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Chiefs' offense, win streak hit unexpected wall in Miami

MIAMI (ESPN.com news services) -- Confronted one-on-one with bruising Larry Johnson
in the open field near the goal line, Channing Crowder buried his
helmet into the running back's chest for a touchdown-saving tackle.

Then, Crowder rose and broke into a celebratory dance.

"It was a good tackle, so I did a little shimmy for him,"
Crowder said.

There were many such jubilant moments Sunday for the Miami Dolphins' defense, which stymied Johnson and harried Damon Huard to
beat the Kansas City Chiefs 13-10.

The defense even overcame the Miami offense. The Dolphins took
an early 13-point lead but missed chances to build an even bigger
cushion because of a sputtering attack, and a turnover on a reverse
helped keep the outcome in doubt until the final moments.

An earlier trick play set up the lone touchdown by the Dolphins
(3-6), who won their second game in a row following a dismal start.
They snapped a three-game winning streak by the Chiefs (5-4).

"It's exciting to play the kind of defense we know we're
capable of playing," said linebacker Zach Thomas, who had a sack
and broke up two passes. "It's fun."

The Chiefs, who averaged 32 points in the past three games, went
three-and-out on their first five possessions. The game was 26
minutes old before they registered a first down, and by then, the
Dolphins were ahead 13-0.

"We got nothing going, and they played with a lead most of the
day," Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said. "We kept going
three-and-out. We let it get away from us."

Huard went 15-for-38 for 201 yards with three sacks, and four
times was hit as he threw. The Dolphins' secondary delivered
several jarring hits on intended receivers.

"We had a good bead on the way they were going to attack us,"
cornerback Will Allen said. "Good running teams use a lot of
play-action pass, so we knew what to look for."

They also knew to look for Johnson, the NFL's third-leading
rusher, who managed only 75 yards on 18 carries. Tony Gonzalez had
six catches for 84 yards but left the game during the Chiefs' final
possession with a sprained left shoulder.

Gonzalez, who was later seen with his left arm in a sling, did not speak to reporters after the game. However, his brother Chris, who was in attendance as a fan, told the Palm Beach Post that Gonzalez has a strained shoulder and will miss the next two to three weeks.

Neither the team nor Tony Gonzalez would confirm Chris Gonzalez's statement.

Because of injuries, five other Chiefs starters missed the game,
and the shuffled lineup likely contributed to their offensive
struggles. Kansas City was 3-for-14 on third-down conversions and
had the ball for only 24 minutes.

"Give credit to the Dolphins defense for getting pressure and
getting on me and playing solid man coverage in the secondary,"
Huard said. "I missed some throws and didn't get it done."

Questionable play-calling by the Dolphins kept them from sealing
the victory sooner. Nursing a 13-3 lead midway through the fourth
quarter, they tried a reverse, but the result was the lone turnover
of the game, with receiver Chris Chambers failing to come up with
the handoff from running back Ronnie Brown.

The ball bounced to defensive end Jared Allen, who ran 20 yards
to the 20. Kansas City scored four plays later on a 2-yard run by
Johnson.

Kansas City got the ball back at its 14 with 3:10 left, but
Miami made one final defensive stand, and Huard's incompletion on
fourth-and-12 at the Chiefs 36 sealed the outcome.

Miami took control when Chambers got behind Ty Law on a
flea-flicker, with Brown taking a handoff and then pitching back to
Joey Harrington, who threw long for a 46-yard completion to the 1.

"We knew that guys would bite on a good fake," Brown said.

He scored on a next play for a 13-0 lead. At that point, the
Dolphins had outgained the Chiefs 167 yards to 28.

Three other Dolphins possessions stalled inside the Chiefs 35
and produced only two field goals by Olindo Mare.

With Kansas City pinned deep, the Dolphins' Jason Taylor dropped
a potential interception 1 yard from a touchdown that would have
put them up 20-0 late in the third period. The Chiefs took
advantage of the break and mounted an 85-yard drive, but Crowder's
third-down tackle of Johnson forced them to settle for a 27-yard
field goal by Lawrence Tynes.

Game notes
Miami G Jeno James left when he
aggravated a knee injury. ... Mare became 39th player to reach
1,000 points. ... Honorary captains for the Dolphins were seven
members of the "Killer Bs" defense that helped Miami reach the
Super Bowl in 1982 and 1984.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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