MIAMI (AP)—The Kansas City Chiefs canceled a practice and rushed to pack, then caught an early flight and landed less than six hours before kickoff.
When the game began, they were ready.
With Hurricane Wilma scrambling the schedule, the Chiefs shook off any travel fatigue to beat the Miami Dolphins 30-20 on Friday night.
Trent Green threw for 289 yards against Miami’s injury-depleted secondary, and the Chiefs totaled a season-high 462 yards while controlling the ball for nearly 42 minutes. Lawrence Tynes’ three field goals included a 51- and 52-yarder, the two longest kicks of his career.
“We had a job to do,” Chiefs cornerback Patrick Surtain said. “Hey, it’s a football game. We’ve been playing this since we were 8. It’s really simple. Tonight guys found that extra bit of energy.”
Announced attendance was 68,350, but with the scheduling change and rain in the area, the actual crowd totaled about 40,000.
Playing a rare Friday game, the Dolphins looked like a bad high school team, and by their second series the small crowd was booing. Gus Frerotte misfired on two potential touchdown passes and went 11-for-29, Ricky Williams lost 1 yard in six carries and the defense gave up four scoring drives of eight plays or more.
“I’m not blaming it on anything, because that’s not my nature, but we certainly didn’t have the energy and enthusiasm we’ve had up to this point,” Miami coach Nick Saban said. “We just didn’t look like the same team out there, and I can’t give you any reason exactly why.”
Despite a less-than-ideal itinerary, Kansas City (4-2) scored a touchdown on the first series and never trailed. The Dolphins (2-4) missed a chance to claim a share of the AFC East lead, instead losing their third game in a row.
On Thursday, with some forecasters predicting a weekend hurricane in Florida, the NFL moved up the scheduled Sunday kickoff by 42 hours, leaving the Chiefs at an apparent disadvantage.
“We weren’t really happy about it,” Green said. “But we did our job, we focused and we have to be pleased about that. The team took a positive approach.”
The Chiefs canceled practice Thursday, arrived in South Florida early Friday afternoon following a three-hour flight and stretched their legs at a hotel before heading to the stadium. They were scheduled to leave right after the game and arrive in Kansas City about 2 a.m., completing a 17-hour trip.
“Now we can go home, relax and watch a bunch of college games and NFL games this weekend,” tackle Willie Roaf said.
Miami’s struggling secondary lost cornerback Sam Madison (hip) and safety Tebucky Jones (pectoral) in the first half, and two other defensive starters also limped to the sideline. Kansas City took advantage, scoring on five consecutive possessions for a 30-13 lead.
“Physically, we got beat up out there,” Saban said.
Sage Rosenfels stirred a potential quarterback controversy when he replaced Frerotte with less than 3 minutes left. Rosenfels’ only pass was a 77-yard touchdown strike to Chris Chambers, who split two defenders to score.
Kansas City’s Larry Johnson rushed for 93 yards, and Priest Holmes ran for 90 and two scores. Miami’s Williams, meanwhile, again saw limited duty in his second game following a one-year retirement and four-game drug suspension. He has seven yards on 11 carries this season.
Rookie teammate Ronnie Brown carried eight times for 95 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown on the first play of the second half that briefly reduced Miami’s deficit to 14-13. Kansas City answered with a TD two plays later on a 35-yard run by Holmes.
Miami WR Marty Booker left the game in the fourth quarter with a twisted ankle. Also injured were DE Kevin Carter (calf) and S Lance Schulters (thigh bruise). … Dolphins LB Junior Seau (calf) was inactive for the second game in a row. … Chiefs injured included DE Jared Allen (groin strain), LB Derrick Johnson (strained AC joint) and S Jerome Woods (right hamstring sprain). None of the injuries was believed to be serious. … Chiefs WR Dante Hall made his first start of the season for injured Samie Parker (knee). … Dolphins T Stockar McDougle, who committed five penalties last week, was benched and replaced by Vernon Carey. … Brown’s touchdown was the longest run by a Miami rookie since 1977.