Run Over: Seahawks can’t stop run game, fall to Chiefs 24-20


Jamaal Charles ran for 159 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a 24-20 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

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The loss ended Seattle’s three-game winning streak.

It was 19 degrees at kickoff and the frigid temperatures made it obvious from the get-go that the run game for both teams was going to play a big factor in the game.

And neither team disappointed in that category.

Seattle rushed for 204 yards and Kansas City rushed for 190 of their own in the pound-for-pound battle on the frozen tundra of Kansas City. It was the first NFL game this season where both teams had more rushing yards than passing yards.

The Chiefs’ first drive of the game relied almost solely on Charles and the run game, and took nine minutes and 15 plays to go 86 yards. It ended when Charles stepped into the endzone to give Kansas City a 7-0 lead.

Unphased, the Seahawks put together a 16-play, 90-yard drive of their own on their next possession and also used nine minutes to score a touchdown, when Doug Baldwin caught a pass in the back of the endzone. Baldwin finished the contest with six catches for 45 yards.

After another Charles touchdown run, Steven Hauschka kicked consecutive field goals before the end of the half to make it a 14-13 Chiefs advantage at halftime.

The latter of those field goals came after a Charles fumble with a minute left in the half. Kansas City was hoping to get on the scoreboard before the half ended, but the turnover led to three Seahawks points.

The Chiefs extended their lead early in the third quarter when Cairo Santos hit a short field goal to make it a 17-13 Kansas City lead, but the Seahawks took their first lead of the game with seconds left in the third quarter, when Russell Wilson found Tony Moeaki for a 1-yard touchdown pass that gave Seattle a 20-17 lead.

That was Moeaki’s first touchdown grab since 2012, when he was a member of the Chiefs and the score came after the Seahawks recovered Charles’ second fumble of the game near midfield.

Kansas City re-took the lead in the fourth quarter when Knile Davis ran for a 4-yard score to make it a 24-20 Chiefs lead. Davis had only five carries for 10 yards in the contest.

Nov 16, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) runs the ball during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle countered with a drive that went all the way to the Chiefs 2-yardline, but they couldn’t finish the drive. A risky decision to go for it on 4th down didn’t work and the turnover on downs left Seattle with no points and gave the Chiefs the ball.

After a big defensive stop, the Seahawks offense stalled again. They again attempted to get a first down on a 4th and short, but they again came up short and gave the ball back to the Chiefs with three and a half minutes left in the game.

In a last effort to keep the comeback bid alive, Seattle took possession at their own 4-yardline with a little more than a minute to go, but they couldn’t get to midfield before turning the ball over on downs, essentially ending the game.

Seattle dropped to 6-4 on the year, more losses than they had all of last season.

Wilson finished with a decent game going 20-for-32 for 178 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also ran for 71 yards.

But the true leader of the run game for Seattle was Marshawn Lynch who had 24 carries for 124 yards, though he failed to get into the endzone and the Chiefs are still the only team in football who have not given up a touchdown run.

Sunday was Lynch’s third 100-yard game this season.

Seattle had eight penalties go 50 yards against them. Kansas City had three go for six yards.

The Seahawks have a huge division matchup in Week 12, inviting the 8-1 Arizona Cardinals to CenturyLink Field in a game that could help decide the winner of the NFC West.

Last year, the Cardinals were the only team to beat the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. They were also the last team to beat Seattle last year, as the Seahawks won every game after that including Super Bowl XLVIII.

This year, Seattle needs to play nearly perfect football for the rest of the year and hope for some of the NFC’s leading teams to cool off, just for a shot at the postseason.

Another loss would likely turn the light off on the Seahawks season.