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Only 27,725 See Oilers Lose Opener

September 02, 1996|From Associated Press

HOUSTON — The Kansas City Chiefs felt right at home at the Astrodome on Sunday, playing before a crowd of 27,725 that seemed to cheer as loudly for the Chiefs as the Houston Oilers.

It wasn't quite like home-field advantage, but the Chiefs, who got two first-half touchdown passes from Steve Bono, were able to hold off a late challenge from the Oilers for a 20-19 victory.

The Oilers all season will have to deal with fans who are angry that owner Bud Adams plans to move the team to Nashville by 1998.

The fans who did show up saw a dramatic fourth quarter, as the Oilers scored on a 22-yard field goal by Al Del Greco, his fourth of the game, with 3:41 to cut the Chiefs' lead to one point.

Ronnie Harmon then blocked Louis Aguiar's punt, giving Houston the ball at the Kansas City 34. But a penalty pushed the Oilers back to the 39, Chris Chandler's third-down pass deflected off the fingertips of Derek Russell, and Del Greco missed from 55 yards.

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