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Stellar goal-line stand keeps Chiefs perfect

Updated: 2013-10-22 07:26
By Associated Press in Kansas City, Mo ( China Daily)

The Kansas City Chiefs had their backs to the end zone in the third quarter on Sunday, and the Houston Texans were first-and-goal with an opportunity to take the lead.

Three straight plays went nowhere and the Texans had to settle for a field goal.

It was a virtuoso display by the NFL's stingiest defense, and a signature stand in a stellar second half.

The Chiefs kept repelling the Houston offense the rest of the way, and the result was a 17-16 victory to extend their perfect start and become the NFL's only unbeaten team.

"You know as well as I do you win with great defense. That's how it rolls," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "You can't be successful like we are without a great defense."

Nor can you be successful without a guy like Jamaal Charles, who ran for 86 yards and a touchdown, or quarterback Alex Smith, who also had a touchdown scamper.

"It was a physical game ... the kind of a game this team needs to go far," said Charles.

The game was still in doubt even after the Chiefs' goal-line stand. They had to punt with 1:46 left, but the Texans had no timeouts. Case Keenum threw an incompletion on first down, then was stripped by linebacker Tamba Hali on the ensuing play.

Derrick Johnson recovered the ball for the Chiefs, and Smith simply kneeled on it to run out the clock. The result was a 7-0 start for Kansas City, trailing only the 9-0 mark put up by the 2003 team for the best in franchise history.

In the Super Bowl era, 31 teams have started 7-0 and all qualified for the playoffs. Fifteen of those 31 clubs advanced to the Super Bowl and nine went on to win it.

(China Daily 10/22/2013 page24)