KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jaye Howard was a hard man to miss Thursday night.
Well, that is unless the person attempting to account for the 6-3, 330-pound defensive tackle was a Denver Broncos blocker.
Howard proved a disruptive force throughout the contest and terrorized the Denver interior offensive line, accounting for a team-high seven tackles.
His performance during the 31-24 loss drew praise from Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
“Jaye did have a good game, he played well,” Reid said Friday during a conference call with Chiefs beat writers. “I just thought both in the pass game and the run game he did well, he did very well.”
The fourth-year pro out of Florida saw action on 40 of the Chiefs’ 73 total defensive snaps, and even lined up inside at times next to defensive tackle Dontari Poe.
Howard’s 12 total tackles (nine solo) through two games are currently tied for first on the team with rookie cornerback Marcus Peters and cornerback Jamell Fleming.
Howard, who also has a sack, is in the final year of his contract and eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2016.
EXPLANATION, TAKE II
Coach Andy Reid first explained his decision to give running back Jamaal Charles a carry with 35 seconds remaining and with the team starting at its own 20-yard line in Thursday night’s game during his postgame media session.
The head coach said then he was hoping Charles could bust a big play to potentially get the team in field goal range.
Charles, of course, fumbled the ball, which Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby scooped up and returned 21 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
Reid took a moment Friday to expound on his decision.
“When you have the best running back in the National Football League,” Reid said, “I just want to give him opportunities and he’s made so many great plays and he will continue to make great plays.
“Sometimes things don’t work, but listen, that kid is all heart and try-hard. It was a situation where, as I mentioned last night, my thinking on it was you pop one, if you have a shot for a field goal, and win the game. That’s one thing I’m always going to try to do, I’m going to try to win the game for you there.”
FLEMING HAS NIGHT TO FORGET
To the casual eye from the press box, it certainly appeared as if Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning starting picking on Chiefs cornerback Jamell Fleming.
But Manning told reporters during his postgame media session that wasn’t the case.
“We don’t pick on anybody or target anybody,” Manning said. “We obviously try to get the ball to our playmakers. And that includes (wide receivers) DT (Demaryius Thomas) and Emmanuel (Sanders).”
Still, it was hard to ignore that Fleming was on the coverage when the Broncos passing game starting gaining steam.
With Fleming defending, Manning connected with Sanders on a 19-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 24-24 with 40 seconds remaining in the game.
“Sanders made a nice play and Peyton made a nice play,” coach Andy Reid said.
While Fleming surrendered the game-tying touchdown and was on the defending end of Manning’s passes – intended or not – during the contest, the Chiefs head coach had his player’s back.
“We all had a piece of this thing,” Reid said. “So we get back, we study it and we get better at what we’re doing and we move forward.”
Fleming finished the game with five tackles (four solo) and two passes defensed.