Carson Palmer returned from an ACL injury in last season’s playoffs leading his Cincinnati Bengals to a 23-10 over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Palmer didn’t have exactly the type of day he’s come to expect going 13-19 for 127 yards passing. But it was the hard running of Rudi Johnson (28car 96yds 1td) and the aggressive play of the defense that took care of Palmer’s rust.
Cincinnati was stingy on defense totaling seven sacks – three by Jefferson City native Justin Smith – and keeping running back Larry Johnson under 100 yards for the first time in 10 games. However, the hardest hit of the day was delivered by Bengals defensive end Robert Geathers. With Chiefs quarterback Trent Green looking to scramble for a first down; Geathers pummeled Green leaving the signal caller unconscious and out for the game. Green was later evaluated and x-rays turned up negative. He reportedly suffered a very severe concussion.
Backup quarterback Damon Huard entered in relief of Green and threw a late touchdown to Tony Gonzalez, but it was far too late.
The Chiefs took the lead 3-0 with a Lawrence Tynes field goal early in the first quarter. Cincinnati answered back with a field goal of its own in the second quarter tying the game 3-3. Later in the quarter, the Bengals scored touchdowns on back-to-back possessions to take a 17-3 lead into halftime. Johnson rushed for the first touchdown finishing an 11 play drive with a 22 yard scamper off right tackle. Kenny Watson added the second touchdown on an eight yard toss play.
Both teams came out quiet in the second half. The Bengals became conservative on offense and the Chiefs continued to struggle. Neither team scored in the third quarter.
Two more Shane Graham field goals put the game away and sent Herm Edwards away with a loss in his regular season debut as head coach of the Chiefs.