Chiefs fold Cards – Kansas City 49, Arizona 0
KC defense dominates in record-setting win
Kansas City, Mo. ? Whether this was the worst, second-worst or 10th-worst loss in their team’s long history hardly mattered to the glassy-eyed men in the somber Arizona dressing room.
“I don’t know if that makes it any more frustrating,” defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch finally said. “It just doesn’t get any more frustrating.”
Kansas City, with a defense ranked dead last in the NFL, shut out the injury-weakened Cardinals, 49-0, Sunday. The defeat is believed to be the most lopsided loss ever for the Cardinals, a franchise that’s played in three different cities and in parts of three different centuries.
It also was the biggest margin in the NFL since the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Houston Oilers 61-7 on Dec. 17, 1989.
“You’ve got to feel bad for those guys,” Chiefs guard Brian Waters said.
Dante Hall added a team-record 90-yard punt return for a touchdown for the Chiefs (6-6), who sent the Cardinals (4-8) to their sixth straight loss. Two Arizona quarterbacks totaled four interceptions and were sacked five times.
Kansas City’s Priest Holmes scored two touchdowns and had 169 total yards, personally eclipsing the 122 net yards of the hapless Cardinals.
“If I had known it was going to be like this, I wouldn’t have showed up,” Arizona left tackle L. J. Shelton said. “But not to score against that defense when we thought we could, that’s frustrating.”
The Cardinals’ previous worst loss was on Oct. 12, 1941, when the Chicago Cardinals lost to the Chicago Bears, 53-7. Records aren’t available between 1898, when the Cardinals were founded, and 1920.
“Any time you’ve got a one-sided loss like that, it has to go directly to the head coach,” said Arizona coach Dave McGinnis. “And that’s exactly what I told my players.”
It was the second-most lopsided win ever for the Chiefs (6-6), behind only their 59-7 victory over Denver on Sept. 7, 1963.
“Every player on our team was caught in the moment,” said Chiefs’ defensive end R-Kal Truluck.
“They are in a tough situation,” Waters said. “They’re working hard, but they’ve got a lot of guys hurt. You hate to see anybody go down the way they’ve gone down. But this is the NFL.”
Many of the first-teamers, including both starting quarterbacks, were removed in the third quarter after the Chiefs went ahead 42-0.
The Cardinals, who have given up 220 points during their six-game slide, failed to score against a defense whose opponents had been averaging 28.4 points.
The record-breaking TD came with 7:52 left when Todd Collins hit Marc Boerigter with a 29-yard scoring pass.
“I’d like to apologize to Dave McGinnis about that last touchdown,” said Kansas City coach Dick Vermeil. “I don’t think it was a real good call, and if I had heard, I should have stopped the call. I would just as soon not score, because I have a lot of respect for Dave and his coaches.”
Jake Plummer threw three of the Cards’ interceptions and was 14-of-31 for 88 yards before being replaced late in the third quarter by Josh McCown.
Holmes, who came in leading the NFL with 1,209 yards rushing, had 113 on 16 carries, including touchdown runs of 5 and 2 yards. His 22 touchdowns this season are four short of the NFL record Marshall Faulk set in 2000.
Holmes’ first TD gave the Chiefs a 7-0 lead, then on the final play of the first quarter, Hall fielded a punt on the 10, cut left, and went up the middle almost untouched, breaking J.T. Smith’s team record of 88 yards.
“I got to midfield and saw about seven of my blockers and just their kicker, so I knew I was going to score,” said Hall.
Holmes took a short pass and went 41 yards a few minutes later, and then Tony Richardson capped a 6-play, 75-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run.
The Chiefs then completed their 35-point first-half blitz with two touchdowns in the final 1:14, on Holmes’ 2-yard TD run and Green’s 23-yard scoring pass to Tony Gonzalez.
Green was 14-of-20 for 209 yards and two TDs and gave way to Collins on the Chiefs’ second possession of the third quarter.
The Cardinals, already weakened by injuries to wide receiver David Boston and running back Thomas Jones, lost wide receiver Frank Sanders to a sprained foot, and guard Pete Kendall to a sprained knee in the first half.
Notes: Holmes had his 14th 100-yard game with the Chiefs, tying Christian Okoye’s team record. … Cardinals WR Nathan Poole, who was working as a youth counselor three weeks ago, had his first career receiving day. He finished with three catches for 35 yards, with a long gain of 15 yards. … Vermeil is 6-9 against the Cardinals, but a Vermeil-coached team hadn’t won since the Philadelphia Eagles’ 38-0 victory on Dec. 12, 1981.