Atlanta at Kansas City: October 24, 2004
The Atlanta Falcons brought the NFL’s top-ranked rushing defense into Arrowhead, allowing a paltry 74.5 yards a game. Against the Chiefs, they’d allow over 3.5 times that average – probably not the result Falcons All-Pro LB Keith Brooking was predicting during his animated pre-game speech.
At 1-4, the Chiefs looked like a team still reeling from its no-punt playoff loss to Indianapolis the year before. An 0-3 start to the 2004 season quickly dampened high preseason expectations and, even worse, the Chiefs looked more and more like the Raiders each week sloppily racking up 41 penalties that marched off 347 yards through the first five games.
But this day was different; an uplifter during an otherwise disappointing season of underachievement.
Against Atlanta’s top defensive unit, Kansas City held the football for 39 minutes and called 49 rushing plays. Chiefs running backs would use that heavy workload to account for an NFL-record eight rushing TDs in the 56-10 victory – four for Pro Bowler Priest Holmes and four for his backup Derrick Blaylock.
Kansas City’s eight rushing TDs bested the NFL’s previous record of seven set by the L.A. Rams in 1976. The Rams record also came against Atlanta.
“I actually thought there was a team that scored more touchdowns than that running the ball,” Holmes said after the game. “It was a surprise to me knowing it was just eight.
“It sets this offensive line apart from any other offensive line in history. It always gives me pleasure to be able to talk about my offensive line in ways that other people cannot.”
For the first time all season the Chiefs looked like a team that finished 13-3 the year before with one of the league’s most explosive offensive units. The offense finished with a near 50/50 split of 271 rushing yards and 269 passing yards to churn out a 540-yard explosion.
To no surprise, the Chiefs most successful rushing plays came on sweeps around the left edge behind tackle Willie Roaf’s massive frame.
“It was an unbelievable day,” Roaf said. “This is one I’ll remember when I’m done playing. I’m tired after being 39 minutes (of possession time) on the field. I’m tired, but I’m happy.”
FROM THE VAULT: GAME NOTES (10/24/04)
Game Captains: FB Tony Richardson (offense), CB Dexter McCleon (defense) and TE Kendall Gammon (special teams).
Starting/Playing Streaks: G Will Shields started his 181st consecutive game, extending his record for the most total starts in Chiefs history. It was the 182nd game Shields has played in during his tenure with the Chiefs. QB Trent Green extended his streak of consecutive starts to 54 games, the longest string by a QB in KC history and the fourth-longest active QB streak in the NFL. TE Kendall Gammon played in his 197th consecutive game, a mark which ties with QB Brett Favre (Green Bay) for the longest active NFL streak among non-kickers. RB Priest Holmes played in his 100th NFL contest.
Scoring Offense: The Chiefs 56 points tied as the second-highest total in team history and were the most points ever scored by the club at Arrowhead. KC previously had 56 points at Denver (10/23/66). The team record is 59 at Denver (9/7/63). Those 56 points were the most scored by an NFL club since St. Louis registered a 57-31 win vs. San Diego (10/1/00). KC scored 35 points in the first half, tying as the third-highest first-half total in team history. KC last accomplished the feat vs. Arizona (12/1/02) and vs. St. Louis (12/8/02). KC’s eight TDs tied a team record, most recently accomplished at Denver (10/23/66). KC’s 46-point margin of victory tied as the fourth-largest gap in team history. Dating back to ’33, KC’s 56 points without a passing TD were the most in NFL history.
Scoring Defense: KC’s defense permitted just three points, the fewest offensive points allowed by KC since a 31-3 win vs. Chicago (12/28/03).
Rushing Offense: KC’s eight rushing TDs established an NFL single-game record, breaking the previous mark of seven established by the L.A. Rams who did it vs. Atlanta (12/4/76). KC’s 49 rushing attempts were the club’s most since having 57 vs. Seattle (11/5/89). Atlanta entered the game as the NFL’s top rushing defense, allowing an average of 74.5 rushing ypg. KC’s 271 rushing yards were the club’s most since having 310 vs. Detroit (10/14/90).
Total Offense: The Chiefs had 540 total net yards, the seventh-highest total in franchise history and the most since having 552 at Seattle (11/24/02). KC’s 77 offensive plays were the club’s most since having 78 vs. Oakland (1/2/00).
Record-Setting Day For First Downs: KC registered 36 first downs, breaking the previous record of 32 set at Houston (10/24/65) and at Seattle (11/24/02). Those 36 first downs ranked as the fourth-highest single-game total in NFL history and were the most in a game since San Francisco had 36 vs. Indianapolis (10/18/98). KC’s 21 rushing first downs set a single-game franchise record, breaking the previous mark of 20 vs. Houston (10/1/61).
Daily Quadruple: RB Priest Holmes and RB Derrick Blaylock each tied a Chiefs single-game record with four rushing TDs. Holmes and Blaylock became the first pair of teammates in NFL history to each score four rushing TDs in the same game. In fact, they became the first duo to each have three rushing TDs in the same game.
Holmes’ Day: RB Priest Holmes had a pair of two-yard TD runs, a one-yard TD run and a 15-yard TD run in the first half. Holmes’ four rushing TDs tied a career high. He previously did it at Cleveland (9/8/02). Holmes became the sixth player in NFL history to register four rushing TDs in a half. The most recent player to do it was Seattle RB Shaun Alexander vs. Minnesota (9/29/02). He is just the fifth player in NFL history with at least two games with four or more rushing TDs. It was also Holmes' eighth career game with three or more rushing TDs. Only three other players have eight or more such games: Jim Brown (10), Emmitt Smith (9) and Marshall Faulk (8).
Holmes now has 10 rushing TDs on the season and a club-record 66 rushing scores as a member of the Chiefs. He has 76 rushing TDs in his NFL career. His 33-yard reception was his longest since a 36-yard catch vs. Oakland (11/23/03). Holmes posted his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season. He now has 23 100-yard games in the regular season with KC and 30 in his NFL career.
NFL RECORD BOOK,
FOUR RUSHING TDS IN A HALF
Jim Brown (Cleveland vs. St. Louis, 11/18/62)
Roland Hooks (Buffalo vs. Cincinnati, 9/9/79)
Chuck Muncie (San Diego vs. Denver, 11/29/81)
Eric Dickerson (Indianapolis vs. Denver, 10/31/88)
Shaun Alexander (Seattle vs. Minnesota, 9/29/02)
Priest Holmes (Kansas City vs. Atlanta, 10/24/04)
KC vs. NFC: The Chiefs are 17-3 (.850) vs. NFC opponents at Arrowhead dating back to the ’95 season. Atlanta is 0-10-1 vs. AFC opponents on the road dating back to ’98.
Turnover Stats: CB Eric Warfield tied a career high with his fourth INT of the season. He has had four INTs each of the past three seasons. Warfield now has 19 career INTs, tying him for 17th in team history with DB Dave Grayson. Greg Wesley recorded his first INT of the season and the 17th of his career. Prior to today’s contest vs. Atlanta, the last time RB Priest Holmes lost a fumble was vs. Denver (10/5/03). The Chiefs are +17 (34 takes/17 gives) in their last 16 regular season games at Arrowhead.
Green’s Day: QB Trent Green finished the game with a 105.3 rating. It was 17th game with a 100.0+ rating as a member of the Chiefs and the 22nd such game of his NFL career.
More Defensive Notes: KC’s defense allowed Atlanta to convert just one of 11 (9.1%) third-down opportunities, the club’s best effort in that department since allowing the Chargers to go one of 11 (9.1%) at San Diego (11/26/00). KC allowed 103 net passing yards, the club’s fewest since permitting 96 vs. Arizona (12/1/02).
Blaylock’s Game: RB Derrick Blaylock established a career high with four rushing TDs, getting TD runs of seven, one, three and two yards. He now has six career rushing TDs. Blaylock’s 19 carries and 90 rushing yards were both career highs, breaking the previous marks of seven carries vs. Arizona (12/1/02) and 40 yards vs. Oakland (11/23/03).
Sack Stats: The Chiefs have now registered 4.0 sacks in three consecutive games, the first time the club has accomplished that feat since having five straight games with 4.0 or more sacks from 11/16/97 – 12/14/97. LB Monty Beisel and DT John Browning split a five-yard sack in the first quarter. Beisel now has 1.5 career sacks. Browning has 2.5 sacks on the season and 23.5 for his career. CB William Bartee recorded an eight-yard sack in the second quarter, his first of the season and the third of his career. DE Jared Allen recorded his first career two-sack game. He now has 4.0 on the season.
Reception Streaks: TE Tony Gonzalez has caught a pass in 58 consecutive games, the second-longest string in Chiefs history. Gonzalez has at least one reception in 102 of his last 103 games. WR Eddie Kennison has caught a pass in 41 straight games.
KC’s Defense Keeps Streak Intact Without a 300-Yard Passer: KC’s defense also owns a streak of 20 straight games without allowing a 300-yard passer, a mark which ties with Carolina as the second-longest such active streak in the league behind only Miami (21 games). The Chiefs defense has also gone seven straight regular games without allowing an individual 100-yard receiver and did not permit an individual 100-yard rusher for the fourth straight contest.
Tynes’ PATs: K Lawrence Tynes tied a Chiefs single-game record with eight made PATs. It had been previously accomplished on two previous occasions. Tommy Brooker did it at Denver (9/7/63) and Mike Mercer did it at Denver (10/23/66).
Injuries: DT Junior Siavii (left lower leg contusion), LB Monty Beisel (left calf strain), CB Dexter McCleon (right hamstring strain), FB Omar Easy (right hamstring strain) and T John Welbourn (right knee sprain).