9/26 Practice Recap: McKnight Suffers Ruptured Achilles from The Mothership
In a heightened role,
Joe McKnightexcelled. His six receptions for 64 yards were the most in each respective category for Chiefs, and he scored the first two non-return touchdowns of his career.
Out of football in 2013, it had been a long road back for McKnight.
Now, he faces another.
During practice on Thursday, McKnight suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon, an injury that will in all likelihood mean the end of his season.
Coordinators Press Conferences 9/26 from The Mothership
Q: What do you expect to see from the Patriots' defense?
PEDERSON: "This is a good group. They don't show you. They'll mix their personnel on defense. They play a multitude of personnel groupings. They don't do a lot. It's not a big blitz team, not a heavy blitz team, but what they do, they get you with stunts and games and picks and things like that and they've got (Chandler) Jones and (Rob) Ninkovich are two of the top pass rushers in the league and (Jerod) Mayo keeps those guys going there in the middle. (Dont'a) Hightower's playing at an extremely high level. They have a front seven that can get after you. Then, in the back end they're aggressive and they like to play man coverage with (Darrelle) Revis and (Devin) McCourty out there. There's some guys that can challenge our receivers. It's a good test, and it's one that we look forward to on Monday."
MoDot Dedicates Bridge to Len Dawson from The Mothership
East Stadium Drive over Interstate 435 in Jackson County has been designated the "Len Dawson Bridge" by the Missouri General Assembly. House Bill 1866, passed by Senator Paul LeVota, designated the "Len Dawson Bridge" as part of the Missouri Department of Transportation's highway designation program to honor certain individuals, events, places or organizations on Missouri's state highway system.
Signs will be placed on both ends of East Stadium Drive over I-435. The Jackson County Sports Complex Authority provided funding for the sign fabrication and installation at the bridge. The designation was recognized in a special ceremony today at Arrowhead Stadium.
Colquitt Stepping Up Big When Needed from The Mothership
More than just giving the opposing offense a long field to work with, Colquitt knows he can change the complexion of the game by getting the momentum back on the Chiefs' side.
"When you bury them inside the 5- or 10-yard line, obviously, you have some momentum," Colquitt said. "You have defensive guys running onto the field because they're pumped up about a punt because it's a big tackle by a gunner usually."
Passing the credit off to a teammate because of a good tackle after a 50-plus yard punt that pins an opposing offense deep in their own territory tells you almost everything you need to know about Colquitt as a teammate.
Field Sized American Flag from The Mothership
Monday Night Football at Arrowhead Stadium will be big! There will be fireworks, the fans will lead the national anthem, the Chiefs Kingdom will be getting loud and proud and there will be a field sized American flag held by Season Ticket Members, Red Coaters, coaches and players.
The last time this flag was at Arrowhead Stadium was September 11, 2011.
Philip Robertson to Adjudicate Guinness World Record Attempt from The Mothership
"As an adjudicator my role is to ensure that Guinness World Records guidelines are followed in making the attempt and ultimately make a determination on whether a record has been achieved," Robertson explained.
Robertson is the same adjudicator that recorded Seattle's attempt and visited Arrowhead Stadium last year.
"This is a fantastic battle between the Seahawks and the Chiefs," Robertson said. "I'm really enjoying being in front of these two incredibly passionate fan bases; it's a fun rivalry. I will say that even as a Brit, my favorite BBQ in America is still in Kansas. They know BBQ down there."
KCChiefs.com Video: Tools for Victory: Make Tom Brady Uncomfortable
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KCChiefs.com Video: #LoudAndProud
KCChiefs.com Video: Preview: Patriots vs. Chiefs
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Live! Week 4
KCChiefs.com Video: Len Dawson Bridge Dedication Press Conference
KCChiefs.com Video: Locker Room Sound 9/26
Chiefs' passing defense quietly improving from Chiefs Digest
The Chiefs finished the 2013 season ranked 25th against the pass, but have quietly improved to rank 11th in the league against the pass, allowing 223.7 yards per game.
"We've worked hard on it," defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said Friday on eliminating big plays. "Some of it is what (defensive backs coach) Emmitt (Thomas) and (defensive assistant/secondary coach) Al (Harris) have down outside. They've done a good job with the techniques of the corners, that's part of it. Part of it is how safeties enter plays."
Chiefs' Kelce, Pats' Gronk have much in common from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
The 20-yard touchdown catch last week against Miami was certainly highlight worthy. As for the little shimmy Kelce did to celebrate? Well, let's just say the second-year tight end won't impress Len Goodman or the rest of the judges from "Dancing With the Stars" anytime soon.
"He's got a little flair," Chiefs coach Andy Reid acknowledged. "He's got a little zest to him."
Just like a certain tight end he'll see Monday night.
Charles appears as if he will play in Monday night's game against the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium. He led the Chiefs in receiving last season and can do for the Chiefs much of what McKnight did as a receiver.
The problem comes if Charles doesn't play. Knile Davs rushed for 132 yards against Miami but has dropped some passes and isn't as good as Charles or McKnight as a receiver.
Defending Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski offers challenge for Chiefs from Chiefs Digest
"He brings so much to the table," Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith said. "With his size and his length combined with (Patriots quarterback) Tom Brady's accuracy, he's like almost unguardable sometimes.
"For a guy with my size - I'm big, I'm long myself - to be all over his back, but for Tom to put the ball so far out to where my length doesn't even help any more, it's crazy."
The 6-3, 218-pound Smith, a former member of the Miami Dolphins before joining the Chiefs last offseason, has experience playing twice a year against Gronkowski from 2010-12.
The same is true for Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, who coached linebackers while with the New York Jets before arriving in Kansas City.
Chiefs benefit from bold punt returns from ESPN
Kansas City Chiefs punt returner Frankie Hammond Jr. prefers things the way they are now, when he's given permission to field and return anything he sees fit, anywhere on the field. Hammond fielded two punts inside the 5 in last week's game against the Miami Dolphins.
"It's just kind of a gray area," Hammond said. "A lot can go wrong and then a lot can go good. Sometimes it's one of those things where you catch it and everybody is 'no, no, no' but then it's like 'yeah, yeah, yeah, maybe that does work.'
"You've got to be a great decision maker. You've got to be smart and have a feel for the game and how things are going. You can't really know which way you're going when you're back there. It's a quick decision, do I go for it or not? It's just something you have a feel for when you're back there."
McNight filled in for top running back Jamaal Charles, who was out with an injured ankle. Charles has been limited in practice this week, but is expected to return on Monday against the Patriots.
Running back Knile Davis had 32 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown on Sunday.
The Patriots have held opponents to an average of 61 yards per game in the last two contests. With the loss of McKnight and with Charles likely not at 100 percent, Davis and quarterback Alex Smith, who has rushed for 95 yards through three games, remain the top running threats for the defense.
Bruschi's Breakdown: Patriots-Chiefs from ESPN
Mike: And that's a good Miami defensive front, as we saw in the season-opener. That was a very effective play by the Chiefs, with receiver A.J. Jenkins motioning into the backfield to set up the fake toss. Creative. The Patriots have been better against the run the last two weeks, but whether it's Charles or Davis on Monday night, this is arguably their toughest challenge of the season.
Tedy: That includes quarterback Alex Smith, too, as he's a threat to run. So this is a team, with Smith and Reid's scheme, they have ways to threaten a team that doesn't look like good news for the Patriots. At the same time, as good of a coach as Reid is, sometimes you still scratch your head with him. You'll see the running game disappear at times and Charles won't have as many carries as he should. In the season-opener, he only had seven rushing attempts for 19 yards as Reid abandoned the running game way too early.
Chiefs, Patriots could be battle in trenches from The Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle
The Chiefs piled up nearly 200 yards on the ground in last week's win in Miami, even though Charles - their most electrifying playmaker - was out with an ankle injury.
That sets up an intriguing battle in the trenches on Monday night, when the Chiefs (1-2) get a visit from theNew England Patriots (2-1) and one of the NFL's vastly improved run defenses.
Two weeks ago, the Patriots held the Adrian Peterson-less Vikings to just 54 yards rushing. In last week's victory over Oakland, Darren McFadden and Co. managed 67 yards on the ground.
All told, they're allowing just over 100 yards rushing per game. That's quite an improvement on last season, when the Patriots were among the worst in the NFL at stopping the run. And considering the Patriots also have the NFL's best pass defense, it makes for a stout unit as a whole.
Kansas City Chiefs: What They're Saying from Patriots.com
"Certainly he is a tremendous player. Certainly when he's manned up, a very, very good player. You've seen the last couple weeks [he's] matched the opposing team's best receiver and for the most part has had a lot of success. He's good, he's physical, he's fast, he's smart, and you can see all those on film, so it's a pretty dangerous combination when you have all that."
- Chiefs Quarterback Alex Smith
Patriots vs. Chiefs preview from ESPN
The Chiefs have had problems adequately protecting Smith this season. He's already been sacked 11 times, including five by the Dolphins. Pressure came from everywhere in that game. Five Dolphins had at least a half-sack. Who in addition to Jones do the Chiefs need to worry about when it comes to New England's pass rush?
Reiss: Rob Ninkovich, at the left defensive end spot, is a solid, dependable edge-setter and pass-rusher. We've seen the team's second 2012 first-round draft choice, Hightower, be a factor in that area more than he has in past seasons. Linebacker Jerod Mayo is a good blitzer up the middle, while first-round pick Dominique Easley -- as an interior sub-rusher -- flashed at times in training camp. I wouldn't call the Patriots a relentless pass-rushing team, but they scheme it up at times, dropping linemen up and disguising their intentions on who is coming.
Prediction: Patriots will fall to Chiefs from ESPN
While I'd normally think the Patriots' offense could exploit the Chiefs' linebackers and secondary, it's more challenging to invest in them at this point based on the struggles at the line of scrimmage. Throw in the Arrowhead Stadium environment, which will further tax the offensive line, and that further tilts the scales on what projects to be a close game.
Prediction: Chiefs 24, Patriots 20
Patriots-Chiefs: ESPN Boston's picks from ESPN Boston
Here's how ESPNBoston.com's experts see Monday night's game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) playing out. What is your prediction? Leave your pick in the comments section.
Chiefs camp boosts local economy from The St. Joseph News-Press
A total of roughly 40,000 visitors added an estimated $6.3 million to the local economy over the course of the three-week camp at Missouri Western State University, according to a study released by the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The numbers represent an increase from 2013, when about 35,000 visitors left an estimated $4.7 million impact on local businesses.
Patriots at Chiefs Pregame Six-Pack! from Patriots.com
1. Protection, protection, protection - It's never a good thing when the offensive line is the main story of the week and the topic of sport talk radio. But that's certainly been the case in New England this week after Brady was battered a bit by the Raiders, the second time in three games that the front really struggled to protect the 37-year-old franchise passer. Things don't get any easier this week. Justin Tuck and Tamba Hali combine to form one of the better edge duos in the game. They notched 11 sacks each last fall and have already combined for five in three games.
Nate Solder, in particular, could use a bounce-back performance after giving up a couple big hits on Brady by Khalil Mack and Justin Tuck last week. The Chiefs also have an interior rusher in Dontari Poe. So the entirety of a line - one that's still not settled on a consistent five-man unit - remains under scrutiny.
Hot Takes With Bob Socci: Revis Wasn't Calling Out Belichick from CBS Boston
Even though the Chiefs (1-2) haven't looked the same since starting the 2013 season 9-0, Socci believes the Chiefs present a great challenge for New England.
"Monday Night in Kansas City - one of the most loudest environments in all of sports. They have very good edge rushers in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. The Patriots are going in with an extra day of preparation, so hopefully they play better," said Socci.
Socci also notes that KC has a very aggressive defensive coordinator in Bob Sutton, and Andy Reid is a tremendous play caller.
Seven for Sunday: Proving ground for Eddie Lacy from USA Today
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady vs. the Kansas City Chiefs defense...
...Who has the edge: Brady. The three-time Super Bowl winner shines under the spotlight. Brady is 13-5 when playing on the Monday Night Football stage. The Chiefs have nine sacks, tied for fourth in the league, led by outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. Hali figures to be a matchup headache for tackle Nate Solder, who has struggled to stop speed rushers all season. The Chiefs also have safety Eric Berry, who can neutralize Brady's go-to tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots' running game is ranked 22nd. This would be a great time to get Stevan Ridley going to help back off Hali and Houston and afford Brady time to find a reliable target beyond Gronkowski and slot receiver Julian Edelman. Alex Smith isn't a quarterback used to carrying an offense without a strong run game. Brady has shown that ability during a shaky 2-1 start. Time for Ridley and that run game to ignite.
"The crowd noise, and being amped - obviously playing the Patriots always entices fans and teams to play well because of the history of the team - but it's always a tough challenge [in Kansas City]. Arrowhead is a unique and classic place to play in. It's Monday night. I'm sure they're going to be selling alcohol, so the fans are going to be excited."
Game Matchups: Chandler Jones could be a one-man wrecking crew from Patriots.com
WHEN THE CHIEFS PASS
Quarterback Alex Smith is efficient, more of a game-manager than a game-changer, whereas New England's secondary is somewhat enigmatic, though opportunistic when it comes to turnovers. The Patriots intercepted Matt Cassel four times in Week 2 due in large part to Cassel's insistence to force the ball downfield. Smith will utilize his check down receivers - and, if healthy, Charles - in lieu of trying to squeeze the ball into tight coverage. He does have 221-pound receiver Dwayne Bowe and flashy tight end Travis Kelce at his disposal as well. This is where New England's pass rush comes into play. Smith is a mobile quarterback who is capable of making plays with his legs, but his offensive line is in shambles and forces him to do so far too often. A resurgent Chandler Jonescould be a one-man wrecking crew if all goes well for New England, and Smith could be running for his life after getting sacked 11 times in the first three weeks. ADVANTAGE: PATRIOTS
Patriots defensive line might be down a man when it faces Chiefs from The Providence Journal
Backup Knile Davis has been extremely productive, and the Patriots could also be missing part of their defensive line in Sealver Siliga, who's out with a foot injury. Still, if there's a time for the Patriots' run defense to step up, it'll be Monday night in Kansas City.
"Well, there's a lot of factors," Chris Jones said of the Kansas City rushing attack. "You can attribute it to the offensive line. The running scheme that they have, I think is very beneficial for the backs that they have. Not only that, Knile Davis is a big and very fast guy. Obviously Charles is one of those guys that can make plays from anywhere on the field. Those guys, we really have to look at and stop what they can do."
Jones is likely the one to be inserted into the defensive line if Siliga can't go on Monday. When Siliga went down against Oakland in the first quarter, Bill Belichick used Jones (27 snaps) the most, but also rotated in Dominique Easley (16 snaps) and Joe Vellano(14 snaps).
Sherman profiled on E:60 fall premiere from ESPN
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is one of two NFL players, along with Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, that are profiled in the season debut of ESPN's E:60 program, Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.
The Patriots may be a better team on paper than the Chiefs, but no make mistake people, Monday night's game in Kansas City is a matchup from hell for New England.
What KC does well, the Patriots have trouble with...
...I haven't even mentioned the crowd noise at Arrowhead. It is one of the loudest spots in the NFL and this offensive line that cannot walk and chew gum at the same time is suppose to master silent snap counts? Maybe, Nate Solder will impress us with four penalties on three plays this time around.
I just hope Brady leaves the field under his own power.
The Chiefs are 1-2 this season and have not played close to the level that got them to the postseason last year. Harrison said he believes New England will take Monday night's game, but the Patriots can't afford to make more mistakes like they did against the Raiders.
"The Patriots have a better team, but if they come out and start slow, and they make the mistakes they made against Oakland, any team can beat you," Harrison said. "And this is a team in Kansas City, they know that they're not as talented as they once were. This is a team that's a scary team in a sense that they don't have anything to lose. ... Coming off that victory in Miami, this team is going to be motivated, a lot of people still don't believe in the Chiefs."