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Chiefs exploit Falcons

Kansas City sets a record with eight rushing touchdowns against what had been the NFL's best rushing defense. CHIEFS 56, FALCONS 10

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Published October 25, 2004

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Neither 12 years in the league nor nine trips to the Pro Bowl could prepare Willie Roaf for what he did, saw and felt on this history-making day.

Shredding what had been the NFL's leading defense against the run, Priest Holmes and Derrick Blaylock each scored four touchdowns rushing Sunday in a stunning 56-10 rout of Atlanta. The eight TDs on the ground set an NFL record.

Down 3-0 in the opening minutes, the Chiefs roared back with a 35-0 blitz and totaled 271 yards rushing against an embarrassed defense that had led the league with an average yield of only 74.5 yards on the ground.

"To go out and break an NFL record against a 5-1 football team is just unbelievable," said Roaf, the Pro Bowl left tackle. "It's incredible. That's a good football team and they'll bounce back. This was a college-type football game today. I'm just glad I was a part of it."

Holmes scored on runs of 1, 2, 2 and 15 yards in the first half. He was stopped just a couple of feet short of what would have been his fifth TD rushing for the Chiefs.

The man who set the NFL record last year with 27 touchdowns rushing left with a mild ankle sprain.

But all Holmes' injury did was unleash backup Blaylock against the helpless Atlanta defense.

Blaylock, who had a 7-yard TD in the first half, immediately scored on a 1-yard run after Holmes was hurt. He added TD runs of 3 yards then 2 yards in a game that also saw the Chiefs record a team-record 36 first downs.

Much of the yardage was behind Roaf and left guard Brian Waters.

"They had, like, the No. 1 rushing defense," Blaylock said. "But once we started moving the ball on them we just kept moving the ball. We got in a rhythm. And eight touchdowns later, we've got the record."

Holmes totaled 139 yards on 22 carries and Blaylock had 90 on 19. The Chiefs amassed 540 yards in handing the Falcons their second-most lopsided loss.

"We didn't have an answer for anything they did," Atlanta linebacker Keith Brooking said. "There is no worse feeling as a linebacker than having the ball rammed down your throat. We were the No. 1 rushing defense and they hammered us."

Holmes' four TDs rushing in a half tied the NFL record and also broke the record for most in a game against the Falcons.

"I am honored to be a part of history," Atlanta coach Jim Mora said sarcastically. "We have done a tremendous job of stopping the run. So it just emphasized how well they played. Their O-line was doing such an excellent, tremendous job, it might not have mattered who was in there."

The Chiefs' historic day began, oddly enough, with Holmes losing a fumble on the first play from scrimmage.

"In a game like that, you just want to keep running the ball," Waters said. "For an offensive lineman, that's a lovely day. That's a dream."

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