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Chiefs' Victory Is Pants Tense

September 25, 2000|From Associated Press

DENVER — Reverting to the red pants they wore during their glory years, the Kansas City Chiefs recaptured some of that long-ago magic too.

Elvis Grbac rallied his team from a 12-point third-quarter deficit with two touchdown passes, including a 22-yarder to Derrick Alexander with 2:21 left, as the Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos, 23-22, on Sunday.

Grbac's 15-yard scoring pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez midway through the third quarter made the score 19-14, and after an exchange of field goals, the Chiefs still trailed, 22-17.

Overcoming an almost nonexistent running game, the Chiefs (2-2) went 80 yards in eight plays for the game-winning touchdown. Grbac passed eight yards to Kevin Lockett on third and seven, and 13 yards to Gonzalez on third and two. Tony Richardson ran for 15 yards, and Alexander split two defenders, making a leaping catch at the goal line. The Chiefs' two-point conversion pass failed.

"How 'bout them red pants?" Chief Coach Gunther Cunningham asked. "That's something I had in mind from the first day I got the job. I liked the old guys that played here, Willie Lanier, Buck Buchanan, Len Dawson."

Cunningham said owner Lamar Hunt gave the OK to resurrect the pants, thinking they might bring the team luck.

"Now they all want to wear them every day," Cunningham said.

Grbac completed 21 of 33 passes for 250 yards. Gonzalez set career highs with 10 catches for 127 yards. The Chiefs had only 49 yards rushing in 27 carries.

Gus Frerotte, playing in place of injured NFL passing leader Brian Griese, completed 18 of 31 passes for 208 yards. Frerotte's fumble on a sack thwarted a Denver scoring drive in the final quarter, and he was intercepted by linebacker Marvcus Patton with 1:40 remaining.

In all, the Broncos--who came into the game with the best turnover ratio in the NFL (plus 9)--had three turnovers in the final quarter.

"We had some opportunities, both offensive and defensively, to put them away, and we didn't do it," Bronco Coach Mike Shanahan said.

Denver cornerback Ray Crockett had two interceptions. He returned one 26 yards for a second-quarter touchdown and picked off another Grbac pass in the end zone early in the final quarter.

Denver's Mike Anderson carried 22 times for 85 yards, falling just shy of becoming the first back in NFL history to rush for 100 yards in his first three starts.

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