Inspiration is a sketchy thing to pin down, especially when players are dealing with tragedy. But what we do know is that just one day after Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then took his own life, the Chiefs took the field against the Carolina Panthers and scored a touchdown on their opening drive for the first time this season.
Apparently, when all the Chiefs' team captains voted to play the game after Saturday's tragedy, there was a knowledge among the players that this would be — if nothing else — a way to bring a bit of light to an impossibly dark situation.
The worst offense in the NFL this year was ruthlessly efficient from the start of the drive, which began at Kansas City's 26-yard line. Running back Jamaal Charles broke off runs of 5 and then 10 yards, Brady Quinn hit Dwayne Bowe for a 21-yard gain, Charles then went back to the ground for a 2-yard gain.
Quinn, who might be the most maligned quarterback in the NFL this year were it not for Matt Cassel, the man he's currently replacing, made another big play with a 34-yard pass to Bowe. Running back Peyton Hillis, best known this season for the most ill-advised option pass in recent memory, then punched it in for the score from the 2-yard line.
The Chiefs had a brief pregame ceremony but did not mention Belcher by name. Instead, they had a moment of silence throughout the stadium for victims of domestic violence everywhere.