Jags Shut Down Chiefs Running Game
Monday, October 8th 2007, 10:46 am
By: News On 6
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ For 59 minutes and 59 seconds, Jacksonville dealt Kansas City a humiliating shutout.
As the final second ticked off the clock, the shutout vanished, but the humiliation is going to stick around a while.
Controlling the line of scrimmage and stopping everybody wearing a Kansas City uniform except tight end Tony Gonzalez, the Jaguars held the Chiefs to a shocking 10 yards rushing Sunday en route to a dominating 17-7 victory that had Arrowhead Stadium rocking with boos.
Two-time Pro Bowler Larry Johnson had only 12 yards on nine carries, 126 fewer than he rolled up on this same field last Dec. 31 in Kansas City's 35-30 victory over these same Jaguars. The 10 yards rushing were the second fewest in the history of a franchise whose roots go back to the inaugural season of the AFL in 1960.
``You can't ask for anything more,'' said cornerback Rashean Mathis. ``Our key coming in was to stop (Johnson) because he's a great back. We knew if we stopped him, they'd have a long day.''
Maurice Jones-Drew sped 52 yards for one touchdown and David Garrard hit Dennis Northcutt for 40 yards to set up another as the Jaguars (3-1) won their third in a row and dropped the Chiefs to 2-3.
Only Brodie Croyle's 13-yard pass to Samie Parker on the final play enabled the Chiefs to avoid their first shutout at home since 1994. Until then, the closest they came to scoring was Dave Rayner's missed 32-yard field goal attempt.
``I'm so glad we didn't get shut out. So glad,'' said Gonzalez, who had eight catches for 100 yards.
The meaningless touchdown didn't give left guard Brian Waters much solace.
``That didn't take any light off the terrible performance we had,'' Waters said.
The Chiefs had 271 yards total offense, with 70 coming in the last-minute drive that Croyle led because starting quarterback Damon Huard had gone out late in the fourth quarter with a bruised shoulder.
``We were out there talking to (Johnson) and having a little fun,'' said Jacksonville linebacker Clint Ingram.
``For a guy of his caliber, his style of play and the way he plays, a big physical running back, one of the best running backs in the league, to hold him to (12) yards, that's a good job as a defense. We take pride in something like that.''
David Garrard was 20-of-27 for 218 yards and one touchdown, and has not been intercepted since Ty Law picked him off last Dec. 31 and caused coach Jack Del Rio to bench him. Just after his 40-yard gain, Northcutt wiggled into the end zone with a 3-yard scoring pass.
The Chiefs, who have had poor field position all year, began their first three second-half possessions on their 3, 20 and 8. In the first half, they started only one drive beyond their 23.
It was the Jags who sustained things. In an 18-play, 77-yard march in the first quarter that netted only John Carney's 20-yard field goal, the Jaguars tied a team record for number of plays on a scoring drive. At 10 minutes, 55 seconds, it was the second-longest scoring drive in team history. Donnie Edwards stopped Jones-Drew on third-and-goal from the 3.
In the second quarter, Jones-Drew, held to no gain his two previous runs, burst through a big hole and quickly hit full stride. Twice he turned safety Jarrad Page with quick stutter steps and then outran 33-year-old cornerback Ty Law to the end zone for the Jags' longest run of the year.
``He did a little Barry Sanders move there and spun the guy around,'' said Garrard. ``When you have stuff like that, it takes so much pressure off your quarterback and so much off your offensive line when guys can make big plays like that. Everybody is doing a good job right now.''
Notes: The Chiefs' record for fewest yards rushing in a game is zero, against Denver in 1965. ... Jacksonville was the first opponent in 24 games to avoid having a turnover against the Chiefs. ... Huard was holding his shoulder gingerly in the locker room and said he had no idea about his status for next week's game against Cincinnati.