Game Day!! Christmas is over and it's time to kick it into high gear as fans. 2 is the magic number for the
playoffs thing that starts with P! To make sure I stay warm, I'm going to start putting on clothes now and should be done with that in time to make kickoff. Enjoy today's Kansas City Chiefs news!
By shortly after sundown, if all goes well for the Chiefs today, they’ll be champions of the AFC West. If they beat the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium and the Bengals beat the Chargers in Cincinnati, the Chiefs will have their first division title since 2003.
With the Chiefs in first place most of the season, this development wouldn’t catch anyone by surprise. But considering that the hope was for the Chiefs to merely be competitive again after three putrid seasons, being 9-5 and in first place in the AFC West the day after Christmas is a nice little holiday bonus for Chiefs fans.
We’re used to having our sports hopes kicked in this town — Lin Elliott taught us well — so getting used to a world in which the Chiefs are headed to the playoffs in large part because Cassel is assembly-line efficient feels a little backward.
The Chiefs don’t want any part of this, of course — at least, not publicly. They’ve banned the word "playoffs," and coach Todd Haley and general manager Scott Pioli collectively refuse to even call this a "good" team.
Skepticism is all around us, muscle memory telling us the local football team still isn’t good. But, increasingly, we’re seeing reason to believe the following words:
The Chiefs are a legitimate playoff team.
Today: Scattered flurries before noon. Cloudy, with a high near 26. Northeast wind between 3 and 6 mph
Game Day Forecast from The National Weather Service
The Chiefs got back to their game last week by running well, playing some good defense and limiting their turnovers. If they can follow that plan again today, they’ll be at least one step closer to the division title. But the Titans will make things more interesting than the Rams did. The Titans are 6-8, but they’re underachievers capable of pulling an upset if the Chiefs aren’t on their game. Prediction: Chiefs 23, Titans 17.
Chiefs-Titans Scouting Report from KC Star
Now in what is emerging as a prosperous second season, it is worthwhile to recall one of Haley's comments shortly after his hiring. The move, remember, allowed him to team again with Pioli after each worked in low-end positions once with the New York Jets.
"Now, here we are back together again," Haley said. "I've said to (Pioli) this is going to be good."
No one, however, predicted it would be this good this soon.
Chiefs surge as West leaders from The Topeka Capital-Journal
Since the infamous locker room exchange five weeks ago, prevailing wisdom has held that either Jeff Fisher or Vince Young has to go.
With two games remaining in the Titans' season and with the chances of making the playoffs on life-support, there's another option:
Maybe it's time for both of them to go.
David Climer: Titans can solve Young vs. Fisher with double KO from The Tennesean
He's been striking the "Mr. Olympia" pose for years following sacks, but Jason Babin's actions seem especially appropriate here in Nashville, where he's flexed his muscles like never before.
Babin heads into today's game against the Chiefs as a legitimate Pro Bowl candidate, having already posted career highs in sacks, tackles and tackles for loss.
Will Titans fans witness a sequel next season? Babin hopes so.
Jason Babin finds a home as member of Tennessee Titans from The Tennesean
But there's no doubt Berry's role has changed. He once was the improvising, ball-hawking defender who could do what he wanted on a football field. Now, he's confined to system that relies on sticking to assignments and sometimes passing up opportunities to make the plays that defined his career in Knoxville. He has three interceptions this season, and maybe that's fewer than some expected.
Still, Berry is seen as a rising star because of his performance in the Chiefs' rush defense and some early signs of leadership.
Eric Berry settles into role in NFL from Go Vols Xtra
Win or lose today, once their game with Tennessee is finished the Chiefs will turn their attention to Cincinnati. That’s where the second-place Chargers play the Bengals, and the outcome of that game is also crucial to the Chiefs’ postseason hopes.
Chiefs’ attention will also be on Chargers-Bengals from KC Star
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson has been Pro Bowl good this season. The former UT star had 17 tackles last week and batted down four balls to earn AFC defensive player of the week honors. He leads the team with 112 tackles and has four forced fumbles and an interception returned for a touchdown.
Charean Williams' NFL Blitz from Ft Worth Star-Telegram