Chiefs Coordinators, Players Talk Week 4 Prep from The Mothership
"We have to do a better job," Toub said. "In last week's game, they (Eagles) weren't punting the ball very well; they were struggling, so we had him (McCluster) deeper. We were prepared for a deeper game and the ball ended up hitting the ground a little bit too many times in that game. I kept waiting for the deeper kick and it never came; we couldn't put him in the right spot, according to what we did in that game."
Toub said he has complete confidence in McCluster, who like his coach, expects better results from the Chiefs special teams on Sunday.
"First and foremost, we all have to take care of the ball," McCluster said. "Catch the ball and after that, trust your guys to make the blocks and natural instincts will take over."
Chiefs Will Keep Knile Davis In Kick-Return Rotation from KC Star
The Chiefs may have been one lost Knile Davis fumble away from potentially losing their week two game against Dallas, but special-teams coach Dave Toub says Davis remains an option on kick returns.
"I still feel comfortable with him," Toub said. "He is very dangerous after the catch. We can't be deterred just because he put one on the ground."
Davis, a rookie, recovered the fumble, which came on a kick return with the Chiefs' leading the Cowboys 17-16 with two minutes, 16 seconds left in the fourth quarter. It was his only return of the day, and he didn't log a kick return in four opportunities during the Chiefs' 26-16 win over Philadelphia last Thursday.
"The worst feeling in the world is to let the ball go," he said, noting that he's determined to keep working to hold the ball "high and tight."
Chiefs coach Andy Reid was none-too-pleased after that game, saying, "You're put in that role, you're a professional. Get in there and do the right thing."
Overheard: Week 4 from The Mothership
Nico Johnsonon his first impressions of Arrowhead Stadium:
"Oh man, it's the closest thing to a college atmosphere - I'd probably have to say it's like a college atmosphere. The fan base here is unbelievable, just to have the support week-in and week-out no matter what happens, it means a lot to us as a unit here and we're willing to go out and perform everyday just for them."
"It's frustrating but it's a long season," said Kelce, a third-round pick from Cincinnati.
Kelce did not practice Thursday. He has been hampered for more than a month because of what he called a microscopic stress fracture to a bone in his knee and said he didn't think the injury would take this long to heal.
"It was one of those things were doctors told me they've ... dealt with an injury like this before, and they said it was kind of something I had to fight through," Kelce said. "But as the MRI showed, it was just something I couldn't get rid of. At this point in time, it's feeling a lot better than what it was, but I'm not quite there yet."
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Live! Week 4 vs. New York Giants
NFL.com Video: Weather Update: Giants @ Chiefs
NFL.com Video: Preview: New York Giants vs. Kansas City Chiefs
NFL.com Video: 'Sound FX': Andy Reid
Hail To The Chiefs' Pressure Revival from MMQB
Hali illustrates why TheMMQB.com came up with an all-encompassing pass-rushing statistic-Pressure Points. Hali has just one sack on the season, but his 16 quarterback hurries and two hits put him 10th in the season-long Pressure Points.
For Houston and Poe, their performances in Week 3 against the Eagles earned them two of our TheMMQB.com pressure awards:
Top edge rusher of Week 3: Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs.
Unsung interior rusher of Week 3: Dontari Poe, Kansas City Chiefs.
Outside linebacker Justin Houston leads the NFL with 7.5 sacks. Of those, 6.5 have come from the left side of the Kansas City Chiefs defense. Of the 11 sacks allowed by the New York Giants, Sunday's opponent at Arrowhead Stadium, eight have come from the left side of the defense. A rookie, Justin Pugh, has been starting at right tackle for the Giants. Houston made a killing last week against a rookie tackle, Philadelphia's Lane Johnson, getting three of his 4.5 sacks against Johnson. Houston also had a sack against a rookie tackle, Luke Joeckel, in the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It could be worse. A lot worse. Branden Albert could be a Miami Dolphin right now, the Beast of South Beach. Eric Fisher could be learning the NFL ropes at left tackle while charged with guarding Alex Smith's blind side.
"We don't think about that," center Rodney Hudson says.
"It was really important for him to come back," tackle Donald Stephenson says. "Helps us out a lot."
McGrath Helping Chiefs Survive Banged-Up TEs from The Associated Press via The Miami Herald
The fellows from "Duck Dynasty" have a rival in the facial hair department from the Kansas City Chiefs' backup tight end, who is becoming known for his gnarly whiskers and a hero to fans for the way he's filled in for banged-up starters Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce.
"I mean, girls that wear short-shorts want to flaunt their legs, right?" McGrath told The Associated Press. "I have this beautiful beard here. Why not grow it out."
Indeed, why keep such splendor hidden?
Colquitts Are NFL's First Family Of Punting from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
Craig Colquitt, who won two Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s, feels like he handed down a family business to his sons Dustin and Britton.
The brothers each signed offseason deals with the Chiefs and Broncos, respectively, that made them the highest-paid punters in the NFL at nearly $4 million a year -- about 45 times as much as their father ever earned in the pros.
The Colquitts are to punting what the Mannings are to passing, and this first family of punters had an inauspicious start -- a safety on the patriarch's very first punt at the University of Tennessee in 1975.
New York Giants (0-3) At Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) from Lindy's Sports
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Giants RT Justin Pugh vs. Chiefs OLB Justin Houston: With 7.5 sacks, Houston has the entire league's attention. Pugh isn't a polished blocker, but the rookie first-round pick promised this week he will bring the fight to Houston.
Starting center David Baas (neck) and right guard Chris Snee (hip) both were absent from the portion of practice open to the media Thursday. Assuming they didn't practice at all, that would be the second day in a row for both. And if neither practices Friday, it's unlikely they'd be able to play against the Chiefs.
Chiefs Need Much More From Rookie Class from ESPN
The Chiefs were missing their second-round pick, having sent it to the San Francisco 49ers in return for quarterback Alex Smith.
Still, with the Chiefs holding the first overall pick and a choice at or near the top of every round from the third on, it was reasonable to expect them to get more than what they've received so far from their eight draft picks.
Maybe with the Chiefs at 3-0 we shouldn't complain. But looking into the near future, it's easy to see where they're going to need help from players like Travis Kelce and Knile Davis. That doesn't look likely to happen.
Kevin Gilbtide Talks Strategy For KC from Giants.com
The Giants were shutout last week, they're last in the NFL in rushing yardage, first in turnovers and they've struggled to keep Eli Manning on his feet. So yes, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said today in response to a reporter's query, this is as difficult a stretch as he's had in his 10 seasons with the team.
1 p.m., Chiefs by 4½, 44½
HANK'S HONEYS: Andy Reid's romp through the NFC East should continue as the battered Giants limp into K.C., trying to figure out just what's going wrong. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the toughest road venues even when the Chiefs aren't very good, and as their 3-0 record suggests, they are very good under Reid, who obviously knows the Giants well. The Chiefs enjoy matchup advantages across the board. Their D-line, led by imposing nose tackle Dontari Poe and pass rushers Justin Houston (league-high 7½ sacks) and Tamba Hali should have a field day against this O-line with K.C. leading the NFL in sacks (15). With the ability to rush four and play man defense, the Chiefs are quite prepared to defend Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. The Giants will have to hope for turnovers, but Alex Smith and the offense has been safe with the football.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Chiefs and the over.
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em, Smash 'Em from National Football Post
As for this week's play, we're backing a solid Kansas City defense that enters Week 4 on extra rest over a reeling Giants team that has already surrendered 11 sacks (28th in NFL) and ranks dead last in the league in points allowed (38.3 pts/gm). Take note of the coaching advantage possessed by Kansas City in this spot, as Andy Reid is very familiar with Tom Coughlin and the Giants after having spent 14 years in the NFC East coaching Philadelphia.
A Game With No Clear End from MMQB
The second part would capture my return to glory, a phoenix rising from the ashes of self-doubt and uncertainty and depression into the light, back into my rightful place playing in the NFL.
See, the Kansas City Chiefs had picked me right after the Jaguars fired me, thinking I could be a fit as a fast, pass-rushing type defensive end. And the first game of the regular season, perfectly, was Chiefs-Jags-in Jacksonville. Part two was going to be a story of perseverance, hope and the power of a positive attitude.
Unfortunately, this is not that story.
Rank's 11 Sleepers: Time To Stash Justin Blackmon from NFL.com
Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs: Smith doesn't turn the ball over. That's the great thing. He hasn't thrown an interception in his last six games. And the Giants can't seem to stop anybody as they've allowed the fifth-most points to quarterbacks and seven touchdown passes this year.
Donnie Avery, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: If you saw Week 3's game against the Eagles, you saw what Avery is capable of. He's established himself as Smith's go-to-guy. Despite his success, the Giants are still going to focus on Dwayne Bowe and take their chances with Avery. Which is good for your fantasy team.
Fantasy Football: Week 4 Matchup Breakdown from The New York Times
Eli Manning (NYG) vs. Kansas City - It is difficult to imagine things getting worse for the youngest Manning after his Swiss cheese offensive line made a depleted Panthers defense look like the '85 Bears. But it's unlikely to get much better this week on the road against a nasty Chiefs defense that leads the league in sacks (15) and has forced nine turnovers in three games.
Insider: Breaking Down The Chiefs from Giants.com
A persistent issue in Kansas City has been the line's protection of Smith, who has been sacked 10 times. The Chiefs' best and most powerful lineman is left tackle Branden Albert, who has long arms and athleticism. He is also smart and alert. The right tackle is Eric Fisher, the first overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft. Like all rookies, he has been inconsistent, but Fisher is improving each week. Right guard Jon Asamoah is a tough competitor who missed the season opener with a calf injury. The left guard is Jeff Allen, who has not practiced this week because of a groin injury. If he can't suit up, Geoff Schwartz will start. Center Rodney Hudson is a first-year fulltime starter with good upper body strength and initial quickness.
BATS Prepares To Take On Big Bell Ringers from The Wall Street Journal
BATS retains a midwestern sensibility, in large part reflecting Chief Executive Joe Ratterman, a Kansas City-area native who has never worked at a Wall Street firm.
Polo shirts are more common than suits in the company's leased offices, where a 50-pound bell next to the central stairwell kicks off trading, a far cry from the brass bell situated on the NYSE podium and the touch-screen button that starts Nasdaq's trading day in Times Square. Among the recent BATS ringers: local grade-school students and the Kansas City Chiefs' furry, gray mascot, K.C. Wolf.
After Further Review: Freeman The Scapegoat For Bucs' Bad Scheme from CBS Sports
I studied Fisher's three games closely -- I picked him because he was the first pick -- and saw him do some good things when he got his hands on a player, but also saw him get overpowered at times and miss some assignments. His feet seem to be a problem, and he often gets off-balance.
Here's a play against the Cowboys where they used a line stunt to beat him. The Cowboys looped defensive end Anthony Spencer inside and Jason Hatcher made a hard inside charge to help free up Spencer. But Fisher was caught off-balance and when guard Jon Asamoah picked up Spencer, it was Hatcher who came free inside. That's just technique there. That can be fixed.
Week Four Preview: Giants Could Use Some Luck Against Chiefs from NBC New York
We know how the Giants have fared in the face of a flurry of turnovers. It hasn't been pretty.
Some time this season, the Chiefs will have to deal with this, too. The mistakes will come for Kansas City, just like they do for every team in a sport where the participants hit each other very hard.
The Giants hope it's Sunday.
"He has five options (or receivers) plus his legs," Fewell said. "He has always been a good guy with his legs. And so that gives him a sixth option as far as the weapons that they have."
Smith, a ninth-year pro, now chuckles at his youthful defiance at being labeled a game manager.
"At this point, it (the term) has been thrown around so much that it doesn't faze me," Smith said on a conference call this week. "I think it's kind of funny. They can call me what they want. I'm going out there trying to win games."
Week 4 Game Rankings: Pats-Falcons Only Footlong In Skimpy Week from CBS Sports
Are you the kind of person who can't help but look at a train wreck? Yeah, me neither, which makes a Giants that is difficult to watch something close to must-see TV. If they do something well, I'd be all ears as to what exactly that is. Meantime, Andy Reid's team stays home, coming off a nice nine day respite, against another NFC East foe he has a pretty good book on, at a time when the pressure on the Giants is about as high it can be in September. Kansas City seems primed to re-establish a home-field advantage, and if there was ever a mismatch to focus on in this entire Week 4 slate of games, it would look like the Chiefs front seven against this Giants offensive line that seems to lack athleticism, synergy and confidence.
NFL Week 4 Football Picks from The Huffington Post
Just what the struggling Giants' offense needs -- a trip to Arrowhead and the dominating Chiefs' D. The Chiefs should probably be favored by more, but the line undoubtedly reflects the public perception that "The Giants can't really be this bad, can they?" I guess we'll find out.
Alex Smith should be given all-time awards for mental toughness and strength of will. He survived universal "bust" declarations to become one of the most successful QBs of the past two seasons. He has one star WR, two excellent rushers, a head coach with faith in him and a seemingly unshakeable confidence. Good for him.
The Jets gave the Giants the most trouble they had up front during the preseason.
Outside of the Carolina game last week, it was the most uncomfortable the battered unit has looked all season.
Unfortunately for the Giants, they'll see plenty more of that this week.
Quotes (9/26): Coughlin, Gilbride, Boothe from Giants.com
Q: Is there a more difficult environment for a young offensive lineman than playing at Kansas City?
A: It will be loud. It will be very loud. They've had success, so the crowd will really be into it. But it's a good experience for them.