KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - One day after the shocking murder-suicide involving linebacker Jovan Belcher, the Kansas Chiefs played their finest game of the season and beat Carolina 27-21.
No turnovers. Just one penalty. And almost to a man Sunday, they praised the leadership of their embattled coach, Romeo Crennel.
The previous day, Crennel had stood alongside general manager Scott Pioli in the Chiefs parking lot and saw Belcher put a gun to his head and pull the trigger.
``It was tough, hard on him,'' said defensive lineman Shaun Smith. ``I told him after the game I love him, because he's like my father. I could feel the pain and emotion that he was dealing with.''
Linebacker Andy Studebaker, his voice choking, said a team ``couldn't ask for a better way to lead.''
``He provided us with a ton of perspective about leaning on each other, bracing each other,'' Studebaker said. ``He provided great leadership, great perspective in the circumstances we dealt with yesterday. I don't think you could have asked him to handle it better.''
Brady Quinn was 19 for 23 for 201 yards and two touchdowns and gave the Chiefs their best quarterback play since they won the AFC West in 2010 behind Matt Cassel. Quinn also gave Crennel credit for keeping everybody together.
``Crennel kind of said it best before the game, kind of talked to us about how Jovan played the game,'' Quinn said. ``That's how he wanted us to go out and play the game. That's the kind of emotion he wanted us to have.''
Throughout the season, as losses and misplays mounted and the Chiefs dropped 10 of their first 11 games, fan and media criticism of Crennel became relentless, even personal, and sometimes cruel.
Never once has he let on that it bothered him. But this was different.
Crennel admitted the pain and shock of what he had witnessed would stay with him a long time.
``Respectfully you guys and ladies, I'm choosing not to answer any questions about what I saw yesterday,'' Crennel told reporters. ``And I think you will understand that and you'll respect my wishes on that, because it wasn't a pretty sight.''
He said he knew the players would be looking to him for strength.
``I felt like I would be able to handle it, and I knew I needed to be strong for the players in that locker room and they needed to see a strong, individual leader,'' he said.
While many around the town and around the league were wondering if Sunday's game would be postponed, Crennel was making the decision to carry forth.
``After talking with the captains, they also felt like it was best that we play,'' he said. ``If for no other reason it takes our mind off our misery for a few hours. That's what it did. It helped us do that.''
Crennel said he sensed a good energy in the locker room as the Chiefs were about to take the field. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak and gave the hometown fans a victory to cheer for the first time in almost a calendar year.
``It was a total team victory. I'm proud of the guys in that locker room, proud of the coaches, proud of the organization for having to deal with what we had to deal with, and be able to pull through it and show some character,'' said Crennel. ``As an organization, as a team, as players and coaches, I thought that was all very positive.''

Recent NFL Discussions

Betting the 2017 NFL Draft on Mon, Apr 2017 by Blade
2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade
College / NBA today on Sun, Mar 2017 by TtomBoBadly
SNOW on Tue, Mar 2017 by Michael Cash

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Alabama NFL Draft Odds The Alabama Crimson Tide could have a lot of players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft next week. How many...
Thumbnail Odds Theory & Fantasy: Perfect Combo In America alone over 110 million people settled down to watch February’s Super Bowl and were rewarded by a game which saw many twists and turns along the way. Of...
Thumbnail Romo moving to CBS After a lot of discussion about where Tony Romo will be next season, it appears that he will be behind a broadcast booth.
Thumbnail Patriots remain SB52 Favorites With NFL free agency slowing down dramatically over the past week, here's a look at the most recent Super Bowl 52 odds to win.
Thumbnail The Next Atlanta Falcons Despite suffering one of the greatest collapses in sports history at Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons still managed to overcome significant odds to reach the NFL’s...

NFL Team Pages