11/13 Practice Recap: Two Ex-Seahawks Face Former Team Sunday from The Mothership
Some within the game call it the toughest day in football, when NFL teams must cut their roster down to 53 players at the end of training camp.
In 2013, that day was August 31, and on it, the Seattle Seahawks cut two names you may recognize:
Jaye Howardand Ron Parker.
Seattle had drafted Howard out of Florida in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft and Parker, an undrafted free agent who signed with Seattle in 2011, was being released from the team for the fifth time in his career.
They didn't know it at the time but they would find out rather quickly that though they were no longer Seahawks, they were still teammates.
A day later they were members of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Coordinators Press Conferences 11/13 from The Mothership
Q: How do you get Kelce more involved than last week?
PEDERSON: "Well first of all, you look at what Buffalo did and they were obviously very aware of where Travis was and is on the football field. We just kind of continued to dial up plays that directed for Travis. When we do call those plays, Travis has to execute and understand the coverage or his assignment in that particular situation, but we just have to call plays and get him the ball that way."
Q: Do you see this as a week where you can get him more involved?
PEDERSON: "Well the tight end position, I guess this group has been successful, but yet it's a defense that, not a very complicated defense, it's not a very complicated scheme. You kind of know what they're going to do. They're very good at what they do. They've got great personnel over there and so from that standpoint, it becomes just an execution game and all our guys have to understand their assignment, understand the game plan and go execute against a good defense."
Chiefs Mailbag: Most Underrated Chief? from The Mothership
Mark from Syracuse: How is quarterback
Aaron Murrayprogressing in practice?
I spoke with Aaron a couple of weeks ago and wrote this feature, but he said his knee is feeling much better and he's taking advantage of the time he has around the veteran leaders at quarterback on this Chiefs roster.
The more time he has to see what
Alex Smithdoes in game situations throughout the season combined with the work he's putting in week in and week out and Murray is learning the process of a successful NFL quarterback.
He's sharp and is getting healthier by the week, so I'd say he's progressing nicely from what I've seen and heard from him.
Chiefs Weekly: Top Social Posts from The Mothership
After Sunday's win in Buffalo, many of the players had celebratory posts.
KCChiefs.com Podcast: Chiefs Download 11/14
KCChiefs.com Video: Locker Room Sound 11/13
KCChiefs.com Video: Arrowhead Update 11/13: Stopping Russell Wilson
KCChiefs.com Video: Coach's Corner: OC Doug Pederson talks with Mitch
KCChiefs.com Video: Opponent Preview: Examining the Seattle Seahawks
KCChiefs.com Video: Keys to Victory: Chiefs vs. Seahawks
KCChiefs.com Video: DC Bob Sutton Press Conference 11/13
KCChiefs.com Video: OC Doug Pederson Press Conference 11/13
KCChiefs.com Video: STC Dave Toub Press Conference 11/13
Week 11: Thursday injury report from Chiefs Digest
Chiefs wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (shoulder) and cornerback Chris Owens (knee) did not practice Thursday as the Chiefs prepare to host the Seattle Seahawks.
Jenkins and Owens, both of whom put in a limited practice Wednesday, joined tight end Anthony Fasano (knee) and cornerback Jamell Fleming (hamstring) as non-participants.
After sluggish start, Chiefs flying high at 6-3 from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
Simple, right? Stop the opponent from scoring to win games. But such a simple concept is much more difficult in practice, especially in a league that has been tailored to produce big yardage and high scores. Yet the Chiefs have allowed more than 20 points only once since their 0-2 start, and that was in a 22-17 loss in San Francisco.
"I think we probably have a better understanding of the defense than maybe we had last year," Reid said. "They're playing well together, as a unit, a team."
That's been critical given the number of injuries the defense has sustained.
Chiefs working through receiver injuries from Chiefs Digest
The Chiefs could turn to second-year pro Frankie Hammond Jr., who has two starts this season, or rookie Albert Wilson in the event Avery and Jenkins aren't available.
Kansas City's offense doesn't rely on a single dominant wide receiver, preferring to spread the ball around, and every player knows his specific role.
"Whoever we put out there has to go out there and play," Pederson said. "We're going against a fine defense, and then they've got to execute their game plan."
Still, the potential of not having Fasano offers a different challenge.
Chiefs vs. Seahawks preview from ESPN
Some of Wilson's key passing numbers are down from the past two seasons, most notably his passer rating. What explains the fact the Seahawks haven't been as efficient with their passing game this season?
Blount: Part of it has been injuries up front on the offensive line. In the second half of the Oakland game two weeks ago, three guys on the O-line were backups and one was a rookie. Wilson has been under duress more than any other NFL quarterback. He really misses starting tight end Zach Miller (out after ankle surgery), and the passing game is in transition since the Percy Harvin trade. Wilson, however, has been off target a lot in the past two games, consistently missing throws he normally makes. He has a sore left shoulder that no one talks about. Even though it's not his throwing shoulder, it could be affecting is accuracy. If I'm the Chiefs, I would load the box, have one player spy Wilson for runs and force him to beat them throwing.
Preview: Seahawks at Chiefs from KSPR
1. Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe had 13 receptions for 170 yards and three touchdowns in the most recent meeting - Kansas City's 42-24 road win in 2010.
2. Seattle placed DT Brandon Mebane (hamstring) on injured reserve and six-time Pro Bowler Kevin Williams will replace him.
3. Kansas City hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown this season.
PREDICTION: Chiefs 23, Seahawks 21
NFL Preview - Seattle (6-3) at Kansas City (6-3) (ET) from The State
These clubs are hitting their stride after some earlier struggles, but neither are without flaws. Both have struggled to consistently move the ball through the air and have masked some scoring issues with great defensive efforts.
While Lynch against Charles is a great individual battle, the mobility of Wilson over Smith could be the tipping point.
Seattle has not historically traveled well to Kansas City, but it has yet to play at Arrowhead Stadium in the Russell Wilson era. As long as Wilson is safe with the ball, the Seahawks should be able to steal a big game on the road.
Sports Network predicted outcome: Seahawks 20, Chiefs 17
Carroll, who coaches the Seahawks against Parker and the Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, said that placing Parker on waivers five times was actually a sign of how much the Seahawks thought of Parker.
"We loved him,'' Carroll said. "Imagine what would have happened if we didn't like him. He was a really good kid for us and battled with a bunch of guys. He was a young pup with all the rest of them. It's great to see him playing so well and being such a big factor for [the Chiefs]."
Chiefs general manager John Dorsey claimed seven players from waivers on Sept. 1, 2013 in what has been categorized as the "Second Draft."
Notable players from that transaction period still contributing to the Chiefs' roster include linebacker James-Michael Johnson, cornerback Marcus Cooper, defensive end Jaye Howard and defensive back Ron Parker.
The latter two players, of course, arrived from the Seattle Seahawks.
Will cold weather be a factor in Sunday's Seattle-Kansas City game? from The Seattle Times
With kickoff now just a little over 72 hours away, the forecast for Sunday's game remains a little ominous - a high of 28 with AM snow showers (details here).
The weather will obviously impact both teams. And it hasn't really been like this much in Kansas City, so it's not as if the Chiefs will necessarily be more prepared than the Seahawks (on paper, anyway).
A conventional wisdom is that a good running game is better in inclement weather.
Because of the looming threat of snow in Kansas City, Saturday's Division II college game between Northwest Missouri State and Washburn University will not be played as scheduled at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Kansas City Chiefs will play against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at Arrowhead.
Seattle Seahawks (6-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-3), Sunday, 1 p.m.
Ben's pick: Chiefs. Going out on a limb here, since Alex Smith did just enough to not lose last week against the Bills. But the game's at Arrowhead, and the Seahawks are working on two straight months of not-so-great football.
Darren's pick: Seahawks. Really want to take the Chiefs here, but they're giving up 4.7 rushing yards per carry this season, 30th in the NFL. Seattle shouldn't pass the ball once.
Mike's pick: Seahawks. Toughest game of the week to pick, but I'm taking the team with more offensive weapons and coming off a very convincing win last week.
Week 11 NFL picks: Patriots and Seahawks are this week's best bets from The Washington Post
This week's best bets:
Seattle Seahawks (+1.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Seahawks boast the league's best rushing attack (5.5 yards per carry) and are set to face off against one of the league's worst at stopping the run in the Kansas City Chiefs (4.7 yards allowed per carry). According to the game charters at Pro Football Focus, the game should look lopsided when Seattle runs the ball.
Pick: Seattle Seahawks +1.5
Win probability: Seattle Seahawks 56.3 percent
What might have been: Tony Moeaki from ESPN
Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs are showing considerable love for tight end Travis Kelce, and that is understandable. Kelce is second on the Chiefs with 34 catches and 438 receiving yards, and leads the team in touchdown receptions with four. There is an argument to be made that Kelce is the Chiefs' offensive MVP, though my first two choices would be Jamaal Charles and Alex Smith, in that order.
The Chiefs had a rookie tight end in 2010 who they thought would be a worthy successor to Tony Gonzalez. Tony Moeaki that season caught 47 passes, 14 more than Gonzalez did as a rookie, and looked like he would be the Chiefs' next prolific pass-catching tight end.
Since the Seahawks entered the league in 1976, and during the 25 seasons when the Seahawks were a member of the AFC West (1977-2001), only the Denver Broncos (34) have defeated the Seahawks more than the Chiefs (32). But nobody can touch that lopsided 20-5 advantage the Chiefs have had against the Seahawks at one venue.
The Chiefs have won big - 40-13 in 1981, 34-7 in 1984 and 26-3 in 1995. The Chiefs have won close games - 17-13 in 1983, 27-24 in 1988 and 20-17 in 1997. But mostly, they've just won when it comes to playing the Seahawks at the stadium that opened in 1972.
Russell Wilson hoping to break out of midseason slump from ProFootballTalk
The third-year quarterback is currently mired in the first significant slump of his NFL career.
Wilson has had three straight games - and four of his last five - with a passer rating of less than 80. The only game where Wilson has played well in the passing game in the last month was when he completed 23 of 36 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-26 loss to St. Louis.
EOF Podcast: Is Week 11 Chiefs game a must-win for the Seahawks? from CBS Sports
Can Seattle win in Kansas City, where the Chiefs thumped the Patriots 41-14 earlier this season? That Chiefs defense hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown all season, but the Seahawks' offense has become run-heavy -- something has to give.
Meanwhile, Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith continues to play like much more than a bridge QB or a game manager, and unlike Jay Cutler (and maybe Andy Dalton) has earned his new contract.
Justin Houston could end up going year to year under franchise tag from ProFootballTalk
Player and team remain at impasse. For the Chiefs, that could mean using the franchise tag to keep Houston in place for 2015.
If the Chiefs tender the tag, look for Houston to immediately sign it. In 2014, it paid $11.455 million for one season. (Houston could try to argue that he's actually a defensive end, which had a franchise tender of $13.1 million in in 2014.)
Russell Wilson hopes to overcome passing struggles with poise from The Olympian
The Seattle Seahawks (6-3) enter Sunday's game at the Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) riding their first three-game winning streak since last January's postseason romp to their Super Bowl title.
Yet, Puget Sound's freaking out over the usually precise, mistake-free Wilson having his fourth multiple-interception game of his career last weekend.
Chiefs ready to make traditional Reid-like playoff push from The Republic Monitor
This year is the antithesis - going 0-2 to start the ‘14 campaign.
But the schedule is much more difficult this season, and the boys in red are ready to make that push - a push Andy Reid witnessed pretty much every year during his time in Philly.
Of course, there is one stat that is alarming given the fact it is Week 11 - Alex Smith has yet to throw a touchdown pass to a wideout.
While that may not be mind-altering to you die hard Chiefs fanatics out there, the good news is the team is using a familiar target for Smith - tight end Travis Kelce.
Forty-five years after last AFL season, rivalry with NFL still resonates from Sports Illustrated
"I remember when Lenny Dawson and Kansas City beat the Vikings down in New Orleans in the Super Bowl, I got invited to their team party afterward," Buoniconti said. "And it was not a celebration for the Chiefs themselves as much it was a celebration of the AFL. It was the last game ever for the AFL, and that was an AFL party basically. And then Lenny and I were on Inside the NFL together as hosts for so many years [on HBO], and we're still AFL guys."
That Chiefs party stood as a celebration of a decade of striving, struggle and accomplishment for the fledgling league, and marked its denouement on the high note that was Super Bowl IV, a game Minnesota entered as a 14-point favorite.