In 14 years with the Philadelphia Eagles, Andy Reid was known as an offensive-minded head coach. Two games into his new spot as head man of the Kansas City Chiefs, Reid's offense has been lackluster, while his defense has been winning games.
Keyed by two second-half takeaways, the Chiefs beat the Dallas Cowboys 17-16 at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The victory has Kansas City standing 2-0 in the young season with a trip coming to Reid's old stomping grounds in Philadelphia on Thursday. Dallas is 1-1.
After not allowing a touchdown in the season opener last Sunday against Jacksonville, the Chiefs defense held a more potent Cowboys offense to just one touchdown, a 5-yard pass from quarterback Tony Romo to wide receiver Dez Bryant in the first quarter. The rest of the Cowboys points came on three field goals by Dan Bailey.
The Chiefs forced a pair of third-quarter fumbles that only turned into three points for Kansas City, but the takeaways gave Romo and the Dallas offense two fewer opportunities to score. Strong safety Eric Berry recovered a fumble and cornerback Ron Parker picked up a sack and recovered a fumble in the same play.
Kansas City took control of the scoreboard in the third quarter when it put together a 10-play, 80-yard drive with four first-down plays and a big third-and-9 conversion on a pass from quarterback Alex Smith to wide receiver Donnie Avery. That moved the Chiefs into Dallas territory and five plays later Smith found WR Dwayne Bowe open as he crossed the middle of the field for a 12-yard touchdown play. The PAT kick gave the Chiefs a 14-13 lead.
Kansas City tacked on a field goal after Dallas running back Lance Dunbar fumbled the ball and it was recovered and returned by Berry to the Cowboys' 31-yard line. Ryan Succop made the 40-yard field goal that proved to be the winning points, for a 17-13 lead. A late Bailey field goal set the final score.
The Chiefs came out of the gate fast scoring on that first possession in a 13-play drive that was keyed by Smith and his legs, rather than his arm. Kansas City picked up five first downs in the 77-yard move down the field and the biggest was a 17-yard scramble by Smith on a third-and-15 play. Smith had to leap over a Dallas defender for the last two yards to get a first down. He landed with a thud on his back but the chains moved.
Smith eventually threw a short touchdown pass to running back Jamaal Charles and with the PAT, the Chiefs held a 7-0 lead.
Dallas came right back and picked up a 51-yard field goal Bailey and on their next possession, the Cowboys offense continued to ride the broad shoulders of Bryant, who caught passes for 38 and 5 yards before Romo found him open at the back of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown play. The Cowboys held a 10-7 lead that they carried through the second quarter and into the halftime locker room.
NOTES: The Chiefs came out in completely red uniforms, both tops and pants, the first time anyone in club history can remember them going all red. ... Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick blocked a 57-yard field goal attempt by Succop late in the second quarter. ... Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert left the game with a left shoulder injury early in the second quarter. After missing four offensive plays, he returns and finished out the half. ... Kansas City had all sorts of problems in the first half with Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware, as he picked up two sacks of Smith. ... Former Chiefs guard Brian Waters got his first playing time with the Cowboys, coming into the game on the second offensive series for Dallas. He was signed on Sept. 4 after sitting out the 2012 season. He played 11 seasons with the Chiefs.