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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 12/6

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Another Victory Monday! Feels good to still be in first place. As you can imagine, there are a lot of stories out there this morning. Let's get you started. Enjoy your Kansas City Chiefs news.

The biggest game in years looms for the Chiefs, and they wanted to head into it with plenty of momentum.

They’ll have to settle for something less next Sunday when they meet the Chargers in San Diego. They managed to hold off the hapless Broncos 10-6 on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium but otherwise failed to make the statement that would resound around the AFC West.

"It wasn’t the way we planned it," Chiefs guard Brian Waters said.

Chiefs beat Broncos but fail to make statement from KC Star

This is a building year, more "laying of the foundation," as the company line goes, and it's a weird thing to say when the Chiefs went 4-12 last year and the head coach won't even call them a "good" team yet but the truth sounds strange enough to need repeating:

The Chiefs will have choked if they miss the playoffs.

Chiefs can't choke away chance to make the playoffs from KC Star

KC Star Photo Gallery: Chiefs preserve win over Broncos 10-6 Video: GameDay: Broncos vs. Chiefs highlights Video: Chiefs postgame press conference Video: WK 13 Game Changers: Broncos vs. Chiefs

But the Kansas City defense stepped up and did not allow the Broncos a touchdown. They forced a turnover, sacked QB Kyle Orton four times and held one of the league's leading receivers,Brandon Lloyd, to two catches for 31 yards.

"We created some pressure and sacks," Haley said. "We got the ball out a couple times. It was a team win thanks to the defense."

A handshake, and no more hand-wringing for Haley, Chiefs from CBS Sports

Kansas City Chiefs and former Iowa Hawkeyes tight end Tony Moeaki led his team with four catches for 54 yards in a 10-6 win against the Denver Broncos.

His 14-yard catch in the second quarter set up Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop for a field goal that gave the Chiefs a 10-3 lead seconds before halftime.

Iowans in the NFL: Moeaki helps Kansas City edge Denver from The Des Moines Register

At the bottom of the pile, it’s a frightening place for a little guy. Dexter McCluster knows that well.

On Sunday, the Chiefs’ 170-pound — that’s his listed weight, anyway — rookie receiver, running back and kick returner fumbled in the third quarter and found himself underneath about a half-dozen Denver defenders. There wasn’t much that McCluster could do, so he lay there and pounded the turf. He said later that he was screaming for the defenders to get off him.

"That couple of seconds, couple of minutes felt like an eternity," he said. "It was a lot of pressure."

McCluster gets back in middle of action from KC Star

With a banged-up secondary and the memory of that whipping still fresh, Carr put together perhaps his best game as a pro. Carr, a third-year player, made former Blue Springs High star Brandon Lloyd look nothing like the wide receiver who entered the game with 1,122 yards and nine touchdowns. On Sunday, Lloyd was targeted 11 times and had two catches.

Carr was a major reason why. He said after the game that he had one thing in mind when he lined up against Lloyd.

"Shut him down..."

Chiefs corner Carr shuts down the Broncos from KC Star

The Chiefs' 10-6 victory Sunday - their first game in December - gave Kansas City, 8-4, a two-game lead in the AFC West with four to play. The Chiefs can pretty much eliminate the Chargers, 6-6 with a win next week at San Diego.

And they could have the division clinched before Oakland, 6-6, comes to Arrowhead for the regular-season finale on Jan. 2.

Randy Covitz | Chiefs are ahead of schedule playing meaningful games from KC Star

Richardson, who returned to the lineup on the next possession, declined to comment, but Chiefs coach Todd Haley had no problem with Richardson's actions.

"What you're seeing out of our guys, and what's an exciting thing to me as a head coach is we have a lot of guys who really care," Haley said. "Coach (Bill) Muir and our offensive staff wanted to calm him down a little bit and let him regroup. He's a prideful guy who didn't want to be out and was upset at himself, and that's a good thing.

Chiefs Buzz | Broncos’ Bailey stifles Bowe; Richardson reacts angrily to benching; Charles’ big hit from KC Star

Where's Tamba Hali been?

The team's best pass rusher had a terrific performance Sunday, sacking Kyle Orton twice after hitting a dry spell the past three weeks. His second sack was his most impressive. Hali beat left tackle Ryan Clady, one of the league's best linemen, to reach Orton, forced a fumble and recovered it, too. When he's on, Hali is a terrific pass rusher, but he's also mostly all the Chiefs have to get after quarterbacks. He'll have to continue carrying a full load until Kansas City gets him some help - which needs to happen sooner rather than later, right after the team signs Hali to a contract extension.

Chiefs Blitz | A look at the good, the bad and the ugly from the Broncos game from KC Star

In an NFL season all over in Denver except the crying for the head of Josh McDaniels, if he doesn't give Tim Tebow a shot to start at quarterback now, it might be left to the next Broncos coach to see if the anointed savior of this franchise can actually play.

Kiszla: Playing Tebow gives fans some hope from The Denver Post

The 2010 Broncos are beyond hopeless. The possibility Bailey may have played his last meaningful game for the team is a sad reality.

As has happened way too many times in his seven seasons with the team, Bailey was sensational from his left cornerback position, but the Broncos lost anyway, 10-6 to the Kansas City Chiefs on a can't-feel-the-toes frigid Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.

Broncos eliminated from playoff contention after Chiefs hold on for win from The Denver Post

"All that matters is wins and losses, and we didn't get the win, so a lot of the other things don't matter," linebacker Robert Ayers said.

That's because the Chiefs, who entered the game as the league leader in rushing, averaging 174.3 yards per game, exited in the top spot as well, having left enough bruises and dinged-up defenders behind for 185 yards rushing.

Analysis: Broncos improve on defense, but regress the rest for loss to Chiefs from The Denver Post

For the first time since their home game against Buffalo, the Chiefs offense sputtered. But it didn't matter because KC's amped up defense was ready to play. On the backs of players like Brandon CarrBrandon Flowers, Tamba Hali, Eric Berry, and Glenn Dorsey, the Chiefs defense held a frustrated Kyle Orton to a season low 117 yards passing. On the afternoon, the Broncos quarterback completed just nine of 28 passes. 

But if that's not enough to ring your Christmas bell, how about holding the league's top rated wide receiver in Brandon Lloyd to a pair of receptions.

Second to None from Warpaint Illustrated

Three reasons why the Chargers are in trouble:

1. The Chiefs. The Chiefs (8-4) are one of the AFC's biggest surprises, leading the Chargers by two games in the AFC West. Kansas City has won three consecutive games and already has beaten the Chargers once. All the pressure will be on the Chargers next Sunday when they play host to the Chiefs.

"The Kansas City Chiefs, who a lot of people had written off at the start of the year, we've been through some hard times but we have a group of fighters in there that have come together," Chiefs coach Todd Haley said after Sunday's 10-6 victory over the Broncos. "When you have a team like that, you can do some special things."

On the outside: Manning, Rivers could miss playoffs from Sporting News

The NFL is a passing league, particularly in a QB-rich AFC, but Sunday proved that offensive balance can rule the day. The Jaguars (7-5) and Chiefs (8-4) lead their divisions because they can balance the run with the pass. The Jaguars pounded out 258 rushing yards, led by Maurice Jones-Drew's 186, in a 17-6 win over the Tennessee Titans. The Chiefs rushed for 185 yards in a 10-6 win over the Denver Broncos, with Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones combining for 169 yards.

Compare those numbers with the Chargers, who rushed for only 21 yards on eight carries.

Week 13: Colts, Chargers on shaky ground from ESPN

The next two weeks are huge for the Kansas City Chiefs, suddenly in charge of the AFC West. They play at San Diego and at St. Louis, and they can bury the defending champion Chargers next weekend. But if they don't, they better take care of business in St. Louis the following Sunday -- and that may be more difficult than it sounds. The resurgent Rams have won four of their last five at home, with the one loss to NFC leader Atlanta.

Week 13 Judgements: Miami's coach, QB feeling heat, too from CBS Sports

After earning a degree in finance from WCU last spring, Dell accepted a position with a mortgage firm in Plymouth Meeting. But the 6-foot-3, 245-pounder never stopped preparing himself for a future career in football. He started working out with Dave Brixius, who has trained other Harrisburg area natives like New Orleans Saints' wideout Marques Colston and the Kansas City Chiefs' Mike Cox.

"I worked with him for three or four months out of college," Dell said. "He got me ready to go when I need to be."

Dell Powers Up from

The last time Orton's Denver Broncos battled the Kansas City Chiefs, in Week 10, Orton had a season-best 27-point fantasy performance, and the two quarterbacks in that game combined to attempt 87 passes and complete eight touchdown passes. In the rematch, the two combined to attempt 59 passes and complete one touchdown pass. Blame the cold -- temperatures were in the 30s -- and wind if you want, but it also bears noting that Knowshon Moreno continues to establish himself as an integral part of the Broncos' offense.

Instant Replay: Giants' backfield shift from ESPN

In a scoreless, zany third quarter, the Chiefs seemed bent on self-destruction.

First, an illegal formation penalty negated Charles' 2-yard touchdown run. Two plays later on third-and-goal from the 2, lineman Barry Richardson was called for a false start and became infuriated when he was pulled from the field.

On the next down, he started to run back toward the huddle but was followed onto the field by special teams coach Steve Hoffman and told to come back to the bench. Richardson then turned around and started back, but put his hand on Hoffman's chest and shoved him roughly.

Afterward, Haley merely shrugged the incident off.

Pope's TD catch helps Chiefs beat Broncos 10-6 from Sports Illustrated

Haley wisely gave his Denver counterpart, Josh McDaniels, a postgame hug this time, even adding a pat on the head for his vanquished foe. But I still think Haley is too daring for his own good at times when it comes to game management.

With the Chiefs up 10-3 early in the second half, Haley opted to go for a fourth and goal from the Kansas City 2 rather than try a chip-shot field goal that would have made it a 10-point game. Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel wound up taking a 13-yard sack and the Chiefs got nothing, which meant they had to sweat out their slim lead the rest of the game.

Surprising Jags, tumbling Titans, improving Vikings, more Snaps from Sports Illustrated

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