Chiefs vs. Panthers: 5 Things That We Learned in the Chiefs' 27-21 Win

Bill Robbins@bill_kc28Correspondent IDecember 2, 2012

Chiefs vs. Panthers: 5 Things That We Learned in the Chiefs' 27-21 Win

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    The Kansas City Chiefs played with a heavy heart in their Week 13 game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

    This was because they were playing just one day after teammate Javon Belcher decided to take his girlfriend's life and ultimately his own life in one of the most unspeakable tragedies that the NFL has seen in quite some time.

    In the end, they were able to get hard-fought, 27-21 win over the now 2-10 Carolina Panthers.

    Here are five things that we learned about the Chiefs from this contest.

1. Jamaal Charles Is Still One of the Top Backs in the League

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    Charles was a force once again for the Chiefs' rushing attack, rushing for 127 yards on just 27 carries.

    With this game, the former third-round pick surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for the third time in his career. He now has 1,055.

    Games like this show why Charles is still one of the best in the league at his position.

2. Justin Houston Is Quietly Turning into a Dominant Pass-Rusher

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    When the Chiefs selected former Georgia linebacker Justin Houston with their third-round pick in the 2011 NFL draft, they knew that he was a very talented pass-rusher.

    That being said, I'm not so sure that they could have predicted him playing as well as he has in just his second year in the league.

    In his last 17 games, Houston has amassed an amazing 15.5 sacks. It was no different Sunday, as he harassed Panthers' QB Cam Newton throughout the game, sacking him once while getting many pressures on him as well.

3. The Offensive Line Looked Solid Once Again

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    The Chiefs' offensive line has been one of the most inconsistent units on the team. However, that hasn't been the case over the past couple weeks.

    Not only did it play well against Denver's vaunted pass rush last week, but it also paved the way for 158 rushing yards and allowed just one sack against Carolina this week.

    Rookie left tackle Donald Stephenson has stepped in for the injured Branden Albert in a big way, and the rest of the line seem to be getting more comfortable playing with each other these past two games.

4. Brady Quinn Played His Best Game as a Chief

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    One of the main reasons that the Chiefs were able to beat the Panthers was due the improved play of starting QB Brady Quinn.

    He was accurate, completed 19-of-23 pass attempts for 201 yards and his first two passing touchdowns of the season.

    He looked much more comfortable in the pocket, and even took off a few times on his own for some decent runs.

    Although his future on this team is still very much in jeopardy, at least he showed that he can still lead an NFL team to victory.

5. The Chiefs Responded Well to Adversity

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    One of the biggest questions facing the Chiefs was how they would respond to Saturday's murder of Jovan Belcher's girlfriend Kasandara Perkins and Belcher's subsequent suicide.

    By all signs, they responded in a great way in this matchup against the Panthers.

    Not only did the Chiefs commit just one penalty, but they also had no turnovers and led throughout the contest.

    More importantly, they won game for their fallen teammate.