Game Preview: Broncos vs Chiefs from The Mothership
Speaking of factors on the field, while the team will be without Pro Bowl LB
Justin Houston, who is recovering from a dislocated elbow, it may see the return of fellow Pro Bowl pass rusher, Chiefs LB Tamba Hali, who was forced out of last week's game against San Diego, with an injured ankle. While Hali is listed as questionable for Sunday's game, he says with or without him on the field, the Arrowhead crowd will make a difference.
"Let me say one thing," Hali said. "When we can get our stadium to be as loud as a couple weeks ago, they were loud last week as well, as long as they're that loud, it's going to be hard for the Broncos to triple-count, because their linemen won't be able to hear anything, same thing for the wide receivers; things become slower on the offensive side and that helps us, so we can execute."
Game Day Activities: Chiefs vs Broncos from The Mothership
Toys for Tots
For nearly five decades, the Chiefs organization has hosted its annual Toys for Tots collection along with members of the Marine Corps. The Chiefs will continue this tradition on Sunday and will again help meet a significant need for local children. The Marines are asking Chiefs fans to donate new and unwrapped toys for boys and girls up to age 13. There is a particular need for toys that can be utilized by older children.
Injury Updates, Prep Work For Denver And More from The Mothership
With the news of Justin Houston being out on Sunday, Hali talked about one of the players who will be asked to help fill the void, LB
"Frank is a big-time player, to me," Hali said. "We watched the game and Frank rushed well; Frank was at the QB; he covered well and this is an opportunity for him to get out there and display what he loves to do. He's a big-time player."
Andy Reid's Friday Press Conference Transcript from The Mothership
Jamaal Charleshad gone awhile without going beyond 20 yards until recently, is there a reason for this?
REID: "He's a good one. You know we're getting a little better balance with our offense, so that's allowing some things to be available. I think the offensive line has been doing a pretty good job here, the last couple of weeks; they're feeling each other and the run game and how it's working. It has worked out okay."
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Kingdom: Jim Birdsall
KCChiefs.com Video: Andy Reid Friday Press Conference
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Distribute Food To Serve Those In Need
K.C. Chiefs Moved On From Tragedy from ESPN
They will play football Sunday on the anniversary of the darkest day in Kansas City Chiefs history. It's the biggest game of the year, against the Denver Broncos. Cars will crawl through the Arrowhead Stadium parking lots, near the spot where Jovan Belcher took his own life, and clouds of barbecue smoke will hang in the morning air as if nothing ever happened. Fans will wear tattered No. 58 Derrick Thomas jerseys, a reminder of another tragic loss many years ago. It will be hard to find any No. 59s.
When a story is so horrible that it's almost unspeakable, the best thing to do is hide the script, change the characters and move on. But forgetting is impossible; in late autumn, the skies turn slate gray in Middle America, the air turns bitter cold, and the landscape inevitably becomes barren. There will always be reminders.
One Year After The Jovan Belcher Tragedy, An Open Letter To Baby Zoey from FS Kansas City
You probably don't even know how much you miss them yet.
But you will.
It's been a year since they've been gone, Zoey. A year this Sunday.
By now, you're walking. Maybe you're talking. Running like the wind, babbling up a storm, grinning with every step.
We just hope, wherever you are, that you are loved. That's the most important thing. Now. Forever. Always.
One Year Later, Belcher Tragedy Still Shakes NFL from USA Today
The Chiefs have publicly bristled when questions about Belcher and Perkins arise. But publicly, the team is acutely aware that the anniversary may trigger painful memories. The team requested a group of crisis counselors, some of the same people who converged on the facility to help players and staff last year, travel to Kansas City more than a week before the anniversary.
"The Chiefs were proactive and sensitive," Troy Vincent the NFL's vice president of player engagement, told USA TODAY Sports. "I commend what [the Chiefs] did, and our response team. Let's not assume everyone is OK. This was a national tragedy - many of his teammates are still there. There's still a scar there.
"During this anniversary time, those suppressed memories can be triggered. That's very important. So what did we do -- we had someone one site that was a resource."
As Chiefs Press On With Dream Season, Players Still Reflect On Nightmare Of Murder-Suicide from The Associated Press via FOX News
Reid was the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles one year ago this weekend, and his thoughts had drifted to his oldest son, Garrett, who had died of a drug overdose that August. He could relate to the pain that was being felt by so many people whose lives had been affected by a seemingly random act a violence that was almost too disturbing to comprehend.
"Talk about a gut-wrenching experience, that's what that is," Reid said this week. "My heart went out to them. I understood what they were going through. As it was then, as it is today, my thoughts and prayers are with their families. But life moves on. That's the reality of it."
Chiefs' Newfound Offense Could Come In Handy Sunday from FS Kansas City
Maybe this time around, the Chiefs' offense will show up to the party.
As the Chiefs and Broncos prepare for their second meeting in two weeks -- with the AFC West crown at stake -- the Chiefs now might have a little more confidence that they can survive a shootout with Peyton Manning.
After putting up five offensive touchdowns in the Chiefs' 41-38 loss to San Diego last Sunday, the mood among the Chiefs' offensive players is much more enthusiastic about matching Manning's firepower, something they couldn't do in a 27-17 loss two weeks ago.
Week 13 Preview: Broncos @ Chiefs from Chiefs Spin
"Obviously when you play corner in the National Football League and you play corner on a team that has a lot of man-to-man, which obviously we do, several other teams do as well," Sutton said. "I think you know when you go out there that one, that person usually is a highly competitive person.
"To play out there, you have to have a lot of things," he continued. "You have to have ability, you have to have great technique and probably the most important quality you have to have out there is you have to be a tough-minded individual."
The last label Sutton provides effectively describes his cornerbacks despite the surrendered production.
Chiefs' Hali To Play vs. Denver; Houston Out from The Associated Press vis FS Kansas City
Tamba Hali pronounced himself close to 100 percent after spraining his right ankle in last week's loss to San Diego. Meanwhile, fellow linebacker Justin Houston is considered "week to week" after dislocating his right elbow against the Chargers.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid also said that right guard Jon Asamoah and right tackle Eric Fisher, who missed last week's game with shoulder injuries, will be available against Denver.
Derek Wolfe Falls Ill, May Miss Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs Game from The Denver Post
Some time between the Broncos' practice Friday and when the team departed at mid-afternoon for its trip to Kansas City, starting defensive lineman Derek Wolfe fell ill.
Wolfe was fine in the locker room at 1:30 p.m. and the team departed by bus for the airport at 2:30 p.m.
Wolfe did not make the trip and the Broncos added him to their injury report as "questionable" for their pivotal AFC West game Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Chiefs' Best-Case Scenario Realized from ESPN
In the short-term, these injuries could cause the Chiefs some problems, and perhaps even the AFC West championship. Hali should play Sunday, but probably at something less than peak effectiveness. Houston will be replaced by Frank Zombo, a veteran who is a great backup, but doesn't have Houston's skills.
In the longer term, these injuries don't have to ruin Kansas City's season. That's all the Chiefs could have hoped for just a few days ago.
Knowshon Moreno To Start For Broncos Against Chiefs from The Denver Post
Broncos interim head coach Jack Del Rio expressed optimism Friday that running back Knowshon Moreno would start Sunday at Kansas City. Moreno sustained a right ankle injury in last Sunday's game at New England.
Del Rio reported that Moreno did all of his work in practice Friday. He is listed as probable for Sunday's game. Rookie Montee Ball has been backing up Moreno.
Derrick Johnson: We're 9-2, Not 2-9 from ESPN
The collective confidence of the Kansas City Chiefs should be soaring. After winning only two games last season, the 9-2 Chiefs are tied for the lead in the AFC West and will play for first place at home Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
But after losing their last two, they don't sound like a particularly confident bunch. The Chiefs at times sound as if they're trying to talk themselves into believing that the season's first nine games weren't a dream but their reality.
"We're 9-2," linebacker Derrick Johnson felt it necessary to remind everyone earlier in the week. "We're not 2-9."
Denver-Kansas City Part II from The Rapid City Journal
Well, here we go again.
Two weeks after watching the Broncos handle the Chiefs in Denver, we'll get to see if Kansas City can return the favor at Arrowhead Stadium.
Both teams are going to make the playoffs, that much is certain, but the Chiefs are on a two-game losing streak and have looked plenty shaky defensively in losses to Denver and San Diego. As a Chiefs fan it would be nice to see them right the ship this weekend and move back into the lead in the AFC West but it's going to be tough with Tamba Hali and Justin Houston both injured.
Chiefs Hope To Halt 2-Game Slide, Take Another Shot At Broncos from The Chicago Tribune
The Chiefs, of course, had amassed a league-high 36 sacks through nine games but couldn't get to Manning, who is just one touchdown shy of tying his team record of 37 passing scores set last season, in the first encounter.
Things figured to be different this time with the crowd at Arrowhead helping immensely. Without Houston and with a banged-up Hali, though, that might be out the window.
Manning has always combated his lack of speed and elusiveness with a lightning-quick release, along with the smarts to understand where blitzes are coming from and who the hot read is.
Tradition At Heart Of Football from The Desert Sun
This week has delivered more traditional football than any time I can remember. Thanksgiving Day games for the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys were a given. Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt always felt his team deserved a chance to play on turkey day as well. So ... the schedule makers sent me and the Chiefs to Dallas to play in 1983 (my first season as head coach). We got clobbered, but I treasured an autographed flip chart used by Dick Enberg that was given to me.
Breaking Down The Chiefs Offense from DenverBroncos.com
But if the Chiefs' offense was to have an awakening, San Diego appeared best equipped to provide it. The Chargers are allowing a league-worst 6.42 yards per play this season, an AFC-worst (and second-worst in the league) 7.32 yards per pass play, and a league-worst percentage of pass plays that achieve first downs (40.2 percent).
Kansas City veered away from what it does best: keep it on the ground. And on a per-carry basis, the Chiefs have run the football better the last two weeks than at any point this season, averaging 5.8 and 6.3 yards per carry against the Broncos and Chargers, respectively.
Breaking Down The Chiefs Defense from DenverBroncos.com
Although Hali leads the Chiefs in sacks, the loss of Houston is a particularly crippling blow. He was highly effective against the run in the Week 11 duel, leading the Chiefs in tackles and earning his highest ProFootballFocus.com grade of the season -- and by far the highest for any Chiefs defender that night.
The Chiefs defense fared reasonably well in limited work with Hali and without Houston last Sunday; during that period of the second quarter, San Diego averaged 3.2 yards per pass play, 4.6 yards per run play and 4.0 yards per snap overall. But without both, the defense crumbled; San Diego racked up 9.0 yards per play, gained first downs on 18 of 32 snaps and averaged 4.75 points per possession.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs: Start vs. Denver Broncos
Smith has been a consistent fantasy performer this season with six multi-touchdown games, three of which have occurred over the last four weeks. He has a tremendous matchup in Week 13 against a Denver team that has the third-worst passing defense (283 yards per game) and has allowed the fourth-most passing touchdowns (21).
Smith passed for 23o yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions against the Broncos in Week 11, and with the Denver secondary dealing with a few injuries, expect his numbers to be even stronger on Sunday.
Chiefs Must Make Good On Second Chance Against The Broncos from The Examiner
Last time Kansas City played the Denver Broncos it was a statement game. The Chiefs showed they could play Denver close, but lost by 10.
The Chiefs have another chance this Sunday against the Broncos. This game is crucial; I think its Kansas City's last shot at taking the AFC West.
It has the feeling of an early playoff game, for all the marbles and the division.
Broncos At Chiefs: Top Five Storylines from DenverBroncos.com
"It doesn't get much tougher going on the road, playing a division team and I've always said its one of the loudest places to play," Manning said. "(That is) a team that's got their backs against the wall, too. After losing two in a row, they'll be motivated and they have a lot of pride as well. That's kind of the challenge. How do we respond coming off last week's game going to play a tough team on the road?"
Kansas City hadn't lost a game until its defeat at Denver in Week 11, and now finds itself in a two-game losing streak.
"I like winning streaks better," Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid laughed on his conference call with Denver media this week. "You've got to be able to handle the wins, you've also got to be able to handle the losses and get yourself better and learn from them, number one, and become a better football team."
Broncos-Chiefs Matchup OF The Day from ESPN
The Broncos will see what a difference a week, or two, makes Sunday in Arrowhead Stadium.
The last time the Broncos faced the Kansas City Chiefs, just 13 days ago, Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton chose to play to play it straight when deploying his defensive backs against the Broncos wide receivers. And, while that is certainly not an uncommon tactic, to simply leave the left cornerback on the left and the right cornerback on the right, it did allow the Broncos to dictate the matchups they wanted at times.
Especially when it came to Demaryius Thomas.
Peyton Manning vs. The Wind, Cold from The Wall Street Journal
The early weather forecast for Sunday's AFC West divisional showdown between the Broncos (9-2) and Chiefs (9-2) in Kansas City seems to bode well for Denver fans-temperatures in the 40s with low wind. In these conditions, Manning actually has a higher winning percentage (.720) than he does indoors (.691). His passer rating (96.6) in calm weather is also comparable to his indoor passer rating (99.2).
Cause For Concern For Peyton Manning This Week from NFL.com
Knowshon Moreno has only one touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in the last five meetings, and 100 scrimmage yards only once in his last four. He looks hobbled and might be rested for the playoff run. But if he's playing for the Broncos, he's playing for me. I'm going to grab C.J. Anderson to be safe.