Tag:Kansas City Chiefs
Posted on: October 10, 2010 9:54 pm
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Last of the undefeateds fall

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Hopefully the champagne the 1972 Dolphins, the last team not to lose a game, takes great delight in sipping after the final undefeated team falls is chilled. But forgive Mercury Morris and company if it’s still warm. After all, the Chiefs – and well, the rest of the league – accomplished something that hadn’t happened in 40 years.

Namely, for the first time since 1970, there will be no 4-0 team in the NFL.

Coming into today, Kansas City, coming off its bye and 3-0 heading into its meeting with Indianapolis, was our only hope. But the Chiefs couldn’t get into the end zone – they kicked three field goals – and their defense wasn’t good enough to stop the Colts for the entire game.

As a result, they fell to 3-1 on the season with the 19-9 loss. And the survivors from the Dolphins team of 38 years ago can continue their obnoxious tradition. Bottoms up.

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Posted on: October 9, 2010 2:46 pm
 

Week 5 injury news and analysis, part I

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Jaguars at Bills

While CB Terrence McGee is out for at least another week with a back injury, the Bills should see the returns of DE Marcus Stroud and LB Andra Davis, both of whom are probable.

Considering the Bills have been horrendous at stopping the run (they’ve allowed 473 rushing yards the past two games) and considering Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew is coming to town, their return should help (at least, a little). Davis, meanwhile, had a team-high 21 tackles through the first three games of the season, and with Paul Posluszny back in the lineup, the Bill should be a little better than terrible.

Jaguars S Sean Considine, who was out last week with a hamstring, is listed as doubtful, while LB Justin Durant will miss this third-straight game. Durant (ankle) had hoped to practice this week, and though he was limited in Wednesday’s workout, he didn’t practice Thursday or Friday.

Broncos at Ravens

Two important pieces of Denver’s running game will continue their absences – RB Knowshon Moreno and FB Spencer Larsen are out. Larsen also negatively affects Denver’s special teams, because he’s one of the biggest keys out there, and if LB Wesley Woodyard (questionable because of a hamstring) can’t play either, that will hurt the special teams even worse. Andre’ Goodman is questionable, but if he plays, he’ll help limit what can be a pretty good Ravens passing game.

Ravens FS Tom Zbikowski is questionable with a thigh injury – he was added to the injury report after being limited in practice Friday – and if he can’t play, look for Haruki Nakamura to get his first career start. While Nakamura is a scrappy player – and a big asset on special teams – the Ravens will really miss Ed Reed if the starting spot falls to Nakamura.

Baltimore TE Todd Heap (shoulder), RB Le’Ron McClain (shoulder), RB Ray Rice (knee) and CB Fabian Washington (illness) all are probable to play.

Chiefs at Colts

Indianapolis has a battered, battered group. The Colts list 18 players on the injury report. Once again, WR Anthony Gonzalez is out, while Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie are questionable. It sounds like Garcon will play and Collie won’t. Considering Collie has been one of the highest-producing receivers in the NFL this year, that’s not great news.

Meanwhile, Colts RB Joseph Addai is questionable with a knee injury, but he fully practiced all week, so it seems likely he’ll play. RB Donald Brown also is questionable with a hamstring, but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t play. After all, there’s a reason Indianapolis signed RB Javarris James to the team off the Redskins practice squad this week.

Kansas City only lists three players on their injury report – which is good news when you’re traveling to Indianapolis. Chiefs DE Tyson Jackson is questionable to play, but because the No. 3 pick from 2009 has been such a bust so far, it’s unclear whether he could help Kansas City’s defense anyway. He’s been out since the season opener with a knee injury.

Packers at Redskins


DT Albert Haynesworth, whose brother died in a motorcycle accident this week, is listed as questionable. Haynesworth is coming off his best game of the season, so that would be a loss for Washington. But considering Green Bay’s running game is so unimpressive, the Redskins still should be OK. Also, QB Donovan McNabb (thigh) and LT Trent Williams (toe) are questionable. Expect McNabb to play – he practiced all week – and Williams should be ready to go as well.

P Josh Bidwell is out, because he was placed on IR this week with a hip injury. Hunter Smith will take over his duties.

The Packers have been hit hard by serious injuries this year (RB Ryan Grant, S Morgan Burnett, LB Nick Barnett), and RT Mark Tauscher could be another. He’s got a shoulder injury that could be pretty serious, though an MRI taken this week didn’t reveal anything major. If Tauscher, who’s doubtful, doesn’t play, it seems likely Bryan Bulaga would get his first start.

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Posted on: October 8, 2010 12:53 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 1:02 pm
 

Strolling the Sideline: Peyton's play after an L

Posted by Will Brinson



Strolling the Sideline takes a look at random miscellanea from the upcoming weeks games.

On Sunday, you will likely hear Dan Dierdorf reinforce something during the "NFL on CBS" that he said on our "Audibles" section -- the Indianapolis Colts are a "little angry right now."

Ya think?

They're 2-2, they're not considered "elite," they're lacking safeties, and most people are probably only hanging onto them because they have this Peyton Manning fella.

So here's my question: Would you bet against Peyton Manning coming off a loss?

Probably not, and the logic is exactly what Dierdorf said -- they're angry. No one wants to pick against Peyton when he's angry. So the notion that he and the Colts play much better following a loss seems pretty rational. Having said that, though, Manning's numbers immediately following a single loss aren't as badass as you might think.



Okay, so quickly, yes, two of the losses were after the Colts had clinched (see: notes) and if you take those out, he's pretty darn good. But nothing insanely elite -- the San Diego game in 2007 is one of his worst as a professional, even if they nearly won.

Still, at home, he's 2-0, and while the Chiefs might be undefeated, betting against Manning in this situation is probably ill-advised. Which is, um, exactly why I took Kansas City +8 this week. Crap.

****
Randy Moss will become the sixth player in NFL history to play in 17 regular season games when the Vikings meet the Jets on Monday night, after this little trade that you might have heard about this week.

The others? Chris Singleton (Patriots and Dolphins in 1993), Dexter Carter (Jets to 49ers in 1995), Jerry Rice (Raiders and Seahawks in 2004), Micah Ross (Chargers and Panthers in 2004) and Will Witherspoon (Rams and Eagles in 2009). Unfortunately if you own Moss in fantasy leagues, you still lose since, you know, yeah.

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Kyle Orton is the current NFL leader in passing yards. Once you've had time to catch your breath, let's figure out what would happen if we froze football in it's current state and simulated the rest of the season based on current defenses. (Yes, 100 percent totally improbable, but still fun.)

Orton would throw for 2,455.8 more yards based on the averages allowed by the remaining opponents, giving him 3,875 yards on the season. Clearly, this is not a scientific measurement of how much production the Denver quarterback will have for the rest of the season -- but is it crazier to assume that a) Orton will fall short of 4,000 yards or b) that he'll break Dan Marino's passing record?

Because right now, if you multiply his total by four, that's what he'll do, and by a good margin.

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Pretty good chance when the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals meet that Max Hall won't look over at Gregg Williams, grin,  and yell "thanks for all the blitzes!"

But he can still smile knowing that he's the first undrafted rookie to start a game in the season's first five weeks since 1987. What? That's impressive!

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We've seen an insane amount of kick return touchdowns -- 11, thanks Leon Washington! -- this season. The most through five weeks in the NFL, since 1970, is 16.

And where should you be looking for some of those record-breaking five? How about the Chargers-Raiders game, where both teams rank in the bottom 10 in average kick return yardage allowed, not to mention having coughed up three of those teeters on their own.

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Think the Bucs have talented wideouts? They do. Think Chad Ochocinco is good? He is.

Well, convenient trivia time -- Buccaneers wide receivers coach Eric Yarber was one of Ochocinco's coaches in college at Oregon State.  (Where, incidentally, he also coached T.J. Houshmandzadeh.) And you'll never believe who he worked with in San Francisco while Yarber was with the 49ers.

Okay, you probably will, so I'll just tell you -- Terrell Owens.

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Brian Westbrook has one rushing attempt for the San Francisco 49ers this season. That is one more than the number of games he played in without taking a snap the entire time with the Eagles.

Think about that -- guy struggles with his health his whole career but dominates when he's on the field, finally gets booted by his old team, takes less money to sign with a "contender" like San Fran and then they don't even play him. It's outrageous. 

****


 
Do you think that the Titans' Chris Johnson cares about playing well against the Cowboys?

Small chance -- scope the first round from the 2008 NFL Draft and the running backs taken in the first round. What a great first round for running backs, huh? Darren McFadden's the only one who hasn't rushed for 1,000 yards in a ... ohhhh, you're right. Felix Jones, an underutilized straight speedster who was taken two spots in front of Johnson (who was considered someone that would become an underutilized straight speedster, whoops).

I would say he cares.

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Posted on: October 7, 2010 6:08 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 9:09 am
 

Chad Millman talks Steelers-Cowboys rivalry

Posted by Will Brinson

If you watched football in the 1970's there's a good chance you either rooted for the Dallas Cowboys or Pittsburgh Steelers -- regardless of either squad was located near you, they were probably on the television all the time.
Making the rivalry all that much better is the fact that -- as our podcast guest Chad Millman writes in his book, The Ones Who Hit the Hardest -- they were the perfect cultural juxtaposition of blue- and white-collar communities.

It's a book you should absolutely check out, and if for some reason you're not sure, hit up the podcast below (oh, and don't forget to subscribe via iTunes).

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
  
Posted on: October 7, 2010 1:30 pm
 

Week 5 Key Matchup: youngsters vs. Manning

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Kansas City Chiefs have only a few days remaining as the “NFL’s lone undefeated team”. Romeo Crennel’s much-improved defense, like many defenses, does not match up favorably with the Peyton Manning-led Colts offense.

To set the table, let’s acknowledge that Manning is very familiar with Kansas City’s 3-4 scheme. For years he faced it in big games when Crennel was the defensive coordinator in New England. Those Patriot defenses were savvy veteran units that relied heavily on presnap disguise. This Chiefs defense is a callow unit that tends to rely more on athleticism.

Part of the reason Manning baits so many players into presnap guessing games is because the Colts offense almost never refers to presnap movements and gyrations. Instead, everyone lines up and holds still. (Think about it….when was the last time you saw one of the Colts receivers go in motion?) This is to allow Manning to diagnose the defense. But a side effect is, there’s nothing for defenders to look at except Manning. P. Manning (US Presswire)

The Chiefs must avoid getting caught up in what No. 18 is doing. Those hand signals will not be figured out. The Colts are so guarded about their signals that they do not even reveal them to their own players until the 53-man roster is set. (This, by the way, made Blair White’s debut off the practice squad all the more impressive two weeks ago, as the undrafted rookie had to basically learn all of the signals overnight.)

Personnel-wise, the Colts have the ability to neutralize Kansas City’s best players. Cornerback Brandon Flowers is on a Pro Bowl track. However, he plays the left side, which means he will NOT be lining up against Reggie Wayne. Wayne, instead, will be covered by Brandon Carr. Carr has the strong frame needed to run with the thick 198-pound Wayne, but it’s a tall order for the third-year pro to defend the league’s most fundamentally sound receiver.

Derrick Johnson is one of the better pass defending inside linebackers in the NFL, which should make for an interesting showdown with Dallas Clark. Expect the Colts to split Clark out even more than usual in order to compel Kansas City’s safeties to tip their hand and get involved.

The difference-making piece to this puzzle is that the upgraded Chiefs pass-rush won’t be a factor this game. Kansas City’s best sack artist, Tamba Hali, is a high-energy, second-effort type player. Manning, who masterfully masks the limitations of his below average offensive line, simply gets rid of the ball too quickly.

Kansas City will need at least two turnovers and a big play on special teams to hang with the Colts this Sunday.

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Posted on: October 5, 2010 1:19 pm
 

Colts lose safety Melvin Bullitt for the year

Posted by Will Brinson

The Indianapolis Colts' defense took another hit to the secondary on Tuesday when the news broke that safety Melvin Bullitt would miss the remainder of the year with a broken bone in his shoulder.

Bullitt will undergo surgery sometime in the next two weeks and then will be placed on injured reserve, according to his agent, Leonard Roth.

“Worst possible news," Roth said in an email to The Indianapolis Star . "He will be operated on in the next two weeks to repair it and get ready to go next year. He has worked very hard and (is) heartbroken over this development."

This is a pretty major blow to a Colts D that has struggled this year (24th overall in average yards allowed, 23rd in average points) with the early season loss of Bob Sanders (who Bullitt was actually replacing at safety).

DaJuan Morgan was signed earlier in the month for backup, and he's the likely guy to fill Bullitt's shoes in the secondary. Interestingly, Morgan was cut by the Chiefs earlier this season, and that's who the Colts play next.

So Morgan will at least be a little prepared for his first opponent as the starter -- but the Chiefs, who have been prepping for the Colts while on their bye week, will be especially prepared for part of the Colts' secondary, and you can guarantee that they'll look to exploit Morgan's inexperience as a starter this week.

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Posted on: October 3, 2010 10:22 am
 

Kansas City falling in love again

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

During my Five Questions (or More) post this week with Kent Babb of the Kansas City Star, we talked a little about how the city was beginning to come alive in support of the 3-0 Chiefs. I ultimately left that part on the cutting room floor, but today, Babb writes about the rejuvenation of Kansas City (when it comes to watching NFL football, at least).

“There’s something different in the air,” CB Brandon Carr told Babb. “We all can feel it.”

It sounds like there continue to be skeptics, though. And you can understand why. Even as one of three undefeated teams left after Week 3, the Chiefs don’t necessarily feel like an elite team. QB Matt Cassel ranks 25th in the NFL in passing, and the Chiefs defense rests outside the league’s top-10.

Plus, the combined record of Kansas City’s first three opponents is a staggering 1-8. Perhaps the mindset is to wait until the Chiefs play Indianapolis and Houston and then see where Kansas City stands.

But for years, you’d always hear about how tough a place Arrowhead Stadium was to play for the road team. About how the Chiefs simply didn’t lose at home. That mythology has been proven incorrect the past few years.

But after upsetting San Diego in the home opener, maybe that intimidating home atmosphere has begun to return. Maybe the fan base can be impressed. Maybe Kansas City can become a great NFL town once again.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: October 1, 2010 3:26 pm
 

Five questions (or more) with KC Star's Kent Babb

Kansas City's defense is one reason why the team has started the season 3-0 (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Kent Babb has covered the Chiefs for the Kansas City Star for the past three seasons. Finally, he's getting to cover a football team that actually is successful.

We talked to Babb this week about why the Chiefs have performed so well, why coach Todd Haley is different this season, how QB Matt Cassel responds to criticism and the death of Kenny McKinley.

Previous Five Questions (or more) With …:

Sept. 24: Texans WR Kevin Walter

Sept. 17: former Bengals, Titans DT John Thornton

Sept. 11: Seahawks RB Leon Washington

1. CBSSports.com: I think everybody is surprised to see the Chiefs start 3-0. Is this something that anybody could have expected? How did you think they’d do before the season started?

Kent Babb: I thought they’d win six or seven games. I thought if they got off to a really great start and upset San Diego, then maybe they’ll win eight or possibly nine. Never in 100 years did we think they’d start 3-0. No way in the world. But that’s what happened. I don’t know why that is. I think a lot of things have gone right. Todd Haley has coached extremely well. Somehow it’s just happened. People are crowing about how they saw this coming. I don’t think anybody – even the people in the organization – would have thought they’d start this well. There’s just no reason. It’s insane to think they would start like this.

2. CBS: So much has been said about Haley and about how last year, he was so demanding of his team. But now he’s laughing and making players honorary coaches, and the team is responding. How much of an impact did it have that he’s kind of changed his coaching style?

Babb: Maybe some. Part of it is a response to what he did last year. I was like a lot of people in saying, ‘What is this guy doing?’ He was screaming at everybody and embarrassing players on the field. Now he makes the point that it was part of his strategy. I think it’s a couple things. I think that no person is ready to be an NFL head coach. That extends to Todd Haley. I think part of what he had to do was assert himself, because he didn’t take the traditional path to being a coach. Part of it – and he says this was on purpose – was because the team was so lacking in discipline and focus, he had to come and be a jerk for a season. He had to be a complete maniac. Once they understood that, he could take his foot off the gas. That makes sense psychologically. I don’t think the players liked him a lot of last year. But now it’s gotten to the point where players are understanding a little bit. I read a thing the other day where he’s always texting Brandon Flowers and saying, ‘Darrelle Revis is SO much better than you.’ That’s part of his mind game. But guys are starting to respond to it, because they think, ‘Nobody is this over the top.'

3. CBS: It’s hilarious to read your Twitter feed on Sundays because of how much you rip Matt Cassel. How is this team playing so well when they’ve got a guy who’s 25th in the league in passing? I know they lead the NFL in rushing, but the defense is OK and Cassel is running the show. How are the Chiefs doing it?

Babb: They did it the first two games just by the skin of their teeth. The last game, they made what could be the biggest adjustment of the year – scaling down their expectations of Matt Cassel. It was right when the second quarter began. They ran these short and intermediate routes instead of throwing the deep ball. They were throwing to (Dexter) McCluster, (Tony) Moeaka and (Jamaal) Charles and letting them do something with it. That’s how this team will score points. If you’re counting on Matt Cassel to lead you on these heroic drives, it’s not going to happen. For every one great ball he throws, there’s six or seven ones that aren’t. It’s what the Chiefs will have to get used to, because he’s not a great quarterback. They’ll have to rely on other weapons. They did that against San Francisco, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence they scored 31 points and, by the way, Cassel threw for the most yards of the season.

CBS: It’s easy for a national guy to rip on him, because he or she is not going to be in the locker room the next day. But you’re there every day. Assuming he knows what you write about him, how do you and Cassel get along?

Babb: With Matt Cassel – and this goes back to the New England days – these guys are trained to put on a good face. They never admit they read or see anything. I don’t believe that, because I think this team is very sensitive and very aware about what’s said about them, maybe more than anyone else. Publicly, they act like they don’t hear anything. Only occasionally does Matt Cassel show where he’s bothered by it. Before the season in a press conference, you could tell our questions were getting under his skin. It was a very bizarre few minutes. One of the radio guys asked, ‘What do you have to do to get the fans back on your side?’ You could tell Cassel was starting to hear it. I asked him, ‘You’re a guy who’s come back from some stuff. Do you relish proving people wrong?’ He got a little teary-eyed, and he pretty much said he only plays for his family and for the people who believe in him. The next question came but then he kind of walked out of the press conference. That’s the most real thing I’ve even seen out of him.”

4. CBS: Can the Chiefs keep up this run of success? Can they actually contend for the AFC West title?

Babb: I say yes for three reasons. No. 1, the defense is pretty good. It’s for real. The other two reasons are their schedule and the AFC West. Basically, it’s set up for the Chiefs to win this year. San Diego has lost two games already, and they’re already two games behind the Chiefs in the standings after just three games. The Chiefs will come back to reality the next two weeks when they go to Indy and Houston. We’ll see what they’re made of. If the defense can keep those two offenses in check – even if they don’t win those games – maybe they’re sort of for real.

5. CBS:
You used to cover the University of South Carolina before going to Kansas City. When were you there?

Babb: For three years – in 2005, 06 and 07.

CBS: So, you must have gotten to know Kenny McKinley pretty well. I went to his funeral service on Monday and I’ve talked to other people, and everybody talked about how happy he always was. How he always had a smile on his face. What are your memories of him?

Babb: Mainly, like everybody else, I never would have thought anything like that would ever happen. All the stories are true. Anytime you ever saw him, he was in a good mood and telling funny stories. Even if the Gamecocks got beat pretty badly, he was the guy who saw the sunshine. This goes to show you never know what’s going on. Whatever you see, it’s not necessarily representative of what’s going on in their mind. It was a pretty shocking thing for me. If you lined up 100 people who may be a candidate for a thing like this, Kenny would have been the last guy picked. There’s just no way you could have predicted it. It’s just sad somebody who had so much at a young age can’t find a way out of it, that he suffers so much, this is the route he finds.

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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