Despite Off Game, Chiefs Win, 24-3
The Kansas City Chiefs picked a good day to have an off game.
For one, they were home against Washington, a team winless on the road. For another, Redskin quarterback Gus Frerotte had his worst day of the season as the Chiefs came off their bye week with a 24-3 victory that kept them atop the AFC with an 8-1 record.
“We’re pleased with this victory, but we know it wasn’t pretty,” wide receiver Lake Dawson said.
The Chiefs, who fretted about losing their momentum after taking their bye week, weren’t as sharp as they had been while winning seven of their first eight. They had more penalty yards, 72 to 49, and fumbles, 2 to 0, than the Redskins, and Steve Bono, who had been averaging almost 220 yards, completed 21 of 37 passes for only 201.
“The problem was we just never could put the game on ice in the second half,” guard Dave Szott said. “Our timing just wasn’t what it had been. I hate bye weeks.”
Bono’s day included a 19-yard touchdown pass to Willie Davis after Marcus Allen’s one-yard touchdown run as the Chiefs opened a 17-3 halftime lead.
But the Chiefs could not put away the injury-weakened Redskins (3-7) until Kimble Anders broke loose on a career-long 40-yard touchdown run with 2:26 left.
Frerotte, without his top two receivers, completed only 11 of 34 passes for 140 yards. He was pulled for Heath Shuler after misfiring on four consecutive passes with the Redskins still behind, 17-3, early in the fourth quarter.
“He was frustrated by the rush, and a lot of guys weren’t getting open,” Washington Coach Norv Turner said. “When his frustration level rose, he started missing some guys that were open as it went on.”
Said Frerotte, who came in as the second-leading passer in the NFL with 240 yards a game: “A few I missed, a few were dropped. We just couldn’t get that big play to get us over the hump.”
With the help of what amounted to a 45-yard penalty against the Redskins, the Chiefs scored on their opening drive for the first time this season. After Washington failed to move on its first possession, Matt Turk’s punt died at the Chiefs’ five.
But the Redskins had to kick again when called for an ineligible man downfield. This time, Vanover returned it 35 yards to the 50.
Bono passed to tight end Keith Cash for 16 yards and Allen went up the middle for 10 as the Chiefs marched 49 yards in nine plays. On fourth and goal from the one, Allen dived across for his 101st rushing touchdown.
“It’s good to have time off,” said Chiefs’ center Tim Grunhard. “But when you’re on a roll like we were you hate to take it.”