Sep 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) hands off to running back Jamaal Charles (25) in the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 17-16. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs vs Cowboys: Grading Kansas City's Win Over Dallas

Haven’t seen that in a while, have we?

A close, meaningful, nail-biting game was played today at Arrowhead Stadium, as the Chiefs pulled out the victory over the Cowboys 17-16. The Chiefs matched their win total from 2012 with the win, and have their first 2-0 start since 2010.

Kansas City got off to an early lead, scoring a touchdown on the game-opening drive. The Cowboys answered with 10 straight points, and the game went to half with Dallas leading 10-7.

A third-quarter field goal from Dallas’ Dan Bailey put the ‘Boys ahead 13-7. This was the point in the game where the 2012 Chiefs team would have imploded. But that’s not what happened. Later that quarter, Dwayne Bowe took a pass from Alex Smith in for 6, putting Kansas City on top 14-13. The Chiefs never relinquished the lead, and won the game 17-16.

Now, the report card:


The first drive was impressive. Alex Smith made things happen with his legs, and the Chiefs were able to grab a ton of momentum to start the game. Aside from that though, the offense was just…well…average. There weren’t any explosive plays, but they were smart, and took care of the football. Smith’s completion percentage wasn’t sky-high, but he threw two more touchdown passes, and didn’t turn the ball over.

The final drive was a bit sloppy, but was also pretty clutch. You’ve got to give it to Jamaal Charles, he stepped it up there in the final few minutes.

Grade: C+


When you play the style of defense that the Chiefs want to play, you have to have strong man-to-man coverage on the outside. That didn’t happen. Brandon Flowers was isolated against Dez Bryant seemingly all game, and Romo made the Chiefs pay. If it weren’t for Bryant’s performance, I’d give this unit an A. Holding the Cowboy’s offense to 1 TD is a victory.

Grade: B-

Special Teams

Dustin Colquitt was the man. Plain and simple. That last punt iced the game, and there was a long stretch in first half where the Chiefs were dominating the battle for field position. That was great.

What wasn’t great was the blocked field goal, the kick coverage, and the idiocy. Yes, idiocy. When your punter drops a 62 yard punt on the 1 yard line, if you’re the gunner, you have to know if you’re in or out of bounds, and you also have to know that if you did go out of bounds, you can’t touch the ball. Yes, I’m talking to you, Marcus Cooper.

Oh, and you also saw today why Knile Davis doesn’t return kicks.

Grade: C-


How about a screen pass to counter the Cowboy aggression? Or double-covering Dez Bryant? We finally threw the screen late in the game, and decided to double Bryant with about 4 minutes left. While adjustments from the coaching staff were good moves, they seemed to have come very late in the game. Add to that some terrible clock management at the end of the game, and you earn yourself a below average grade.

Grade: C-


The Uniforms

While I wouldn’t want to see it every week, the red on red was awesome.

Grade: A+

Okay, what do you think, Addicts? Am I on? Way off? Sound off below.


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Tags: Alex Smith Andy Reid Dan Bailey Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs Knile Davis Marcus Cooper

  • Robert Firestone

    I believe that is an excellent overview of the game.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Wasn’t perfect, but that’s how you have to win in the NFL sometimes. #illtakeit

    • RepOurChiefs

      Right Sir Stace….ugly win is better than a ugly loss anyday.#illtakeit2

      • KCMikeG

        And a thousand times better than a pretty loss!

  • Larry Devore

    K. Davis will be fine. he’s not the first guy to muff a kick.


      Maybe, but that was the big knock on Knile coming out of college. He fumbles. Alot. That is the easiest way to get a ticket out of the league.

      • sidibeke

        A rookie trying to make a play. He CAN’T do that, obviously, but he chased it down and got it back. Not ready to give up on him yet; that 109 return still in my mind.

      • Danny W

        Yeah especially with backs being a dime a dozen that are good anymore. You can find them in most any round. The guy fumbles too much and we’ll see Cyrus Gray alot more.

  • Twaters

    Ugly, but a W. 2-0. Onto to Philly!

  • Deaudrey Dre-Mac MacDonald

    I use the red on red on Madden lol that was awesome

    • Jeff Grasser Jr

      Lol me too! I wish we did red on red more often

    • micah stephenson

      I where the red on red every game.

    • RepOurChiefs

      I do too! Lol

    • KCMikeG

      I LOVE the RED on RED!! I have been asking for this for years! Here’s the story I heard. The players wanted to wear the RED/RED and asked Reid early this week. Reid went to Dorsey who got Clark’s approval. But here’s the best part. They didn’t tell the players. Check out the pregame warm ups in their white pants. When the players went back into the locker room the RED PANTS were hanging in their lockers!!!!!!!!!! The players went wild!!! What an incredibly brilliant use a simple request by the players by our management to launch the players onto the field in a frenzy! THIS IS THE NEW KANSAS CITY CHIEFS!!! DJ said after the game that they call the RED PANTS their “FLAMES”. I FREAKING LOVE WHAT IS HAPPENING IN KC FOR OUR CHIEFS!!! I can’t wait for Eli to stumble into town throwing picks left and right!!!!

  • Canad-Ian

    Time to leave my basement and show off my Chiefs hat and jersey all over town.

  • GDL40

    2-0 …… happy with it even if it ain’t pretty. BUT makes me worry about Flowers and our Offense. Flowers needed help badly he got schooled, and lucky Dez dropped that one pass, gotta fix that. And at times it seemed like the Jaguars game , where were winning the field position but our offense couldnt move the ball… All in all I am satisfied because the Cowboys are not a bad team, and hopefully we can take care of the negatives as the season goes on ….GO CHIEFS !

    • sidibeke

      I actually think this Dal team could end up being pretty good. Their o line was solid in pass protection, and I think was against a pretty good NYG D last week.

  • Jeff Grasser Jr

    Good article bro! I agree with your grades…it was a rough game…I was borderline heart attack all the way through…could’ve sworn the refs had money on Dallas though…that pass interference on the Berry INT was bogus

    • berttheclock

      My cardiologist was frantically calling D’s Bar in Portland trying to tell Dennis not to allow me to watch another minute of the game.
      BTW, Dennis, great sausage gravy.

    • GDL40

      Not to mention Hali was on his way to his first sack of the year, he was held, obvious holding if u ask me….. but the refs decided not to call it

      • berttheclock

        Yeah, Tyron Smith definitely got away with a grab.

      • Jeff Grasser Jr

        Hali is always held and it’s never called…I think its the angle he pushes at but who knows

      • ChiefTucson

        Did no one see D Poe??? That guys a beast!!

        • Michael Shaw


        • oldchiefsfan

          I think Poe is the most improved player on the team.

      • Michael Shaw

        Most people say that there is holding on every play, and I usually agree, but some of the EFFING holds they were getting by with, were ridiculous!!!!

  • berttheclock

    Grading is all well and good, but, I will accept that written at 345 Park Avenue, New York City. There, in the NFL record books, all that is written is KC Chiefs two wins, no losses. No style points and no grades assigned.

  • Chris Tarrants

    At the end of the day a win is a win is a win! We have already won as many games as we did all last year. Our defense played great, Flowers got beat but Dez is a great WR so no shame in not winning every battle there

    • tm1946

      Only possible shame was Flowers being left out there by himself during the first half, coaches, are you listening.

    • superman_25_58

      Ya Flowers got beat a lil but we won’t face many receivers with the skill set of DEZ and Megatron IMHO.

  • tm1946

    Great article, why….because I agree with it. Good game….2-0, says it all. At some point in time, we will need a running game, OL needs more time to come together.

    Especially like the red on red uniforms. Game ball to Colquitt, savior deluxe today. Smith did what he had to do, hope he does not have to save us with his running the ball very often. K. Davis better figure it out pretty quick, streets full of backup RBs.

  • meatcutter

    I would say most of your observations are pretty much were I would be also. I certainly hope our secondary tightens it up with Philly and there 100 mile minute offense, coming up on a short turnaround. Also, I am pretty sure I’m right but was Poe not on the field the last 2 or 3 defensive series. Did something happen or was it just a package where he wasn’t in?

  • berttheclock

    Glad to see Sean McGrath get far more playing time and he even caught a pass and bulled ahead for extra yardage. Big, fast, can block and as soon as he really learns more of the playbook, he will add much to the offense. Two excellent waiver wire pickups from Seattle by Dorsey. McGrath and Ron Parker, who stripped the ball from Romo and ended up with the recovery. Everyone at D’s Bar, including myself, kept asking “Who is Number 38?”.

    In addition, McGrath was the TE who set up Bowe’s TD with an excellent pick.

    • sidibeke

      At the beginning of the game, I was wondering who the dude with the wicked beard was. He might be my new favorite player.

  • paul pace

    I for one am going to stay away from making negative comments as has been made by some posters and by this article. Everyone has a right to their opinion and, of course, I doubt very few will disagree that the Chiefs need to improve in some areas. BUT, I truly enjoyed beating America’s Team!! I don’t like the Cowboys and their arrogant owner…… and never will!! Kansas City defeated a pretty good team today and I am enjoying this win until Thursday when we play the Eagles!

    • Danny W

      Good on you man. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    • superman_25_58

      I agree their is more work to be done but this is a brand new offense with a lot of new faces. I truly believe that we will see this offense explode once they get comfortable with the playbook and our line gets comfortable with each other and knows what each other is going to do in certain situations. I am overly excited about the direction we are going in. IMHO with the 1st pick of the 2014 Draft the KC Chiefs select…………….. The Best WR available!!!

  • micah stephenson

    2 and 0!!!!! Go Chiefs!!!!!

  • Bigtexjayhawk

    Red on red was awesome. Hope they now take it to the next level and bring out black on black!! Get used to this type of game. this is thier recipe for success. I think our offense did pretty well against their D and that was the difference. Loved it at the end when they knew we were going to run and we still jammed it down their throats!! I am in Fort Worth so thank the Lord they won!!! Incredible game by the fans too!!!

  • Montez K.

    I was at the stadium in person…sat in the fourth row behind the bench…it was beautiful to watch. It’s a new day in KC. Well worth the trip from Dallas….now headed back to go collect my winnings from my Cowgirl fan friends!

  • Jared Watson

    To be honest I don’t mind Dez getting 140+ yards. I will take it when the Chiefs shut down Demarco and the running game and hold all other receivers to under 50 yards like they did today. Dez’s performance was a non factor when you consider the rest of the Cowboys offense didn’t do a thing. I give the D today no less than a B+.

    • sidibeke

      Totally shut down Witten and Austin and Murray. And those throw-catches to Dez on the first drive or two were tough. Not a whole lot Flowers can do. Need the safety coming over or you’ll give those up.

    • jimfetterolf

      Seemed to be the plan, let Flowers try to limit Bryant, shut down the other receivers, and stuff the run with the freed-up safety. It worked, not like Romo was able to hit Bryant 30 times. He basically had only Bryant and when he was covered Romo got a visit from Poe or a couple of yards to Whitten. Interesting defensive idea and it worked.

  • Josh Schwan

    I always use Red on Red on Madden

  • Josh Schwan

    put in Tyler Bray!

    • tm1946

      OK but why, not like Smith was throwing interceptions and losing game. Better stick with the QB with the 2-0 record.

    • freshmeat62

      No no, not for a couple more years. The kids got a great arm but he needs to learn the game first.

  • berttheclock

    The defense has given up 16 points for two games, yet, one of the so-called “experts” at NFL Network referred to the defense as average. At the conclusion of showing highlights from the game, where, the analysts spent a great deal of time oohing and aahing over the play of Dez Bryant, Jamie Dukes said that this is what fans should expect from the Chiefs. He said as the offense isn’t explosive and the defense is average, games such as the one today will be what the Chiefs will show. Of course, for several years the former offensive lineman for the Falcons maintained that Matt Ryan is not a franchise QB.

    • tm1946

      Not a lot of love or respect even with Reid as HC. I thought we were seeing the remake of Brokeback Mountain with the tv announcers and their affection for all things Dallas.

    • sidibeke

      The Fox announcers were quite vocal when about calls against Dal; not so much on those against KC (didn’t like the Berry call, for example; announcers say nothing but then freak out about the call against Claiborn on Avery…whatever. Just another day in the Chiefs’ life and the national media.

      And if exciting, hard fought wins are what I can expect…okay.

      • toperspective

        Even the Red Zone channel disses the Chiefs. Last week they showed a total of 4 plays from the whole game – none of them live and this week wasn’t much better.

  • Dfrey87

    How was the clock management bad? I thought the coaching was very good.

    • Danny W

      We had two penalties for delay of game. One of them was in the clutch. That’s not watching the clock effectively.

      • berttheclock

        One of those was in a punting situation. Actually, it helped Coquitt with his dropping the ball inside of the twenty.

        • Danny W

          Still we had avoided two with a last secnd time out. The good thing is these are easy things to work out. I don’t expect this to be a season long affair.

    • sidibeke

      Didn’t run the play clock lower on each snap on our last drive. Charles ran ob when he didn’t need to. Penalty to stop the clock. Silly things that can cost you a game.

  • Stephen Doroha

    Red on red in the sea of red was a nice touch for the opener in Arrowhead!! GOOD JOB GO CHIEFS!!!

  • RepOurChiefs

    Very spot on with the exception of the uniforms. Thats how I play on madden! I was elated to see that! Lol The team chose thst for us. Awesome. Go Chiefs

  • Danny W

    I agree on the grades. I thought we would have had a sack or two from one of our ends but it didn’t happen. That was a clean pick by Berry, and on the next play Abdullah should have had a pick six. Offense stalled most of the game all except for three drives but it was enough for a win. I’m looking forward to using the power run more like we did late in the game at other times instead of only fourth quarter. Charles is the second best running back in the league in all. I’m hoping Smith starts to find confidence and throws it to receivers on the hashes instead of over the middle or right in front of him. It’s like we couldn’t attack the sidle lines with throws at the end of the game because he couldn’t make the throws or didn’t have the confidence to. We got a win though, so heres to improving continually and a making this a winning streak. Go Chiefs.

    • Harm Williams

      Good god man… Smith had 2.5 seconds on average to throw the ball… The o line got its ass kicked for the first 3 quarters. Smith was running for his life. Interior o line needs to figure it out fast.

      • Danny W

        I do feel the line got us into some bad situations at times, but do you feel like Alex Smith did as good as anyother quarterback in the leauge would do in those circumstances or could he improve in your opinion?

  • Michael Shaw

    So, can we win on Thursday?????!!!!!!!

    • tm1946

      Short week to prep. SD beat them, SD not team full of HOFers. We need a running game. Smith must manage game, do nothing nuts. Special teams has not reached levels of preseason games. Poe needs to be a wrecking machine.

      Can we win Thursday, damned right. But our Chiefs need to buy into coaches plan, execute it, and kick some rear.

  • KCMikeG


  • DTVTechGuy

    Red on Red was sick! Plain and simple!

  • sidibeke

    ST: right on. Still those newbees (Cooper, blocked FG missed block) screwing things up. Sometimes upheaval at the bottom of the roster can take its toll, I guess.

    What I did like: the O line stepped up in the 2nd half. Charles may not have gotten going until the last drive, but when you can run it when the D is expecting you to run it, that says something.

    Love the effort Hemmingway put in to try (yet fail) to get the 1st.

    LOVE the tackling. Outside of Lewis’ try to strip the ball missed tackle on Murray, our D is making the tackle. Period.

    Lots of room for improvement. Smith needs to not take that late sack; needs to be better with working the clock. Liked that there was a little more of a vertical passing game. Not sure what will give on Thurs: can Chiefs put up the points to match Philly? Will our D slow them down?

    Ah, 2-0. Good feeling.

  • oldchiefsfan

    I am so happy to finally have a REAL Quarterback!!!!

  • freshmeat62

    But on that final drive, Charles was able to gain enough yards running that they ate up all but 16 seconds. I would like to see them try a series or two during the game where they concentrate on running Charles more.

    • tm1946

      The OL does not seem up to speed on the running attack. Maybe with time.

  • freshmeat62

    I’ve always thought gold jerseys or pants would look good w/ red – even white.

  • kcsparky

    Good calls all Paul. Think that play option and slant trap runs should have been tried a little more. The middle was bottled up pretty tight by Dallas. Biggest problem that I saw has been an issue for years with our Chiefs…..mental let down on the fourth quarter. That’s when a team has to dig the deepest! Stupid penalties were costly and Coop, that was just a bonehead move. Dustin NAILED that punt! Situational awareness was not there. In a tight game like that, bad head work and not playing hard to the final tick of the clock is a killer!