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries – his third straight monster game.

However, once again, LJ took a back seat to journeyman quarterback Damon Huard, who attempted only 15 passes but completed 10 and tossed three touchdowns. Huard has far and away exceeded all expectations and is playing better than any quarterback in the NFL not named Peyton Manning. His 105.2 quarterback rating is ranked just behind Manning.

Chiefs fans saw Trent Green in uniform for the first time since his injury, but with Huard's fantastic play, it might be best for Kansas City to stick with the hot hand. Regardless of what Herm Edwards decides, the Chiefs know they have two very capable quarterbacks. That's always a positive, especially when dealing with two professionals like Huard and Green.

Sunday was also a special day for future Hall-of-Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. The 10-year veteran became KC’s all-time leader in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns with a 63-yard, two-touchdown performance. Gonzalez has turned back the clock to 2004 over the last few weeks and is showing he still has plenty left in the tank.

Defensively, the Chiefs showed plenty of promise but still have work to do if they want to become dominant. The entire secondary has shown they have very little chemistry working together, as they allowed receivers and backs to find holes in zone coverage the entire game. Rams’ running back Stephen Jackson racked up 219 yards from scrimmage and was consistently open in the flats, catching 13 passes. Bulger completed his first ten passes and the only thing stopping St. Louis early in the game was Jared Allen.

Allen had a monster game, racking up two sacks and two forced fumbles. The Chiefs won the turnover battle 3-0, and when you're playing on the road, that's a good way to get a win.

Even though the defense played an average game, holding a potent St. Louis offense to 17 points is definitely a positive.

Next week, the Chiefs take their three-game winning streak to Miami, facing a team that took down the undefeated Chicago Bears 28-13 – at Chicago. The Chiefs could be without all-pro left guard Brian Waters, who suffered an injury on a Johnson run near the end of the first quarter. Waters had to be carted off the field, but X-Rays for a broken leg came up negative.

The Chiefs won't be able to replace Waters, but having John Welbourn back certainly doesn't hurt. Welbourn rotated series with Kyle Turley at right tackle and played very well. I wouldn't be surprised one bit to see him as the full-time starter as soon as next week.

If the Chiefs play disciplined football and keep the turnovers to a minimum, I see no reason why they can't extend their winning streak to four games. If Huard has another big game, it's pretty safe to assume a quarterback controversy will be in the making – if one isn't already there.


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