Final

Cardinals 17

(0-2, 0-2 away)

Chiefs 27

(1-0, 1-0 home)

8:00 PM ET, August 10, 2012

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO 

1 2 3 4 T
ARI 0 3 7 717
KC 14 3 3 727

RB Jamaal Charles returns to help Chiefs down Cards in opener

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Michael Adams caused a big chunk of Kansas City to catch its breath Friday night.

Jamaal Charles, on his first carry since ACL surgery on his left knee last September, took a solid shot from the Arizona cornerback right where the scar is. But he jumped up and hustled back to the huddle, helping K.C. score touchdowns on its first two possessions en route to a 27-17 victory over the Cardinals in a very satisfying preseason opener.

"That was a relief," said coach Romero Crennel. "For him to take that hit, I think that helped clear his mind about where he is with that injury. Until you get hit on it, you just never know. You're always wondering about it. Now he's been hit in a game and I think that will help him going forward."

Charles, the NFL's second-leading rusher in 2010, had 12 yards on three carries and caught one pass for 11 yards. Two other key starters who also sat out last season after ACL surgery -- safety Eric Berry and tight end Tony Moeaki -- also played with no apparent problems, lifting the spirits of coaches and fans alike.

Charles insisted he "wasn't even paying attention" to the hit to the left knee.

"It was good just to be on the field again and running the ball again in a real live game," he said. "It was great to be out there with my teammates."

Did he feel like the old Jamaal, the one whose 6.4 yards per carry in 2010 was just under Jim Brown's NFL record?

"I don't know. You tell me," he said with a grin. "I feel fresh. My body feels real good. I feel ready to go."

Matt Cassel found Peyton Hillis on a 12-yard scoring strike to cap the first possession, marking the second straight game the defense for Arizona yielded a touchdown on the opening drive.

In their second possession, the Chiefs romped 72 yards in just four plays, capped by Shaun Draughn's 4-yard run.

"It's disappointing that we didn't play better," said Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt. "I don't accept that. I just don't think it was a good effort by our team and I'm glad we've got three (preseason) games left to clear that up."

Little was decided in the battle between John Skelton and Kevin Kolb for Arizona's starting quarterback job. But William Powell, a second-year running back from Kansas State, had a big game, rushing for 92 yards on nine carries. He scored the Cardinals' first touchdown on a 2-yard run on fourth down after exploding for 67 yards a moment before.

Skelton started and was 3 for 6 for 35 yards and one interception. Kolb, who started in the Hall of Fame game against New Orleans, came off the bench and was 1 for 5 for 21 yards. The Cardinals, who spent the week practicing at the Chiefs' camp in nearby St. Joseph, Mo., dropped to 0-2 in the preseason, while the Chiefs matched their preseason victory total for the past three seasons.

"I thought John looked comfortable," Whisenhunt said. "He made a mistake when he called a run the wrong way. But he made some good, accurate throws. Kevin looked good early, but we continue to have protection issues when he's in there. I thought they did OK."

Cassel, who missed most of the second half of last season with a hand injury, looked sharp. He connected with a wide-open Hillis to finish a 12-play, 72-yard march for a 7-0 lead the first time the Chiefs had the ball and was 5 for 6 for 67 yards. He rifled a 29-yard completion to Dexter McCluster to set up Draughn's TD run with 4:13 left in the first quarter.

Hillis, an offseason free agent signing, had 41 yards on four carries. He broke through a big hole on the right side of the line for a 28-yard run in the second TD drive, helping the first-teamers to touchdowns on the only two possessions they played.

Abram Elam intercepted Skelton's pass intended for Larry Fitzgerald and returned it 37 yards to set up Ryan Succop's 22-yard field goal in the third quarter. Succop's 24-yarder following Devon Wylie's long punt return made it 20-10.

Ricky Stanzi, the Chiefs' third-string quarterback, found backup tight end Steve Maneri for 19 yards in the fourth period to help set up a 7-yard touchdown run by Cyrus Gray. Gray had 15 carries for 65 yards and Maneri had three catches for 69 yards.

With 8:28 left, the Cardinals made it 27-17 when Richard Bartel connected with Jaymar Johnson on an 18-yard touchdown pass.

The replacement officials were not shy about throwing flags, calling six penalties on each team for a total of 149 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ARI
KC
1st Downs1721
Passing 1st downs
99
Rushing 1st downs
610
1st downs from Penalties
22
3rd down efficiency
3-138-16
4th down efficiency
1-11-1
Total Plays5967
Total Yards283356
Yards per play4.85.3
Total Drives1312
Passing130190
Comp - Att
15-2814-26
Yards per pass
4.67.3
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks - Yards Lost
7-430-0
Rushing153166
Rushing Attempts
2441
Yards per rush
6.44.0
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-23-5
Penalties6-906-59
Turnovers21
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession26:3033:30

Passing Leaders

ARIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Bartel5/66911.5105-30
Lindley6/11484.4000-0
KCC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Quinn7/13816.2010-0
Cassel5/66711.2100-0

Rushing Leaders

ARICARYDSAVGTDLG
Powell99210.2167
Smith9404.4012
KCCARYDSAVGTDLG
Gray15654.3113
Hillis44110.3028

Receiving Leaders

ARIRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Byrd33311.00214
Williams12121.00212
KCRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Maneri36923.00283
McCluster34515.00293

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERARIKC
kcTD08:09Peyton Hillis 11 Yd Pass From Matt Cassel (Ryan Succop Kick) 07
kcTD04:13Shaun Draughn 4 Yd Run (Ryan Succop Kick) 014
SECOND QUARTERARIKC
kcFG11:20Ryan Succop 22 Yd 017
ariFG00:02Jay Feely 40 Yd 317
THIRD QUARTERARIKC
ariTD10:32William Powell 2 Yd Run (Jay Feely Kick) 1017
kcFG04:33Ryan Succop 24 Yd 1020
FOURTH QUARTERARIKC
kcTD13:31Cyrus Gray 7 Yd Run (Ryan Succop Kick) 1027
ariTD08:28Jaymar Johnson 18 Yd Pass From Richard Bartel (Jay Feely Kick) 1727