Chiefs Snap Losing Streak, Beat Denver 33-19

Jamie Squire - Getty

Most fans didn't think the Chiefs could beat the Denver Broncos, but you could sense early on that Sunday might be the day Kansas City snapped its 12-game losing streak. From the onset of warm-ups to the opening kick-off, the Chiefs had an attitude. That carried over to the field of play, leading to a 33-19 victory.

What happened Sunday in front of a not-quite capacity Arrowhead crowd was the dawning of the next generation of Chiefs. The team was led by veterans like Damon Huard and Larry Johnson, but the stars of the future made their impact.

The Chiefs' first win of 2008 was a coming of age for draft picks like cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr, who both grabbed turnovers. Defensive end Brian Johnston (one sack) and defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey also contributed on defense.

It was also a solid day for other youngsters, like wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (seven catches, 85 yards) defensive end Turk McBride (one forced fumble), and linebackers Derrick Johnson (one interception) and DeMorrio Williams.

But as the game was unfolding and Denver closed to 23-16 with 7:58 remaining in the fourth quarter, fans became anxious. Would the Chiefs' offensive coaches attack the clock and the Broncos as the game's critical drive began?

Once rookie Dantrell Savage opened the possession with a 51-yard kickoff return, the Chiefs were set up to put the finishing touches on their victory. This time the veterans - Huard, tight end Tony Gonzalez and journeyman kicker Nick Novak – closed the game out with a clutch drive that ended in a field goal and a two-possession lead for the Chiefs.

Chiefs fans who showed up Sunday witnessed one of the best games played at Arrowhead since 2006. It was a game where all three phases of the team had to make plays, and did just that, thanks to young players and veterans alike.

Five to Remember

DT Alfonso Boone - One of his best games as a Chief. Boone was solid against the run and though he didn't get a sack, his special teams contributions were stellar, as he set the wall that provided a huge hole for Savage on his big kick-off return. Boone has lost his starting job to Turk McBride but is stil playing like the veteran the Chiefs need.

K Nick Novak - His four field goals were the decisive points in KC's victory on Sunday, but that wasn't his only contribution. Novak was outstanding on kickoffs, regularly placing the ball near the goal line. He has struggled doing that this season but in warmups clearly had some extra pop in his leg.

QB Damon Huard - Say what you want about his injury situation and the fact that even this week he was hurting, but he played the best game of his career in Kansas City. Huard was lights out all day and didn't come close to turning the ball over. Plenty has been written about Huard recently but he played like a veteran and a professional who's only goal was winning.

DE Brian Johnston - He's come a long way from Gardner-Webb and his emergence as a solid pass rusher will do nothing but help KC's defense. Johnston can play both end positions and recorded his first career sack Sunday.

RB Larry Johnson - Two touchdowns and 198 yards rushing. Johnson ran with attitude and purpose Sunday and showed he can carry this team on his shoulders. When the Chiefs are running the ball as they did Sunday, they won't lose often. After two straight weeks over 100 yards, Johnson appears to be hitting his stride and that should lead to more wins sooner rather than later.

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