Anguished Kansas City Chiefs snap losing streak

Sun Dec 2, 2012 6:26pm EST
 
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By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Anguished Kansas City Chiefs responded to the murder-suicide involving linebacker Jovan Belcher with a rare victory on Sunday, defeating the Carolina Panthers 27-21.

Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend in front of his mother at their Kansas City home on Saturday, then drove to the team's practice facility, where he committed suicide in the parking lot as head coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli watched.

The tragedy dampened the normally festive atmosphere at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium before the game and tempered the joy of the victory, which snapped an eight-game losing streak and improved Kansas City's record to 2-10.

"You relied on your faith to help get you through this, and we got through it," Crennel told the team in the locker room after the game. "Everybody made a contribution, everybody helped, and that's what a team is about."

Quarterback Brady Quinn said the tragedy weighed heavily on the players and the victory was meaningful because it showed "how guys clung together."

"This will stick with us the rest of the year," Quinn told FM 101.1 radio.

Tight end Tony Moeaki credited Crennel and Pioli for demonstrating leadership after witnessing the suicide and supporting the team.

"You can't put it into words what we went through as a team," Moeaki told the radio. "They really stayed strong for us and that was key."   Continued...

 
Kansas City media cover the scene of an apparent suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who earlier shot and killed his girlfriend elsewhere in Kansas City Missouri December 1, 2012. REUTERS/Dave Kaup