Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Dolphins defense puts the squeeze on Kansas City

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J. Pat Carter, Associated Press
The Chiefs' Dante Hall fumbles the football as he is tackled by the Dolphins' Derek Hagan in the first half yesterday in Miami.
Click photo for larger image.

MIAMI -- Confronted one-on-one with bruising Larry Johnson in the open field near the goal line, Channing Crowder buried his helmet into the running back's chest for a touchdown-saving tackle.

Then, Crowder rose and broke into a celebratory dance.

"It was a good tackle, so I did a little shimmy for him," Crowder said.

There were many such jubilant moments yesterday for the Miami Dolphins' defense, which stymied Johnson and harried Damon Huard to beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 13-10.

The defense even overcame the Miami offense. The Dolphins took an early 13-point lead but missed chances to build an even bigger cushion because of a sputtering attack, and a turnover on a reverse helped keep the outcome in doubt until the final moments.

The Dolphins (3-6) won their second game in a row and snapped a three-game winning streak by the Chiefs (5-4).

"It's exciting to play the kind of defense we know we're capable of playing," said linebacker Zach Thomas, who had a sack and broke up two passes. "It's fun."

The Chiefs, who averaged 32 points in the past three games, went three-and-out on their first five possessions. The game was 26 minutes old before they registered a first down, and by then, the Dolphins were ahead, 13-0.

Huard went 15 for 38 for 201 yards with three sacks, and four times was hit as he threw. The Dolphins' secondary delivered several jarring hits on receivers.

"We had a good bead on the way they were going to attack us," cornerback Will Allen said. "Good running teams use a lot of play-action pass, so we knew what to look for."

They also knew to look for Johnson, the NFL's third-leading rusher, who managed only 75 yards on 18 carries. Tony Gonzalez had six catches for 84 yards but left the game in the Chiefs' final possession with a sprained left shoulder.

Because of injuries, five other Chiefs starters missed the game, and the shuffled lineup likely contributed to their offensive struggles. Kansas City was 3 for 14 on third-down conversions and had the ball for only 24 minutes.


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