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THE NFL / 1996

Hill Leaves Little in Reserve Against the Packers

Interconference: Running back scores three times as Kansas City defeats Green Bay, 27-20.

November 11, 1996|From Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Marcus Allen couldn't get his record, Greg Hill got his chance, and the Green Bay Packers got a lesson in humility.

Hill, Allen's frustrated backup, had touchdown runs of eight and 24 yards and scored on a 34-yard pass play Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Packers, 27-20, ending the Packers' five-game winning streak.

Two of the scores came in a 2 1/2-minute span in the second quarter.

"I never felt like I had anything to prove," said Hill, the Chiefs' No. 1 draft pick in 1994. "All I needed was an opportunity."

Hill gained 94 yards in 14 carries on Sunday, one week after rushing for 100 yards in 15 carries in a 21-6 victory over Minnesota.

"There's a certain excitement generated when he gets in and gets going for the entire blocking unit," Kansas City Coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "Obviously, we'll continue to give him a chance to play."

But Allen still started Sunday. He has 110 career rushing touchdowns and needs one more to break the tie with Walter Payton. Despite four carries inside the 10-yard-line in the first quarter, he couldn't get the record-breaker.

Sunday's performance was an uncharacteristic offensive show for the Chiefs (7-3), who completed a 69-yard pass on their first play and gained 383 yards against the NFL's top-rated defense. It was an unveiling of sorts for Hill, who wasn't even active two weeks ago and had been seething about a lack of playing time.

The Packers (8-2) surrendered 182 yards rushing, 99 more than they had been giving up on the ground per game. By halftime, Kansas City had 255 total yards--six more than the average the Packers have been allowing.

The Chiefs' defense, led by Neil Smith and Derrick Thomas, held the NFL's highest-scoring team to only two touchdowns. One was a 25-yard pass from Brett Favre to Don Beebe in the third quarter, the second a six-yarder from Favre to Derrick Mayes with 1:02 remaining. But the Chiefs recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

The Chiefs also had help from the officials, who by early in the second quarter had assessed 62 yards in penalties against the Packers. That included 27 yards on a controversial pass-interference call against Doug Evans, who was assessed more yardage and thrown out of the game when he protested and made contact with an official.

The Chiefs led, 20-6, at halftime, and on the first play of the second half, Smith stripped Favre and Thomas recovered at the Green Bay 24. On the next play, Hill went off left tackle and cut right, straight for the end zone.

"And I had just given what I thought was my best halftime speech ever," Green Bay Coach Mike Holmgren said. "That's when you know things are going bad."

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