Chiefs Conclude Practice, Ready For Road Test from The Mothership
It's been 20 years since the Chiefs celebrated a playoff win, defeating the Houston Oilers, when Akeem Jordan was eight-years old. Jordan says the team, including Pro Bowl RB
Jamaal Charles, is aware of what a potential playoff win would mean to its fans.
"Just being around the city and to hear how they talk, how they communicate with you is motivating," Jordan said. "Earlier, I pulled into the gas station and everybody is cheering for us and we love that, but we know we still have business to take care of."
Andy Reid: 'Chiefs Are Hungry And Ready' from The Mothership
Q: Do you remember what expectations you had for your team before the season started?
REID: "I do. I can't tell you it was all that exciting of a speech. To be honest with them, that was the main thing, and let's all work hard - all of us, coaches and players - and detail our work. That was the base of it."
Q: What's the difference in how you feel at this point going into the playoffs after working so hard to get here?
REID: "Well, first of all it's tough to get here. It's tough to get to the playoffs. When you have an opportunity to do it, you have to take advantage of every opportunity you have. That's exciting. That's what it's all about. These guys work hard to get themselves in position to go win a championship and this is the first step. You have to make the playoffs in order to do that. It's exciting times."
KCChiefs.com Video: Under The Helmet - Derrick Johnson
KCChiefs.com Video: Inside The Locker Room: AFC Wild Card
KCChiefs.com Video: Coach's Corner With Andy Reid
Houston's Return Could Make Kansas City Chiefs' Defense A Terror Again from FS Kansas City
The Colts, obviously, are especially concerned about having to block Houston and Hali.
"Certainly, we know that both of those guys have 11 sacks apiece," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said in a conference call. "With Tamba on one side and Justin on the other, it's a great duo, both in the run game and certainly in trying to protect your quarterback. Our tackles have played well for the most part all season, but it will be a huge challenge for both of those guys to get those guys blocked."
Pagano, too, is aware that Houston's presence, along with Hali, creates matchup problems that allow other Chiefs defenders to excel.
Wild Card Weekend Preview: Chiefs @ Colts from Chiefs Spin
It's also a rematch from Week 16, where the Colts defeated the Chiefs 23-7 at Arrowhead Stadium.
Still, the second time around for the two teams around carries more significance over the regular season, as the postseason is all about win or go home.
Chiefs Chase Different Result In Rematch With Indy from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
Here are five things to watch Saturday at Indianapolis.
MOMENTUM vs. HEALTH: The Colts wanted to build momentum for the postseason. The result: They went 4-1 in December. Once the Chiefs fell out of contention in the AFC West, they tried to get healthy. Kansas City is 2-5 since the bye week, has lost two straight, hasn't beaten a team with a winning record since Week 3 and has dropped seven in a row in the playoffs. Saturday's result will show which coach made the right call.
Tamba Hali hasn't lasted eight years in the NFL or become one of the league's top pass-rushers by letting a little thing like some swelling in his knee to keep him out of the lineup.
So, even though the Kansas City Chiefs completed their practice week Thursday with Hali unable to practice for the third straight day, look for him to be available on Saturday when his team begins the playoffs at the Indianapolis Colts.
Preview: Healthier Chiefs Look To Reverse Playoff Trends With Win Over Colts from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
The Indianapolis Colts think they're playing their best football at the perfect time. The Kansas City Chiefs are hoping to finally be healthy when it matters most.
They'll meet for the second time in three weeks Saturday at Indianapolis in an AFC wild-card game.
The Colts (11-5) have won three straight while allowing 20 points, including a 23-7 victory at Kansas City on Dec. 22...
...The Chiefs (11-5) have lost two in a row, but they approached Week 17 cautiously and now expect the healthy return of wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (concussion), linebacker Justin Houston (dislocated elbow) and left tackle Braden Albert (hyperextended knee) as they try to end a seven-game playoff losing streak.
Justin Houston Set To Return For Kansas City Chiefs from NFL.com
Although Houston is expected to play for the first time since before Thanksgiving, there are still questions surrounding the ailing pass rush.
As we've pointed out on the Around The League Podcast, it's not just the missed games that hurt a team when a player is injured. It's also the decline in production as the player works his way back to peak form.
GM John Dorsey Guides Make-Over Chiefs To Playoffs from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
John Dorsey is a man comfortable in his own skin. He may be even more comfortable in a gray Chiefs sweatshirt and a pair of khaki pants.
It seems he has seven of each, those sweatshirts and khakis, one for each day of the week.
Dorsey laughs in a hearty baritone when asked about his ensemble, but comfort is a big deal to him. It's one of the reasons Dorsey kept turning down overtures when he worked in Green Bay, and also why he ultimately decided to accept the general manager job in Kansas City last January.
It simply fit, loose and relaxed, just like a sweatshirt.
All-AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs from ESPN
The Kansas City Chiefs were appropriately honored with nine players on ESPN's All-AFC West team.
Each of the nine players deserves his spot on the all-division team. No strong argument could be made for any Chiefs player who didn't make the team.
The Chiefs aren't afraid to bring a kickoff out of the end zone in any situation regardless of how deep it might go. Only 38 percent of the kickoffs received by the Chiefs went for a touchback, the third-lowest percentage in the league.
While Demps and Davis and the blockers have played well, the Chiefs set an NFL record for kickoff return average at 29.9 yards because of their aggressive attitude.
It's Time For Bowe To Make An Impact from ESPN
Dwayne Bowe had perhaps the worst of his seven NFL seasons in 2013, calling into question whether the 29-year-old wide receiver has started to lose his skills.
Bowe certainly hasn't lost his ability to talk a good game.
"I've still got it,'' Bowe said. "I'm showing it each and every day in practice. The coaches know I've got it. I'm setting up a lot of great things for the offense...''
...If Bowe truly does have it, it's time for him to show it. The Chiefs could use a big game from their top wide receiver on Saturday, when they play the Colts in a wild-card round playoff game in Indianapolis.
1994 Brings Back Memories, Like Last Chiefs Playoff Win from FS Kansas City
Ah, yes, 1994.
Back then, a gallon of gas cost $1.11. A stamp (remember them?) cost 29 cents.
It was the year when figure skater Tonya Harding and her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, became household names...
...It was the year an entire nation, it seemed, stayed glued to their television sets one June afternoon to watch coverage of a white Ford Bronco chugging along a California highway...
...And 1994 was the year in which the Kansas City Chiefs last won a playoff game.
Chiefs Bring Happy Playoff Memories For Colts Fans from The Indianapolis Star
Ask players about a preferred playoff opponent and they'll give you the pat answer. Most are just happy to be playing anybody.
But from a historical perspective, the Indianapolis Colts could do worse than open their postseason against Kansas City...
...From the Colts' perspective, they're 3-0 against the Chiefs in the postseason, and each meeting has been memorable. A refresher course heading into Saturday's match-up at Lucas Oil Stadium:
As the former Princeton University standout continues his rookie season with the Kansas City Chiefs heading to Indianapolis for a first-round playoff game against the Colts Saturday afternoon, it couldn't have worked out much better for him.
"This has just been great," Catapano said. "You want to get drafted by a good organization, have a good opportunity there, and as it turned out for me, I couldn't be happier."
Colts Granted Extension, Have Until 4:35 p.m. Friday To Sell 3,000 Tickets To Avoid Blackout from The Indianapolis Star
The Colts have about 3,000 tickets remaining and must sell them by 4:35 p.m. Friday.
NFL rules require teams to sell out games at least 72 hours prior to kickoff to ensure that the game can be shown on local television (defined as markets within 75 miles). This is the second time the NFL has extended the deadline. The Colts host the Chiefs at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Game Scout: Chiefs At Colts from Lindy's Sports
The Chiefs played easily their worst game of the season in a 23-7 home loss to the Colts just two weeks ago. Kansas City turned the ball over four times, didn't produce any turnovers and Indianapolis enjoyed a more than 16-minute edge in time of possession. Bottom line, everything went so wrong for the Chiefs in that game that it can almost be scrapped for the rematch.
Earlier this season, DeVito was given a game ball after the Chiefs had nine sacks of the Raiders, even though he didn't get one.
His ability to help stuff the run was key to putting Oakland in passing situations. DeVito, who came over as a free agent from the Jets, does a lot of the grunt work on the Kansas City defense as a 3-4 end.
Utahns In The NFL: Ex-Utah Ute QB Alex Smith Headlines Wild Card Weekend from Examiner.com
For Kansas City, former Utah star Alex Smith has had the kind of year that most quarterbacks only dream about. Coming from San Francisco in the off-season (see video), Smith's career appeared to be near its end -- but new Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has resurrected not only Alex's playing days but also that of his new team.
Kansas City rides into Wild Card Weekend as the fifth seed, and though traveling to Indianapolis is not the easiest task a team could ask for, the Chiefs have proven they can play with anyone.
Buddy Thomas: How To Beat Every Team In The NFL Playoffs, Plus My Super Bowl Pick from South Coast Today
Kansas City Chiefs: Pressure Alex Smith when the quarterback is in shotgun formation and prepare to stuff the run when he's under center. When you have the ball the hurry-up offense has given the Kansas City defense fits as evidenced by the Colts' surprisingly easy win in Kansas City two Sundays ago. BIGGEST CONCERN? Allowing the Chiefs to have early success with the running game.
Colts, Mathis Must Disrupt Chiefs Offense Again from The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel
It's Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis vs. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.
To clarify, I'm not talking about Mathis vs. Smith in some sort of one-on-one fight to the finish. Frankly, Smith would be toast in that type of deal. Make that burnt toast, with the edges smashed. I'm talking about Mathis' tone-setting of the defense versus Smith's operation of the offense.
The last time they played - a 23-7 win for the Colts in Kansas City - Mathis' method prevailed. The Colts forced Smith into trouble (interception, sacks, temporary memory loss that caused him to quit putting the ball in Jamaal Charles' hands) and the Mathis defense capitalized.
Jonathan Comey: Who Should Pats Fans Be Rooting For This Weekend? from South Coast Today
Matchup problems for the Patriots: You have to stop Charles, and Smith doesn't give you the turnovers the Patriots crave. Other than that, though, New England would match up well.
Desirability factor: High. The Chiefs are a pretty clear best-case scenario for New England - can't beat good teams, wins by forcing mistakes (which New England rarely makes), diminished defense. Unfortunately, it's probably a 10-to-1 shot at best.
Questions To Ponder Heading Into Playoffs from USA Today
Have the Chiefs peaked?
Since starting 9-0, Kansas City is 2-5. So much for entering the playoffs with momentum.
While the offense has protected the ball well with Alex Smith and even opened up the passing game in recent weeks, the significant backslide has occurred on defense.
Consider the sack production. After seven games, the Chiefs led the NFL with 35 sacks. In the last seven games, Kansas City has generated 12 sacks - fewest in the league during that span.
Probabilities In Wild-Card Round: Close-Up On Chiefs-Colts from The New York Times
When the Colts host the Chiefs on Saturday in the first of this weekend's four wild-card games, each team will feel as if it is looking into the mirror. The two teams are nearly statistically identical and tend to play disciplined, low-risk, ball-control football while letting their opponents make mistakes.
All You Need To Know For Wild-Card Weekend from The Washington Post
Prediction: Colts 24, Chiefs 13. The Colts have been sporadic: They beat each conference's No. 1 seed, yet got blown out by the Rams and Cardinals. On Saturday, Andrew Luck and the Colts' offense will find a way to put up some points, but it will be a dominant defensive performance at home that will make the difference.
Matchups To Watch: Chiefs At Colts from ESPN
Charles only needed two rushes to get the Chiefs on the board when the teams met in Week 16. Charles took a pitch left for six yards and followed that with a 31-yard score on a handoff to the right.
The Chiefs should continue to run to the right on Saturday. They rank in the top-5 of the NFL in yards per rush, yards after contact per rush and rushing touchdowns when running to the right.
The Colts defense ranks in the bottom-5 in rush yards, yards per rush and rushing touchdowns allowed when offenses ran right.
Wild Card Weekend Preview: Chiefs-Colts from NFL.com
Matchup to watch
Chiefs pass rush vs. Colts offensive line: The Chiefs got next to no pressure on Luck in their Week 16 meeting. That must change Saturday. Getting Justin Houston back in the mix is an immediate boost. The outside linebacker had 11 sacks before missing the past five games with a dislocated elbow. If the Chiefs don't get Luck off his spot it will be a long day for the defense's secondary.
NFL Weekend Preview, Part 1 from Grantland
It's not uncommon for two teams to play each other in the playoffs after matching up in the regular season, but it certainly is strange to see them play in the playoffs just two weeks after a competitive regular-season game. The Colts won that game comfortably, 23-7, despite being a dome team playing in frigid temperatures, as that game kicked off at 22 degrees with the wind chill knocking that down to 11 degrees. And given that this playoff matchup takes place in the temperate home confines of Indianapolis, where the Colts have already beaten the Seahawks and Broncos this year, it seems like the onus in breaking down this matchup would be to prove that the rematch will be any different from the first contest.
Fortunately for Chiefs fans, there are reasons to think that might be the case. And that starts with the guys who were missing from Kansas City's lineup in Week 16.
What it comes down to: Victory. Just kidding. Can the Chiefs' offense score touchdowns against the Colts' defense, which allowed all of 20 points in Indy's past three games combined? We know Kansas City's defense will give Andrew Luck all he can handle. It's the Alex Smith-led attack that is the issue. Still, we trust him -- and a Chiefs unit that reached the end zone on 50 percent of trips inside the 30, tied for sixth in the NFL -- in this situation.