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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 9/13

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KANSAS CITY MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs scrambles during the game against the Green Bay Packers on September 2 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY MO - SEPTEMBER 02: Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs scrambles during the game against the Green Bay Packers on September 2 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Are you ready for some football? The Kansas City Chiefs finally get this thing started tonight. I know a lot of you will be at the game, I also know most of us can't make it. We will be there in spirit. Keep us in mind as you roar on 3rd down. Go Chiefs!

If in, say, 10 years the Chiefs have returned to NFL glory, they’ll look back on tonight’s game as the start of their latest franchise renaissance.

That’s the plan, at least.

"It’s one of the biggest showcases we have for this team to get back to the ’90s, the middle 2000s, to the Chiefs traditions that we’re used to," said guard Brian Waters, who joined the Chiefs in 2000. "I’m not just talking about the play on the field. I’m talking about the environment.

Chiefs back in national spotlight — for at least one night from KC Star

Jones is 32 years old, and that might as well be 132 for an NFL running back. This is his 11th NFL season, the Chiefs his fifth NFL team despite rushing for nearly 6,400 yards the last five years. He has felt wronged, disrespected, overlooked and underestimated but never let any of it show in public.

The reasons for all of it can be found in the perspective and priorities from those coal mines.

Chiefs' Jones knows all about hard work from KC Star

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 86. South southwest wind between 6 and 8 mph. 

Tonight: A chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 68. South wind between 6 and 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Game Day Weather from The National Weather Service

BOTTOM LINE

The Chiefs are catching the four-time defending AFC West champions at a good time. The Chargers will probably wind up winning the division title again, but they are trying to fit a lot of new pieces into place early in the season, so they’re more vulnerable to the Chiefs than at any time in recent seasons. But the Chargers are the more talented team and have one of the league’s most underrated quarterbacks. Rivers will get the job done at the end. Prediction: Chargers 24, Chiefs 20.

Scouting report for the Chiefs-Chargers game from KC Star

Rookie Ryan Mathews will offer a different style from LT but is the preseason pick of many as AFC offensive rookie of the year.

"Even though (Tomlinson) is not there anymore, this young guy they have out of Fresno looks like a big-time runner," said Chiefs coach Todd Haley. "Defensively, we have to be at our best."

Chiefs ready to face Chargers from The Topeka Capital-Journal

A breakthrough victory in the opener would indicate a seismic shift within the division. Losses against the Chargers last season were doubly bad, by margins of 30 and 29 points.

But Haley has been on record all along that he wants his team to simply get better each day.

"Sitting here at the cusp of our second season, I know we are making progress," he said. "I will keep saying it, that is the name of the game: If you can just keep getting a little better every day."

Column: KC progress tough to predict from The Topeka Capital-Journal

"We’re going to have to maybe play above our potential (to beat San Diego)," Haley said. "We haven’t been a very good team for a long time (and) we had so little success last year. There were a lot of bullets flying. Nobody wanted to quite poke their head out of the foxholes, myself included. But we got through it.

"Just to show improvement would be real good for us."

Whether he thinks he’s accurate or he’s downplaying his team, at least one man disagrees. That would be Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner. Told Haley projected a long-term view, Turner dismissed the notion that the Chiefs aren’t a threat.

"They’re a talented team and I know they’re going to go out and try to win every game they can," Turner said. "They’re going to be a challenge for us and a lot of people."

No easy win from Chargers.com

The main weapon still will be quarterback Philip Rivers, who directed San Diego to two blowout wins over the Chiefs last season, outscoring Kansas City by a combined 80-21.

In those games, Rivers threw for 585 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions.

'Monday Night Football' could help answer questions about New York Jets from The LA Times

"You know who (Chiefs QB) Matt Cassel is — he is Steve Bono. He played in San Francisco behind (JoeMontana and Steve Young. Any quarterback can look good when (he) is throwing to Jerry Rice and John Taylor. (Bono) parlayed that year that Young got hurt into a big contract with — who else — the Kansas City Chiefs. He went to the same team, but he was not throwing to the same players. It's just like Cassel.

Insider: Matt Cassel is Steve Bono from Pro Football Weekly

It wasn't the most memorable catch in what most certainly will be a Hall of Fame career for Tony Gonzalez, the standard for tight ends in the National Football League. But the 20-yard reception over the middle early in the third quarter of Atlanta's 15-9 loss to the Steelers on Sunday was a milestone for the 34-year-old Gonzalez.

He became the first tight end in league history with 1,000 catches and the seventh player to reach that plateau.

Gonzalez catches piece of history with No. 1,000 from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Paul Bessire, of Predictionmachine.com, which caters to the all-important gambling element, has run the Chargers through his computer time and again and sees them winning nine games. ESPN The Magazinehas the Chiefs winning the AFC West, which doesn’t put San Diego in a great light, because the Chiefs stink.

"One of the reasons," Bessire says, "is that we see Oakland and Kansas City making significant strides in the AFC West. And with McNeill and Jackson not around, the Chargers don’t match the numbers we’ve had them with recently."

What Turner says and others predict don’t add up from The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego vs. Kansas City: Life without V-Jax will begin Monday night, and WR Malcom Floyd is set to have a solid outing which means you can start him with confidence. If you are in a PPR league I would start Chiefs RBJamaal Charles, but if you are in a Standard League you may be better off with Thomas Jones.

2010 Fantasy Football Week One Start-Sit Advice: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. from Sports Haze

Philip Rivers is a big but.

The Chargers don't have Vincent Jackson, but ...

The Chargers don't have Marcus McNeill, but ...

...Whatever people, far and wide, say about the Chargers these days it seems to begin with some reason the stunted AFCWest dynasty is crumbling and end with a caveat:

"... but as long as they have the great quarterback they'll be OK."

Chargers elevated by Rivers from The San Diego Union-Tribune