It's the first time the Chiefs have ever opened a season on Monday Night Football and the 9:15 p.m. start was the latest in Arrowhead Stadium history.
With all the renovations, all the people coming back to Arrowhead Stadium, all the energy....it was a great night for the Chiefs to set some records.
After the game, Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson said he couldn't remember ever winning a season opener in Kansas City. He's almost right but not quite. Go back to Sept. 11, 2005 -- DJ's rookie year -- and the Chiefs won the season opener against the New York Jets.
New punt return record
Get this: The Chiefs rookies helped establish a new franchise record for punt return yards in a game. Javier Arenas and Dexter McCluster accounted for 160 yards, breaking the previous record of 141 yards way, way back in 1979 against the Oakland Raiders. Yes, a 31-year old team-record was broken by a pair of rookies.
Dexter McCluster likes to set records, too
We were talking with McCluster in the locker room after the game and someone referenced his 94-yard punt return and how that was a Chiefs record. "I'm hearing that for the first time," McCluster said smiling. You could tell the guys was happy. That 94-yard punt return topped the previous record of 93-yards from Dante Hall against the Denver Broncos in 2003. That day in 2003 Hall had three returns for 105 yards for a 35 yards per return average, which is the Chiefs' record for one game. McCluster is now second on that list with 33.33 yards per return (three for 100 yards).
It was also the longest in a player's debut -- remember, McCluster's a rookie -- since WR Jacquez Green had a 95-yard return in 1998.
By the way, Tamarick Vanover's OT return against the Chargers on MNF in 1995 comes in fifth on that all-time Chiefs punt return list.
Javier Arenas > All of 2009's punt returners
Arenas' first two punt returns of the game and of the 2010 season went for 24 and 36 yards. What's amazing is the longest punt return in all of 2009 was 19 yards by Dantrell Savage. That's amazing, isn't it? I forgot how terrible the Chiefs were at punt returns last year and how awesome they've become.
Jamaal Charles big run
Charles had a 56-yard touchdown run last night which tied the second longest of his career. Funny, it now means that two of his top three runs have come in the last two games ('09 week 17 vs. Denver). His career-long is 76 yards.
Charles has eight rushing touchdowns on his career. I think we'll see a few more added to that this week.