Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 12/30

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Good morning! Do you smell that? It's the playoffs!! Here's your Kansas City Chiefs news. Enjoy!

Despite Valiant Effort, Chiefs Fall To Chargers from The Mothership

The Kansas City Chiefs arrived at Qualcomm Stadium to close out their regular season against the San Diego Chargers. All week long, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said he would mix and match his guys in practice and later decide who will sit and who will start for his team. Before Sunday's kickoff, the Chiefs inactive list included QB Alex Smith, RB Jamaal Charles, LB Derrick Johnson, T Branden Albert, WR Dwayne Bowe, LB Tamba Hali and DT Dontari Poe.

Chiefs QB Chase Daniel got the start and led his team right down the field on the game's opening drive, which included a heavy dose of RB Knile Davis, who capped off the drive with a 17-yard TD run. KC 7 SD 0.

Coach Reid: Chiefs 'Played Their Hearts Out' from The Mothership

Did you feel like you had a bit of a bye today?

"Yeah, I guess you could say that. That's one way to say it. There are a couple of guys with a lot of snaps under their belt, like Jamaal (Charles). They've been playing and playing in physical positions. They had a chance to rest up. It gave (Branden) Albert and (Justin) Houston another week to heal up. They're both ready to go, but it gave them one more week to heal up. I think those are all positives. (Dontari) Poe who's played a lot of snaps, he got an opportunity to rest up; I think that's all for the good."

Chase Daniel's Press Conference from The Mothership

How much different is it now that you have your first NFL game under your belt?

"It's just one game. For me, the real season starts tomorrow. We could be playing Saturday, but we're not really sure where we're playing. Personally for me it was good to play a little bit and it was good to get those guys some reps, because down the road a non-healthy team is going to win the Super Bowl. You don't know when your number is going to be called, so for guys to get playing time like they did today in a game that the Chargers absolutely needed and for them to step up to play the way they did, I couldn't be more proud."

Monday Morning Takeaways: Chiefs vs Chargers from The Mothership

DAVIS RECORDS PAIR OF TOUCHDOWN RUNS: Rookie RB Knile Davis recorded two rushing touchdowns in the game, giving him four rushing touchdowns for the season and five total touchdowns. He totaled 81 yards on 27 carries (3.0 avg.) in Sunday's game. He also caught two passes for five yards.

"It's just great," Davis said about his playing time. "It just shows the confidence my RBs coach Eric Bieniemy and Coach Reid, they have a lot of confidence in me and I didn't disappoint them. We should've got the win; we have to clean up some things, but overall, I think we all played hard."

KCChiefs.com Photo Gallery: Chiefs vs Chargers Game Photos

KCChiefs.com Video: Week 17: Chiefs vs Chargers Highlights

KCChiefs.com Video:Post Game Locker Room: Week 17

KCChiefs.com Video: Post Game Press Conference: Andy Reid

KCChiefs.com Video: Post Game With Mitch And Reid

Colts Host Kansas City In Wild Card Playoffs from Colts.com

The Colts will host Kansas City in the Wild Card Playoffs on Saturday, January 4 at 4:30 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The AFC South champion Colts, 11-5, are the AFC's fourth seed, while Kansas City, 11-5, is the fifth seed.

Indianapolis ran its record to 11-5 with a 30-10 home win over Jacksonville.  Kansas City fell in overtime at San Diego, 27-24.

This is the second time in three weeks the teams have played.  Indianapolis took a 23-7 victory over the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium on December 22.

Time Set For Chiefs-Colts In Wild Card Round from Chiefs Spin

Saturday's meeting marks the fourth time the Chiefs and Colts have met in the postseason.

The Colts have won the previous three postseason matchups:

• A 10-7 victory at Arrowhead in a 1995 AFC Divisional Playoff Game played on Jan. 7, 1996.
• A 38-31 victory at Arrowhead in a 2003 AFC Divisional Playoff Game played on Jan. 11, 2004.
• A 23-8 victory at the RCA Dome in a 2006 AFC Wild Card Game played on Jan. 6, 2007.

Chiefs' Backups Almost Win, But Did Reid Make The Right Call To Rest Starters? from FS Kansas City

Coming into this season, quarterback Chase Daniel had thrown nine passes in three seasons with the Saints while watching Drew Brees from the sideline.

Sunday's game marked the most extensive playing time Daniel had seen since he was a Missouri Tiger.

And all things considered, Daniel played smart and played well. He completed 21 of 30 for 200 yards, and he threw his first NFL touchdown pass, though granted it was just a two-yarder to Dexter McCluster, who did all the work while fighting his way into the end zone.

But Daniel didn't make the big mistake Sunday, played with poise and committed no turnovers.

Chargers Got Away With Uncalled Penalty In Win Over Chiefs from Sports Illustrated

Succop missed the try wide right, the game went into overtime and the Chargers won when Kansas City could not answer Nick Novak's 36-yard field goal on their first drive of the fifth quarter.

At least, that's what Bill Leavy's crew would very much like to you to believe.

Leavy's crew botched a simple new rule, and as a result, the Chiefs were left without another try at that field goal at the end of regulation.

Recap: Playoff-Bound Chiefs Lose Final Game Of Regular Season In Overtime from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City

The Kansas City Chiefs had nothing to play for and rested 20 of 22 starters.

They still almost beat San Diego with its season on the line.

Already assured of the AFC's No. 5 seed, the Chiefs lost 27-24 in overtime Sunday to the division rival Chargers, who claimed the conference's final postseason berth.

After the Chiefs blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead.

Chargers Claim Final AFC Playoff Spot With OT Win Over Chiefs from The Associated Press via ESPN

Surprisingly, the Chargers trailed by 10 points in the fourth quarter against a Chiefs team that already had clinched the AFC's No. 5 seed and rested 20 of 22 starters, including Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles and quarterback Alex Smith.

The Chargers kept getting new chances. After San Diego tied it by scoring 10 points on consecutive possessions, Kansas City's Ryan Succop was wide right on a potential game-winning, 41-yard field goal try with 4 seconds left in regulation.

"It was just kind of like we got a new life," Rivers said. "It was like, all right, we just got a second chance, because it was over. We were maybe going to get a snap offensively."

Rapid Reaction: Kansas City Chiefs from ESPN

Rookie running back Knile Davis, playing for Jamaal Charles, started his first NFL game and delivered 81 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Daniel played about as well as the Chiefs could expect, completing 21 of 30 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown. Daniel also ran for 59 yards. An offensive line comprised of four backups and rookie right tackle Eric Fisher kept Daniel from being under consistent pressure and opened some nice holes for Davis.

Rapid Reaction: San Diego Chargers from ESPN

No defense for Chargers' D: With nine different starters on offense, including reserve quarterback Chase Daniel and running back Knile Davis, San Diego's defense could not contain Kansas City's patchwork offense. The Chargers allowed over 150 rushing yards, but held firm when they needed to most at the end of the game.

Chiefs Fans Hoping - Praying - Succop's Late Miss At San Diego Isn't A Sign Of Things To Come from FS Kansas City

The Chargers won in overtime, 27-24. Fine, woo, whatever.

That wasn't what stuck.

No, the thing that sticks this week -- Colts Week, Part II, as the Chiefs (11-5) will head to Indianapolis (11-5)  this upcoming weekend to begin their playoff journey -- is Succop, with the fate of two NFL cities (neither of which were Kansas City, of course), resting on his powerful leg, right there at the end.

It was 1,557 miles away from home, that miss. And yet, for thousands of Chiefs fans, it was far too close to home. Too close to deja vu.

You see, there's something about the Chiefs and kickers and the postseason, and it's something absolutely awful, the stuff of nightmares and horror flicks.

Chargers Beat Chiefs, Make Playoffs from The San Diego Union-Tribune

To force overtime, the Chargers relied on a missed 41-yard field goal from Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop, sailing wide right. San Diego went into halftime down 21-14. It trailed by two scores in the fourth quarter. These Chiefs, by the way, played with four Pro Bowlers and their starting quarterback all inactive, and 20 of 22 starters pulled from their lineup.

Hence the smell.

"We basically went out there and (expletive) down our pants the first half - and really the whole game," linebacker Donald Butler said. "Ugliest game ever, but we're in. That's all that matters."

Quick Take: Chiefs At Colts from ESPN

The Chiefs were minus-4 in turnover ratio that day, eliminating any realistic chance they otherwise might have had to beat the Colts. Quarterback Alex Smith committed just 10 turnovers all season, but three of those came against Indianapolis. So ball security will be crucial in this one.

NFL Playoffs 2013: Early Look At Wild-Card Weekend from Sports Illustrated

The last game in which the Chiefs employed their full roster? Week 16 against the Colts ... and Indianapolis absolutely dominated that one 23-7, in Kansas City. Will a week of rest for Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles and Co. give the Chiefs enough juice to flip the script in the rematch?

Indianapolis has played its best football this season against some of the better teams in the league, scoring wins over Denver, San Francisco, Seattle and Kansas City. But unlike the Chiefs, who ran a gauntlet of playoff teams in November and December, the Colts have played just two postseason participants since Oct. 21: Cincinnati and Kansas City.

Reid Did The Right Thing By Resting Chiefs' Starters from ESPN

Linebacker Derrick Johnson won't wake up on this Monday morning with the normal bumps and bruises, aches and pains. He will feel fresh, like he didn't even play football on Sunday, which of course he didn't. Johnson and many of his key Kansas City Chiefs teammates were given the day off.

"It's going to be great," Johnson said. "I'm going to be moving fast. We'll be rested and ready to go and we'll get started on Indy. We know we've got a great opportunity to beat a team we didn't play [well] against a couple of weeks ago. We know if we can play better than we played ... this way, it's going to be an interesting matchup."

Chiefs Reserves Show Grit from Warpaint Illustrated

Chiefs Head Coach, Andy Reid, probably would have fallen under a lot of scrutiny for resting his starters had this game been a blowout. But let's be honest Kansas City outplayed the Chargers for most of Sunday's AFC West finale. Despite the loss the fact Reid didn't play his starters, he nearly pulled off the upset by nearly executing a perfect game plan in defeating the desperate the Chargers. It was something that should solidify NFL Coach of the Year honors.

That aside, the positives out weigh the gut wrenching loss in San Diego. The Chiefs learned they have some solid depth at virtually every position on the field.

Ron Cook: Don't Blame The Chiefs, Blame Steelers' Own Failures from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It's on to next season for the Steelers, not on to Cincinnati to play the Bengals.

Please, don't put this on Succop.

"We only have to look in the mirror to find the blame," Miller said.

He's right.

"That bed was made a long time ago," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.

He's right, too.

"It's nobody's fault but ours," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said.

That made it 3 for 3.

AFC Playoffs Q&A: It's Wide Open from ESPN

Can the Chiefs fix their defense before it ruins their playoff hopes? The implosion of the Chiefs' defense has to rank among the most bizarre stories of the regular season. This unit was unquestionably the league's best through the first nine weeks, as it forced turnovers, produced sacks in droves and consistently kept opponents out of the end zone. That was before they stopped facing second-rate quarterbacks and squared off against the likes of Luck, Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. Once that occurred, Kansas City's weaknesses -- poor coverage in the secondary and the inability of defensive coordinator Bob Sutton to make adjustments to his aggressive schemes -- became major issues. The good news for the Chiefs is that their offense has blossomed in the second half, and Pro Bowl outside linebacker Justin Houston, who had 11 sacks before sustaining a dislocated elbow in a loss to San Diego on Nov. 24, is finally healthy again. That should be enough to help the Chiefs get past Indianapolis in the wild-card round. But it won't do much to help their chances after that.

Pioli's Imprint All Over The Pro Bowl from CSN New England

When the NFL's Pro Bowlers were announced Friday, Eric Berry, Justin Houston, Dexter McCluster and Dontari Poe all made it. All four were drafted by Pioli during his four-year run as GM of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Tamba Hali, Brandon Flowers and Jamaal Charles were also selected. Each of those players were extended by Pioli before their original contracts were up, keeping them out of free agency. Good foresight.

NFL Week 17 Studs And Duds from ESPN

What we can do, however, is decry the multiple instances of questionable decisions by Leavy and his crew that corrupted the final minutes of the game. First, Leavy ruled that Weddle's forward progress had stopped before he had the ball ripped out of his hands by Chiefs defender Sean Smith. A review of the play confirms Weddle was still moving forward when Smith had the ball. Meanwhile, on the penultimate play of regulation, the Chargers lined up in an illegal defensive formation, as former NFL officiating vice president Mike Pereira pointed out.Had the penalty been called, Chiefs place-kicker Ryan Succop would have gotten another attempt after missing from 41 yards out. Officiating mistakes are to be expected, as I've written many times, but these were season-changing plays that impacted the fortunes of two franchises.

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