Panthers vs Chiefs: Winners and Losers from Kansas City's 27-21 Win
For the first time this season, the Kansas City Chiefs did not commit any turnovers and went 54 minutes without being penalized. To make things better, the Chiefs pulled away with a much-needed win.
After a long season and an emotional weekend, the Chiefs snapped an eight-game losing streak to win against the Carolina Panthers, 27-21.
In this slideshow, I will go over the winners and losers from Kansas City's win. Let me know if you agree or disagree.
Winner No. 1: QB Brady Quinn
Many spectators have went ahead and labeled Brady Quinn as a first-round bust. Even though it came against the Carolina Panthers, it was nice to see Quinn in his Notre Dame form.
Quinn threw a touchdown pass for the first time since Dec. 6, 2009. In fact, Quinn threw two touchdown passes in this game to help lift the Chiefs offense. He was only sacked once and avoided giveaways. He had only four incomplete passes.
Is it possible that we see Quinn play like this again before the season is over? It may not be likely, but for now, the Chiefs will take this from him.
Loser No. 1: CB Neiko Thorpe
Neiko Thorpe, an undrafted free agent out of Auburn, hadn't played much this season until today.
When matching up one-on-one against Steve Smith, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton did not hesitate to pick on the rookie to give the Panthers an easy score.
Thorpe was sent into the game after Brandon Flowers and Javier Arenas suffered injuries and spent some time on the sidelines.
Winner No. 2: DE Tyson Jackson
Another first-round draft pick who hasn't played up to his potential is defensive end Tyson Jackson. However, Jackson has stepped up in the past three games, with today being the best of the three.
Jackson was tied for second on the team in tackles. He sacked Cam Newton and also had one tackle for a loss and also swatted a key pass on third down.
In a rare scene, Jackson was a key player against the pass and in stopping the run to help the Chiefs defense.
Loser No. 2: S Abram Elam.
Having to fill in for Kendrick Lewis, Abram Elam had a hard time playing against the Panthers.
Greg Olsen had only one catch, but it was a big one that came against Elam. Olsen caught a pass wide open and ran to the end zone with Elam chasing him from behind.
Cam Newton was able to find other receivers against a thin group of defensive backs today and took advantage by throwing for three touchdowns.
Winner No. 3: Chiefs Running Game
The Chiefs running game has been good all season, but it was even better on Sunday due to a win.
Peyton Hillis was a big factor early in the game as he rushed for his first touchdown of the season. Hillis' touchdown on the opening drive was the first opening-drive touchdown for the Chiefs in 29 games. Jamaal Charles finished his day with 127 yards on the ground. He had his second consecutive 100-yard game and his fifth of the season.
The Chiefs collected 158 rushing yards altogether and 10 of Kansas City's 23 first downs.
Winner No. 4: TE Tony Moeaki
One of Brady Quinn's top targets today was tight end Tony Moeaki, who missed all of last season due to a torn ACL.
Moeaki was targeted four times and caught four passes for 54 yards, including a one-yard touchdown catch on fourth down to end the first half. It was his first touchdown since Nov. 28, 2010. The Chiefs re-took the lead and never looked back the rest of the way.
Moeaki came up with some big catches in the second half to help the Chiefs offense move the chains and eventually add more scores.
Winner No. 5: K Ryan Succop
The Chiefs did not score a touchdown for 12 consecutive quarters
Winner No. 6: Romeo Crennel
With questions surrounding whether or not the Chiefs would be ready to play on Sunday, Crennel and the Chiefs agreed to have Sunday's game. Crennel knew he would have to help his team prepare mentally.
He did just that.
Crennel, as always, remained encouraging and was confident in his players to go out there and find a way to pick up a win.
On top of that, the Chiefs' aggressive performance was due to the play-calling from Crennel and his assistants. It was a much-needed win for Crennel, who is in his first full year of coaching the team.
It was nice to see a slideshow with more winners than losers. That is what happens when the Chiefs win and limit their mistakes.
A lot of credit goes to everyone. Crennel was shown giving his postgame speech and praised everyone on the team for today's win.
Even though Kansas City's second win came against a three-win team, sometimes wins like this can add optimism and motivation. Moving forward, it remains to be seen how the Chiefs finish the season. A win is a win and the team will take that.