Bill Kenney, moments after one of his first few passes of the 1984 season was intercepted and returned 99 yards, threw a 24-yard strike for the go-ahead touchdown and the Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the San Diego Chargers today, 31-13.
Kenney, who threw for 4,348 yards last season but had not played since breaking the thumb on his passing hand in the '84 exhibition closer, gained 238 yards and two touchdowns via the air after replacing Todd Blackledge early in the second half.
Kenney entered midway through the third quarter with the Chiefs up, 10-6, but Blackledge struggling to move the team. Kenney completed 13 of 22 as the Chiefs drew even with the Chargers at 4-3 in the AFC West.
"I wasn't 100 percent confident," Kenney said. "I was rusty . . . Last year I took gambles. There was no stopping me. But I didn't feel I was in position to take gambles today. I wanted to be sure of everything I threw. I didn't play like I wanted to play. If I did, I wouldn't have thrown two interceptions."
Kenney completed his first four passes and five of his first six to move the Chiefs 66 yards to the San Diego 25. Then cornerback Gill Byrd stepped in front of tight end Willie Scott to intercept and ran 99 yards to put the Chargers ahead.
Undaunted, Kenney passed to Carlos Carson for 51 yards on the next play from scrimmage to put the Chiefs on the San Diego 20. Three plays later, Kenney went to Paige and his team was in front to stay, 17-13.
Carson caught seven passes for 165 yards, exactly matching his best previous game -- in 1983 against the Chargers. Kansas City's first possession brought fullback Ken Lacy's first NFL touchdown. Lacy starred with USFL's Michigan Panthers.