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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 11/10

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Good morning Kansas City Chiefs fans! Another full day of news for you. DJ, Special Teams, Parity, and this Sunday's opponent wait below. Enjoy.

Regardless, the Chiefs moved away from the style of offense that had led to five victories and two close losses, shifting the emphasis toward quarterback Matt Cassel, who attempted a season-high 35 passes. That hadn’t been a hallmark of the Chiefs’ impressive start, and neither was a slew of penalties that, whether or not the officials were moody and impatient, hadn’t been something the Chiefs were known for earlier this season.

Haley admitted that poor discipline can be contagious, and Oakland was flagged 15 times. The Raiders lured the Chiefs into a street fight on their turf, and they mistakenly obliged — and carried their busted lips home with them late Sunday.

"You get out of your team’s personality," Haley said. "We need to stay disciplined throughout games regardless of circumstances.

Chiefs hope Raiders letdown was an aberration from KC Star

Mike Priefer was Dustin's special- teams coach in Kansas City from 2006-08 and is Britton's special-teams coach with the Broncos now.

His favorite Colquitt?

"Mrs. Colquitt," Priefer said. "She made two great punters."

The Colquitts - mom, dad and their two sons who were raised in Knoxville, Tenn., and punted for their hometown Tennessee Volunteers - will gather for an early dinner Saturday in Denver.

Colquitt brothers square off from The Denver Post Video: Playbook: Chiefs vs. Raiders recap

But here's my takeaway: it's another positive sign for the Scott Pioli-Todd Haley regime. Because no matter what they say now, they didn't believe in Johnson when they got here, or, truth be told, even six months ago. They thought he was a fine player and all, but nothing to keep around long-term, nothing to build around, and now we see a public acknowledgment that they've changed their mind.

This is a very good thing, especially since one of the most persistent knocks on Pioli and Haley has revolved around ego. They both carry considerable egos*, don't get me wrong, but are showing that ego will not get in the way of their most important decisions.

* All decision makers do, especially in the NFL, it's just that some hide it better than others.

The symbolism of Derrick Johnson's contract extension from Don't Kill the Mellinger

After bringing Chiefs training camp to St. Joseph, along with thousands of fans, Buchanan County officials expected a nice bump in sales tax revenues through the summer months. The current numbers, however, show totals about $50,000 below expectations, according to the St. Joseph News-Press.

Sales tax revenue down in Buchanan County during Chiefs camp from KC Star

The special teams have been in steady decline this season, culminating in an Oakland touchdown on a kick off that may have been the spark they needed to come back and win. Something needs to be addressed. I realize not having McCluster the past two weeks hasn't helped, but that's not the only issue.

Chiefs Wrap III: Passing, Red Zone and Kickoffs from Upon Further Review

Will Jamaal Charles run wild? The Broncos' No. 32-ranked rush defense has had contain issues with speedy backs on the edge. And the last time Charles visited Invesco Field at Mile High, he scurried for 259 of Kansas City's 317 rushing yards.

Is Kansas City vulnerable to the deep ball? Unheralded Jacoby Ford had key 29 and 47 yard receptions in Oakland's overtime victory over the Chiefs. The Broncos are sure to test Brandon Flowers and Co. with Brandon Lloyd, who leads the NFL in 25-yard catches.

Week 10 matchup: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos from The Sporting News

For the first time this season, the Broncos' offensive line will line up according to original blueprint.

Ryan Harris, healthy at last, has regained his position at starting right tackle. Zane Beadles, a second-round rookie who was selected primarily to play left guard but had been filling in at right tackle, has returned to what the Broncos feel will be his best position.

Broncos' O-line gets Harris back from The Denver Post

At this time last year, the clubs that finished with the seven worst records were a combined 12-52. This season, those teams are 34-33. One reason is that some are finally seeing young players mature after paying a price that resulted in horrendous seasons and fired coaches.

"My last year we had 20 rookies and started nine of them," said ESPN analyst and former Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, who was let go after the 2008 season. "The problem is when you're young, you have too many errors. You get your lessons first and experience later."

NFL enjoys topsy-turvy first half of 2010 season from The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

At long last the Oakland Raiders are long shots no more. There hasn't been this much promise in Oakland since 2002. In fact, they haven't even won two games in a row since 2008, and they haven't won three games in a row since 2002. Furthermore, they haven't won three games in a row in their own conference since 1990. The Raiders are now 5-4, only 0.5 games behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West standings. Kansas City has already had their bye week while the Raiders have not. How did the Raiders make their way from being one of the worst teams in the NFL to one of the best?

From my perspective, here are five ways the Raiders have elevated their game:

Romanowski on the Raiders: Resurrection for Raider Nation and redemption for Al Davis from Yahoo! Sports

The NFL is a better place when the Oakland Raiders matter. There are a myriad of hot-blooded rivalries that become significant again, and let's start with that Kansas City-Oakland series.

Once, it was one of the best, most competitive and most passionate anywhere. Then the Raiders went south and took the rivalry with them -- with Kansas City winning seven straight against them ... in Oakland, no less. But the bleeding stopped with a come-from-behind victory on Sunday, and tell me that didn't wake up the AFC West.

Silver and Black is back: Oakland's rise good for NFL from CBS Sports

Rub your eyes. Now look again at the upside-down jumble that this the NFL season at the midway point.

It's the realization of late commissioner Pete Rozelle's fantasy football vision. Parity is spread out like a clubhouse buffet. Former Minnesota Vikings food critic-turned Tennessee Titans receiver Randy Moss might not approve of the catering. But this wild season has served up a smorgasbord of fresh contenders.

In parity-mad NFL 2010, almost everyone dreams of the playoffs from USA Today

It's time for the public to decide the Chiefs High School Coach of the Year for Missouri and Kansas.

Voting has been opened up on and will run until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 22.

The winning coaches will be informed of the vote on Nov. 23.

They along with their team will then be invited to Arrowhead Stadium for a special recognition ceremony on Nov. 30.

Area Chiefs Coach of the Year voting open to public from The Examiner

If you chart the carries, the biggest problem for the Broncos in all of that is there is no real signature to the troubles. Some teams have carved up the middle of the Broncos' formation, while some - the Raiders the most notable this season - have caved in the edges for big plays to the outside.

The Broncos have changed defensive coordinators, played more four-man lines, they've blitzed, they've not blitzed - little has consistently worked since a 6-0 start in 2009 that has long ago drifted into the mist.

Analysis: Broncos aware Chiefs no mystery date from The Denver Post

And the closeness of this year's races is not limited exclusively to the first and second-place teams in each division. In six of the eight divisions, the top three (or in one case, even four) teams are separated by two games or fewer through nine weeks.

To wit:

In the AFC West, the Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers (4-5) are clumped just 1½ games apart, top to bottom, with all three looking like they intend to make some noise in the season's final two months.

Parity party: NFL in midst of an unprecedented logjam in standings from Sports Illustrated

Andy Studebaker, a third-year linebacker for the Chiefs, said it best about Vrabel when he described him as "an open door." That's Studebaker's way of saying that Vrabel is always available to answer questions from Studebaker and other younger defensive players. In fact, Vrabel, who is 35 and in his 14th season, encourages teammates to treat him as a walking, talking version of the defensive playbook.

The only person who knows the Chiefs' defensive scheme better than Vrabel is coordinator Romeo Crennel, for whom Vrabel played for four seasons when Crennel held the same position with the New England Patriots. Vrabel sees the fact that he isn't burdened by having to constantly study and learn the defense as a chance to spend time with younger players and offer them plenty of guidance in practice and games.

AFC West: Aside from Rivers, defenders lead the way from

The Broncos have been outscored 40-7 in the first quarter, a big reason for their 2-6 record, their worst at the halfway point in more than a decade.

They returned from their bye week Tuesday intent on fixing a plethora of problems on offense, defense and in the kicking game, and chief among the potential fixes are faster starts.

Better beginnings top the team's to-do list because they would help the Broncos dictate the rhythm of games for a change, provide much-needed balance in play-calling and take some pressure off an overused defense, wide receiver Eddie Royal said.

Broncos: Turnaround begins with better starts from The Boston Globe

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