Good morning Chiefs fans!! We have playoffs around the corner and, great googly moogly, there is a ton of Kansas City Chiefs news today. We have a bunch of playoff previews (some good, some bad) and a few injury updates for the Ravens. Enjoy!
Shortly before the start of what would be his final season coaching the Chiefs, Herm Edwards called a meeting for many of his best young players: Tamba Hali, Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles, Glenn Dorsey, Brandon Flowers and others.
Perhaps sensing he wouldn’t be their coach much longer, Edwards told those players that the Chiefs eventually would be built around them.
"They were going to be the foundation of this football team down the road, and I told them that," said Edwards, now an analyst on ESPN. "They didn’t understand what I was telling them. A lot of those guys were too young to think about it. A lot of them looked at me kind of funny"
After Sunday’s loss to the Raiders, another one with few visible positive features, Cassel addressed his teammates. They listened, because that’s what teammates do.
"One thing that Matt has shown us since he got here," Waters said, "he’s one of the hardest-working guys you’ll ever be around. That factors in what you show — not on the football field on Sundays; that’s shown Monday through Saturday and the offseason and in training camp.
"I think he’s been in control from the beginning."
Cassel told his team that they’ve been here before. And to remember: Sometimes some good can come from something so bad.
NFL.com Video: Playoff Anatomy: Chiefs' dual rushing attack
NFL.com Video: Chiefs playoff outlook
NFL.com Video: The Coaches: Ravens-Chiefs breakdown
What has been the highlight of this season so far?
"Probably just proving everybody wrong. Everybody picked us to finish third or fourth in the division, so for us to come out as a team and win 10 games and kind of get this thing turned around, so far that's really been the highlight.
Chiefs Q&A | Fullback Tim Castille from KC Star
The Chiefs have tremendous potential to keep their feel-good story alive for a few more weeks. Although they've been far stronger at home, they're built well enough to succeed in the postseason. With the NFL's best rushing attack, the Chiefs can utilize a ball-control attack anywhere to help minimize the most explosive opposing offenses and allow their own offense to be effective in the worst conditions Mother Nature can deliver. Matt Cassel is peaking at the perfect time under the guidance of Charlie Weis, who has plenty of experience calling plays in the postseason. Romeo Crennel, also no stranger to this time of year, has put together a playoff-caliber defense. And Todd Haley is smart enough to let his coordinators coach.
Even though I hope to show that "momentum" is greatly overrated, I'm not going to lie. I would have liked to have seen the Chiefs win. But, of course, part of the reason for that is because 1) it means they would have beaten Oakland and 2) it means they would have gone undefeated at home. One reason is emotional and the other stat-driven. But, neither are necessarily for the most important reason - that it gives the team the necessary momentum needed to go up againstBaltimore.
Trust me, even when I was rooting for KC early in the game I couldn't divorce myself from this nagging fact...
The last three times Kansas City has been undefeated at home, they lost their first playoff game! ... at home!
Chiefs: Is Momentum Overrated? from Upon Further Review
The Chiefs will be taking on the Ravens in the AFC Wild-Card game at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday at Arrowhead. But while the game is technically a sellout, Hal Wagner of Ace Sports & Nationwide Tickets in Lenexa says that for every fan inquiring to buy tickets to the game, there's another fan calling offering to sell him their playoff tickets.
"It's definitely not euphoric," said Wagner. "There are a lot of depressed people all over the city. I think they're reading too much into this last game yesterday."
"There are probably some similarities," Haley said Monday. "This is a team that hasn't been in this situation for a while. Hasn't won a bunch of postseason games in a while, or any. And we were in that situation (in Arizona) with a team that didn't have postseason experience as a team, but yet had some key guys that were able to get that message out there and help a lot of guys."
As bad as they've been in recent decades, the Chiefs (10-6) can still point to more postseason history than the 2008 Cardinals of Haley and Whisenhunt. The three playoff games Arizona won getting to the Super Bowl that season were one more than the Arizona franchise had won in decades.
But the Chiefs (10-6) have posted only three postseason victories since capturing the 1970 Super Bowl, and none since the 1993 season.
Todd Haley hoping Chiefs will emulate 2008 Cardinals from USA Today
"John Harbaugh is happy," Dungy said on NBC's Football Night in America. "He's never going to say it. He's going to give you all the coach speak - 'It doesn't matter' - but they had lost eight times [in a row] to Indianapolis. They're ecstatic that they're going to Kansas City."
Why wouldn't they be? Even if you can set aside the painful parting in 1984 and just focus on the rivalry with the Ravens, there are some good reasons to want to avoid the Colts, starting with one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. Talk all you want about the struggles they've had this year, given the choice between facing Manning or Matt Cassel - who, by the way, was 11 for 33 for 115 yards on Sunday - it isn't hard to figure out who the Ravens would rather face.
Ravens might say playing Chiefs over Colts doesn't matter, but … from The Baltimore Sun
The dearth of valuable news coverage in Kansas City was violently underscored over the New Year holiday when local media was scooped on the biggest headline-maker over the New Year holiday. Resignation news about offensive coordinator Charlie Weis from the playoff-bound Kanasas City Chiefs was first reported by national news outlet ESPN, not by Kansas City media.
"There is nothing worse than a national reporter scooping local beat reporters on a story," media pro John Landsberg says in his blog. Landsberg is the founder of Leawood-based firm Bottom Line Communications Inc.
Kansas City media "cheerleaders" fumble Chiefs' news from Examiner.com
Ravens coach John Harbaugh doesn't anticipate a rib injury from preventing seven-time Pro Bowl free safety Ed Reed from playing in the AFC Wildcard playoff contest against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday.
"He's getting treatment and all that," Harbaugh said Monday. "I'd be surprised if he's not ready to go, but you never know."
Harbaugh would be "surprised" if E.Reed didn't play Sunday from The Baltimore Sun
Ravens left tackle Michael Oher appeared to re-aggravate the right knee that he sprained on Dec. 5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. His status for Sunday's AFC Wildcard playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs is somewhat unclear.
"I haven't talked to him today, but I think [trainer] Bill [Tessendorf] thinks he's OK." coach John Harbaugh said Monday. "We'll just have to see how he responds. I'm sure he's going to be sore."
Nothing definitive on Oher yet from The Baltimore Sun
Let's rank the possible playoff opponents for the Patriots from most favorable to least preferable:
1. Kansas City Chiefs -- The Patriots can only pray that their Missouri spinoff manages to knock off the Ravens, because they would be easy prey. They're a young team that would celebrate winning one round of the playoffs like they lifted the Lombardi Trophy. Plus, there is the impending departure of former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.
Pulling playoff rank for Patriots from The Boston Globe
Weis was quick to point out that he accepted the head coaching job at Notre Dame while still offensive coordinator for the Patriots in 2004. The Patriots beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl that season. And if that doesn't cheer Chiefs fans up, the NFL's Bucky Brooks is touting them as a darkhorse candidate out of the AFC. "When thinking about the formula for winning in January, it is imperative that an offense features an elite quarterback, a dynamic playmaker at receiver and a strong running game," Brooks writes. "The Chiefs surprisingly feature each of these critical elements, and the collective production will make them a difficult opponent in the postseason."
Decoding the Mysteries of the NFL Playoffs from The Wall Street Journal
Right now Ravens fans are known to be like Eagles fans as far as being harsh and abrasive toward their teams are concerned. The problem is that Eagles fans are thought to be knowledgeable about the sport and Ravens fans are not. It is like one of my personal sayings, "Mean people bother me and dumb people bother me but mean AND dumb people bother everyone." The negativity is just not needed when the franchise continues to succeed year in and year out. Let's just hope the fans showing their negativity toward the offense isn't the last thing on the players' minds when they take the field on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Ravens' Boo Birds Have Terrible Timing from The Sports Jury
Does a four-game win streak connote momentum for the playoffs, where they'll have to win three straight games on the road to reach the Super Bowl?
Or does this recurring cycle of Jekyl-Hyde performances suggest the Ravens inevitably will come up short on the wild-card path?
Biggest question facing Ravens: Can they get to Super Bowl and win? from The Baltimore Sun
The distance is only 0.72 inches. If Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs had gained that much more per carry this season, he'd have unseated an NFL legend in the record books.
The explosive Chiefs running back finished with 6.38 yards per rush this season, an average which left him narrowly behind Jim Brown's record of 6.4 yards per carry, set in 1963. (Other ball carriers have finished with higher averages -- Michael Vick ran for 8.4 yards per attempt in 2006 and 6.8 this season -- but not as running backs.)
That's a difference of .02 yards, .06 feet, 0.72 inches, 1.88 centimeters or 18 millimeters. It's less than the length of the "return" key on your keyboard.
Chiefs' Charles comes within .02 yards of setting NFL record from Yahoo! Sports
Have you ever heard a more sour bunch returning to the playoffs than Kansas City Chiefs fans? This should be a fun time. Instead, all of this gnashing of teeth over losing Charlie Weis and how Todd Haley can't keep an offensive coordinator. Enjoy the ride, Chiefs fans. Playoff glory comes and goes in the NFL. You've got to like K.C.'s run game. But the Ravens are a tough matchup.
Shatel: Pederson in need of quick fix from The Omaha World-Herald
KCTV5 will co-host a pep rally and television special Friday night as the team enters the playoffs for the first time in four years.
The pep rally will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the KC Live stage inside the Kansas City Power and Light District and is open to the public. It will be co-sponsored by Miller Lite.
Also beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday will be a 90-minute Chiefs special, live from the rally where the KCTV5 will look back at the Chiefs regular season and look ahead to Sunday's first-round playoff matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.
Seated in front of his locker inside the Baltimore Ravens' locker room Sunday, McClain was spitting fire about an ineffectual offense that generated its fewest yards of the season during a 13-7 win over the downtrodden Cincinnati Bengals.
"I'm beyond just frustrated with what we've been doing on offense," McClain said. "We got so many weapons on offense. We got to use our players more. It's just frustrating for me. I'm glad we got the victory, but it ain't good enough to go to Dallas.
"That's a fact. It's not. As an offense, we've got to see our mistakes and correct them and win our one-on-one matchups and get going. We ain't going to get out of the wild-card game playing like this."
Le'Ron McClain: 'It ain't good enough to go to Dallas' from The National Football Post
Jones-Drew was asked how the team could sell keeping Jack Del Rio as head coach to a fan base that is losing patience with Del Rio. He replied by asking why the Jaguars had to do that at all.
"How many professional teams are there here?" Jones-Drew said. "Who are we competing with?"
Told that one playoff win in eight seasons likely doesn't help, he said the Kansas City Chiefs, now a playoff team, sold out their games despite losing records in the past.
Maurice Jones-Drew says Jaguars fans need to step up from The Florida Times-Union
With starting cornerback Josh Wilson suffering what the Ravens called a shoulder stinger in the first quarter and not returning to the team's eventual 13-7 win against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, a familiar face got some extended playing time.
Fabian Washington, who lost his starting job to Wilson on Nov. 11 against the Atlanta Falcons, was the third cornerback on obvious passing downs. In those situations, Chris Carr moved into the slot, Lardarius Webb stood on the left side, and Washington manned Wilson's spot on the right side.
Washington fills in for Wilson from The Baltimore Sun
The Chiefs profile out as a very good running team with an average defense, a positive turnover margin, and a moderate-to-low point differential. When we look at teams with similar records who fit that profile, we actually get one Super Bowl winner, though I have no delusions that Kansas City is going to meet that standard. The 1980 Raiders played in a far more balanced conference, where they were tied for the best record at 11-5 but had to advance as the wildcard. Other than that team, only the 2004 Falcons advanced to a championship game.
Kansas City had the lowest team payroll in 2010 at approximately $83.6 million, yet they won the AFC West with a record of 10-6 and secured one home playoff game with the AFC's No. 4 seed. The Chiefs rank as the fourth most cost-efficient team of the season.
The Most and Least Cost-Effective NFL Teams from Forbes