Chiefs 14

(0-3, 0-2 away)

Falcons 38

(2-1, 2-0 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, September 21, 2008

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA 

1 2 3 4 T
KC 0 7 7 014
ATL 14 10 7 738

Top Performers

Passing: M. Ryan (ATL) - 192 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: L. Johnson (KC) - 24 CAR, 121 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: R. White (ATL) - 5 REC, 119 YDS, 1 TD

Turner scores three TDs as Falcons handle listless Chiefs

Associated Press

ATLANTA -- The Kansas City Chiefs' defensive plan was obvious: Stop the run.

That didn't deter Michael Turner and the Atlanta Falcons.

Turner ran for three touchdowns and the Atlanta Falcons scored the first 24 points to beat Kansas City 38-14 on Sunday, handing the Chiefs their 12th straight loss.

Turner had scoring runs of 4, 1 and 2 yards, his first game with three rushing touchdowns, while leading the Falcons with 104 yards rushing. Jerious Norwood added 75 yards rushing.

"We have stressed since Day 1 we want to be a physical team," said Falcons first-year coach Mike Smith.

That strategy didn't change when the Chiefs' plan had early success.

The Chiefs dared Atlanta rookie quarterback Matt Ryan to pass as they stacked the defensive line to stop the run from the first play. The strategy seemed to be working when the Chiefs forced the Falcons to punt on their first three possessions.

Bolstered by an Atlanta defense that didn't allow a first down until the second quarter, Smith didn't panic.

Then, on the first play of the Falcons' fourth drive, Turner changed the game.

Turner dragged Chiefs linebacker Pat Thomas for a few steps before breaking free and running through other defenders for a 38-yard run from the Falcons 8. A 30-yard pass from Ryan to Norwood helped set up Turner's first touchdown run.

Turner's determined run helped to soften the Kansas City defense. Ryan found Roddy White for a 70-yard touchdown pass on Atlanta's next possession, and the Falcons were on their way to a big early lead.

"They came out playing great defense," Turner said. "We have to be patient for the run and big things are going to happen."

Turner's 1-yard scoring run in the second quarter gave Atlanta (2-1) a 24-0 lead.

Tyler Thigpen, the third starting quarterback in three weeks for Kansas City (0-3), threw three interceptions in his first career start. The third interception, by cornerback Chris Houston, was returned 10 yards for a touchdown with 1:01 left in the game.

"I didn't play up to my expectations," Thigpen said.

Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said during the week he would turn to veteran Damon Huard if Thigpen struggled. Thigpen played the full game and was 14-for-36 passing for 128 yards with one touchdown.

"I thought about it," said Edwards when asked about changing quarterbacks. "But he put some points on the board.

"He did some bad things, but he did some good things, too. He got the team in position to score some touchdowns."

Asked if Thigpen would keep the starting job, Edwards said, "We'll see."

Down 24-0, Thigpen led a 13-play scoring drive capped by his 15-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe with 3 seconds left in the first half.

The Chiefs' comeback continued when Larry Johnson's 48-yard run set up his 1-yard scoring plunge to open the second half, cutting Atlanta's lead to 24-14. It was Johnson's first rushing touchdown of the season.

Johnson, who had 96 yards rushing in his first two games, had 24 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown.

The Falcons had a quick answer to Johnson's touchdown. Ryan, making his third start, had a 15-yard run and a 17-yard pass to White to set up Turner's third touchdown, a 2-yard run.

Ryan was 12-for-18 for 192 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

The Chiefs were forced to punt on their first five possessions. Their next two drives ended with interceptions by Erik Coleman and Brent Grimes.

"You have to stay positive," Thigpen said. "We don't expect to go three and out. We were planning on making first downs and moving the ball."

Game notes

Tony Gonzalez had three catches for 35 yards, leaving him 50 yards from breaking Shannon Sharpe's NFL record of 10,060 yards receiving for a tight end. ... The Chiefs' 12th straight loss came on the 11-month anniversary of their last win. They lost their last nine games in 2007 after a 12-10 win at Oakland on Oct. 21, 2007. ... Johnson has 4,981 yards rushing for his career to pass Christian Okoye (4,897) for second place on the Chiefs' all-time list.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Kansas City
1st Downs1716
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Yards301378
Yards per play4.27.0
Total Drives23
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

TD03:20Michael Turner 4 Yd Run (Jason Elam Kick) 07
TD00:07Roddy White 70 Yd Pass From Matt Ryan (Jason Elam Kick) 014
FG09:15Jason Elam 27 Yd 017
TD02:11Michael Turner 1 Yd Run (Jason Elam Kick) 024
TD00:03Dwayne Bowe 15 Yd Pass From Tyler Thigpen (Nick Novak Kick) 724
TD09:49Larry Johnson 1 Yd Run (Nick Novak Kick) 1424
TD05:13Michael Turner 2 Yd Run (Jason Elam Kick) 1431
TD01:01Chris Houston 10 Yd Interception Return (Jason Elam Kick) 1438