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Dante has TD catch; Priest runs for 3 scores

10/27/2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- As the final seconds ticked away, Kansas City's Eric Hicks wondered about the critics who've been saying the
unbeaten Chiefs were more lucky than good.

"I wonder what they're saying now?" said the scowling
defensive end, who had one of three sacks of Drew Bledsoe. "Maybe
now they'll shut their mouths."

Dante Hall's 67-yard catch-and-run got them rolling and Priest
Holmes scored three touchdowns as the Chiefs (8-0) became the
league's only unbeaten team with a 38-5 rout of Buffalo on Sunday
night.

Kansas City is just the 12th team since 1972 to reach the midway
point without a loss.

"This feeling is indescribable," said Ryan Sims, the 315-pound
tackle whose goal line pick thwarted the Bills' final touchdown
threat. "After playing all those close ones, we just figured what
the heck, it's time to go out and get ourselves a laugher."

Now the Chiefs get a week off to savor their perfect half season
and ponder the fact that of the other 11 teams that reached the
halfway point unbeaten, eight advanced to the Super Bowl and six
hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.

"Being 8-0 doesn't mean a thing," said fullback Tony
Richardson. "The Minnesota Vikings were 15-1 one year and they
didn't win it all."

Already leading the league in takeaways, the Chiefs recovered
two fumbles, intercepted Drew Bledsoe three times and backup Alex
Van Pelt twice.

"To keep a team with so many talented offensive player from
scoring a touchdown is just unbelievable," linebacker Scott Fujita
said.

After winning their first three by relatively comfortable
margins, the Chiefs won four straight cliffhangers, causing many to
question them.

Last Monday night, they hung on to beat Oakland 17-10 in a game
that ended with the Raiders on the 1-yard line. The Chiefs also
needed overtime to beat Green Bay 40-34, and rallied to edge Denver
24-23, thanks to Hall's 93-yard punt return in the fourth quarter
for the go-ahead score.

But after Pierson Proleau blocked Jason Baker's punt through the
end zone for a safety that gave the Bills a 2-0 lead in the first
quarter, the Chiefs took charge and rolled to a 28-5 halftime lead.

"All week long, people were saying this is a lucky 7-0 team,"
said Richardson. "The bottom line is, if Trent Green says it or
Priest Holmes, somebody I go to battle with, then I would take it
to heart. But if you're not stepping across the stripes with us, we
can't allow any outside distractions."

Hall, who set an NFL record with touchdown returns in four
straight games, caught Green's perfectly thrown pass in full stride
near the 40, split defenders Lawyer Milloy and Antoine Winfield and
sailed untouched into the end zone.

"They were playing real tight on Tony Gonzalez," said Hall,
who had four catches for 107 yards. "Trent told me he was going to
try to pump the safeties and try to hit me in the seam. That's
exactly what happened."

Said Buffalo coach Gregg Williams, "We were in a fire zone and
we just didn't play coverage technique."

Hall's average gain of 79.8 yards on his 11 career touchdowns is
the longest of any player in history with at least 10 TDs.

Gonzalez, the four-time Pro Bowl tight end, hauled in catches
for 26 and 10 yards to set up Holmes' 4-yard TD run around right
end less than a minute into the second quarter.

"We gave up big plays," said Williams. "That's the
frustrating thing about it, giving up big plays that we haven't
given up."

Dexter McCleon scooped up Josh Reed's fumble and gave Kansas
City the ball on its own 45 in the second quarter. Eight plays
later, Holmes skirted around right end on a 13-yard run for his
league-leading 11th rushing touchdown.

The Chiefs added their last TD on Holmes' 15-yard run, with
Green making a crushing block on cornerback Nate Clements. Morten
Andersen kicked a 49-yard field goal, and Buffalo's Rian Lindell
had a 20-yard field goal in the first half.

Travis Henry had 124 yards on 22 carries for the Bills.

Game notes
Holmes' three touchdown runs gave him 41 with the Chiefs,
moving him past Christian Okoye into second place on the team
career list. ... Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, who is recovering from
prostate surgery, missed Sunday night's game. "I think we made
Lamar Hunt feel a lot better, sitting in his hospital bed," coach
Dick Vermeil said. ... Buffalo OT Jonas Jennings sustained a hip
injury in the first half. X-rays were negative, but Jennings did
not return. ... Chiefs LB Mike Maslowski sustained what the team
called "mild head trauma" when he tackled FB Sam Gash in the
third quarter.