YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Chiefs Deliver a Message to Doubters

October 27, 2003|From Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the final seconds ticked away, Kansas City's Eric Hicks wondered about the critics who have been saying the unbeaten Chiefs were more lucky than good.

"I wonder what they're saying now?" said the scowling defensive end, who had one of three sacks of Drew Bledsoe. "Maybe now they'll shut their mouths."

Dante Hall's 67-yard catch-and-run got them rolling, and Priest Holmes scored three touchdowns as the Chiefs (8-0) became the league's only unbeaten team with a 38-5 rout of Buffalo on Sunday night.

Kansas City is only the 12th team since 1972 to reach the midway point without a loss.

"This feeling is indescribable," said Ryan Sims, whose goal-line interception thwarted the Bills' final touchdown threat. "After playing all those close ones, we just figured what the heck, it's time to go out and get ourselves a laugher."

Now the Chiefs get a week off to savor their perfect half-season and ponder the fact that of the other 11 teams that reached the halfway point unbeaten, eight advanced to the Super Bowl and six hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.

"Being 8-0 doesn't mean a thing," fullback Tony Richardson said. "The Minnesota Vikings were 15-1 one year and they didn't win it all."

Already leading the league in takeaways, the Chiefs recovered two fumbles, and intercepted Bledsoe three times and backup Alex Van Pelt twice.

"To keep a team with so many talented offensive players from scoring a touchdown is just unbelievable," linebacker Scott Fujita said.

After winning their first three by relatively comfortable margins, the Chiefs won four consecutive cliffhangers, causing many to question them.

Last Monday night, they hung on to beat Oakland, 17-10, in a game that ended with the Raiders on the one-yard line. The Chiefs also needed overtime to beat Green Bay, 40-34, and rallied to edge Denver, 24-23, thanks to Hall's 93-yard punt return in the fourth quarter for the go-ahead score.

But after Pierson Proleau blocked Jason Baker's punt through the end zone for a safety that gave the Bills a 2-0 lead in the first quarter, the Chiefs took charge and rolled to a 28-5 halftime lead.

"All week long, people were saying this is a lucky 7-0 team," Richardson said. "The bottom line is, if Trent Green says it or Priest Holmes, somebody I go to battle with, then I would take it to heart. But if you're not stepping across the stripes with us, we can't allow any outside distractions."

Los Angeles Times Articles