Kansas City, Mo. Overall, Jared Allen was pretty pleased with his performance in the Kansas City Chiefs' 27-20 victory against Cincinnati on Sunday. Just one thing really bothered him.
"Tamba's stealing from me," Allen said of linemate Tamba Hali, who officially registered half a sack that Allen claims belongs to him. Allen had to settle for 21â2 sacks on the day. "I had three. I'm actually more disappointed in the ones I missed in the second half."
Allen, despite being suspended the first two games of the year for multiple DUI convictions, leads the AFC with six sacks. The Chiefs are 3-1 since his return.
All of Allen's sacks came in the first half Sunday, as the Chiefs shut down the Bengals' All-Pro quarterback and receivers and established a 20-7 lead.
"We don't care who it is, whether it's Carson Palmer and the vaunted Bengals' offense that's supposed to be so good," Allen said. "We gotta go out there and shut them down."
Kansas City held Cincinnati to seven points and 188 yards of offense in the first three quarters before the Bengals rallied in the fourth.
"Our secondary played very well, with the receivers they've got," Hali said, referring to Cincinnati's Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
The Bengals - Houshmandzadeh in particular -went off in the fourth quarter, but a failed onside-kick attempt ruined their comeback aspirations. The Bengals put up 185 yards in the final quarter, in which they also picked up their only third-down conversion of the day.
Cincinnati was 1-for-11 on third down.
"That's a big thing for our offense and a big thing for us, and we've got to do that because this is a good team," Hali said, pausing. "We really are a good team."
One explanation for the Chiefs' early defensive success Sunday is a change in coverage. Rather than rely predominantly on zone coverage, coach Herm Edwards chose to keep cornerback Patrick Surtain matched up on Johnson all day.
Ty Law covered Houshmandzadeh.
But Allen's dominance was the defense's life blood. Even the starting secondary acknolwedges that.
"It's big because he (quarterback) knows now we can get there," strong safety Bernard Pollard said. "If we go a whole half without getting there, he gets comfortable sitting back there because people are blocking for him. But if we get there early, he's going to want to release the ball early or run out of the pocket."
Now Allen, a native of Los Gatos, Calif., is getting excited to head home. Kansas City will travel to Oakland next weekend to meet the Raiders.
"I get to go home and play and see my momma," he said. "I don't want to lose in front of my mom."
Sapp's spat: K.C. nickelback Benny Sapp gave Cincinnati a first down on third-and-17 by committing a personal-foul penalty after the play.
Edwards was not thrilled.
"We sat him down on the bench," Edwards said. "I actually told the official, 'You want to kick him out?' He said 'No, I can't do that.'"
Allen had his own theory on Sapp's penalized behavior.
"I think he had a splinter," Allen quipped. "He was mad. He had a splinter that festered on him."
Edwards eventually showed his "sucker" side, he said.
"I said, 'OK, I know you're sorry, and it's fine, and I forgive you. You can go back and play now,'" Edwards said.