Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 11/11

Happy Veteran's Day! A special shout out to all of the Chiefs fans in the military and to those who have served in the past. Also of note, it was 20 years ago today that Derrick Thomas had his seven sack game against the Seahawks. Here's today's Kansas City Chiefs news.

"Tamba has stated to me on numerous occasions that he’d like to retire a Kansas City Chief," said Brian Mackler, Hali’s agent. "I had discussions with the Chiefs at the beginning of the season, and we both agreed we’d wait to see how the season progressed for the Chiefs and for Tamba. The ball is in their court."

A failure to re-sign Hali would threaten the good thing the Chiefs appear to be building on defense. Nine of their 11 defensive starters are 27 or younger, and the key players in that group are signed beyond this season.

Chiefs hold off on re-signing Hali from KC Star

Faced with being humbled for the first time in what had always been a charmed life, a lot of athletes would rebel. Johnson, after all, had been the national defensive player of the year when the Chiefs drafted him in the first round in 2005.

But heeding lessons he learned growing up in a stern but loving home, Johnson kept his mouth shut. He tried to maintain a positive attitude. He never complained, never grumbled.

Now he leads the Chiefs with 79 tackles and the ink is drying on a five-year contract extension that could be worth as much as $34 million. Once again, he's a star player on a winning team.

Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson weathers personal storm from Sports Illustrated

"You’re still looking at a new beginning," Haley said. "This is an opportunity to start fresh. That’s probably what they’re doing. Their record isn’t what they want it to be; ours isn’t what we’d like it to be, but it is what it is. You are what you are. The key for us is that we just keep making progress. If we don’t do that, if we slip that way, we’re just not at a state where we can overcome it. Every day is so critical to us."

Chiefs Buzz | Haley ponders similarities between Chiefs, Broncos from KC Star

The Kansas City Chiefs are hoping last week's performance was just an aberration. The Denver Broncos wish they had only one poor effort to bounce back from.

The Chiefs look to keep sole possession of the AFC West lead on Sunday when they face a slumping Broncos team coming off a bye week and trying to win its first divisional game at Invesco Field under coach Josh McDaniels.

Denver vs. Kansas City from CBS Sports

Falling: Clean play. The Chiefs are too young and not quite good enough to overcome self-inflicted problems. The Chiefs could have closed the door on Oakland several times. But every time they could've put Oakland away, it seemed the Chiefs made a mistake. The Chiefs had 10 points taken off the scoreboard because of penalties. That simply lost them the game. The Chiefs are playing good football, but they can't have 12 penalties for 100 yards like they did in Oakland, and expect to win.

Midseason Stock Watch: Chiefs from ESPN

Don't look now, Jay Cutler.

But there will be two NFL quarterbacks better than you throwing passes in Denver on Sunday.

Read the current quarterback ratings and weep:

Kyle Orton, 92.7

Matt Cassel, 89.2

Cutler, 86.0

Kiszla: Cutler wasn't such a loss for Broncos after all from The Denver Post

Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs take their NFL-best rushing game into Denver, where they ran for 317 yards against the Broncos in the 2009 regular-season finale. Charles, banged up last weekend against the Oakland Raiders, had 259 of those yards with two TDs, and the Broncos are still miserable against the run, ranking 31st.

Studs and duds: Redskins' Chris Cooley a smart play vs. Eagles from USA Today

The NFL has received a lot of criticism for their blackout rule in which a game cannot be televised locally if not sold out within 72 hours of the game. The rule is designed to entice fans to the stadiums with the threat of not being able to see the games.

Amidst the criticism, more and more evidence is mounting that shows the policy just isn't working.

NFL Attendance Down For 4th Straight Year; Blackout Rule Not Working from Business Insider

"Oh man, we've been so fortunate to have Casey here. He's done a tremendous job for us," Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel said. "He's been leading since the day he stepped in the weight room this offseason, I don't think he missed a single offseason workout, so he's a guy that has added a tremendous amount of leadership, and shown our young guys what it takes to be successful in the NFL."

Chiefs thrilled with addition of former Bronco Wiegmann from The Denver Post

Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug.

And over the course of the past five games, Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton has been on the wrong side of that splat far too many times.

"He has," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said when asked if Orton has taken too many hits in recent weeks. "I think that's certainly an element of something addressed last week. We started out the right way trying to protect him, keep him upright. But I think anytime the volume of passes goes up, the volume of hits on the quarterback tends to do the same thing."

Broncos' Orton taking too many hits from The Denver Post

But the Broncos rank dead last in the league with a rushing average of just 67 yards a game - and it's only that high thanks to mixing things up with reverses and Wildcat plays.

With starter Knowshon Moreno still finding his way after tearing both hamstrings over the last three months, the Broncos' most effective rusher is Orton himself, with a five-yard average on 18 runs.

Part of the problem is an offensive line that's been shuffled for injuries and inconsistencies all season, resulting in poor play up front and a flurry of flags.

Broncos prolific passer Kyle Orton is hoping for fewer yards through air from The Canadian Press

What's the best way to get a top-flight rating from SportsNation? Show them something they didn't expect.

That's precisely what Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley has done this season. No one really expected the Chiefs to be anything more than a sidenote to the Chargers and Broncos, but Haley had other plans. Kansas City sits atop the AFC West at midseason with a record of 5-3. SportsNation has rewarded him with an overall approval rating of 88 percent, including three weeks at 94.

SportsNation's Coach Ratings from ESPN

During his final year at Kansas, Aligo landed an internship with the Kansas City Chiefs, the local NFL franchise team. While working in the front office of the Chiefs, Aligo learned what it took to become a professional talent evaluator in the NFL.

"Man, at that time I was learning to grow up," said Aligo. "I had to learn that college Scott was gone and NFL Scott had to take over, if I wanted to stay there."

As the six month internship program came to a close, Aligo was approached about his future career plans.  He quickly replied he wanted to continue working with the Chiefs.  Unlike many graduating seniors, the first week after graduation Aligo lined up a job and had his foot in the door as a scouting assistant for the Chiefs.

Aligo brings background to Washburn from The Washburn Review

First, let's review the rules that the NFL uses. Games are already scheduled into the Sunday Night slots. Fox and CBS can both protect a game in 5 of the 6 weeks from week 11 to week 16. No games can be protected in week 17. Also, teams can only appear on Sunday Night Football four times, and a maximum of three teams can appear in all primetime matchups a total of six times, all others are limited to five appearances.

Sunday Night Football Flex Games: Trying to Predict Who We Will See from The Big Lead

Tamba Hali: I had a chance to see the Chiefs' Liberian-born pass-rushing linebacker in person last Sunday, and I was not disappointed. After four seasons of decent but not exceptional production, the former first-round pick out of Penn State is on pace for a career year. In his second season after transitioning from a 4-3 end to a 3-4 linebacker, Tali already has eight sacks (tied with Umenyiora and DeMarcus Ware for third in the NFL) and two forced fumbles, and he is one of the impact players on a 5-3 Chiefs team that has a legitimate shot at winning the AFC West.

Plenty of pleasant surprises around the league from Yahoo! Sports

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