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Tennessee at Kansas City

Titans tandem rushes for more than 300 yards; Chiefs lose QB for season

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Tennessee Titans haven't been this good and the Kansas City Chiefs haven't been this bad in 31 years.

With Chris Johnson running for 168 yards and LenDale White 149, the Titans (6-0) remained the NFL's lone unbeaten team by rushing for a franchise-record 332 yards in a 34-10 blowout Sunday.

The record that fell? The 296 yards that the Houston Oilers amassed on the ground against Kansas City on Nov. 27, 1977, almost two decades before the team moved to Tennessee.

The Chiefs (1-5) also saw a record take a tumble in what's shaping up as one of their worst seasons since moving to Kansas City in the early '60s. The 332 yards erased the record of 330 by the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers, which had stood as the most ever allowed by K.C.

"Your run game is a development of the way your team plays," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "The backs got a lot of extra yards on their own after contact."

White scored on runs of 6, 2 and 80 yards, the franchise's longest since 1983. Johnson had a 66-yard touchdown run that made it 34-3 late in the fourth quarter.

Without pausing as he crossed the goal line, Johnson went to the Chiefs band right behind the playing field and started banging his open palms on the drums, drawing a percussion penalty and prompting Fisher to promise "it will not happen again."

"I thought about it before the game, but Coach Fisher talked to me and said I can't be doing that," Johnson said. "It's disrespect. I'm just trying to have fun. He didn't chew me out because it was a win."

It was the first time since 1977 that two runners had gone over 100 yards against the Chiefs, whose despair was deepened by a season-ending knee injury to brittle Brodie Croyle.

In the second quarter of his first appearance since injuring his shoulder in the season opener, Croyle hobbled away and was replaced by Damon Huard. The Chiefs' designated quarterback of the future has been injured four times in eight career starts and Kansas City will probably make finding a young quarterback a top priority among a swarm of other personnel needs.

Huard injured the thumb on his throwing hand and was replaced in the fourth quarter by Tyler Thigpen with 11:56 left. With Larry Johnson not active for disciplinary reasons, the Chiefs managed only 58 yards rushing.

"They hit some big runs at the end," Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said. "Guys not playing their gaps and that's kind of been our Achilles' heel from the beginning to right now. We worked on it all during the bye week and we thought we had some things corrected."

On White's 80-yard run and Johnson's 66-yarder, both men bolted through huge holes in the line and were virtually untouched.

"Obviously, some players didn't do what they were supposed to do," Edwards said.

After going seven straight quarters without scoring, the Chiefs got a field goal from Nick Novak and a 14-yard scoring run from Thigpen in the fourth.

"They were young and they made mistakes here and there," Titans defensive tackle Michael Ross said of the Chiefs. "That's where we were three years ago."

Thigpen will probably start against the New York Jets next week if Huard is out.

"It was nice to get points on the board," he said. "We didn't want to get shut out again."

Titans quarterback Kerry Collins was taking no chances and hardly was hurried by a Kansas City defensive line which has not recorded a sack in six games. The veteran, who replaced an injured Vince Young in the first game, was 11-for-18 for 123 yards.

Until Thigpen got hot at the end, the Chiefs' only spark was provided by a player who spent the bye week trying unsuccessfully to get traded to a contender. Tony Gonzalez had six catches for 97 yards, including a spectacular leaping grab for 28 yards in the final seconds of the first half.

"Everybody was talking about us having a trap game," Tennessee linebacker Keith Bulluck said. "Thirty-four, or whatever the score was, shows how focused we were."

Rob Bironas kicked a 49-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 46-yarder in the third, stretching his streak to 18 in a row. Since the Titans began their streak of nine consecutive triumphs going back to a victory last year against Kansas City, Bironas has not missed a field goal or an extra point attempt.

Notes

  • Emmitt Thomas, a K.C. cornerback in the '60s and '70, was honored before the game for his recent enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • The Titans have allowed only two sacks all year.
  • Gonzalez received a big ovation during a timeout in the first quarter when the video board showed his career highlights and it was announced that he had broken the tight end record for yards receiving in K.C.'s previous game.
  • Novak's 39-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter appeared to sail directly over the left upright, but officials ruled it no good. The crowd booed loudly as replays on the video board seemed to show the kick was good.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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With Chris Johnson (pictured) and LenDale White, the Titans march to the beat of different runners.
 
With Chris Johnson (pictured) and LenDale White, the Titans march to the beat of different runners. (Getty Images)
 

 

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Related Links
 
Sun. Oct. 19Final
10731434
0001010
TEN - Pass: K. Collins (11-18, 123), Rush: C. Johnson (18-168)
KC - Pass: D. Huard (9-16, 96), Rec: T. Gonzalez (6-97)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
FGRob Bironas 49 Yd, 7:15. Drive: 10 plays, 49 yards in 5:30.
TDLenDale White, 6 Yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good), 2:16. Drive: 6 plays, 53 yards in 2:37.
2ND QUARTER
TDLenDale White, 2 Yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good), 1:23. Drive: 9 plays, 80 yards in 4:14.
3RD QUARTER
FGRob Bironas 46 Yd, 0:20. Drive: 8 plays, 31 yards in 3:51.
4TH QUARTER
TDLenDale White, 80 Yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good), 7:45. Drive: 3 plays, 91 yards in 1:34.
FGNick Novak 26 Yd, 4:56. Drive: 7 plays, 37 yards in 2:49.
TDChris Johnson, 66 Yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good), 4:01. Drive: 2 plays, 69 yards in 0:55.
TDTyler Thigpen, 14 Yd run (Nick Novak kick is good), 2:37. Drive: 5 plays, 54 yards in 1:24.
Players of the Game

T. Gonzalez
Rec 6
Yds 97
Avg 16.2
TD 0

L. White
Rush 17
Yds 149
Avg 8.8
TD 3
 
Tennessee
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
K. Collins11/1812300
RushingATTYDSTDLG
C. Johnson18168166
L. White17149380
Q. Ganther21106
A. Hall1606
K. Collins2-20-1
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
B. Scaife348026
A. Crumpler238028
A. Hall115015
L. Hawkins21108
L. White1707
C. Johnson2402
Kansas City
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
D. Huard9/169600
T. Thigpen5/117600
B. Croyle9/106300
RushingATTYDSTDLG
T. Thigpen321114
K. Smith1020019
J. Charles317016
D. Huard1000
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
T. Gonzalez697028
D. Bowe786027
J. Charles426011
D. Darling111011
M. Bradley1808
K. Smith2507
M. Cox2202
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
DEN 7 Final
NE 41
SEA 10 Final
TB 20
CLE 11 Final
WAS 14
NYJ 13 Final
OAK 16
IND 14 Final
GB 34
DET 21 Final
HOU 28
DAL 14 Final
STL 34
SF 17 Final
NYG 29
BAL 27 Final
MIA 13
PIT 38 Final
CIN 10
MIN 41 Final
CHI 48
NO 7 Final
CAR 30
SD 14 Final
BUF 23