Final

Rams 17

(2-2, 0-2 away)

Chiefs 21

(2-2, 1-1 home)

7:00 PM ET, August 28, 2008

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO 

1 2 3 4 T
STL 3 7 0 717
KC 14 7 0 021

Croyle, Chiefs capitalize on Rams' backups in morale-boosting win

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- So what if it was all against the second team? The Kansas City Chiefs were badly in need of a confidence boost and that's exactly what they'll take out of Thursday night's 21-17 victory over a collection of St. Louis reserves.

"We know it wasn't their ones. But you've still got to go out there and play and execute," said Brodie Croyle, who directed two brisk first-quarter touchdown drives. "We wanted to come out here and put together a couple of good drives and we were able to do that."

The only projected Rams starter who did not take the night off in the final preseason game was center Nick Leckey. Everyone else was either a second- or third-teamer as coach Scott Linehan took a long look at players competing for the final roster spots.

The Chiefs (2-2), coming off a demoralizing 24-0 shutout at the hands of a Miami team that was 1-15 last season, had a more urgent craving. They were looking for confidence and momentum going into their regular-season opener next week at New England.

"You can't put too much stock in it, and you can't take too much away from it either," said Chiefs guard Brian Waters. "It's like last week -- playing against Miami, it looked like they blew us out. We aren't going to run around and think we're kings of the world because we beat St. Louis tonight. Whoever is in front of you, you want to do the best you can."

After the start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 26 minutes by a rain and wind storm, Marcus Riley recovered Dantrell Savage's fumble on the kickoff and the Rams took a 3-0 lead on Josh Brown's 35-yard field goal.

But the rest of the quarter belonged to the Chiefs, who snapped off two brisk touchdown drives against the Rams reserves, capped each time by touchdown runs by Kolby Smith.

Croyle, who was handed the quarterback job in the spring, attempted only four passes and hit three for 42 yards. Smith ended a seven-play, 62-yard drive with a 14-yard run after Croyle scrambled for three yards for a first down.

Then against the second- and third-team defense of the Rams, the Chiefs moved 56 yards in nine plays for a 14-3 lead with 1:49 left in the quarter, with Smith scoring on a 4-yard run.

The only starters for the Chiefs not on the field for the first quarter were tight end Tony Gonzalez and running back Larry Johnson.

"I'm glad we did it because I think these guys deserved these extra snaps tonight, Linehan said. "To give them close to a full game's work gives us a lot more to look at. We have some tough decisions to make and I think it will make it easier to give guys fair evaluations. Some guys helped themselves tonight."

Reserve quarterback Damon Huard took over in the third period and made it 21-3 with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Sippio, one of several candidates for the Chiefs' second wide receiver spot. Sippio beat veteran cornerback David Macklin in the end zone after the Chiefs had taken over on their own 31 when Brian Johnston recovered Travis Minor's fumble.

The Rams (2-2) made it 21-10 with 10 seconds left in the half on Brock Berlin's 20-yard scoring pass to Dane Looker.

In the first minute of the fourth quarter, Lance Ball's 2-yard touchdown run capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive for the Rams that made it 21-17.

"We would have liked to have started faster and not given up the scores," Linehan said. "They sustained some good drives and ran the ball well. What I was happy with was they settled down, and stopped them. The second half of the second quarter we played much better."

Croyle admitted a good showing was important after the Miami shutout.

"That's why (the first team) played a little longer," he said. "We knew we weren't as bad as we played last week. It was good for us to get back out here and get some confidence heading into our game with the Patriots."

Trent Green started at quarterback for the Rams and played only one series, missing his only pass attempt. Berlin was 13-for-21 for 107 yards, mostly against the Chiefs' reserves.

Also on Thursday, Chiefs team physician Dr. Joe Wackerle was taken from the sideline on a cart after he broke an ankle when two players crashed into him during the game.

Wackerle was conscious when he was taken away late in the second quarter, raising his head as if to look around, but appeared to be in extreme discomfort.

A Chiefs spokesman said the white-haired physician sustained a compound fracture of the ankle. He was down for several minutes while several people tended to him.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
St. Louis
Kansas City
1st Downs2217
3rd down efficiency
3-134-11
4th down efficiency
2-20-1
Total Yards305205
Yards per play4.44.0
Total Drives11
Passing19948
Comp-Att
24-405-12
Yards per pass
5.04.0
Interceptions thrown
10
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-130-0
Rushing106157
Rushing Attempts
2639
Yards per rush
4.14.0
Penalties3-212-20
Turnovers21
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
10
Possession32:2927:31

Passing Leaders

STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Berlin13/211075.1102-12
Gradkowski11/181055.8011-1
KCC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Croyle3/44210.5000-0
Huard2/263.0100-0

Rushing Leaders

STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Ball13705.4117
Minor8212.6012
KCCARYDSAVGTDLG
Battle9556.1019
Charles6437.2013

Receiving Leaders

STLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Hagans44711.8016
Looker33210.7120
KCRECYDSAVGTDLG
Cox23115.5024
Sippio11111.0111

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSTLKC
FG13:33Josh Brown 35 Yd 30
TD08:46Kolby Smith 14 Yd Run (Connor Barth Kick) 37
TD01:49Kolby Smith 4 Yd Run (Nick Novak Kick) 314
SECOND QUARTERSTLKC
TD14:22Bobby Sippio 11 Yd Pass From Damon Huard (Connor Barth Kick) 321
TD00:10Dane Looker 20 Yd Pass From Brock Berlin (Josh Brown Kick) 1021
FOURTH QUARTERSTLKC
TD14:12Lance Ball 2 Yd Run (Josh Brown Kick) 1721