But Frankie Hammond Jr. was the under-the-radar star.
Hammond made a pair of dubious decisions while fielding punts inside
his own 5-yard line on Sunday, but one of those returns played a
huge role in the Chiefs' first win of the season.
"He probably should have let a couple of those go," Chiefs Coach
Andy Reid said of Hammond. "The flavor of the day, though, is that
you are returning everything. Studies show that there's production
Two of Smith's TD passes were to running back Joe McKnight,
including a 4-yarder with 4:35 left in the game, capping a nine-play
But it was Hammond's 47-yard punt return -- which he fielded at his
own 4-yard line -- that kick-started the drive.
Earlier in the game, a similar Hammond decision backfired. He
fielded a punt at his own goal-line and ran it 48 yards. But a
block-in-the-back penalty on the return forced the Chiefs to start
the drive on their 1-yard line.
On the next play, Smith was sacked by defensive tackle Randy Starks
and linebacker Jelani Jenkins for a safety, cutting the Chiefs' lead
"It was a blitz up the middle," Jenkins said. "They kind of had me
blocked. I just kept moving my feet."
That, however, turned out to be the Dolphins' final points. The
Chiefs scored the final two touchdowns, including a rather
meaningless tally with 13 seconds left on a 6-yard run by running
back Cyrus Gray.
In the end, Kansas City (1-2) snapped a five-game losing streak that
dated to last season. The Chiefs' most recent win before Sunday came
Dec. 15 against the Oakland Raiders.
Smith made a couple of mistakes -- a lost fumble and the safety --
but he was efficient throwing the ball, completing 19 of 25 for 186
yards. He was not intercepted.
"This is what you are looking for," Smith said, "a tough win on the
Miami, which knocked off the New England Patriots in its season
opener, fell to 1-2.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill struggled. He completed 21 of 43
passes for 205 yards.
Wide receiver Mike Wallace led Miami with five catches for 74 yards,
but there were seven incompletions on passes thrown in his
direction. And, the Dolphins had no plays longer than 30 yards.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Chiefs mounted a six-play,
62-yard touchdown drive to go up 7-0. Running back Knile Davis
capped the drive with a 21-yard run, breaking two tackles up the
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The Chiefs made it 14-0 with an eight-play, 76-yard drive that was
capped by Smith's 22-yard TD pass to tight end Travis Kelce with
1:32 left in the first half. Kelce caught a short throw over the
middle and sprinted toward the left corner.
Miami ended the half with an eight-play, 74-yard drive. But when
Tannehill's 9-yard scramble was stopped at the Chiefs' 4-yard line
with two seconds left. Miami settled for a 22-yard field goal by
Caleb Sturgis. Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe made the stop on
The Dolphins cut the deficit to 14-10 with a 1-yard TD pass from
Tannehill to wide receiver Brian Hartline. The drive was set up when
two Miami defensive tackles combined to take the ball away from
Smith. Jared Odrick stripped the ball, and Derrick Shelby recovered
at the Miami 19.
Smith made up for his mistake by leading a 10-play, 66-yard TD drive
that was capped by a 11-yard flip up the middle to McKnight.
Miami cut the deficit to 21-13 on a 51-yard field goal by Sturgis,
which was made possible by Jarvis Landry's 74-yard kickoff return.
"Kansas City clearly deserved to win this game," Dolphins Coach Joe
Philbin said. "It was a team loss in every respect."
NOTES: Chiefs All-Pro safety Eric Berry, who suffered an ankle
injury last week, did not play. CB Ron Parker moved to safety to
fill the void. ... Both teams played without their star RBs: Kansas
City's Jamaal Charles (ankle injury) and Miami's Knowshon Moreno
(elbow). Moreno rushed for 134 yards in his Miami debut, a Week 1
upset of New England, but he got hurt early in last week's loss at
Buffalo. ... Charles was second in the NFL last season with 1,980
yards. The Chiefs were further hurt by the injury loss of backup RB
De'Anthony Thomas. ... Miami was also without three other would-be
starters: C Mike Pouncey, OG Shelley Smith and LB Koa Misi. ... Four
ex-Dolphins, this year's Walk of Fame inductees, were honored by the
team on Sunday: Jeff Cross, Tony Nathan, Ed Newman and Sam Madison.
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