Jets0007 -- 7Chiefs14337 -- 27Here's a switch: The Kansas City defense is apologizing for being imperfect, not for being awful.

The Chiefs' revamped defense -- the product of a busy, wheeling-and-dealing offseason -- came within 29 seconds of handing visiting New York its first shutout in almost 10 years.

A victory over the mistake-prone Jets proved a major pick-me-up for a defense which the past three years has never finished higher than 29th.

"We really wanted that shutout at the end. I know our fans did, too," said DE Eric Hicks, who blocked a field goal attempt when rookie Mike Nugent slipped. "I'm sorry we couldn't get it for them."

Kansas City started fast on offense, too -- Larry Johnson rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries and Priest Holmes added 85 yards and a touchdown.

Spurred on by newcomers such as Sammy Knight, Patrick Surtain and Derrick Johnson, the new-look defense forced seven fumbles and recovered two.

Chad Pennington was sacked three times and intercepted once.

Curtis Martin was held to 57 yards on 20 carries -- 139 fewer than he had in last year's opener against Cincinnati en route to the NFL rushing title.

"There's nothing like having talent," said Chiefs Coach Dick Vermeil. "Our draft and free agency were good, and then the maturity of the kids that were already here blended together. Talented athletes make more tackles than average athletes."


Kansas City: L. Johnson 35 run (Tynes kick), 13:39.

Kansas City: Holmes 3 run (Tynes kick), 3:04.


Kansas City: FG Tynes 41, 12:02.


Kansas City: FG Tynes 38, 4:13.


Kansas City: L. Johnson 4 run (Tynes kick), 14:56.

NY: Baker 23 pass from Fiedler (Nugent kick), :29.

Attendance: 78,014.

JetsChiefsFirst Downs 1923Total Net Yards 390389Rushes-Yards 23-5734-198Passing 333191Punt Returns 2-80-0Kickoff Returns 6-1822-39Interceptions Ret. 1-01-53Comp-Att-Int 27-44-115-26-1Sacked-Yards Lost 3-191-9Punts 3-44.32-48.5Fumbles-Lost 7-21-0Penalties-Yards 8-804-26Time Of Possession 31:2928:31 RUSHING

Giants: Martin 20-57, Pennington 2-0, Fiedler 1-0.

Kansas City: L. Johnson 9-110, Holmes 22-85, Richardson 1-4, Hall 1-0, Green 1-(minus 1).


Giants: Pennington 21-34-1-264, Fiedler 6-10-0-88.

Kansas City: Green 15-26-1-200.


Giants: Baker 7-124, Coles 6-66, Sowell 3-52, McCareins 3-39, Chrebet 3-33, Martin 3-20, Jolley 2-18.

Kansas City: Kennison 4-76, Gonzalez 4-51, Parker 2-23, Cruz 1-15, Horn 1-11, L. Johnson 1-11, Hall 1-8, Holmes 1-5.


Giants: Nugent 28 (BL).

Kansas City: Tynes 32 (WL).