Tag:Kansas City Chiefs
Posted on: September 18, 2011 11:15 am

Calvin Johnson 'good to go' for Chiefs game

Posted by Will Brinson

The Lions are an unprecedented nine-point favorite against the Chiefs in Detroit today. That's mainly because Ryan Fitzpatrick and a cadre of relatively-unknown receivers lit up a KC defense that no longer has Eric Berry roaming the field.

Needless to say, a Calvin Johnson-Matt Stafford combo is more dangerous ... when healthy. Good news, Lions fans -- Megatron, who was listed as questionable with an ankle injury, is going to play on Sunday against Buffalo.

"Good to go," Johnson told Josina Anderson while warming up at Ford Field Sunday morning.

Stevie Johnson ended up with four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs and tight end Scott Chandler caught a pair of scores, and that was in a 41-7 beatdown that saw the Bills run the ball 40 times as well.

Johnson injured his ankle against the Bucs in Week 1, but he still caught six balls for 88 yards and two touchdowns in the Lions victory and eventually practiced this past Friday, an indication that he would be alright to get on the field this week.

All of which is to say that the Lions should feel good about Megatron's guarantee that he'll play on Sunday, as he should be slated for a pretty big game against a depleted Chiefs defense, though it wouldn't be surprising to see his reps get limited if the Lions get a big lead.

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Posted on: September 16, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 11:04 pm

Chiefs give CB Brandon Flowers contract extension

The Chiefs lock up another young player in CB Brandon Flowers. (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Cornerback Brandon Flowers was part of that Chiefs' 2008 draft class that was going to revitalize an organization that had lost its way in midway through the Herm Edwards era. Fresh off a 2-14 season, the team landed Glenn Dorsey, Branden Albert, Flowers and Jamaal Charles with the first 73 picks. And Friday, Kansas City rewarded Flowers with a contract extension which, according to NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano, is for five years and $50 million, with $22 million guaranteed.

That's a nice haul for the fourth-year player. Unfortunately, the Chiefs are more than a good young cornerback away from defending their AFC West title in 2011. The team looked completely unprepared for the Bills (!) in Week 1, and they'll face the Lions Sunday, an outfit with plenty of offensive firepower and a defensive tackle that Kansas City coach Todd Haley doesn't know how to stop.

Flowers joins linebacker Derrick Johnson and rush linebacker Tamba Hali as Chiefs denders landing new deals in recent years; on the other side of the ball, the club has locked up Charles and Dwayne Bowe.

So while there were few positives to take from the Buffalo game (the best Haley could come up with: nobody quit), it's not like the organization isn't trying to retain its young players and build around them. Things seemed to be going well a year ago; Haley led the Chiefs to the division title and the playoffs in his second season, and quarterback Matt Cassel appeared capable of managing the offense.

In retrospect, a ridiculously easy schedule coupled with the Chargers' annual slow start made the Chiefs one of the pleasant surprises of 2010. But it also may have set them up to fail in 2011. Yes, we're only one week into the season, so there's much football to be played. And though Kansas City may not have all the pieces in place to compete right now, by signing Flowers, Johnson, Hali et al to long-term deals, there's clearly a plan for the future. That doesn't do much for fan morale right now, but it could be worse: you could be the Colts.

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Posted on: September 14, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 4:27 pm

Chiefs head to Detroit with plenty of questions

Haley on Bills game: 'To me, you can't let a loss like this drag you down.' (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Earlier Wednesday, we documented the dilemma facing the Colts. They can either concede that this isn't their year, put Peyton Manning on injured reserve, and regroup in 2012. Or they can see if Manning's healthy enough to play later in the season and hope Kerry Collins can win a few games in the meantime. It's not ideal, but there are worse problems to have.

Take the Chiefs, for instance. Winners of the AFC West last season, Kansas City has looked like one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2011. They were 0-4 in the preseason (including a 25-0 blanking by the Bucs in Week 1), and are fresh off a 41-7 shellacking in the regular-season opener against the Bills.

Unlike the Colts, a team that will improve the second Manning returns, there's no easy fix for the Chiefs. Quarterback Matt Cassel completed 22 of 36 passes for a whopping 119 yards. That works out to 3.2 yards per attempt, or 2.4 yards fewer than Bills running back Fred Jackson gained per carry. Dexter McCluster and Jamaal Charles also lost fumbles, and the defense didn't have an answer for Ryan Fitzpatrick who tossed four touchdowns.

So what's the solution?

“No. 1 is the plus-minus category, both defensively and offensively," Haley said, via CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Bob Gretz. "We need to create more (turnovers) and we need to protect the ball. If you do that and that alone, even if you struggle in other areas, you can still win games.” 

It also helps to have a short memory.

“To me,” Haley said, according to the Kansas City Star, “you can’t let a loss like this drag you down. This core group of guys has shown that in the past that they’ve been able to overcome a game like this. You don’t ever want one, but if you have one you can’t let it drag you down.”

It's one thing to say "hey, don't worry about it." It's something else entirely to put a beatdown like that behind you while also playing markedly better in the next game. As the Star's Kent Babb points out, "The team’s most looming worry is that there were few encouraging moments in Sunday’s game. Quarterback Matt Cassel wasn’t sharp, the defense was awful, and the Chiefs’ rushing offense, which led the NFL last year, never could settle into a rhythm. To make matters worse, second-year safety Eric Berry suffered a season-ending ACL tear, and he’ll soon join tight end Tony Moeaki on injured reserve."

Losing Berry and Moeaki are downers, clearly, but Haley's taking the glass-half-full approach (and he sorta has to; it's Week 1, after all). “There wasn’t anything on that tape that didn’t look like it was correctable,” he said Monday. “If we were sitting, watching the tape and seeing a lack of effort and seeing just guys get beat in one-on-one matchups and saying, ‘Boy, this guy’s got no chance,’ I would feel differently.”

We take Haley's point, but the "it's correctable" line is right out of Jim Caldwell's "What to say to the media when you don't know what to say to the media" handbook. Next up for the Chiefs: they travel to Detroit to face the Lions, who are fresh off a solid win in Tampa Bay last week.

We have a feeling things are going to get worse before they get better.

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Posted on: September 12, 2011 2:49 pm

Chiefs S Eric Berry done for year with torn ACL

Posted by Will Brinson

It's been a very bad 24 hours for the defending AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs, who got slaughtered at home by Buffalo, 41-7. And it's getting worse as Monday the team learned that second-year safety Eric Berry would miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

That's according to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network who accurately describes the injury as "a big blow" -- in fact, that's probably an understatement.

Berry, a thumper who was taken with a top-five pick in the 2010 NFL Draft flashed moments of brilliance last season and was expected to make the leap into the upper echelon of NFL safeties in 2011.

Nick Wright of 610 Sports has a pretty good GIF of the play in which he believes Berry tore his ACL and, um, it's kind of awkward because that's a dirty tackle.

Berry's the second major player for the Chiefs to go down with a season-ending ACL injury -- tight end Tony Moeaki was lost after tearing up knee in the preseason as well.

Moeaki and Berry were two players expected to break out in Kansas City's 2011 bid to defend their division title and are now lost for the year. It's obviously still to early to write off the Chiefs chances, but things are trending in a foreboding manner with respect to their ability to succeed for a second-straight season.

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Posted on: September 5, 2011 5:00 pm

Podcast: Peyton Manning's injury, Tressel, Week 1

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

CBSSports.com's Pick-Six Podcast never takes a break. Or we thought that Labor Day meant we were supposed to work and accidentally showed up to the office. Whatever. While we're here: get your iTunes subscribtion on right here.

You can also listen below, when we talk about Peyton Manning's injury, Jim Tressel's non-suspension suspension, whether Randy Moss is coming back, whether Matt Cassel will start in Week 1, Sean Payton's contract, why Tiki Barber is so laughable and much, much more.

Hit the play button below to listen (and did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?). If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.

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Posted on: September 4, 2011 9:28 pm

Matt Cassel could miss opener with rib injury

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It wasn't pretty to watch, but shortly after nose tackle Howard Green -- all 340 pounds of him -- sacked quarterback Matt Cassel with all his weight during last Thursday's preseason game between Green Bay and Kansas City, the Chiefs said Cassel had just had the wind knocked out of him.

Cassel confirmed this afterwards when he said “I just got the wind knocked out of me,’’ he said. “We were just being cautious.’’

Head coach Todd Haley added “Unfortuntately, he got dinged up a little bit. I’m not overly concerned.’’

Well, it might be time to start panicking. Turns out, Cassel suffered a rib injury and might not be ready for the season opener Sunday against the the Bills, according to the Kansas City Star's Adam Teicher. This comes days after tight end Tony Moeaki was placed on injured reserve after hurting his knee against the Packers.

And now Kansas City, whose first-team offense struggled throughout the preseason (they started things off with a 25-0 shellacking at the hands of the Bucs in Week 1), face the very real possibility of hosting Buffalo with Tyler Palko under center.

Palko played collegiately at Pitt but went undrafted in 2007. (Fun fact: Palko was so entrenched as the starter that a backup named Joe Flacco transferred to Delaware for more playing time.) He's shuttled between NFL practice squads and 53-man rosters for the Saints, Cardinals and Steelers, and in 2009 was also signed and cut by the UFL's California Redwoods (now the Sacramento Mountain Lions) and the CFL's Montreal Alouettes. Palko played well this preseason for the Chiefs, earning the backup job, but has thrown just six passes in his NFL career dating back to 2007.

“I feel like I’ve gotten better every day in training camp and that’s really my main focus,’’ Palko said recently, according to Teicher. “It’s not to look at anything past just getting better every day. I know it sounds boring, but I’m not in a situation where I can really look ahead. Every opportunity you get, you’ve got to try to seize the moment and do your job.’’

Cassel missed one game due to injury last season and the Chiefs lost 31-0 in San Diego. In 2009, Cassel missed the season opener against the Ravens, a 38-24 loss. Both time, Brodie Croyle, who is now in Arizona, got the start.

Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Howard Green (95) sacks Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

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Posted on: September 3, 2011 2:30 pm

Report: Moeaki's season is over with ACL tear

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

As a rookie tight end, Tony Moeaki had a standout season, catching 47 passes for 553 yards and three touchdowns and helping run-block for Jamaal Charles. According to WREX reporter Jude Wilbers in Rockford, Ill., he won’t be much help this year, though, because Moeaki has a torn ACL that will keep him out for 2011.

MoeakiMoeaki hurt his knee in the final preseason game, but Moeaki was a non-factor this year for most of training camp.

As Rapid Reporter Bob Gretz writes, Moeaki didn’t factor in the first two games, catching zero passes, as he continued to recover from the arthroscopic knee surgery he had in March.

Still, his knee appeared to be improving as coach Todd Haley said, “He’s about a week behind because he missed that time. He’s catching up physically and this next week will be real critical for him that he maintains that pace.”

Unfortunately for Moeaki, he badly injured himself again after taking a pass from Matt Cassel across the middle of the field and landed awkwardly on his knee while he was being tackled.

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 11:23 pm

Todd Haley is a big fan of Lil' Wayne

HaleyPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In case it wasn’t obvious, Chiefs coach Todd Haley is a big fan of the rap game. Like, a really big fan. That’s why, quite naturally I should think, he attended Monday’s Lil’ Wayne show at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

And quite naturally, Haley thought it was awesome.

“It was good, very good,” Haley told the assembled press Tuesday, via the team’s official web site. “Our players all knew I was out there. We made a video at the start of the season and it was one of his songs. The players took to it. We played it every home game … When you saw us gather up in the end zone, it was always a song of his. So, I said if he comes into town and I get an opportunity to give him a copy of it and thank him, I was able to do it. It was a great, great show, terrific.”

Haley also said he was quite versatile when talking about musical tastes. From Foo Fighters to Barbra Streisand, Haley proclaimed, “I like a broad range.”

Ah, but who’s your favorite, Todd?

“Lil’ Wayne is up there. I like him. He’s good. He’s good. He thinks outside the box for sure.”

In case you wanted to read a review of the show to affirm Haley’s account, the Kansas City Star called it an “impeccable” performance.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com