Good morning! Charles, Bowe & Cassel, and Haley are all getting love in today's Kansas City Chiefs news. Oh, and there are a few articles on Denver's woes, too. Is there a better way to get your Saturday going? I didn't think so. Enjoy!
Unlike last year, when the Chiefs made it a goal to get Charles over 1,000 yards in the season’s final game, this year’s event passed with little fanfare.
"I didn’t realize it until my wife said something about it before the game, that Jamaal was almost to a thousand," fullback Mike Cox said. "We’re more focused on winning now. Last year, we were just trying to find some motivation."
That speaks to the difference between this season and last year for the Chiefs. That distinction isn’t as significant for Charles.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, have benefited from a weak schedule. Specifically, quarterback Matt Cassel and receiver Dwayne Bowe have put up remarkable numbers thanks in large part to getting to play against teams that are below average against passing plays, according to a blog post at Pro Football Reference by Chase Stuart. Only the Chargers - themselves emblematic of the fallibility of conventional stats - have had an easier set of opponents. Adjusting for schedule strength, Kansas City is tied for 11th in passing efficiency this year - which is more in line with Cassel's career numbers than his 22 touchdowns and four interceptions this year.
Packers, Chiefs Aren’t What Records Suggest from The Wall Street Journal
NFL.com Video: Week 13: Broncos vs. Chiefs Preview
"We had an opportunity to make a couple plays early that we didn’t make, and they stayed ahead in the count. What we have to do is not get behind in the count this time and then see if we can play a lot better."
Crennel added that the Chiefs hope to force Denver into difficult third-down situations more often and then allow the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium to have an effect.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Cassel has 18 TD passes and just one interception in his last seven games, 13 of those scores to WR Dwayne Bowe. Cassel and Bowe could both be headed to their first Pro Bowls. The last time the Chiefs had a QB and WR in the Pro Bowl in the same season was 1983 when they sent Bill Kenney and Carlos Carson.
Bowe, Cassel becoming Chief contributors from ESPN
Tebow has been the active No. 2 in 10 of the Broncos' 11 games because the team has designed specialty packages to take advantage of his dual-threat running and passing skills. Tebow scored two touchdowns, one rushing, one passing, in the Broncos' first game against the Kansas City Chiefs three weeks ago.
McDaniels said Tebow and Quinn, who arrived in Denver in March in a trade with the Cleveland Browns involving running back Peyton Hillis, split the work running the scout team throughout the week in practice.
Tebow, Quinn are both in the picture as backup qb from The Denver Post
Schwartz had little to say about the tampering charges the Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly filed against the Lions.
"That's a totally different process," Schwartz said Friday. "We're not going to respond in the media. I don't think that's the objective in any of those things. We'll cooperate with everything that comes up, and we'll respond when all the process is finished."
Lions' Jeff Backus eyes winning, not missed block on Julius Peppers from The Detroit Free Press
The Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers game will not be flexed to Sunday Night Football on NBC next week, opting instead to keep the Philadelphia-Dallas game in prime time.
The Chiefs-Chargers means more in terms of the playoffs, but the Cowboys-Eagles always draw top ratings...
...In Week 15, NBC will undoubtedly keep Green Bay and New England at night. The San Diego/Cincinnati game for Week 16 will probably move in favor of Tennessee/Kansas City, Indianapolis/Oakland and maybe even Philadelphia/Minnesota.
A weekend of great football is on TV schedule from The Rochester Post-Bulletin
Like Morris, Haley has turned one of the league's worst teams of last year into one of its biggest surprises. He's also made the Chiefs playoff contenders the old-fashioned way -- by relying on a strong running game, sound defense and an emphasis on not beating one's self. The Chiefs are plus-7 in turnover ratio, and they have ranked among the league's least penalized teams all season. Just as impressive is the job Haley and his staff have done with quarterback Matt Cassel and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Cassel is making the transition from game manager to efficient leader and Bowe (14 touchdown receptions) deserves Pro Bowl recognition. Overall, this team is trending up at exactly the right time.
This race too close to call from ESPN
When they were 2-5, the Chargers averaged fewer than 26 carries per game. In the four games since, they've averaged 33.
"Different games come up different," said head coach Norv Turner. "We are going to throw the football. But we've got a group of guys up front who like being physical and opening holes. As we were getting ready for Tennessee and Denver, looking at the films of games we played against them last year, we were very physical.
"Michael's a very physical runner, too, and I think our line likes that. But it's everybody. (Wide receiver) Legedu Naanee did a great job blocking for the running game last week, which allowed us to get more yards."
Before the end of this three-game homestand, incidentally, the Chargers will face a couple of the NFL's more effective run-stopping teams in the Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
Chargers like lowering the boom with run game from The San Diego Union-Tribune
The Carolina Panthers bring up the rear this season at just under $77 million. The Kansas City Chiefs were last in 2009 at $77.7 million.
No NFL salary cap, but no spending spree, either from Bloomberg Businessweek
"I was joking with (Orton) the other day, if our record were reversed right now and we were 8-3 instead of 3-8, we'd be on the cover of a magazine someplace, smiling, maybe on a T-shirt with people making up nicknames of what to call us," Lloyd said, laughing. "It really is difficult at this point to enjoy the individual stuff because we all know why we're here. We're here to win."
Orton, Lloyd figure in Pro Bowl equation from The Denver Post
Most of the deals the Broncos have made over the last two years also have involved shipping out draft picks in either the 2010, 2011 or 2012 drafts - picks the Broncos will not have moving forward, including the deal with the Browns that involved sending running back Peyton Hillis, a sixth-round pick in the '11 draft and a conditional pick in the '12 draft in exchange for quarterback Brady Quinn.
It's all part of why, no matter what choices Broncos officials make at the end of the season on the direction of the franchise, there are many in the league who believe the team is still facing a potentially difficult, multiyear rebuilding job.
Analysis: Questionable personnel decisions could force long rebuilding process from The Denver Post
Where have you gone, 6-0?
When this now stormy Josh McDaniels era began not even two years ago, he had built the Broncos into a 6-0 club. And not just 6-0, but a 6-0 team that beat four eventual playoff teams - Cincinnati, Dallas, New England and San Diego.
There's been so much talk about the downfall that is now 16 losses in the past 21 games, that it's difficult to remember the beginning.
Where did McDaniels' 6-0 Broncos go? from The Denver Post