Chiefs’ best defensive player now a star on offense, too
In what was a rather forgettable Sunday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs had one highlight bigger than any other against San Diego on offense.
And it came from the team’s best defensive player – Jared Allen.
During the Chiefs’ 24-10 loss, it was Allen who accounted for the only touchdown of the day for Kansas City.
Allen was in a joking mood when he was asked about the play.
“We were trying to have a little fun,” said Allen, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound defensive end. “They told me to go in there. I had no clue what I was doing.”
Then, his laughter gave him away.
“No, that was something we have practiced.”
Kansas City and San Diego was tied 3-3, when the Chiefs took over at the 36-yard line after San Diego’s Nate Kaeding missed a field goal.
Kansas City put together a drive that was highlighted with a 31-yard reception by Tony Gonzalez on a pass from backup quarterback Damon Huard, which moved the ball to the San Diego 9.
On 3rd-and-2 from the 2-yard line, umpire Ed Hochuli announced that No. 69 was reporting eligible to receive a pass for Kansas City.
Allen was the last player on the line on the left side and when the ball was snapped. He blocked Shaun Phillips for a second and then broke free and toward the pylon. He waited for Huard’s pass while Clinton Hart closed in from the safety position. Allen caught the ball near the out of bounds line and fell down on the acrobatic catch.
“It was just a play-action pass back to me. The key was to sell the block. I probably should have sold it a little longer. They put me in there to do that and I caught the ball. … I always play catch in practice. I was 1-1 for a touchdown in college and now I’m 1-1 for a touchdown in the NFL, I’ll take it. The put me in there and I did what they asked me to do.”
After the score, Allen went over to the goal post and dunked the football, a move that Tony Gonzalez has trademarked in Kansas City.
“It would’ve been cool if Tony would’ve come and tried to block me and knock me down,” said Allen with a laugh.
That turned out to be the highlight of the day for Huard, who finished 19-for-36 with two interceptions.
“That’s something we put in practice this week and we thought we had a chance to make it work,” said Huard. “Jared’s such a great athlete and I told him even if you’re covered I’m going to put it right to the pylon. I said, “just run to the pylon.” He did and he made a great catch and gave us a lot of momentum.”
Kansas City coach Herm Edwards talked about the play in his postgame interview.
“When you’re desperate, you do desperate things,” said Edwards, whose team has now lost five straight home games. “You go on fourth down a bunch, you try to get everybody involved. He’s an athletic guy and we’ve been working on that for a couple of weeks.”
And as for more catches in the future for Allen?
“We just started this thing around here,” said Allen. “Who knows if they throw to me again? We’ll see.”
However, Allen was quick to point out the touchdown turned out to be rather meaningless in the big picture in this loss to the team’s AFC West rivals.
“It didn’t mean anything,” said Allen. “It really didn’t mean anything. It was fun to score, but I’d rather have a win.”