The Kansas City Chiefs began their December schedule with a third-consecutive AFC West matchup, hosting the Denver Broncos in Week 13.
The Arrowhead Stadium crowd was again better than advertised and saw its team lead the Broncos, after the first quarter, 7-0. Chiefs QB Alex Smith hit WR Junior Hemingway for a 17-yard score; it was his Hemingway's second touchdown of 2013 and his second-career receiving touchdown. Hemingway finished with three catches for 42 yards and the score. He also had a team-high four special teams tackles in the contest.
After the Broncos tied the game, 7-7, Chiefs RB Knile Davis made Denver pay, recording a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown; it was the longest kickoff return in franchise history and is the longest return for a touchdown of any type (kickoff, punt, interception or fumble) in club annals. His 108-yard score tied for the second-longest return in NFL history, behind Minnesota WR Cordarrelle Patterson’s 109-yard kickoff return on Oct. 27, 2013.
The Chiefs next score came via TE Anthony Fasano, who recorded his third TD in as many games, a 12-yard reception from Alex Smith. It was Fasano's 27th-career TD. He finished the game with three receptions for 28 yards and the score.
Kansas City's final score of the game came in the fourth quarter on a 17-play drive that covered 80 yards, ending with a one-yard score by Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, who went Superman-like, diving into the end zone. The touchdown was one of Jamaal's 19 carries on the day, giving him 1,003 carries for his career. He became just the fifth player in franchise history to record more than 1,000 rushing attempts. It also marked the fourth time in his career that he’s recorded at least 1,000 rushing yards in a season (2009-10, 2012-13). He becomes the first player in franchise history to record four seasons with 1,000 or more rushing yards.
In the contest, Charles recorded 120-combined scrimmage yards (93 rushing, 27 receiving), giving him 8,527 combined net yards (rushing, receiving, interception return, punt return, kickoff return and fumble return) for his career, ranking him third in team history for most combined net yards, passing RB Abner Haynes and RB Priest Holmes (8,447) for his place in the top three.
Despite the Chiefs effort, Denver left Arrowhead with the 35-28 victory. Broncos vs Chiefs: Photo Gallery
Kansas City hit the road in Week 14, looking to get back on the winning track and it did just that, topping the Washington Redskins, 45-10. The Chiefs recorded 38 points in the first half, tying for the second-best first-half scoring performance in franchise history.
Kansas City scored 17 points in the first quarter, beginning with a 33-yard FG by Chiefs K Ryan Succop. The Chiefs defense forced a Washington punt, which Chiefs WR Dexter McCluster returned for 60 yards, leading to two-yard TD run by Jamaal.
Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson recorded his first interception of the season, on the ensuing drive, setting up KC's next score, a 21-yard TD pass from Alex Smith to Dwayne Bowe.
Following another Jamaal Charles TD, the Chiefs added to their lead, through the return game, when McCluster housed a Redskins punt from 74 yards out. On the day, McCluster recorded seven punt returns for 177 yards (25.3 avg.), setting a new franchise record for most punt return yards in a single game. Dex's 74-yard score was his second punt-return touchdown of 2013, tying a franchise record for most punt return touchdowns in a single season.
The Chiefs special teams play continued later, when S Quintin Demps returned a kickoff 95 yards for the score, marking his first kickoff return touchdown of the season and the second of his career.
Knile Davis recorded his first-career rushing touchdown for the team's final score of the game; he finished the game with 11 carries for 30 yards. His first rushing touchdown came one week after he recorded his first NFL score – a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Not going unnoticed, Kansas City’s defense recorded six sacks of Washington quarterbacks in the contest. LB Frank Zombo sacked QB Kirk Cousins for a 15-yard loss and forced a fumble that was recovered by Washington. It marked Zombo’s first sack of the 2013 season and it was also his first forced fumble of 2013 and the third of his career.
The Chiefs three-phase effort resulted in a convincing win, 45-10. The victory gave Chiefs head coach Andy Reid 150 wins (140 regular season, 10 postseason); he is the 21st NFL coach to win 150 games.
Chiefs vs Redskins: Photo Gallery
Kansas City used its Week 14 win as momentum, when it traveled to face long-time AFC West rival, the Oakland Raiders in Week 15. The game belonged to Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, who recorded five touchdowns (one rushing, four receiving) in the team's 56-31 win, becoming the first player in NFL history with at least four touchdown receptions and one touchdown run in a single game. His five total touchdowns tie for the fourth-most in a single game in NFL history and fall just one shy of the league record. Three players have scored six touchdowns in a game: Ernie Nevers (Nov. 28, 1929), Dub Jones (Nov. 25, 1951) and Gale Sayers (Dec. 12, 1965).
The Week 15 win was also a career day for Chiefs QB Alex Smith, who completed 17 of 20 passes for 287 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions, good for a perfect 158.3 passer rating. He is the second Kansas City quarterback to record a perfect passer rating, joining Trent Green, who achieved the feat on Sept. 29, 2002. Smith averaged 14.35 yards per pass attempt in the game, marking the second-best single-game passing average in franchise history.
Knile Davis and Chiefs TE Sean McGrath added the team's final two touchdowns of the game. McGrath scored on a six-yard TD reception from Alex Smith and Davis ended the scoring with a 17-yard run; both scores came in the fourth quarter.
Chiefs S Eric Berry also made the most of his day, in front of the Raiders "Black Hole", intercepting two QB Matt McGloin passes, returning them for a combined 96 yards, marking his first-career multi-interception game. He returned the first interception 47 yards for a touchdown. It was Berry's second interception return touchdown of the season and his third-career pick-six.
With the victory, the Chiefs extended the largest single-season turnaround in franchise history (nine games) and clinched a spot in the playoffs. Andy Reid’s teams have qualified for the playoffs in 10 of his 15 seasons. Chiefs vs Raiders: Photo Gallery
Click the links below to see:
A Look Back at 2013: The Beginning
A Look Back at 2013: Weeks 1-4
A Look Back at 2013: Weeks 5-8
A Look Back at 2013: Weeks 9-12