Falcons Rout Chiefs 40-24 in Season Opener
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Atlanta Falcons looked unstoppable on Sunday afternoon, as they cruised to a 40-24 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Atlanta scored on each of its first eight possessions. As for the Chiefs, any positives on offense were eventually negated by turnovers and poor defensive play.
Kansas City was also hampered by injuries to multiple starters on defense. Cornerback Brandon Flowers, safety Kendrick Lewis, and defensive tackle Anthony Toribio were all unavailable due to injury.
The Chiefs especially missed the services of Pro-Bowl linebacker Tamba Hali, who was serving a one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
The Falcons (1-0, 1-0 away) opened up the game with a 12-play 80-yard touchdown drive. An 8-yard TD pass from quarterback Matt Ryan to wide receiver Julio Jones gave Atlanta a 7-0 lead.
The Chiefs (0-1, 0-1 home) tied the game at 10-10 in the second quarter with a 22-yard TD pass from QB Matt Cassel to tight end Kevin Boss. On the ensuing drive, Ryan again found Jones in the end zone to put Atlanta up 17-10. Kansas City answered with an 80-yard drive that resulted in a 5-yard TD run by Cassel.
Atlanta took a 20-17 lead heading into halftime.
The Falcons began to pull away in the second half as the Chiefs’ offense hit a wall. Kansas City opened the second half with an 11-play 58-yard drive, but kicker Ryan Succop missed a 39-yard field goal attempt that hit the right upright. Not much went right for the Chiefs after that.
Matt Ryan scrambled for a TD run to put Atlanta up 27-17. The Chiefs started the next drive at their own 20. Cassel lost a fumble after being sacked for a loss of nine.
On the very next play, Ryan hit former Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez for a 7-yard TD pass to give the Falcons a 34-17 lead. Gonzalez dunked the ball over the goalpost one last time for Chiefs fans at Arrowhead. Except this time he was booed for it.
Cassel followed up another Falcons TD with another Chiefs turnover, throwing an interception to former Missouri Tigers safety William Moore at midfield. Cassel threw another pick at the start of the fourth quarter, and Chiefs fans made a beeline towards the exits.
The Chiefs hit the road to take on the Buffalo Bills next Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium.