Todd Blackledge threw two touchdown passes, including a 19-yarder to Carlos Carson that put the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs ahead en route to a 27-22 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals today.
Blackledge, in his second regular-season start, threw two long passes to wide receiver Anthony Hancock, helping the Chiefs (2-0) take a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.
But Bengals cornerback Ray Horton returned an interception 48 yards for a touchdown to start a rally that eventually put Cincinnati (0-2) ahead, 17-14, early in the second half on Jim Breech's 48-yard field goal.
Blackledge then completed six passes in a 75-yard drive concluded by his pass to Carson. Just 36 seconds later, Nick Lowery's 52-yard field goal gave the Chiefs a 24-17 lead with 4:55 left in the third quarter.
Blackledge's fumble out of the end zone for a safety and Breech's 29-yard field goal cut the lead to 24-22 with 5:10 to play. But the Chiefs' 57-yard drive set up Lowery's 40-yard field goal with 1:50 remaining.
Cincinnati's last opportunity ended when tight end M.L. Harris took a 29-yard pass from Ken Anderson, but fumbled it away on the Chiefs' 29-yard line.
"We've got to be careful to keep things in perspective," said the losing coach, Sam Wyche. "The season isn't down the tube yet. We don't have to worry if our team is made of men or mice. Sure, they're dejected, but they're men and they'll be back."
Anderson completed 24 of 37 passes for 310 yards to reach 2,500 career completions. Blackledge was 18 for 35 for 280 yards.
"He's played two consecutive beautiful games," Wyche said of Blackledge, a second-year player from Penn State. "He stayed in there and threw the ball in the clutch."
Hancock caught a 46-yard pass in a 79-yard touchdown drive on the Chiefs' first possession. His catch put the ball on the five, and Theotis Brown ran it in on the next play.
Early in the second quarter, Blackledge lofted a 46-yard pass that Hancock caught over two defenders in the end zone with 12:56 remaining in the half.
Both of the Chiefs' victories have been in road games. Last season, they won only one of eight games as the visiting team.