Chiefs Control Their Playoff Destiny from The Mothership
Now that a couple of days have passed and the hangover of a 29-16 Sunday Night Football loss to the division-leading Denver Broncos has at least moved from the forefront of people's minds, the truth is that the Chiefs still control their AFC playoff chances.
That might be hard to swallow based on how the team has played over the past couple of weeks, and they'll certainly need to play better over the final four regular season games if they're to keep that control, but as we sit today, the Chiefs are very much alive in the AFC playoff picture.
Chiefs Need to Get Back to the Fundamentals from The Mothership
According to Pro Football Focus, the Chiefs missed 15 tackles against the Broncos on Sunday, which is something Reid says will mean going back to the fundamentals in order to fix.
"When things don't go right, I'm more apt to going back to fundamentals," Reid said. "I think that's where you start and then you make sure schematically you have guys in the right position to do these things. There's some things we can clean up in both areas that we need to take care of but I don't think you make it more complicated than that.
"Then you add intensity into that and then you go play. You can never take that want-to out of it but we've got to clean up some fundamentals."
Andy Reid Press Conference 12/1 from The Mothership
Q: It's December, is it a little disconcerting to be backing into December rather than charging into it?
REID: "We are starting the last quarter here, of the season. We didn't finish the third quarter the way that we wanted to. We've got to go back to it and get that part fixed. That's a part of this game; nobody's going to hand you anything in this game. As coaches we've got to make sure we are putting the guys in the right position and then the players, when we are in the right position, we have got to make things happen. That's all part of it. We've got some good character people on this team so you count on that at this time."
KCChiefs.com Podcast: Chiefs Download 12/2
KCChiefs.com Video: Arrowhead Update 12/1: One Last Look At Sunday
KCChiefs.com Video: NFL.com: Chiefs Week 13 Report Card
KSHB Video: Gridiron Grumblings: Chiefs suffer embarrassing loss to Broncos
Starting slow becoming a bad habit for Chiefs from Chiefs Digest
The inability to get the offense going out of the gate directly contributed to a two-game losing streak, which was magnified Sunday night during a 29-16 loss to AFC West rival Denver Broncos.
Kansas City converted 1-of-9 on third down attempts (11 percent) for the game and didn't record a first down until the 7:09 mark of the second quarter already down 17-0.
And that is an obvious problem for a team lacking a quick-strike offense.
Chiefs' small-ball offense just isn't cutting it from FS Kansas City
As the final moments of the Chiefs' dreary 29-16 loss Sunday night ticked away, quarterback Alex Smith zipped a sideline pass to recently acquired wideout Jason Avant for 19 yards.
It was the fourth time in the fourth quarter that Smith targeted Avant, which inspired a longtime Chiefs observer to comment from the press box, "The guy (Avant) has been with the team five days and he's already Alex's most trusted receiver."
Snark aside, there is something telling about the comment.
The move was subtle, made in the fourth quarter of a game the Kansas City Chiefs were destined to lose. But Donald Stephenson replaced Ryan Harris at right tackle on a struggling offensive line Sunday night.
"We just put him in really to get him some work," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said...
...The Chiefs made one other change on the offensive line in the middle of the Denver game when they replaced struggling left guard Mike McGlynn with Jeff Linkenbach. That change was due to injury; McGlynn bruised a quad muscle.
After two ugly losses, Chiefs feel need to regroup from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
Two weeks ago, the Kansas City Chiefs were barreling toward the playoffs. They had won five straight games and become one of the hottest teams in the NFL.
Now, their playoff hopes are suddenly in peril.
The Chiefs were routed 29-16 by the Denver Broncos on Sunday night. On the heels of a loss to previously winless Oakland, the defeat all but eliminated Kansas City (7-5) from contention in the AFC West, and makes its wild-card pursuit no sure thing down the stretch.
The Chiefs have trips to Arizona and Pittsburgh and home games against Oakland and San Diego, and it may take three wins in those four games to have any shot at the playoffs.
NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME from Warpaint Illustrated
Mistakes, missed opportunities, turnovers and a lethargic effort on both sides of the ball to start the game, doomed the Chiefs all evening. By the time the game ended, Kansas City looked like a team that had no identity or purpose.
It's hard to imagine the Chiefs looked like world beaters against the Seattle Seahawks two weeks ago then came back four days later laying an egg at Oakland, who by the way were blanked by the St. Louis Rams 52-0 on Sunday, overall they showed nothing in their loss to the Broncos.
This organization has to find it's groove again.
Inept run defense causing Chiefs to fight uphill battle for playoffs from FS Kansas City
The good news, if there is such a thing, is that we know what's coming: Until it looks futile, teams are going to keep pounding the rock, Lombardi-style, against the Kansas City Chiefs, kicking it old-school: A seal here, and a seal here, and through the alley.
The bad news is that your guess is as good as Andy Reid's whether anybody is going to be able to cowboy up and make 'em pay for it.
The morning after the Chiefs took a 29-16 punch to the nether regions at the hands of the hated Denver Broncos -- or should we say, at the feet; Dem Donkeys ran for 214 freaking yards -- wasn't much better than the night before. The grades from Pro Football Focus (PFF) are in ... and they ain't pretty.
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles has bruised knee from Chiefs Digest
Charles finished the contest with 35 yards rushing on 10 carries, adding 24 yards receiving and a touchdown on four catches. He logged 43 of the team's 45 offensive snaps.
Still, another good sign that Charles' injury isn't severe surrounds his postgame availability since the Chiefs have a policy of not allowing injured players to talk to the media.
Chiefs CB Phillip Gaines holds his own against Denver from Chiefs Digest
Sanders entered Week 13 with two straight 100-yard receiving games, but finished with six catches for 73 yards on 11 targets, mostly with Gaines in coverage.
Of course, Sanders made plays, including a 23-yard reception on a back-shoulder throw from quarterback Peyton Manning early in the fourth quarter.
But Gaines' ability to bounce back impressed Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
Chiefs WR Donnie Avery makes return from Chiefs Digest
Avery finished the game with one catch for 20 yards on two targets, and he admitted to being rusty.
He was also fully aware his fourth-quarter fumble proved costly.
Still, Avery didn't want to dwell on the turnover, instead preferring to look ahead with a game under his belt on his return.
"I made a big mistake for the team," he said. "We'll put this behind us and get ready for next week."
Reid on Kelce gesture: 'Immature' from ESPN
"It sounds like it was a bit of an immature act," Reid said. "I normally don't let those things go by. I'll address that. I've got to see it first and then make sure."
Kelce made the gesture in the fourth quarter of the 29-16 loss to the Broncos, after Denver's Von Miller was penalized for roughing the passer against quarterback Alex Smith. As referee Walt Coleman announced the penalty, Kelce made the gesture.
Chiefs are NFL's biggest teases for second straight year from SportingNews
Two weeks ago, the Kansas City Chiefs looked like a team ready to challenge the elite of the AFC. It feels a lot longer ago than two weeks.
Last season feels like a lot longer ago, too. That was the last time the Chiefs looked like legitimate contenders - back when they were 9-0 and Peyton Manning and the Broncos were chasing them.
That fell apart the second half of the regular season, though, completely crumbled in the playoffs, then stumbled out of the gate at 0-2 this year. And just when the ship seemed turned in the right direction, with five straight wins capped by a dramatic late defensive stand to preserve a win over Super Bowl champion Seattle ... the Chiefs have fallen flat on their faces.
Broncos transform into smashmouth stars against Chiefs from DenverBroncos.com
The Chiefs were never out of it on the scoreboard, but as
C.J. Anderson, Juwan Thompsonand a revitalized offensive line jabbed at them, it never felt like they were in it. And by halftime, the combination of frigid conditions, Chiefs mistakes and began sending fans to the exits. By the middle of the fourth quarter, Arrowhead Stadium was half-empty; by the two-minute warning, the only noise came from Broncos fans.
Kansas City's raucous supporters, like their team, were grounded into submission by the kind of metronomic performance that drives teams to championships.
Anderson, Broncos top reeling Chiefs to keep pace in AFC playoff race from Sports Illustrated
For the sixth straight time, the Denver Broncos proved to have the Kansas City Chiefs' number. And this time around, the number was 22, the jersey number of second-year Broncos running back C.J. Anderson, an undrafted player out of Cal who has helped the team change its spots in some necessary ways over the last two games. The number was five, the number of field goals hit by new kicker Connor Barth, matching a franchise record. The number was 151, Kansas City's total offensive yardage through the game as a Denver defense that had seen its ups and downs rose up to dominate.
Klee: With bruising beatdown of Chiefs, Broncos show they have more than some imagined from The Colorado Springs Gazette
With a hard-hitting performance that might be illegal in some states, the Broncos delivered a 29-16 win and a message that sent most of the 76,894 fans to their electric heating blankets before the fourth quarter had started:
The Broncos can beat a good team with their defense.
Through three quarters, Kansas City had 64 total yards (to Denver's 310), four first downs (to 18) and the sideline look of a team that had been physically overpowered.
What's going on here? The Broncos defense was the story?
The injuries continued to mount for the Arizona Cardinals on Monday.
In addition to the three starters who left Sunday's 29-18 loss to the Falcons in the second quarter, left tackle Jared Veldheer suffered an ankle sprain that wasn't diagnosed until Monday morning, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. The severity of Veldheer's injury is still unknown, Arians said, but the coach is hoping Veldheer doesn't miss time.
Until Sunday's collapse against the Falcons, the Arizona defense had been pretty reliable. But with the Cardinals offense at best treading water over the past three games, it's fair to wonder whether Arizona's defenders are putting too much pressure on themselves to make game-changing plays.
"We still have all the confidence in the world in (quarterback) Drew (Stanton), but we're still playing with a backup quarterback," cornerback Patrick Peterson said. "That changes the dynamics of everything. As a defense, we have to go out there and continue doing what got us here to this point of the season, which is going out there and taking the ball away from offenses, and as an offense protecting the football."
Alex Smith got out of character on the first play of Sunday night's game against the Denver Broncos when he heaved a deep pass intended for Donnie Avery. The pass was well off the mark, a good thing for Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs because Avery was well-covered.
Things didn't get much better the rest of the night for Smith and the Chiefs. The Chiefs got behind 17-0 by the time they earned their initial first down and they eventually fell to the Broncos 29-16.
The passing of Smith's Denver counterpart, Peyton Manning, put the Chiefs in that hole. Smith was in no position to keep up.
While the Chiefs try to make the playoffs, the team also has to focus on next summer's training camp.
The Chiefs' five-year contract with Missouri Western State University ends at the close of business on Monday, Dec. 1 unless both sides agree to an extension.
Chiefs officials said late Monday afternoon that they are continuing negotiations with the university, but no decision has been reached.
Arians on Cardinals: 'When you stink, you stink' from The Associated Press via The State
Kansas City is coming off a one-sided home loss to Denver and is fighting for its playoff life.
The Chiefs, Arians said, will not be an easy foe for an Arizona team that has to stop its slide or see a remarkably successful season slip away.
Andy Reid: We've stalled the last two weeks from ProFootballTalk
When the Chiefs have won games this season, they have run the ball well.
Their passing offense still hasn't generated a touchdown for a wide receiver all year and Alex Smith throws deep with the frequency of Hailey's Comet appearances, so they need to run the ball in order to move the ball. They've run the ball for 137 yards the last two weeks which goes a long way to explaining why coach Andy Reid's team has dropped two games that will jeopardize their chances of advancing to the postseason.
Peyton has Chiefs' number: Peyton Manning came into this big game against Kansas City with the division lead on the line. The same things seem to happen when these teams meet. Peyton is now 6-0 against the Chiefs with the Broncos. The Chiefs came into this game with only three sacks of Manning in 170 pass plays in the five previous games. Sunday night, they sacked him once in 35 pass plays.
The Walking Dead once again thrashed the NFL, and its own numbers, for a record-breaking midseason finale last night.
The episode, "Coda," pulled the strongest midseason finale ratings yet for the series. As Deadline reports, it attracted 14.8 million overall viewers and 9.6 million viewers between the ages of 18 and 49. At this rate, it's almost pointless to mention that the numbers smashed through The Walking Dead's primary competition, Sunday Night Football, which only attracted 8 million in 18-49 age bracket. With a margin well-over one million, that must hurt more than a quarterback sack.