KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs just may be the quintessential throwback team, built on foundations of a strong running game and an impenetrable defense.
They won a quintessential throwback game on Sunday.
Jamaal Charles ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns, and the Chiefs shut down the Seattle Seahawks three times in the final quarter, preserving a 24-20 victory that moved them into a tie with the Denver Broncos for first place in the AFC West.
"We've got to make sure we enjoy this today," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, "but we have to get ourselves back and ready to go quickly. We understand that."
That's because the Chiefs visit Oakland on Thursday night.
Still, there should be at least a little time to enjoy an uplifting win over the Super Bowl champions, if for no other reason than the way Kansas City managed to do it.
The Chiefs' first fourth-down stop came with about 6 minutes to go. Marshawn Lynch was tackled after a two-yard gain on third down, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll elected to gamble at the Chiefs 2. Russell Wilson's pass into the end zone was incomplete and the drive ended.
Seattle (6-4) held to get the ball back, and appeared to get a first down with a completion at the Chiefs 35. Reid wisely challenged the spot, though, and replays showed wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was a full yard short. The Seahawks again went for it, and Lynch was stuffed for no gain, giving the Chiefs the ball back with less than 4 minutes to go.
By the time the Seahawks got the ball back one last time, they were pinned so deep in their own territory with such little time on the clock that it hardly mattered.
"We had to make the most of all our opportunities and we didn't," Carroll said. "We had plenty of chances in this game."
Lynch, who finished with 124 yards rushing, did not speak to reporters after the game, which could earn him a hefty fine from the league. Carroll also said that Lynch remained on the sideline during halftime, calling it better for the running back's health.
Lynch has been dealing with a calf injury and received treatment.
"He thought it would be better for him to stay out," Carroll said.
As the Chiefs (7-3) get ready to take their five-game winning streak to Oakland, and the Seahawks try to regroup for Arizona, here are a handful of things to remember:
SPEAKING OF FINES: Seattle wide receiver Ricardo Lockette could earn a hefty one, too. He threw a wicked right hook at Chiefs cornerback Kurt Coleman along the sideline and was ejected from the game. "If a guy throws a punch, it's wrong," Carroll said. "There are no circumstances that warrant that. It's unfortunate. He's a big part of our special teams."
BRRR: It was 21 degrees at kickoff, the fifth-coldest game at Arrowhead Stadium in the past two decades. The wind chill was 10 degrees — though several players went without sleeves.
INJURY NOTES: While the Chiefs emerged healthy, the Seahawks lost center Max Unger to a high ankle sprain and twisted knee in the fourth quarter. Patrick Lewis finished the game. "It's devastating to lose Max," Wilson said, "because he's one of the best centers in the game."
BIG TURNAROUND: After starting the season 0-2, the Chiefs have been one of the best teams in the league. Their only loss since then came at San Francisco. Asked if he was amazed at the way his team has rallied, linebacker Tamba Hali replied, "You have to be. This is a whole new team, every year we get a whole new team. For some reason these guys find a way to like each other and play with one another and just listen to our coaches and do exactly what they ask of us."
GOAL-LINE DEFENSE: Seattle had a couple of opportunities to finally score the first rushing touchdown against Kansas City this season. Along with its failed fourth-down try in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks had to kick two field goals from inside the 10-yard line. "The close they get, the more we tighten up as a defense," Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe said. "Everything is happening way faster, so people just fly around and make plays."
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