Medical history will show feats more extraordinary than what Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel did on Sunday. That didn’t stop his teammates from being in awe that 11 days after having his appendix removed, Cassel not only played but also led the Chiefs to their biggest win in years.
"He pulled a Superman routine," wide receiver Chris Chambers said.
The Chiefs’ 27-13 victory over the Rams put Kansas City closer to its first AFC West championship since 2003 and its first playoff appearance since 2006.
Cassel returns and leads Chiefs past Rams 27-13 from KC Star
Postgame, Chiefs’ locker room, and unofficially 95 percent of the faded carpet floor is covered by shoulder pads or towels or large carts. Three-hundred-pound men wearing nothing but towels and flip flops weave between reporters in suits, everyone with somewhere to be.
The whole scene is more than a little chaotic, except over to the side, Cassel has a smile on his face as he accepts congratulations from owner Clark Hunt. This is the picture of a team that finally belongs to the quarterback, the toughest guy in the room, just like people say they want.
It’s no lie that Chiefs are confident in Cassel from KC Star
KC Star Photo Gallery: Chiefs top Rams in St. Louis 27-13
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Todd Haley challenged the Chiefs’ secondary, and one of the team’s most promising units responded.
The Chiefs see their defensive backs as part of their core, but things had to be different from last week. In San Diego, the Chiefs allowed 31 points and couldn’t slow Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers or their rushers. Haley told players that they had to reassert themselves.
Chiefs’ secondary responds to challenge from KC Star
"I’m on him a little bit about getting caught there at the end," Chiefs guard Brian Waters said. "I know he’s going to claim he got cramped up, but we’ll see."
Jones said it was humid inside the Edward Jones Dome, and he added that he could understand if Charles had cramps. Charles, who finished with 126 yards in 11 carries, was helped off the field twice Sunday, but he was seen jogging in the tunnel after the game and appeared to be fine. He was receiving treatment after the game and didn’t speak with reporters.
Charles comes through at key time for Chiefs from KC Star
More than 10,000 red-clad Chiefs fans were among the 55,669 at the Edward Jones Dome, and they who were counting down the final seconds with the tomahawk chop. In fact, the reaction to some plays on the field made it difficult to tell which was the home team.
"It felt like a home game," running back Thomas Jones said. "When we made a big play, there was a lot of cheering, just like you're at home. That's definitely an advantage."
Chiefs guard Brian Waters hopes those same fans return to Arrowhead Stadium for the last two regular-season games.
A 4-yard carry by Thomas Jones on the first play from scrimmage in the second half Sunday put him over 10,000 in his career. Jones is the 25th runner in NFL history to get to 10,000 rushing yards and just the third active one.
Thomas Jones joins 10,000-yard club from KC Star
Cassel or Charles may have gotten the initial headlines in this game, but IMO, the real difference was the defense. Even though they struggled on the first drive, they held when it counted. The most important play of the game IMO was whenSt. Louis had the ball, third and one, on the Chiefs' 9-yard line on their first drive.
The Rams had already gained 63 yards and completed a third and two as well as a third and one. At this point, a TD looked inevitable. But, back-to-back false starts forced them into a field goal.
Chiefs win "Super Bowl" from Upon Further Review
Best recovery: Chiefs QB Matt Cassel returned to lead a 20-6 win against St. Louis just 11 days after emergency surgery for an appendectomy.
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Cassel classified his return to action as nothing extraordinary, though he jokingly admitted he was hoping "it was one of those games where I don't get hit at all. It's just like any other injury. I would say I was a little nervous going into the game just because for 28 years of my life, I've played every game with my appendix and today was my first game without it. I felt 100 percent or otherwise I would not have been out there."
Cassel also had the luxury of relying on Jones and his running mate, Jamaal Charles, who combined for 188 of the Chiefs' 210 yards rushing.
Cassel makes recovery, delivers for Chiefs from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"For a home game, it was a little harder to hear." -- Rams QB Sam Bradford after St. Louis was called for five false starts in a 27-13 loss to Kansas City. Thousands of Chiefs fans made the trip across Missouri.
What they might be doing ... from The Minneapolis Star Tribune
On Sept. 27 (tough month, September), I wrote the following: "The Kansas City Chiefs are 3-0 for the first time since 2003, a start that still has plenty of time to be a big fluke." The Chiefs, of course, are 9-5 and leading the AFC West after thrashing the Rams on Sunday. Some fluke.
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That San Diego isn't in first place can be in large part credited to Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, who less than two weeks after an emergency appendectomy, saved the day in a stirring 27-13 with on the road against the Rams. Cassel's quarterback rating of 68.8 won't win any awards, but with Kansas City running for 210 yards, Cassel provided just enough support to put the Chiefs within two home wins of their first AFC West title since 2003.
Courage, comebacks galore from NJ.com
Broyld also turns to his uncle Branden Albert, a Rochester native who attended East High, for advice. Albert said he struggled in the classroom, then moved to live with Sims in Maryland.
A year at a preparatory school helped Albert improve his academic standing for college football, and he went on to play offensive tackle at Virginia. He now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rush-Henrietta quarterback Ashton Broyld chooses Syracuse from The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
That was a huge win for Kansas City because the Chiefs finish the season where they haven't lost ... which is Arrowhead Stadium. But here's why they're not home free: The last team on their schedule is Oakland, and the Raiders are 5-0 in division play.
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Who looked good in the Chiefs' defensive scheme this week?
That would be Wallace Gilberry, who had three sacks in Kansas City's victory against the Rams. Who? Even the most intense Giants fans will be hard-pressed to remember that Gilberry was in Albany two summers ago as an undrafted free agent out of Alabama. He landed with the Chiefs, who have 32 sacks with two games left after registering just 22 all of last year.
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On Sunday morning, Cassel, the Chiefs quarterback, was 11 days removed from an emergency appendectomy. But he went out on the field at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, "and I told coach [Todd Haley] I'd be honest with him, and I was able to do everything without reservation. We didn't have to hold anything out of the game plan because of my situation. We did sprint out throws, boots, play-action. No problem.''
Monday Morning QB from Sports Illustrated
With the Chiefs clinging to a seven-point advantage, Charles took a handoff from quarterback Matt Cassel and started toward the right side. The Rams' defense flowed with him, and when Charles cut back to the left he found nothing but green turf in front of him.
As the speedy Charles streaked down the left side toward the end zone, Bartell gave chase, angling from the other side of the field. He finally caught up, dragging Charles down at the Rams' 2-yard line.
"Catching that guy, you know you've got some speed," Rams linebacker Chris Chamberlain said. "It was a great effort by Bartell just to get him down and give us a chance."
Chiefs RB turns big play into big day from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
There comes a time during the course of a football season when X's and O's and the nuances of the game get brushed aside. In a pressure situation, a defining moment for a team, you either do it or you don't.
Well, on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome, the Rams didn't.
Rams fail to measure up from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Unlike the last time these teams met in St. Louis, the Rams' offense didn't have to resort to a silent snap count. Even so, it was difficult at times for players to hear quarterback Sam Bradford at the line of scrimmage.
That's because thousands of Kansas City Chiefs fans once again made themselves at home in the Edward Jones Dome. They were noisy. Was it a factor?
"A little bit," left tackle Rodger Saffold said. "But I think all in all, we just needed to continue focusing. Sam was screaming a little bit louder, making sure that we heard the cadence."
Chiefs fans make some noise from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch