Good morning, and welcome to Victory Monday (we've missed you)! We have the usual recaps and analysis for you as well as a lot of Dwayne Bowe. Enjoy your Kansas City Chiefs news.
After two woeful road games that erased his team’s commanding lead in the AFC West, Todd Haley’s expectation for the Chiefs in their return to Arrowhead Stadium was simple.
Haley merely wanted the Chiefs to play their game. Run the ball. Keep the Arizona Cardinals out of the end zone. Commit no turnovers and few penalties.
He saw that play out almost perfectly in Sunday’s 31-13 win, a game that ruined his vision only when the Cardinals scored a touchdown on the final play.
Since those first two awful games, Cassel has been statistically excellent five times, good twice, and just OK once. That’s a compliment to Cassel and also to a coaching staff that’s learned to make it work.
Highlights and praise of Manning and Brady and a select other few make it easy to forget that a lot of coaches would trade their clipboards for a quarterback who could consistently do what Cassel did on Sunday: complete 15 of 24 passes for 193 yards, two touchdowns, and no turnovers even without Tony Moeaki and Dexter McCluster.
Cassel looks good by comparison from KC Star
NFL.com Video: GameDay: Cardinals vs. Chiefs highlights
NFL.com Video: Chiefs postgame press conference
NFL.com Video: WK 11 Game Changers: Cardinals vs. Chiefs
KC Star Photo Gallery: Chiefs 31, Cardinals 13 | Bowe and Jones each score two touchdowns in home victory
Coach Todd Haley wouldn’t say why it took so long to get Charles involved in the rush offense Sunday, indicating that the team’s game plan included more of an emphasis on Charles in the passing game. He had two catches for 33 yards, including a 25-yarder that set up a touchdown.
"The key thing is, when you have a position of strength," Haley said, "is letting them all contribute or enabling them all to contribute so you’re not wasting a resource.
2. Arizona at Kansas City
THE SITUATION: Arizona had the ball first-and-20 at its 45-yard line and trailed Kansas City 14-3 midway through the second quarter.
THE PLAY: Quarterback Derek Anderson completed an 18-yard pass to Early Doucet to the Kansas City 37. The Chiefs challenged the pass completion ruling, and the play was reversed
Week 11's biggest calls from KC Star
The Chiefs had a 24-6 lead before they started that fourth-quarter drive; Haley told Bowe to finish off the Arizona Cardinals.
"I told him I’ll make the play," Bowe said. "Matt put the ball there, and I closed it out."
After the score, Bowe ran up the sideline, waited a moment for Haley to turn toward him and they slapped hands. These two have been through a lot, and Sunday’s exchange during the Chiefs’ 31-13 victory at Arrowhead Stadium illustrated how far Bowe has come since Haley began pushing him more than a year ago.
The Chiefs ended Sunday’s 31-13 victory against Arizona at Arrowhead Stadium with a backup safety, Ricky Price, playing at cornerback and their starting right tackle, Barry Richardson, playing on the left side.
It was too early to tell whether the players they replaced, Brandon Flowers and Branden Albert, will be available for next week’s game against the Seahawks in Seattle. But Price and Richardson promised they would be ready for the more prominent roles.
What did the Chiefs prove Sunday?
It was a convincing win, and the defense didn’t allow a touchdown until Larry Fitzgerald’s scoring catch as time expired. Still, Romeo Crennel’s unit wasn’t perfect. The Chiefs got some help from the Cardinals’ weak offense, most notably quarterback Derek Anderson’s inaccuracy. But the Chiefs had three big achievements Sunday: They played solid defense, were able to move the ball on the ground, and kept their division-title hopes alive. This was as close to a must-win contest they’ve played this season, and the Chiefs can now put the last two weeks behind them.
That's impressive enough, but Bowe now has a streak of six consecutive games in which he's had at least one TD reception. That's a Chiefs' record. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the players who have the most TD passes over their last six contests. Bowe is, arguably, the best. Say WHAT!?!?!?
Last Six Games
Chiefs Wrap: Bowe, Balance and Home Sweet Home from Upon Further Review
It was unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium, but the weather had nothing to do with the Cardinals' meltdown.
The reasons arrived much earlier this fall and apparently plan to stay through the holidays. Penalties, defensive breakdowns, dropped passes, third-down failures, special-teams lapses, etc., all contributed to their 31-13 loss to the Chiefs.
It was the fifth consecutive defeat for the Cardinals (3-7), who are as weary of answering the same old questions as others are of asking them.
Thomas Jones, Dwayne Bowe lead Kansas City Chiefs over Arizona Cardinals from The Arizona Republic
There were no signs of animosity, no finger wagging at midfield. The parting words were gracious and sincere.
But for a proud man such as Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, the postgame handshake must've cut to the bone.
"I told him to keep fighting," said Chiefs coach Todd Haley, former offensive coordinator for the Cardinals. "And I told him I missed him."
Though no one would admit to such treason after Haley's Chiefs drubbed the Cardinals 31-13 on Sunday, the feeling certainly is mutual.
Todd Haley schools his former boss in another Arizona Cardinals' loss from The Arizona Republic
Tomorrow's talker: The Kansas City run game, ranked No. 1 in the NFL, had a bounce-back game after two subpar performances. Kansas City used the run game the way it wanted to -- with both Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones hammering the ball. Charles had 88 yards on 12 carries and Jones had 71 yards on 15 carries. Kansas City finished with 159 yards rushing. Quarterback Matt Cassel added 193 yards and two touchdowns. Cassel had a passer's rating of 115.5 as the run as the run allowed Cassel to manage the game efficiently. This is how the Chiefs win game.
2010 Week 11 Wrap Ups from ESPN
The Chiefs will be out for blood this week - literally.
Cornerback Brandon Carr will lead the charge at the Community Blood Center during the 13th Annual Chiefs Blood Drive.
Chiefs holding their 13th annual blood drive from KC Star
To outsiders, the AFC West is one of the NFL's weakest divisions.
The San Diego Chargers see it otherwise, preferring to think that it's simply competitive.
Whatever the choice of words, the Chargers will continue to try to salvage their season when they host the Denver Broncos on Monday night.
Chargers, Broncos try to overcome mediocre records from Sports Illustrated
Having a legitimate beef doesn't make retaliation a smart decision, however. The penalty Hayes drew for retaliating sustained a first-half touchdown drive for Kansas City. Center Lyle Sendlein committed a personal-foul penalty. Even quarterback Derek Anderson committed one, for throwing the football in frustration. The Cardinals had to know this wasn't their day when officials flagged guard Alan Faneca for holding -- the first holding call against Faneca this season and only the seventh against him since 2001, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
2010 Week 11 Wrap Ups from ESPN
Dan Patrick doesn't need any help from us to come up with something to say while showing highlights of the Chiefs later on Sunday, but we'll throw it out there anyway.
Dwayne Bowe: You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him.
The Chiefs wide receiver continued his serious hot streak in Kansas City with a one-yard touchdown catch from Matt Cassel in the second quarter.
Another day, another Dwayne Bowe touchdown from Pro Football Talk
The lazy loudmouth has vanished. In his place is a mature, hardworking Dwayne Bowe who's caught at least one touchdown pass in a team-record six straight games and helped propel Kansas City into first place.
Once considered a huge disappointment, Bowe caught two scores Sunday as the Chiefs remained unbeaten at home with a 31-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals , who lost their fifth in a row. Coupled with Oakland's loss to Pittsburgh, the victory gave Kansas City (6-4) a one-game lead in the AFC West and helped erase the stench of last week's blowout loss in Denver.
Jones, Bowe lead Chiefs over Cardinals 31-13 from Sports illustrated