Kerwynn Williams took over as hero Sunday as the Cardinals won a game they had to have, topping the Chiefs at home 17-14.
With starting tailback Andre Ellington out for the season, the Cardinals turned to a guy who had been called up two days earlier from the practice squad. Williams delivered, rushing for 100 yards, and helping the Cardinals win a huge game.
“That’s who we are,” Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. “A team is what it takes. That’s what we’ve built this thing on.”
The NFC West-leading Cardinals took the lead when Drew Stanton threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown on third-and-18 in the third quarter.
The Cardinals’ seven wins are the most at home for the franchise since when the Chicago Cardinals won 11 of 13 in 1925.
Arizona held on after winning a crucial reversal.
Kansas City was driving with five minutes remaining when Arians challenged that tight end Travis Kelce fumbled after a 19-yard reception to the Arizona 22. The officials ruled that Kelce lost the ball before he rolled on his back and got to his feet. Kelce grabbed the ball back, but apparently not soon enough.
“He tried to maintain possession,” referee Craig Wrolstad told a pool reporter, “but he did not, did not regain possession.”
Kelce said he was “shocked” by the ruling.
“I thought I regained control of the ball,” he said. “But you can’t go back in time. I fumbled the ball. It was called as a fumble and I’m just going to have to live with that.”
Coach Andy Reid said “from my vision, I thought he regained possession of the ball, but I’m not making the call.”
Justin Bethel recovered at the Arizona 15, ending the last serious Kansas City threat.
Jamaal Charles scored two first-half touchdowns on a 63-yard run and 18-yard pass from Alex Smith, but the Chiefs were shut out in the second half.
The day belonged to the unknown Cards running back. The seventh-round draft pick of Indianapolis in 2013 revved up what has been a sluggish Arizona running game.
He carried 19 times, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. The Cardinals had rushed for 99 yards in the last two games combined. They got 141 on Sunday.
In the first half, Smith completed 12 of 13 passes for 109 yards and a score. In the second half, he was 11 of 23 for it 182 yards and an interception.
Charles gained 91 on 10 carries, 63 of them in one attempt.