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This Time, Chiefs Do It the Easy Way

September 22, 1997|From Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Kansas City Chiefs' need for late-game heroics disappeared Sunday. The Carolina Panthers' dominance at home is becoming a fading memory too.

Elvis Grbac picked apart the NFL's second-ranked defense by throwing for 214 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Chiefs to a 35-14 victory over the Carolina Panthers, who gave up the most points in franchise history.

Two weeks ago, Kansas City defeated Oakland, 28-27, on a touchdown pass with three seconds left. Last week the Chiefs defeated the Bills, 22-16, when four Buffalo passes into the end zone in the final seconds were incomplete.

Against Carolina, Kansas City (3-1) built a 28-point lead early in the fourth quarter, sending the Panthers (2-2) to their second loss in as many games this season at Ericsson Stadium, where they went 9-0 last year.

Kerry Collins, in his second game back after being sidelined by a broken jaw during the preseason, was intercepted four times and lost one fumble, setting up three Kansas City touchdowns.

"He wasn't the only one who was having a tough day," Coach Dom Capers said. "I don't know of any phase of our team that didn't struggle."

The Chiefs were penalized nine times for 100 yards, which hardly hurt them on an afternoon when Collins and his teammates put on an exhibition of bad passes, dropped balls, poor tackles and blown assignments. Carolina's Michael Bates also had a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown called back because of an illegal block by Mike Minter.

The Panthers were coming off a 26-7 victory over San Diego in which they had seven sacks, but they couldn't generate much pressure on Grbac. He completed 16 of 29 passes and was sacked only once.

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