Kansas City, Mo. Hard to believe, but the Chiefs remain undefeated after two weeks of the 1995 season.
On Sunday, Kansas City committed nine penalties for 75 yards and twice failed to score after penetrating the New York Giants' 10-yard line, yet managed a 20-17 overtime victory at Arrowhead Stadium.
"We made enough mistakes today for half a season," Kansas City coach Marty Schottenheimer said.
"From an artistic standpoint, we weren't very good. In regard to playing with heart and a purpose, we were very good," Schottenheimer added after his squad erased a 14-point deficit in the final 11 minutes.
A KC victory seemed improbable after a wacky Giants' TD upped a seven-point lead to two TDs with 10:56 left.
Facing third-and-goal at the Giants' 7, KC quarterback Steve Bono was sacked by Robert Harris and fumbled into the hands of defensive tackle Keith Hamilton.
The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Hamilton lumbered 87 yards, then fumbled after a hit by KC tight end Keith Cash. Giants' safety Tito Wooten scooped the ball at the 1 and scored, giving New York a 17-3 lead..
"When the score was 17-3, I walked the sideline and not one guy doubted we'd be able to come back," Schottenheimer said. "I said at the (preseason) luncheon, the strength of this football team is the people we've got."
KC (2-0) needed the rest of the quarter to catch New York (0-2).
First, Kansas City marched 73 yards in nine plays and cut the gap to 17-10 on a 1-yard run by Marcus Allen at 5:03.
Following a punt, KC regained possession at its own 33 with 3:54 left. The Chiefs marched 67 yards in 14 plays and tied the game on a 3-yard pass from Bono to Danan Hughes and PAT by Lin Elliott at 1:22.
The biggest play on the drive was an 8-yard grab by Cash on fourth-and-seven from the Giants' 11. Cash dragged defender Willie Beamon from the 6-yard line to the 3, giving KC a much-needed first down on the extra effort.
"We didn't play well, but when we needed to make plays, we made them," Cash said. "On that play, I knew if I caught it, there would be a defensive back there. I put my shoulder down and tried to get as many yards as I could."
Both teams failed on opening possessions in overtime, with KC beginning a final drive on the Giants' 41, following a 10-yard punt return by Tamarick Vanover.
KC marched to the Giants' 17 in five plays. Then, with about eight minutes left, KC running back Greg Hill fumbled at the 17. Cash, however, recovered at the 6, and on the next play, Elliott kicked a game-winning 23-yard field goal.
"I was just in the right place at the right time," Cash said.
"It was an unfortunate thing. I'm glad we got out of it," said Hill, who gained 22 yards on six carries after last week's 109-yard rushing game against Seattle.
Just as "glad" was Schottenheimer. After all, he could have called on Elliott earlier, instead of risking a Hill handoff.
"The thought of kicking entered my mind before the fumble. Obviously when the thing came out and we got it back, it was a no-brainer," Schottenheimer said.
The Chiefs totaled 333 yards to the Giants' 238. Not impressive chunks of yardage, but enough to suit Bono, off the hook for an ill-advised pass that was intercepted in the Giants' end zone right before halftime.
"Stupidity," Bono said, noting he was looking for fullback Tony Richardson, who was well covered. "Thank God we got it going at the right time."
KC will next meet the Oakland Raiders at noon Sunday at Arrowhead.