Almost there! Good morning, and welcome to Saturday. Today is a pretty good day for Kansas City Chiefs news. Most of the stories are previews of tomorrow's game, but there seem to be a number of different perspectives on it. Enjoy today's read.
"I think it’s been that way for a while around here," said quarterback Matt Cassel, still recovering from last week’s appendectomy and listed by the Chiefs as having a 50-50 chance of playing Sunday. "We’re in a tight division race, and we know it. We know that the games continue to get bigger and bigger, and it starts with the Rams."
Other than his weekly practice of describing the Chiefs’ upcoming game as the biggest of the season, coach Todd Haley tried not to make too much of this weekend. He stood by his usual plan of dividing the long season into four-game quarters, saying the goal is — as usual — to get the Chiefs to three wins in the quarter.
But the importance of some games speaks for itself.
Chiefs’ trip to St. Louis has playoff feel from KC Star
"It's so neat to have both teams in your state playing. Both of them leading them division and both of them having a game in December that really, really matters," Nixon said. "It's a game that has direct implications about whether these teams making it back to the playoffs this year. I'm just hoping for an exciting game."
The playoff possibilities are what have the players excited, not the Governor's Cup currently in the Rams' possession.
Rams, Chiefs meet in key Governor's Cup game from The Washington Post
KC Star Video: Brodie Croyle | Preparing for this week's game
The Chiefs realized last week that it was a mistake to give Cassel an overwhelming majority of the practice snaps, and it showed when backup Brodie Croyle appeared unprepared when facing the Chargers.
After learning the hard way, the Chiefs could get Croyle more snaps so that they can avoid a similar situation.
"The most important thing from a coaching staff’s perspective is just to make sure you have everyone ready to go," offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said. "We feel comfortable everyone is ready to go."
Chiefs notes: Cassel likely a game-time decision from KC Star
This, to me, is an ideal game for Kansas City to win. They need no motivation as they know they probably will not win the division unless they beat St. Louis, Tennessee and Oakland. They also know the final two games will be at home where they may be able to coast. For all intents and purposes, this is their Super Bowl !!! Win and there is a pretty decent chance of making the playoffs for the first time in five years with a home field advantage and an opportunity to win their first playoff game in 17 years. Lose, and the season is likely over, although a miracle loss by SD or a miracle wild card berth are still possible.
Chiefs over Rams: I Guarantee It !! from Upon Further Review
The Rams, at least under their past front office regime, had claimed the cup was up for grabs only when the teams met in the preseason. (Perhaps this was a reflection of the fact that the "St. Louis" Rams are 0-4 against the Chiefs in the regular season, having been outscored 162-81 in the process.)
In any event, as Sunday's critical Rams-Chiefs game draws near, there has been some confusion - even intrigue - as to whether Sunday's contest was in fact a "cup game."
Well, who better to ask than the governor of Missouri?
"I did look at the rules of this - it's pretty old," Gov. Jay Nixon said Friday during a visit to Rams Park. "Technically, the Governor's Cup is supposed to be given out, if there's ever a contest between the two teams, before anything else happens after the game. So if and when these two teams would ever meet for the Lombardi Trophy, they'd have to wait for the Governor's Cup (before presenting the Lombardi)."
Governor's Cup at stake for Rams, Chiefs from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Chiefs bring heat from way back: The Chiefs lead the NFL in corner and safety blitzes. Opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of only 51.9 when the Chiefs blitz, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Chiefs have pressured the quarterbacks with defensive backs on 38 pass attempts this season. Opposing quarterbacks have completed only 14 passes in those situations and Kansas City has six sacks. The Chiefs haven't overused blitzes from the defensive backfield and perhaps that's why they have been effective. Opponents don't always expect it. Against a rookie quarterback like the Rams' Sam Bradford, the Chiefs may want to unleash the pressure from secondary to take advantage of Bradford's inexperience.
Final Word: AFC West from ESPN
Five questions about Sunday's showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Rams at the Edward Jones Dome:...
...2. Thousands of Chiefs fans are expected to stream into the dome for Sunday's festivities. Are Rams fans going to make some noise, or will they allow Kansas City to take over The Ed?
Good subplots abound for Rams-Chiefs game from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
But for all you Chiefs lovers, here is something that may make you sleep well at night. Since 2002, KC has a nine-game winning streak versus the NFC West, including 3-0 this year.
Here is something to weigh, the Chiefs are 13th overall on offense while the Rams are currently 25th in the NFL. Meanwhile, on defense, KC is 18th overall while the Rams are 13th.
A Chiefs win could start the holidays off on a good note from The Boonville Daily News
The "Show Me State" will be abuzz this weekend, as the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams are playing for bragging rights in the Battle of Missouri. With only three games left in the regular season, the 6-7 Rams are in a dead heat with the Seahawks for first place in the NFC West.
Rich Gould, sports director at KPLR in St. Louis, gave his take on Sunday's big game for the Rams, and how rookie quarterback Sam Bradford (above) is looking like a star in the making.
Friday Rewind: Turning it up a notch for Freakout Friday from MyNorthwest.com
The NFL has actually entertained a 14-team playoff. Patriots owner Robert Kraft co-sponsored a rules proposal with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2003 that would have expanded the playoffs to 14 teams. But the proposal was never voted on by the teams and was withdrawn due to lack of support.
It takes a yea vote from 24 of the NFL's 32 teams for a rules proposal to be passed.
A modest proposal for the NFL playoffs from The Boston Globe
Kansas City Chiefs at St. Louis Rams
Chiefs coach Todd Haley is crazy. But then again, what NFL coach isn't? Last year, he handed some random dude in Kansas City a stack of $20 bills. Random acts of kindness don't go unnoticed over here, so we're picking Kansas City. The Rams are fine, but I don't see any of their coaches handing out money on streets of St. Louis. Steve Spagnuolo, that is a challenge.
Good Men Picks: Week 15 Bonanza from The Good Men Project