Berry's Fast Finish Means Pro Bowl Trip from KC Star
In this abysmal year for the Chiefs, who lug a 2-13 record to Denver for Sunday's season finale, Charles figured to be the Chiefs' best Pro Bowl candidate as he approaches a 1,500-yard rushing season.
Berry? The talk through the season's first half focused on his slow return from the injury. But his improvement accelerated in the season's second half, and he has drawn the admiration of teammates.
"I look at what he's done, what he's come back from," reserve safety Tysyn Hartman said, "going about his business without complaining about it at all."
Both of Berry's 11-tackle games and eight of his 10 pass deflections have occurred in the last seven weeks.
Chiefs Unplugged: Pro Bowl Edition from The Mothership
"Obviously, those guys are (going a) second time to the Pro Bowl and they are very well deserved. Any of those four guys, you can't win games without them and they're impact players and that's why, regardless of our record, they were voted to the Pro Bowl, because they are great players. I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to represent the Chiefs in Hawaii and I'm excited. It's my first time; everything's going to be new and exciting."
Cassel Understands His Time In KC May Be Over from FS Kansas City
The Chiefs, who likely will get the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, seem poised to spend a high pick on a quarterback, making it perhaps ever more unlikely that Cassel will return.
"I have no idea right now," Cassel said. "I'm not even thinking that far ahead right now. Well, I should say I'm trying not to think that far ahead. To be honest, it's hard not to. At the same time I really don't know.
"So, right now I'm going to continue to do what I'm doing, get prepared for this game."
Manning: Chiefs Bring 'Great Test' from DenverBroncos.com
"They held us to 17 points last time and there were some things they did well, some things that we can do better, and it's a great test from that standpoint," Manning said. "That's what we're going to try to use this week as a chance to try to improve."
The 17-point performance was the lowest output of the season for the Broncos. Denver punted four times and attempted three field goals after going 1-of-4 in the red zone.
"I think they're even better, to tell you the truth," Manning said. "It's just their record is different than what their defense puts out there. Like I said, I can't speak for what's going on with their offense or turnovers or whatnot. I know they ran the stew out of the ball on Sunday but their active on defense, they can cover well, (defensive back Eric) Berry's playing good, (linebacker Derrick) Johnson's all over the field and they can get after the passer with four."
Broncos Need Win Over Chiefs For 1st-Round Bye from The Boston Herald
Making it even less likely the Broncos will overlook the Chiefs are the memories of the season's first meeting, five weeks ago in Kansas City.
Denver's 17-9 victory was a four-quarter struggle and marked the only time during its 10-game winning streak that it has been held under 20 points. Only one other team, Oakland, has held Denver under 30 during that span.
And if that's not enough, there were the Pro Bowl rosters that came out Thursday.
Led by Manning and Von Miller (17½ sacks), the Broncos placed a respectable five players on the AFC squad.
So did the Chiefs.
"I've said it all year and it's true," Broncos coach John Fox said. "We don't look at the record. We look at the tape."
Year In Review: Belcher Shooting Worst Of Chiefs' Difficult Season from The Topeka Capital-Journal
In a season that began with high expectations and quickly turned sour, the biggest questions heading into 2013 still haven't been answered.
Will Crennel, Pioli, Cassel and Quinn be back next year?
Those questions could be answered soon, but all could be gone if owner Clark Hunt embarks on another lengthy overhaul. Even in this worst-to-first era, there's likely no quick fix to the problems that plagued the Chiefs in 2012.
But there is hope.
Charles, Eric Berry, Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Dustin Colquitt were selected to the Pro Bowl and the Chiefs (2-13) enter Sunday's season finale against the Broncos one loss away from the top pick in next year's draft.
Denver Broncos Practice Without Three Key Players Wednesday from CBS Denver
The Denver Broncos are coming down the home stretch of this 2012 season, so it's no surprise that some players are unable to give it their full go.
Chris Kuper, Tracy Porter and Trindon Holliday all sat out of practice Wednesday-which took place outside in the cold-and each of their returns to the football field the week against the Kansas City Chiefs are in doubt.
One Guy To Watch from ESPN
Kansas City Chiefs, defensive end, Tyson Jackson: There is a chance the No. 3 overall pick in the 2009 draft will leave as a free agent and there a chance he has played his final game with the Chiefs. Jackson, who is dealing with a toe injury this week, is not flashy and he will never be, but he has developed into a solid player. I think the Chiefs will try to keep him as part of their defense. He will be missed Sunday at Denver if he can't play and he will be missed in 2013 if he isn't re-signed.
Chiefs' Colquitt Unsung Star For Losing Team from The Stamford Advocate
And the only time you'll receive any attention is when you make a mistake, when you mishandle a snap or shank a punt or hit one right into the end zone instead of spiking it at the 5.
Yes, it's a surprise anybody would be up for such a task.
Dustin Colquitt relishes it.
The veteran punter is arguably the Kansas City Chiefs' most unsung star. He's their inept offense's best friend for his ability to flip field position in a single snap, and their defense's secret weapon in pinning the opponent deep within its own territory.
Black Monday Primer: Definitive Guide To 2013 Coaching Carousel from Sports Illustrated
If Pioli isn't retained, he won't be out of work for long, because his personnel judgments are still widely respected throughout the league -- at least outside of Kansas City. It was thought the Chiefs might pursue Bill Polian as a GM candidate, but sources say there has not been contact between the two, even though Polian was thought to be willing to listen.
Other potential GM hires by the Chiefs are plentiful, but they include San Francisco's Gamble, Green Bay director of football operations John Dorsey and Indianapolis vice president of football operations Tom Telesco.
Broncos Need Better Production On Early Downs vs. Kansas City from The Denver Post
"Early on, we played that game in third-and-long," Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said Thursday. "That's something that hurt us. We were third-and-10 (or longer) three times early in the game.
"We were always fighting to get ahead. We were always behind in down and distance. We have to make sure that we take better advantage of first and second downs to have success."
Having a more tested Knowshon Moreno may help. After being designated inactive for eight consecutive weeks, Moreno was thrust into the starting lineup at Kansas City as a replacement for injured running back Willis McGahee, who is still mending a torn knee ligament.
Around The AFC West: Pro Bowl Snubs A Sign Of Work To Be Done from The Denver Post
Around the league some saw Wednesday's Pro Bowl announcements as a potential indictment of Crennel and his staff since five Chiefs, including three defensive players - Eric Berry, Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali - were received Pro Bowl invitations from a 2-13 team.
The Chiefs had the same number of Pro Bowl players as the 13-2 Broncos and more than the 11-4 Packers.
In the end, however, the Chiefs likely find themselves where they are because of quarterback play. Quinn and Matt Cassel have turned the ball over a combined 27 times this season.
AFC West Wrap: What Was And Will Be from ESPN
Biggest disappointment: It has to be Kansas City. The Chiefs were expected to be competitive and many folks (including myself) picked them to win the division. Yet Kansas City is 2-13 and on pace for the No. 1 pick in April's draft. The biggest issues were terrible quarterback play by Matt Cassel and his replacement, Brady Quinn, and questionable coaching. The result of the disappointment will likely be a clean sweep of the team's brass and the search for a new quarterback.
Favorites For NFL Head Coaching Gigs from FOX Sprots
Remarkably, no NFL head coach will have gotten fired during the 2012 season.
The bloodletting, though, is about to begin...
...The more jobs open, the greater the likelihood that some former NFL head coaches will get another chance to prove their worth. But the majority of hires probably will be receiving their first crack at the position.
Here's a look at 12 of those candidates listed alphabetically from A (Bruce Arians) to Z (Mike Zimmer):
The Formula For Renewed NFL Success from FOX Sports
You can hear the rumbling already. New Year's Eve this year will be Black Monday in the NFL, the day when the hammer comes down on more than one general manager and head coach, as teams turn from a disappointing season and start to move - as quickly as possible - in another direction.
On one hand, it's absurd that so many of the firings will come down on the same day; on the other hand, if your team is going to be hiring a new general manager, and that person will be in turn hiring a new head coach, and that person in turn will be hiring a new staff, you want to strike quickly, when you have the broadest field of desirable candidates at every level.
KCChiefs.com Video: From The Podium: Romeo Crennel
KCChiefs.com Video: 2013 Pro Bowl Selection: Jamaal Charles
KCChiefs.com Video: 2013 Pro Bowl Selection: Dustin Colquitt
KCChiefs.com Video: 2013 Pro Bowl Selection: Derrick Johnson
KCChiefs.com Video: 2013 Pro Bowl Selection: Eric Berry
KCChiefs.com Video: 2013 Pro Bowl Selection: Tamba Hali