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Chiefs vs. Cardinals: 10 Observations

The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Arizona Cardinals Sunday afternoon at the University of Phoenix Stadium

Here are 10 things that stood out about the Chiefs game on Sunday:

1. Cardinals show support for Eric Berry

In a first-class move by the Cardinals coaches, players and front office, several players and head coach Bruce Arians wore the "Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Berry." T-shirt before the game on Sunday.

Then it was Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, who said he is going to donate $10,000 to the Eric Berry Foundation and released this statement.

"One of the things that makes the NFL so special is that you compete against each other 16 times a season but the rest of the time you are colleagues and partners and friends," Bidwill said.

"When there's an opportunity to support each other, you do. We've been on both sides of that support and I know right now all of us are pulling for Eric as he faces this challenge head on."


2. Momentum changer on Fasano interference call to Smith interception

The biggest momentum shift in the game happened in the third quarter when tight end Anthony Fasano was flagged for offensive pass interference on a 19-yard touchdown reception on third-and-10.

Fasano made a little contact with the defender as he came across the field in his route, and the defender fell straight to the ground. He broke off his route and found himself wide open in the end zone for the touchdown until the flag came out and the play was brought back.

On the very next play, Smith threw an interception to linebacker Alex Okafor on third-and-20.

The Cardinals drove down the field in just five plays and got the touchdown pass from Stanton to Jaron Brown for 26 yards. After the successful two-point conversion, the Cardinals had the 17-14 lead.

3. Chiefs defense dropping interceptions

On three separate occasions on Sunday, Chiefs defenders had their hands on the ball for an interception and weren't able to bring it in. Phillip Gaines, Sean Smith and Josh Mauga all had chances.


This is something coach Reid has been asked about several times over the past few weeks and as long as the Chiefs keep putting themselves in situations to get those interceptions, they're bound to come away with a few eventually.

Coming into the game, one of the Five Things to Watch was Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton's accuracy, and the fact that the Chiefs were going to have a few opportunities to pick one (or multiple) off.

4. Jamaal Charles' 63-yard touchdown run

On the Chiefs' first offensive series of the game, running back Jamaal Charles took a second-and-8 carry 63 yards for the touchdown, the longest for the Chiefs offense this season.

Key blocks from tight end Anthony Fasano, right tackle Ryan Harris and right guard Zach Fulton sealed the first level for Charles, who did the rest by breaking tackles and bursting into the open field.

It was exactly the way the Chiefs wanted to start this game on offense.


5. Charles goes down injury, comes back to score touchdown

Late in the first quarter, Charles was bent back awkwardly in a pile and suffered an ankle injury, but he wasn't out long.

Charles returned on the next series and caught an 18-yard touchdown from Smith to give the Chiefs the 14-6 lead, which they held through the end of the first half.

Charles finished the first half with three carries for 74 yards and a touchdown, also chipping in with the one reception for 18 yards and a touchdown.

Kansas City Chiefs take on the Cardinals in Arizona on Sunday December 7, 2014

6. Chiefs defense in red zone, goal-to-go situations

The Chiefs came into Sunday's game as the best defense in the NFL in goal-to-go situations, allowing touchdowns on just 52.4 percent of drives. Midway through the second quarter, the defense was asked to step up and prove it again.

When the Cardinals got the ball with a first-and-goal from the 8-yard line, the defense bowed up again.

On first down, Stanton scrambled out of bounds for three yards. Then on second down, Cardinals running back Marion Grice ran for a loss of four yards on a tackle by Vance Walker.

Finally on third down, Justin Houston, who already leads the NFL in sacks (14.5), got the strip-sack fumble of Stanton and although the Cardinals recovered, they were forced to settle for the field goal from the 15-yard line, seven yards back from where they had the ball on first down.

7. Chiefs offense struggles in second half

The Chiefs second-half offensive drives went as follows: downs, interception, punt, punt, punt, fumble and downs.

They were shutout in the second half, where Smith was 14 of 26 for 184 yards and one interception.

8. Dwayne Bowe hurdles defender


That second-and-20 pass that everyone will remember was to receiver Dwayne Bowe, who made one of the best plays of the season as he hurdled two Cardinals defenders en route to the first down.

The amazing display of athleticism by Bowe set up the Chiefs' second touchdown of the game and helped them take a 14-6 lead at halftime.

9. Chiefs struggle to protect Alex Smith

After giving up six sacks last week to the Denver Broncos, the Chiefs surrendered five sacks on Sunday to the Cardinals.

Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is known for bringing pressure in a lot of different ways and he showed that again on Sunday.

Smith began the game 12 of 13 for 109 yards and a touchdown in the first half, but finished 26 of 39 for 293 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

10. Cardinals challenge that Travis Kelce fumbled, and won

Perhaps the biggest play of the game came on an 18-yard reception from Smith to Kelce on third-and-4 from the Cardinals' 41-yard line, which put the Chiefs in field goal range as they trailed 17-14. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians challenged that Kelce had fumbled the ball before his knee touched the ground, and the referees agreed and Arizona was given the ball back at their own 16-yard line, holding a three-point lead with just over five minutes remaining in the game.

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