Yep, it's Saturday and the Playoffs begin today. There is a ridiculous amount of stories involving the Kansas City Chiefs out there this morning. I've sifted through
all of them most of them a lot of them and given you what I think offers the best perspectives about tomorrow's game and how people are looking at the Chiefs. Enjoy!
"I’ll never forget how relaxed he was," wide receiver J.J. Birden recalled. "We were all kind of nervous, and he came in and kind of smiled, and said, ‘Hey, listen up guys, this is no big deal, let’s go finish this.’ "
With that, Montana drilled a pass in the back of the end zone to wide receiver Tim Barnett for the tying touchdown.
Then, he marched the offense downfield in overtime, and Nick Lowery kicked a 32-yard field goal for a 27-24 victory — the last time the Chiefs won a playoff game at home.
That was exactly 17 years ago today. Or 6,209 days ago.
Missing in action much of the season, the Ravens' pass rush will stir once again on Sunday in Kansas City and give chase to Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel.
Catching him, of course, will be the problem.
Even with linebacker Terrell Suggs playing his best, the Ravens posted a franchise-low 27 sacks in the regular season. Filtered another way, the Ravens ranked last in the league in sacks-per-play. Their previous low ranking in sacks per play was 26th in their maiden season of 1996.
Will Ravens make Chiefs feel the rush? from The Baltimore Sun
KC Star Video: Red Friday Crowd Ready For Chiefs To Meet Ravens On
KC Star Video: Fans Pack Power & Light For Red Friday
KC Star Photo Gallery: Biggest Chiefs Fan contest entries
NFL.com Video: Sunday Sitdown: Terrell Suggs
NFL/com Video: Derrick Mason 1-on-1
A week from Sunday, Nevins will turn 17, and that’s awfully close to adulthood. He’s a junior at Shawnee Mission South, and he has learned that time passes quickly sometimes, often too fast to understand how much can change within a matter of years.
He’s also a casual Chiefs fan, and he has been hearing recently how long it has been since the team won a playoff game. The Chiefs will try to break a long string of disappointments Sunday when they play the Baltimore Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium. For some fans, it has been an agonizing period of near-misses, futility and unfulfilled expectations.
For Nevins, it has been a lifetime. He was born on Jan. 16, 1994, the date of the Chiefs’ last postseason victory.
Asked whether the Chiefs would be in awe of their opponents Sunday, Weis snapped back.
"We’re well past that stage," he said. "It’s really about what we’re going to do against them and not what they’re going to do against us. That’s the way you have to approach it as an offensive player and staff. If not, you’re going to end up on the defensive instead of attacking."
Three Pro Bowl defensive players were listed as questionable for Sunday’s game: Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (thigh), linebacker Terrell Suggs (knee) and safety Ed Reed (chest). Also questionable is a fourth defensive starter, cornerback Josh Wilson (head).
Listed as probable are four starters: center Matt Birk (knee), wide receiver Derrick Mason (abdominals/knee), linebacker Jameel McClain (back) and tackle Michael Oher (knee/ankle). Also probable is the NFL’s leading kickoff returner, David Reed (wrist).
Chiefs buzz from KC Star
What did you hear about Kansas City before you came here?
"Lots of tradition. That was the biggest thing. And a good school system. I’ve got kids here, and the school system is definitely something that played a big part in me being happy out here."
Chiefs Q&A | Receiver Terrance Copper from KC Star
On why he thinks the Chiefs will win: One thing that's always worked for the Baltimore Ravens, and what Ray Lewis has always stood for, and what comes through his background with the Miami Hurricanes, they have the ability to play at a speed and level and talk you out of your game.
I don't think that's changed, and I think the Chiefs will go in there and do their business and play smash mouth football and take every hit back to the ravens [sic] in the same way it will come.
More from Priest Holmes about Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs, and other stuff from Don't Kill the Mellinger
Chiefs RBs Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones vs. Ravens LBs Jameel McClain and Ray Lewis: Kansas City has the No. 1 running game in the league, and both Charles and Jones have speed and quick change of direction. The Ravens have to be careful not to overpursue and maintain lane integrity. Lewis and McClain are two of the major keys. Both players are quick, and Lewis played well last week plugging holes. McClain is like a jack rabbit, but sometimes becomes undisciplined. This is a game where McClain has to stay under control at all times and square up when tackling. Edge: Even.
Mike Preston's matchups: Ravens vs. Chiefs from The Baltimore Sun
According to WWLTV.com in Louisiana, officers from the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office had been pursuing a man in St. Rose, La., Friday. Around 10 a.m., the man was seen jumping into the river.
The man is believed to be 29-year-old Brian Reed...
"...We've been in contact as an organization," Harbaugh said. "All I want to say is, our thoughts and prayers are with the Reed family at this difficult itme. We're just praying for them. I love Ed Reed, I know he's fighting something now and hopefully it'll turn out OK."
Reed's brother may be missing after police chase from The Baltimore Sun
At a rather quiet Mother's Bar and Grille, which was adorned with purple Christmas wreaths, Matt Buschman, 24, confidently said, "Everybody is excited. We are going to see more purple jerseys out. It's a huge goal to make the playoffs. Anytime we make the playoffs, we have a chance to win the Super bowl," adding, "We beat the Patriots last year."
At a nearby table, Teresa Saia and her husband, Derek, ate dinner, and they agreed that the win over Cincinnati was a little difficult to stomach.
Ravens fans cautiously optimistic, apprehensive from The Baltimore Sun
The former Texas Longhorn made 58 starts in his first 59 games in the NFL with the team that chose him in the first round of the 2005 draft. Then he lost his position at linebacker in 2009, when he played only in passing circumstances and on special teams. The sum of his parts withered like a dead leaf.
But the bloom returned for Johnson, 28. He reclaimed the starting role at right inside linebacker. He made 13 tackles in the first game of this season - and started every Sunday since. He never touched the field on special teams.
For Chiefs' Derrick Johnson, the bloom has returned from The Austin American-Statesman
Dwayne Bowe is the sort of imposing wide receiver that football coaches love to send off the bus first as an intimidation factor.
The Kansas City Chiefs' star wide receiver is big, strong and fast at 6-foot-2, 221 pounds.
And his production backs up his physique.
Dwayne Bowe is a Tough Assignment for Ravens' Defense from National Football Post
Kansas Athletics has named Doug Hopkins, who has served as director of ticket operations for the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs since 1994, as Director of Ticket Operations. He will start at KU after the Chiefs complete their season.
Hopkins has been responsible for financial and overall management of the Chiefs' ticket department. He has been accountable for day-to-day reconciliation of ticket receipts between the ticket office and the finance department.
Kansas Athletics Names Chiefs' Hopkins Director of Ticket Operations from KUAthletics.com
As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to enter Sunday's playoff game as underdogs against the Baltimore Ravens, Kendall Gammon remembers a piece of wisdom from former NFL head coach Bill Cowher.
"Coach Cowher always said that once you get in the tournament, anything can happen," recalled Gammon, the Pittsburg State alum who played 15 seasons in the NFL and now works as a field reporter on the Chiefs Radio Network.
Chiefs have a chance from The Pittsburg Morning Sun
Veteran WR Anquan Boldin has had his moments since being traded to the Ravens before the season began. According to NFL.com analyst Pat Kirwan, the best maybe yet to come. Kirwan broke down Sunday's Ravens-Chiefs playoff game in a live chat on Friday, and predicted that Boldin will play a key role in the game.
Kirwan: Boldin could have a big day from NFL.com
The Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday play their first playoff game in four seasons and their first at Arrowhead Stadium in seven seasons.
The Chiefs hope to avoid setting an NFL record with a seventh straight playoff loss, dating back to 1993. To get fired up for the game, let's review 10 of the many memorable moments in franchise history.
Top 10 Chiefs Moments from The Examiner
The Chiefs' run game will be more efficient than the Ravens' run game
This is a bust. I can't get enough of this matchup. Kansas City's Jamaal Charles has averaged more than 6 yards per carry this season...
...Thomas Jones is the perfect complement back with his physical style. And, in theory, I do expect Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe to bounce back from their lackluster performance last week and make plays against the beatable Baltimore corners on Sunday, which should loosen things up for the run game.
But defensive lineman Haloti Ngata and the Ravens run defense represent a step up in class.
Ravens' Rice ready to rumble from FOX Sports
Even the New Yorker chimed in, with Reeves Wiedeman wondering if his Chiefs had revealed their true, bad nature. "All of Chiefdom," Wiedeman writes, "was suddenly in a fit, searching for answers to a question that, just a week ago, was near no one's mind: ‘So, are we kind of bad?'"
The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston thinks so. And he's so sure of it that he was featured as a guest columnist in the Kansas City Star on Friday, saying that while the Chiefs have talented and explosive players, there's nobody on the team to fear. "They might be pretending more than contending," Preston writes.
Seattle, Kansas City: Playoff Underdogs Have Few Believers from The Wall Street Journal
Cassel's story is emblematic of the entire Chiefs roster when it comes to participation in the playoffs. There are 22 Kansas City players and nine starters with NFL postseason experience, leaving 31 players and 13 starters without substantial January memories. They'll go against a Baltimore team that has 42 players experienced in the playoffs, including 19 starters.
"There's no question they have more experience in the playoffs," said the most tenured member of the Chiefs, left guard Brian Waters. "But that all had to start somewhere and I think we are starting something here. We are a little bit under the radar. Nobody knows us yet."
Playoff game a long time coming for Cassel, Chiefs from CBS Sports
The wise guys are basically telling us that that the Ravens are a touchdown better than the Chiefs on a neutral field, so here's the fundamental question in this game: can the Chiefs, who had the best rushing attack in the league, effectively run on the Ravens, who had one of the best run defenses?
Competitively speaking, don't count out Kansas City in this game.
Gearing up for wild card weekend from The Boston Globe
Something to consider: The Ravens haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in their playoff history, shutting down backs in 13 consecutive games -- four short of the record held by Washington. Baltimore has also allowed 3.1 yards per carry in the playoffs, the best in NFL history.
Peek at the Week: Pack can win in Philly if they get to Vick from CBS Sports
What Could Happen
Ray Lewis gets so fired up before the game against Kansas City that his head explodes and the game is delayed 20 minutes while the grounds crew cleans it up.
What Will Happen
Ray Lewis and the Ravens defense manages to stifle the Kansas City offense. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, Joe Flacco has trouble getting things started thanks to the rabid Arrowhead fans. Special teams play powers Kansas City to a narrow upset. The Ravens are not so surprised when they are told after the game that the Chiefs are made up of many ex-Patriots. "Great, now I hate Kansas City too," mutters Terrell Suggs.
NFL Playoffs: What Could Happen vs. What Will Happen from SportsFanLive.com
Baltimore at Kansas City: The crowd noise will be as deafening in Kansas City as it is in Seattle, but at Arrowhead, fans may have reason to cheer past the intros. The most intriguing battle here is the Chiefs' NFL-best rushing attack vs. the Ravens' top-five rushing defense. Whether Joe Flacco can find his long-lost mate, Anquan Boldin, should also play a factor. But watch out for USC's best NFL quarterback. Matt Cassel and the Chiefs have been mighty underrated all season.
Who's ready to get wild? from ESPNW
Former Nittany Lion All-American Tamba Hali has been instrumental in helping the Kansas City Chiefs win the AFC West title. Hali ranks second in the NFL with 14.5 sacks this season and is followed by Penn Stater Cameron (Derek) Wake, who recorded 14.0 sacks this year for Miami. Dallas' DeMarcus Ware led the NFL with 15.5 sacks.
Nine former Nittany Lions on NFL playoff teams from Penn State Live
Interestingly, four of the playoff teams - two who earned first-round byes - ranked 25th or worse in the NYLPI. The Chiefs came in at No. 25 and the Steelers, who have the weekend off, 26th. That said, Kansas City's offensive line was the pre-eminent run-blocking unit in the league as it led the NFL with an average of 164.0 yards per game and Jamaal Charles averaged an eye-popping 6.4 per carry.
Playoff teams scattered around New York Life Protection Index highlight different strengths from Sports Illustrated
"I was one of those guys that was hoping that this would be a yearlong thing," said Kansas City coach Todd Haley as his Chiefs prepared for Sunday's game with Baltimore. "It is different and there are multiple variables that could come into play."
Such as whether the winner of the coin toss actually would choose to go on defense first, something unheard of for OTs under the previous rules.
Overtime rules new this NFL postseason from MyDesert.com
If the last mash-up wasn't your flavor, perhaps something between (American) football and Halo is in order? Perfect for the little ones, TeeFury presents The Chiefs. Sadly, you won't be able to get the shirt before Sunday's Kansas City / Baltimore wild card game, but if the Chiefs make it to the next round you should be all set.
With the NFL playoffs set to kick off tomorrow, we used Madden to simulate the NFL playoffs. Given the recent success of the NCAA Simulation -- we're a bit more interested in these results than usual. So how does Madden do? You be the judge and give us your own picks for the playofffs!
Chiefs 35, Ravens 9
Matt Cassel had the game of his career throwing for 492 yards and five touchdowns, handing Baltimore's once-vaunted defense one of the most disappointing losses of all time. Joe Flacco threw two interceptions and lost a fumble; Ray Rice had 21 carries for 19 yards; and Ray Lewis accounted for only two tackles.
Madden NFL 11 Sims the NFL Playoffs from Operation Sports