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(Sunday, December 26th)
Final Score: Kansas City 34, Tennessee 14
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Matt Cassel threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns on 24-of-34 efficiency to lead Kansas City to a 34-14 triumph over Tennessee at Arrowhead Stadium, on a day the Chiefs clinched the AFC West title.
Jamaal Charles carried 13 times for 77 yards and had the first two-touchdown receiving game of his career while Dwayne Bowe added six grabs for 153 yards and a score as the Chiefs (10-5) clinched their first division crown since 2003 and first playoff berth since 2006. The locked up the division following San Diego's loss in Cincinnati.
The Chiefs reached double-figures in wins for the first time since 2005 and finish their regular season next week against arch-rival Oakland at home, where they are 7-0 this season.
"I think it's a huge accomplishment," Cassell said about winning 10 games and engineering the biggest one-season turnaround in team history. "It's a huge turnaround for us, being 4-12 and going through the year we did last year. We faced a ton of adversity that was very difficult to handle at times, so, it's remarkable to say the least. Everybody embraced the challenge to come in and work hard in the off-season, the camps and now throughout the year and it has put us into a great position."
Tennessee's Kerry Collins completed 14-of-37 throws for 235 yards with two touchdowns and became just the 12th quarterback in league history to throw for more than 40,000 yards. He also moved past Joe Montana into ninth place all-time with 3,411 career completions.
Chris Johnson carried 14 times for 58 yards and became only the 10th running back in league history to run for 1,200 yards in each of his first three seasons for the Titans (6-9), who have dropped seven of their last eight games.
The Chiefs marched right down the field on seven plays on the game's first possession to take the lead. Charles covered the last 14 yards of the drive on a screen pass to make it 7-0 only 3:41 into the contest.
The tandem of Cassel and Charles connected again on the hosts second drive to extend the lead to 14-0 with 1:52 remaining in the opening stanza.
On 2nd-and-goal from the five, Cassel checked down and lofted a lead pass that Charles caught and took into the right side of the end zone to finish off a 10-play, 61-yard drive.
Ryan Succop's 35-yard field goal gave the Chiefs a 17-0 with 11 1/2 minutes to go in the first half.
Bowe caught a Cassell pass on the move at his own 45, turned upfield and outraced four defenders down the middle to complete a career-long 75-yard catch-and-run that put the hosts ahead 24-0 with 7:19 remaining before the intermission.
Tennessee finally got untracked with 4:15 to go before the half when Collins hit Kenny Britt inside the Chiefs 10 on a deep pass and the second-year wideout lugged a defender into the end zone to cut the lead to 24-7 on the 53- yard scoring play.
After Succop missed a field goal with 42 ticks to play before the break, Collins was intercepted two plays later by Eric Berry, who broke three tackles en route to going 54 yards to paydirt to increase the margin to 31-7 with 22 seconds remaining.
Succop added a 42-yard boot with 5:43 to go in the third quarter to extend the Chiefs lead to 34-7. The short scoring drive was set up by Javier Arenas' 29- yard punt return to the Titans 28.
Tennessee took advantage of a personal foul penalty that wiped out a Kendrick Lewis interception and finished off a 69-yard drive with a 22-yard scoring strike from Collins to Jared Cook with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third that made it a 34-14 contest.
"Both of them are extremely talented, both of them work hard," Collins said of the second-year duo of Britt and Cook. "They are getting better and better all the time and provide some hope for the future."
Cassell has 3,001 passing yards on the season...He had his fifth game with three TD passes this season and has 27 on the year, tying him with Trent Green for third most in a single season in team history...Charles made four catches for 40 yards...Thomas Jones ran 23 times for 51 yards for the Chiefs...Bowe had his fifth 100-yard receiving game of the season and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the second time in his career...He had 1,022 yards in 2008...Tony Moeaki caught five balls for 63 yards and became the second rookie tight end in Chiefs' history, joining Walter White in 1975, to record 500 yards in receptions...His 46 grabs are the most ever for a Chiefs rookie tight end...Kansas City leads the all-time series, 26-10...KC's 31 points in the first half were its most since taking a 31-7 lead at the break at Houston on November 20, 2005...The Chiefs are the only team in the league to hold all of their opponents at home under 20 points. Collins pushed his career total to 40,141 yards. Johnny Unitas is 11th on the list with 40,239...Cook was the Titans' leading receiver with five grabs for 96 yards and his first career TD...Britt made four catches for 89 yards...Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher has a 3-5 career mark against the Chiefs.
12/26 19:07:15 ET
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