Still, there is a tangible benefit to winning today. The Chiefs would finish at 11-5, a record that would guarantee them the third seed among the AFC’s six playoff participants.
Being the third seed would allow the Chiefs to avoid a trip to New England to play the league’s hottest team, the Patriots, until the AFC championship game. It would also increase their chances of hosting the AFC championship game, although that would be a remote possibility even as the third seed.
Otherwise, they’re playing just to keep a good thing going.
The NFL is a breeding ground for these types of letdowns. The Chiefs are sometimes called "Patriots West," so it’s worth remembering that New England followed their first Super Bowl championship by missing the playoffs the next year. A similar fall has happened every year since.
Tampa Bay beat Oakland in the Super Bowl, and the teams lost a combined 21 games the next year. Carolina made the Super Bowl and went 7-9 the next year. The Eagles went from a Super Bowl to 6-10, the Broncos from 13-3 to out of the playoffs, the Bears from the Super Bowl to 7-9. On and on it goes...
...This is why the Chiefs are paranoid. This is why general manager Scott Pioli and Haley refuse to call their team "good," even knowing people laugh at that.
Today: Sunny, with a high near 38. Southwest wind between 6 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.
Game Day Forecast from The National Weather Service
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Given the Chiefs’ success this season, it’s unlikely Haley would return to designing game plans and calling plays. Possible replacements include Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who worked with Haley in 2003 when they were assistant coaches for the Chicago Bears, and Chiefs offensive aide Nick Sirianni.
Sirianni doesn’t have much coaching experience. He worked for five seasons in small college before joining the Chiefs last year. But Sirianni works with the quarterbacks on a daily basis and there are those in the organization who believe it is Sirianni and not necessarily Weis who deserves much of the credit for Matt Cassel’s rapid development.
When Bill Parcells talks with 49ers president Jed York, assuming it hasn't happened already, chances are the Kansas City Chiefs will come up at some point in the conversation.
The Chiefs are everything the 49ers aspire to be in terms of organizational structure, not to mention having what the Raiders want after clinching the AFC West title last weekend.
With coordinators Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel in Kansas City to run the offense and defense, Matt Cassel playing quarterback, Mike Vrabel at linebacker and Scott Pioli as the general manager, the Chiefs have in some quarters been cast as a Midwest version of the New England Patriots.
It's a characterization that Chiefs coach Todd Haley isn't entirely comfortable with.
Jerry McDonald: Kansas City Chiefs' recipe for success has a dash of Bill Parcells from The San Jose Mercury News
For the first time since 2002 the Raiders have an opportunity to finish the year with better than a losing record.
And despite the fact they were eliminated from playoff contention last weekend, the Raiders were full-speed ahead this week at practice.
Raiders Hold Heads High Entering Season Finale from Football News Now
Lindsay Bernard, who works in visitor relations and is a sales manager for the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau, said when she would attend sports trade shows in the region, she was bombarded with questions about the new indoor practice facility.
Much of that interest came from the media coverage of the Chiefs, which also mentioned various attractions in the city.
"They did great coverage on St. Joseph," Ms. Bernard said. "Not only on the Chiefs, but about Missouri Western, the Hoof & Horn and the St. Joseph Museum. When they're talking about the Chiefs, they're also promoting St. Joseph."
No. 1 They came, they saw, they loved it from News Press Now
But I don't know how Kansas City's Todd Haley doesn't win in a landslide with the Chiefs at 10-5, the same record as the much more ballyhooed Eagles and New York Jets. Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel missing the Pro Bowl is a shame. Charlie Weis knows how to run an offense, if not an entire team, and Haley had the confidence to bring the ex-Notre Dame boss in. Haley should win in a landslide.
It's time to unwrap the NFL awards from The Express-Times
There is one potential impediment to McDaniels joining the Chiefs, though. Remember when Chiefs coach Todd Haley refused to shake McDaniels' hand after a blowout loss to the Broncos earlier this season? It might come into play, although the two men hugged when the teams met a second time in Kansas City. And McDaniels still has close ties with Belichick, so there's always the chance he goes back to New England.
Glauber's NFL Insider: Mangini out? from Newsday.com
Kansas City Chiefs-Some people would call this team a darkhorse. This team surprised us all. New coaching staff really helped revive this franchise. Matt Cassel has done a great job at quarterback. The running game is the true leader of this football team o. Charles along with Thomas Jones have made a force in that department. That is one of the reasons why I like them to take down the Jets. They are pretty good on special teams as well. Not that bad in the passing game either. I like their chances. Wouldn't be surprised if they did lose in the wildcard round like everyone expect. Wouldn't be surprised if they won in the wildcard round either. Great season o.
AFC playoff predictions/breakdown from CBS Sports
The Kansas City Chiefs lead the league with 2,512 rushing yards, but have 27 passing touchdowns compared with 12 rushing ones. Indianapolis is an even starker example: Peyton Manning has thrown 31 touchdown passes, and the Colts have run for just 13 scores.
"Teams used to try to spread the field and run in the red zone; now they're throwing more," Chiefs Coach Todd Haley said. "You're seeing extra guys in the box, and this year, we've seen a lot of blitz on third downs close to the goal line. Teams are getting one-on-one matchups, and receivers are continuing to get bigger and better every year."
N.F.L. Is on Pace for a Season Record for Touchdown Passes from The New York Times
More than 25 points per game and a top-10 ranking in yards per game are nice, but they're not enough in the eyes of Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson
"We want perfection," Jackson said. "That's what I expect from our football team."
The Raiders need 15 points against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday to double their point total from last season (197). Again, that would be great, Jackson said, but it doesn't mean much if higher goals aren't attained.
Oakland Raiders' Hue Jackson chases after perfection from Contra Costa Times
I do not expect the Chiefs to be in the Super Bowl this year. They are a young and growing team with an excellent future.
With that said, they are a better defensive team, running team and more efficient passing team the the Colts. There is no dispute in that.
I just hope the Jets make the mistake of breathing a sigh of relief if they end up in Arrowhead Stadium for a playoff game.
Most Experts and Fans Think The Jets Should Come to Arrowhead to Play the Chiefs from NFL Gridiron Gab
The Chiefs, who have already sewn up the AFC West and a home date, still want to come out strong against the Raiders today. By winning, they'll hold the No. 3 seed and avoid the Patriots in the next round.
But there are other incentives for a franchise that still is at the stage where milestones are meaningful. A victory not only will make for a perfect season at Arrowhead Stadium, it'll give Kansas City its best season (11-5) in seven years.
"No matter how you slice it,'' coach Todd Haley said, "it is the biggest game of the year.''
Final question: Rest or risk? from The Boston Globe
My Sunday Best: Should Have Been Pro Bowlers
Outside linebackers-Tamba Hali, Chiefs and Brian Orakpo, Redskins. These are two premium pass rushers in 3-4 alignments.
NFP Sunday Blitz from The National Football Post
The last time the Raiders and Chiefs squared off, Nov. 7, it was a rookie showcase. Oakland receiver Jacoby Ford had a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and 148 second-half receiving yards, which fueled the 23-20 win. Kansas City safety Eric Berry had two sacks, and tight end Tony Moeaki had six catches for 63 yards.
Remarkable class of Raiders rookies;NFL DRAFT REVISITED from Fox Sports
A personnel source told FOXSports.com that a name to keep an eye on is Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, if the Browns decide to fire the coaching staff after their season is over. Daboll is fully versed in the offensive scheme which the Chiefs ran this season under Weis. Daboll served as the wide receivers coach two years under Weis when both were with the New England Patriots.
Who could replace Weis in Kansas City? from Fox Sports
RAIDER HATER: Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is still thankful that Marty Schottenheimer gave him his first chance in the NFL as an assistant in Washington in 2001.
"He put me in this league, so I have a lot of respect for him," Jackson said. "He taught me a lot of football."
That respect won't carry over on Sunday, when Jackson's Raiders take on one of Schottenheimer old teams, the Kansas City Chiefs. Schottenheimer, who has been open about his hatred for the Raiders while in Kansas City and San Diego, is being honored Sunday for his spot in the Chiefs Hall of Fame.
Super Bowl with the Troops from The Daily Mail