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Cheifs Chatter

Take a Memo

Chiefs have no quit in them

Posted 12-23-02

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist


Call it a gutsy performance. Call it luck. Call the last drive and FG lucky.

Call it what you will, but one thing about the 2002 KC Chiefs is they have absolutely no quit in them.

After a less-than-stellar defensive effort in the second half (yes, I am being kind, it is nearly Christmas), the Chiefs faced a first and 10 on their own three-yard line with 5:23 left in the game. They trailed by one point. No Priest Holmes, no Tony Richardson. No Morten Anderson. No Johnnie Morton (scratch that—that was a plus.)

But QB Trent Green—stitched up thumb and all—once again showed why he deserves to be the starting QB for the Chiefs. He has moxie. And he never quits.

He has played with a bum ankle, a bum thumb and bad ribs this season. He reminds me of Steve DeBerg, but with more talent.

Green was responsible for 70 of the 77 yards on the final drive with 65 yards passing, and a five-yard run.

He willed the team down the field for the final FG, and the win.

****

Take A Memo:

—WR Marc Boerigter now has 18 catches for 402 yards and 8 TD’s for the season in limited action. That’s 22.3 yards per catch. That’s one more TD than Tony Gonzalez. This guy is a playmaker.

—Boerigter also has 5 receiving TD’s in December, which leads the league.

—QB Trent Green now has a 95.2 QB rating, and is completing 62% of his passes.

—Boerigter and Green will always have an NFL record. Their 99-yard TD pass may be tied, but will never be broken.

—Rookie safety Shaunard Harts is either money or embarrassing. He was both on Sunday, but his strip of Chargers WR Reche Caldwell on the final drive of the Chargers sealed the deal.

—On third and one and the game on the line, do not run Mike Cloud up the middle.

—On fourth and one and the game on the line, do not run Mike Cloud up the middle.

—Never ever take the ball out of Trent Green’s hands in that situation unless he is going to hand it to Priest Holmes or T Rich.

—If Priest Holmes doesn’t go on Saturday against Oakland start Derrick Blaylock.

—The Chiefs offense set a team record with 466 points by scoring 24 on Sunday, breaking a 37-year old record of 442 points set in 1965. Maybe Vermeil and Saunders do know a little something about offense.

—The Arrowhead mystique may be back; the Chiefs now have five straight Arrowhead wins.

—Injuries were everywhere for the Chiefs and that gave little used players a chance to step up and answer the phone, or not.

Little used players that answered the call:

—WR Marc Boerigter. Two TD’s and an NFL record. Your new starting WR opposite Eddie Kennison.

—FB Omar Easy. One dropped pass, but otherwise a solid game.

—K Michael Husted. Last kicked a FG of 30 plus yards in the last century. Money kick that placed the Chiefs at 8-7.

—R-Kal Truluck, 3 tackles and one sack.

Veterans that answered the call:

—Trent Green, Eddie Kennison and Tony Gonzalez are all starters, but made the plays that allowed the Chiefs' very slim playoff hopes to remain.

A little used player where the phone is still ringing:

—Michael Cloud. 16 rushes for 19 yards. Ugh.

Wild card picture:

The Chiefs need a Christmas miracle to make the playoffs, but for the first time in 5 years, they will play for their playoff lives next Saturday.

I believe this is what must happen: (subject to change at any moment)

First, the Chiefs must beat Oakland and finish the season 9-7.

Then

Arizona must beat Denver. (Denver 8-8 and out of the playoffs)

Then

—Green Bay beats the Jets (Jets 9-7 and don't win the AFC East. Chiefs hold tiebreaker over Jets)

Or

—Miami beats New England. (Miami 10-6, NE 8-8)

It’s the longest of longshots, but expect nearly every TV in KC to be tuned to the KC vs. Oakland game next Saturday.

 

(CK Rairden can be reached by email at ckden@yahoo.com)