Green has what coach says was breakthrough game

Updated: October 17, 2003, 11:35 AM ET
ESPN

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Maybe Trent Green's finally getting his act together.

By throwing for 400 yards and three touchdowns in Kansas City's 40-34 overtime victory at Green Bay last week, Green brought tears to his emotional head coach and a renewed confidence to his offensive teammates on the AFC's last unbeaten team.

"It was a breakthrough game for Trent," said a moist-eyed Vermeil. "He was on the field against a future Hall of Fame football player (Brett Favre) at the position and he performed equally as well and ended up being the winner. He needed a breakthrough game. Last year it was the Miami ballgame."

Against Miami in the Chiefs' fourth game last year, Green threw for 328 yards and a career-best five touchdowns. The first three games, he'd thrown five touchdown passes and five interceptions. But in the rest of what turned out to be his finest season to date, he threw 21 touchdown passes and was intercepted only eight times.

The first few games of this season were strikingly similar. Although they started 5-0 for the first time in team history, almost every win had been engineered by big plays from other areas of the team, most notably Dante Hall's four kick returns for touchdowns.

In three of the five wins, Green threw for less than 160 yards.

But at Green Bay's Lambeau Field, Hall was kept out of the end zone and it was Green who had one of his greatest days, capping the effort with a 51-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Kennison in overtime.

"Not only does the quarterback break through when he starts performing like that, so do the coaches that coach the offense," Vermeil said. "So does the coach that calls the offense. (It's) a lot easier to put more pressure on him once he gets through that kind of game and you can see it's here, it's going, it's sharp. You build on that."

Green admits the entire offense enjoyed a new rush of confidence after coming from 17 points behind to beat Favre and the Packers on the road.

"All of a sudden now there is more confidence in the passing game because of what we were able to do last week, whereas maybe it had been missing in the previous weeks," he said. "So hopefully, that will keep up."

Next up for the 6-0 Chiefs will be a trip to Oakland (2-4) for a Monday night game against the team that's always been their archrival. Maybe the Raiders should prepare for another passing onslaught?

"Don't get me wrong," Green said. "I'm excited about last week. That's one of the most memorable games I've ever played in and one that I'll never forget. But the bottom line is we were able to come back and find a way to win."

After his big day at Green Bay, Green was selected AFC Offensive Player of the Week. But honors and statistics do not mean as much as they once did.

"If we continue (to win), I'm completely comfortable with whatever it is they need me to do," he said. "In Baltimore, we threw the ball 21 or 22 times. Last week we threw it 45 times. I'm not going to complain either way as long as we keep winning and guys are having fun."

Nevertheless, Vermeil will be disappointed if the Green Bay game does not give his quarterback the kick-start that last year's Miami game did.

"That doesn't mean he'll go out there and throw for 400 yards all the time. But I believe he'll play some better games," Vermeil said. "That was only the sixth-best game he's had since he's been in Kansas City in terms of quarterback efficiency rating. He's been very sharp."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index