Chiefs off to winning start through first 2 games

By DAVE SKRETTA - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-16 14:41

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Kansas City Chiefs were about 20 minutes removed from a victory over the Cowboys that allowed them to match their victory total from all of last season when questions immediately shifted to Thursday night's game in Philadelphia.

Turns out that was about 20 minutes more than they needed.

"Our mindset is to go 3-0," wide receiver Dwayne Bowe said. "We want to go 4-0 in the first quarter, that's what coach is preaching and we all have that in our mind."

Even seconds after the kind of uplifting win that so eluded the Chiefs last season. They pushed their record to 2-0 with a 17-16 victory, just the second time since 2005 the franchise has started off with a pair of wins.

In any other week, coach Andy Reid might give everyone a day off after such a win. Instead, the coaching staff convened Sunday night to start studying film of the Eagles, and they were back at the training facility Monday to finish off their game plan.

"Every coach tells you these Thursday nights, it's a quick turnaround, and you just have to go," said Reid, who has the added stress of facing the team that fired him after 14 seasons. "It's something you have to do. You buckle down and make sure you get it done."

So far, the Chiefs have done that quite admirably.

In a win at Jacksonville and a come-from-behind victory over the Cowboys, a defense that returns four Pro Bowl players has allowed just one touchdown. It's yielding a shade below 250 yards a game, fourth best in the league, and already has racked up nine sacks.

Then there's the offense, which has taken advantage of the luxurious field position.

Alex Smith has four touchdown passes without an interception. Jamaal Charles has proven to be as adept at catching the ball as he is running it. And a receiving corps led by Bowe has made enough plays to keep the chains moving in crunch time.

"You have to battle," Smith said. "You don't know what play it's going to be that makes a difference of the course of the game. You don't know what's going to be the difference maker."

Against the Cowboys, it may have been Charles down the stretch.

The Chiefs' defense held and Dan Bailey kicked a field goal with 3:55 left in the game, then kicked off hoping to force a quick punt. Instead, Charles carried the Chiefs to a series of first downs that melted enough time off the clock that Tony Romo never really had a shot at marching Dallas into position for a winning score.

"I knew I was going to get the ball," said Charles, who played despite missing practice earlier in the week with a bruised quad. "I knew the moment was going to come and it came today and I was very happy I had to carry my team on my back."

Not even Charles spent a whole lot of time relishing the win, though. His thoughts began to drift to the Eagles, too.

Charles and the rest of the Kansas City offense were licking their chops at the prospect of facing a defense shredded for more than 400 yards passing by Philip Rivers and San Diego in a 33-30 loss Sunday. On the flip side, the Chiefs' stingy defense was thinking about ways to slow down the frenetic pace of the Philadelphia offense under new coach Chip Kelly.

"We've studied them a lot in the offseason. We've been grinding since last night," defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said Monday. "I don't think the problem will be seeing it, the problem will be getting the plan in and executing it."

Maybe that's why the Chiefs didn't spend much time celebrating their winning start.

"Most of these guys are from last year and the taste we had in our mouths last year, nobody ever wants to feel that again," defensive tackle Dontari Poe said. "Everybody's focused. Everybody is working hard and making sure that don't happen."


Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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