Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/9/12

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Returning to the city where he began his career as the most prolific tight end receiver in NFL history, Tony Gonzalez rolled into Arrowhead Stadium and helped the Atlanta Falcons to a decisive 40-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gonzalez spent 12 seasons with the Chiefs and became the franchise's leading receiver, but was traded to the Falcons in 2009. He was greeted with cheers from the Kansas City crowd when he was introduced in the pre-game. Those cheers turned to boos when he scored in the third quarter during a stretch where Atlanta put up 23 unanswered pointed.

Quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense faced a depleted Kansas City defense and took advantage of the Chiefs. Ryan threw for 299 yards and connected with WR Julio Jones (six catches, 108 yards) for a pair of touchdown passes and got another one with Gonzalez. Plus, Ryan scored on a 5-yard run. Kicker Matt Bryant added four field goals.

The Chiefs defense opened the game without four starters including their best pass rusher in outside linebacker Tamba Hali (NFL suspension) and best cover man in the secondary in cornerback Brandon Flowers (inured foot). The Falcons took the opening kickoff and went 80 yards on 12 plays, converting three third-down plays along the way. The key receiver was Jones, who had a 25-yard catch and run, an 11-yard play that produced a first down and then an 8-yard touchdown play where he beat cornerback Jacques Reeves in the end zone. Reeves replaced Flowers in the starting lineup.

The Chiefs were able to put a field goal on the board with their first possession, but gave it right back when they allowed Jacquizz Rodgers to return the kickoff 77 yards to the Chiefs' 24-yard line. Atlanta picked up a 34-yard FG from Matt Bryant and held a 10-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Quarterback Matt Cassel led the Chiefs offense to its first touchdown of the season on a nine-play, 76-yard drive. Cassel's laser-like throw of 22 yards to tight end Kevin Boss was out of reach of the two Falcons in coverage and Boss caught it in the end zone. The PAT kick tied the score at 10-10.

The rest of the first half became an offensive tennis match as both sides hit winners and moved down the field with no-huddle attacks. Ryan and Jones hooked up again on a 14-yard TD catch and run. The Chiefs then went 80 yards on eight plays before Cassel scored on a 5-yard run.

Right before the half, the Falcons regained the lead thanks to a 21-yard FG by Bryant and Atlanta went to halftime up 20-17. They came back and put up a pair of third-quarter touchdowns as Ryan scrambled untouched for a 5-yard score and Gonzalez caught his seven-yard TD pass. Bryant added field goals of 30 and 41 yards. The Chiefs scored with five seconds to play on a 4-yard run by RB Shaun Draughn.

Notes: Cassel's TD run in the second quarter was his first scoring run in four seasons with the Chiefs. He had three rushing TD's on the ground with New England. ... Atlanta's defense forced three turnovers by Cassel, with two interceptions and a fumble. ... Romeo Crennel is now 0-5 in the opening game as a head coach after going 0-4 in Cleveland.

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