10/24 Practice Recap: Andy Reid Wants the O-Line to Dance the Same Dance from The Mothership
"Dancing that same dance" wasn't always a given for the Chiefs, especially at the beginning of the season. Right tackle
Donald Stephensonwas suspended for four games and then Jeff Allen, who replaced his spot, tore his biceps in the first game, calling for season-ending surgery.
Knowing that you can't dance with the offensive line without five able partners, Reid turned to
Mike McGlynnat left guard and Ryan Harrisat right tackle. Together with Eric Fisher, Zach Fultonand Rodney Hudson, the line has looked better and better as the weeks have drawn on.
Reid felt so comfortable with the combination that he decided to keep it that way even when Stephenson became available against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5.
Andy Reid Press Conference 10/24 from The Mothership
Q: When I say Rams, what do you think of?
REID: "Well, I grew up with the Rams. I was a big L.A. Rams fan."
Q: Who was your favorite player?
REID: "Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen. Those are my guys right there."
Q: How often did you get to the Coliseum?
REID: "I got there twice. That's when I was doing that punt, pass and kick. I don't really want to bring that up, but yeah."
Chat with Chris Berman: Talking KC Sports, Andy Reid & More from The Mothership
Berman, a native New Yorker, recalls the feeling he experienced when watching the Chiefs' Monday Night Football win over the Patriots, followed the next night by an extra-inning Royals victory over the Oakland Athletics in the American League Wildcard game.
"It was the same emotion [from the fans]," Berman said of the two nights. "It was very cool. It was something really, I don't want to use the word wholesome-that's not what I'm trying to say. I don't want to say collegiate either, but it was just pure. I loved it.
"As a sports fan, you love it. Especially [since] it's been quiet around here lately for certainly baseball and really, except for last year for a little while-football. So I respect when fans get a chance to rise back up. It's a good thing."
Chiefs QB Aaron Murray Taking Advantage of Situation from The Mothership
"If I sat back and just wasted this year and didn't do the extra film work or didn't go out there and work on my footwork and take the time to study Alex (Smith) and Chase (Daniel), it's a wasted year," Murray explained. "I think Chase [Daniel] feels the same way. We literally take each day and say 'Hey, if we were the starter of the Kansas City Chiefs, how would we prepare?'"
Between offensive-minded coach Andy Reid, Smith and Daniel, Murray has all of the knowledge needed to develop into a successful NFL quarterback at his disposal.
"Learning from Alex (Smith), learning from Chase (Daniel), from this coaching staff has been awesome," Murray said. "I just feel like I continue to learn more and more about the playbook. I continue to understand how the concepts work by watching
Alex Smithpractice and by watching film, by watching how he goes out there and performs in the game."
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Live: Rams Offense
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Live: Rams Defense
KCChiefs.com Video: Preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. St. Louis Rams
KCChiefs.com Video: Playbook: Kansas City Chiefs vs. St. Louis Rams
KCChiefs.com Video: Arrowhead Update 10/24: BCA Game
KCChiefs.com Video: Cheerleader Chatter: Lauren
Week 8: Friday injury report from Chiefs Digest
Berry put in a third straight day of a limited practice and the Chiefs officially list him as questionable, offering a hint of optimism on Berry's availability...
...The Chiefs also list wide receiver Junior Hemingway (hamstring) as questionable. The third-year wide receiver put in a limited practice for the third straight day.
Tight end Travis Kelce (ribs) appears on track to play after putting in a full practice Friday. The second-year tight end practiced on a limited basis the previous two days.
A week into the season, the outlook appeared bleak for Missouri's two NFL teams.
The Rams were coming off a 34-6 home loss to Minnesota and appeared to have no answer for a season-ending injury to quarterback Sam Bradford, not to mention a long-term knee injury to cornerback Trumaine Johnson. News got even worse when St. Louis discovered veteran defensive end Chris Long's ankle injury would keep him out for more than half the season.
Things weren't any better on the other side of the state, where the Chiefs lost to the lowly Titans at home and two Achilles tears meant Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive tackle Mike DeVito wouldn't play another down for the Chiefs in 2014. Running back Jamaal Charles went down early in Week 2, and key defensive starters Eric Berry and Tamba Hali have also missed time.
After all of that, it's rather astonishing just how meaningful Sunday's game at Arrowhead Stadium will be.
Week 8 Preview: Rams @ Chiefs from Chiefs Digest
While both teams are coming off big wins last week, Arrowhead Stadium will be rocking in the Chiefs' favor on Sunday...
...Although Rams quarterback Austin Davis has played well recently, the Rams have scored more than 30 points just once this season.
Additionally, the Chiefs defense has done a great job slowing down the league's elite offenses and has yet to allow more than 26 points this year.
The Chiefs continue their winning ways at home against the Rams.
Outcome: Chiefs 31, Rams 17
The Chiefs have instead gone up against a couple of quarterbacks who are certain to eventually reach the Hall of Fame (Tom Brady and Peyton Manning) and another who will likely get to Canton (Philip Rivers). Two of the others were former first-round draft picks (Ryan Tannehill and Jake Locker) and the last wasColin Kaepernick.
Not a bad lineup, certainly more formidable than the group the Chiefs faced last season over the first nine games. Six of those quarterbacks from 2013, by the way, are no longer starting. Two of them aren't even on the active roster of an NFL team.
The stretch of upcoming opposing quarterbacks for the Chiefs resembles the bunch the Chiefs faced early last season more than the ones they've gone against this year.
The Chiefs have a surprise that keeps defenses guessing from SB Nation
Last week, I wrote about the Browns' emergence as a contender in the AFC North and in short order they went to Florida and lost to the previously winless Jags. So, with full realization this may be the kiss of death for Kansas City, I'd like to point out that the Chiefs are quietly better than people seem to be giving them credit for.
Per Football Outsiders DVOA metric, Kansas City is currently ranked ninth in the NFL, and they've gotten there with balance in the three phases: offense (10th), defense (14th), and special teams (13th). They're rushing for 140.3 yards per game (third), 4.5 yards per carry (eighth), and they're putting up 23.7 points per game, good for 13th in the NFL -- just behind the Atlanta Falcons -- and above the Cardinals, Browns, Panthers, 49ers, and Bears. On defense, they're giving up 20.4 points per game, good for sixth in the NFL, and Justin Houston (seven sacks) and Tamba Hali (four sacks) bring heat from the edge.
Behind Enemy Lines: Chiefs from StLouisRams.com
As Fisher mentioned, the Chiefs offense does plenty with the read option. Let's take a look at three plays that demonstrate how effective the unit can be with that technique using the All-22 film from NFL Game Rewind.
The first comes from the opening quarter of Kansas City's matchup with San Diego last week. The Chiefs line up in a shotgun formation with three receivers to the right, and a tight end at the line of scrimmage next to the left tackle.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. St. Louis: The Chiefs rediscovered their identity after a brutal Week 1 loss to the Titans. While not the same unit that scored a freakish 11 return touchdowns last season, Kansas City has returned in 2014 as a more balanced group that rushes the quarterback with consistency while ranking No. 6 in the NFL in scoring defense (20.2 ppg). And to think, that scoring total is based on a flat Week 1 performance followed by four road trips in a stretch of five games. A Week 8 matchup with a Rams team that has yielded five return touchdowns begins a more favorable post-bye-week schedule that also includes the Jets, Bills and Raiders in the next five weeks.
Rams prepare to face another star RB from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Every week we've got one that's one of the tops in the business," Williams said Friday, shaking his head. "Charles presents a lot of things. He can get into space like Sproles and McCoy could at Philadelphia.
"He can put his head down and get the tough yards like Murray and all the other guys that we've faced. So yeah we've got a tough job right there, and on how they're committed to the run."
Committed they are. The Chiefs average 31 rushing attempts per game; only Dallas (33.6), Cleveland (32.5) and Indianapolis (31.6) run more often. And in this pass-crazy league only Dallas (235 runs, 214 passes), Cleveland (195-191) and the Chiefs (186-186) haven't thrown the ball more than they've run it this season.
Those games are ancient history as it pertains to the current edition of both teams but one thing has remained the same: Through thick and thin, Arrowhead Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in the league.
To the Rams who have played at Arrowhead, it compares favorably to another venue the Rams know well: Qwest Field in Seattle.
"As y'all know they have this personal thing with the 12th man in Seattle, so they try to compete," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "That gives us some kind of indication of how difficult it is to play there because of the noise."
Rams' banged-up young secondary could be tested from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
On Friday, starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins missed his third consecutive practice because of a knee injury he suffered in last weekend's victory over Seattle. Jenkins, a third-year pro, is listed as questionable - 50-50 - for the noon game Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
The news is a bit more encouraging for another third-year cornerback, Trumaine Johnson - he is also listed as questionable. Johnson, who suffered a knee injury in the preseason, worked with the scout team this week. He was limited in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday and was a full participant on Friday.
Rams look to improve perimeter run D from ESPN
As they make their final preparations for the Kansas City Chiefs, perhaps the St. Louis Rams defense can get some pointers from Vanderbilt alum/running back Zac Stacy.
Vanderbilt's catch phrase -- "Anchor Down" -- makes plenty of sense for the Commodores but it also is a common refrain in the Rams' hopes of improving a run defense that has been continually gashed on runs outside the tackles this season.
To get better in time for Chiefs running backs Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis and quarterback Alex Smith, setting a consistent edge on the outside is the first order of business.