|Date of game: 9/21/2014
Recap: Miami vs. Kansas City
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Knile Davis ran for a career-high 132 yards on 32 carries with a touchdown to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a 34-15 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Playing without the NFL's third-leading rusher from a season ago in Jamaal Charles, Kansas City (1-2) relied on a heavy dose of Davis and third-string tailback Joe McKnight, who hauled in a team-high six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns.
Charles suffered a high ankle sprain in last week's loss to Denver and was limited in practice throughout the week.
Alex Smith completed an efficient 19-of-25 passes for 186 yards and three scores in the win.
"We came out today and played again a good football team," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. "I think our defense really stepped up. Knile (Davis) and (Joe) McKnight on the offensive side I thought did well."
Ryan Tannehill was not as crisp as his counterpart, struggling to just 21- of-43 passing for 205 yards and a touchdown for the Dolphins (1-2), who have dropped two straight following a season-opening win against New England.
Lamar Miller carried the ball 15 times for 108 yards, his second-career 100- yard rushing game.
Each team punted three times before any real scoring chance occurred early in the second quarter. The Dolphins opened their fourth drive of the game at their own 17 and Tannehill threw a 30-yard pass to Mike Wallace on the first play to move the ball to midfield. Miami managed to push the ball to the KC 30, but Caleb Sturgis missed his first field goal of the season, a 48-yard try.
A 16-yard pass from Smith to Dwayne Bowe on second down had the Chiefs in Dolphins territory. Donnie Avery then hauled in a 9-yard pass two plays later before McKnight caught a short toss from Smith and bolted up field for 12 yards. Davis took a handoff on the following play, shook a couple of would-be tacklers and scampered into the end zone for a 21-yard score.
Smith led another touchdown march on the Chiefs' next possession, as Travis Kelce caught a pass along the near sideline, raced downfield 20 yards and dove for the pylon to give the visitors a 14-0 lead with 1:35 remaining in the first half.
Tannehill and the Dolphins responded with a quick field goal drive to end the half. Miller caught passes of 15 and five yards, preceding Wallace's 8-yard grab to get the ball to midfield. After Jarvis Landry caught a 16-yard pass, Daniel Thomas sprinted for 21 yards on a screen pass down inside the 20. Tannehill took a couple of big hits on a 9-yard run to the two, which set up Sturgis' 22-yard field goal as time expired.
Jared Odrick forced a fumble, recovered by Derrick Selby, on a sack of Smith on Kansas City's opening possession of the third quarter. Miller rushed for 10 yards to the Chiefs' 4-yard line and Tannehill capped the short series with a 1-yard TD pass to Brian Hartline on third down to cut the deficit to 14-10.
"I think we didn't open enough holes in the running game consistently, I don't think we had enough good blocks downfield because the backs were getting through the line and getting tackled at the safety level, so I think it's a whole team effort and we obviously need improvement," said Hartline. "It was not good enough."
Smith answered by leading a 10-play, 66-yard drive that resulted in an 11-yard TD pass to McKnight.
Miami reached Kansas City territory on the following possession and Sturgis capped the drive with a 51-yard boot with under six minutes left in the third.
Following a punt from each team, the Chiefs were pinned at their 1, then Randy Starks and Jelani Jenkins were credited with a sack of Smith in the end zone for a safety. Kansas City got the ball back with under 10 minutes left in the game and worked a 9-play, 44-yard march that culminated in McKnight's second TD reception. The two-point conversion attempt failed as the Chiefs held a 27-15 lead with 4 1/2 minutes to play.
Miami turned the ball over on downs on its next touch, but Davis fumbled and the Dolphins recovered with just minutes remaining. Kansas City's defense didn't give in, though, forcing another fourth-down and stuffing Miller.
Cyrus Gray then added his first-career touchdown to cap the scoring.Game Notes
Tannehill now has 40 TD passes, tying Don Strock for fourth in Dolphins
history ... The Chiefs snapped a three-game losing streak to the Dolphins ...
Wallace paced all Miami receivers with 74 yards on five receptions ... The
Chiefs were 9-for-16 on third down, while Miami converted just 4-of-15