Question: Prediction on how Landry Jones performs on Sunday? Kansas City is probably planning for him, on the road, in a loud stadium. Different than last Sunday at Heinz Field.
Answer: Great question, and a pretty easy answer. I think the Steelers will play it safe with Jones, but not nearly as safe as they had to game plan with Mike Vick under center. When I say "play it safe" I am referring to the team focusing on those short timing routes and Jones' intelligence to keep them in manageable situations.
The status of the Steelers’ top two quarterbacks for Sunday’s game in Kansas City remains uncertain, and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told reporters Tuesday he is "assuming" that Landry Jones will be the team’s starter.
"It was one of those plays where he understood who was our flanker on that play and we had a tight end out there, (so) I guess he was confident that we weren’t going to throw it deep to a tight end or something like that," Bridgewater said. "It was a great play by him." Bridgewater added that he was expecting Peters to continue carrying the tight end up the field, which he technically was supposed to do. "They were in man coverage, so he just came off of his guy and I guess he expected the ball to be thrown, or he had a timer in his head," Bridgewater said. "Like I said, it was one those plays that you see a lot of veterans make, so to see him make that play, it speaks volumes to the kind of player he is."
In their first game without No. 25 in the backfield, the Chiefs were bottled up a week ago by the Minnesota Vikings. Charcandrick West ran for 33 yards, Knile Davis managed just 13 more on five carries, and the Chiefs finished with 57 yards rushing in a 16-10 defeat. In the five games before Charles was hurt? The Chiefs averaged 110 yards on the ground.
For better or worse, the offensive personnel is largely set except for three positions. The left tackle and right guard spots are up for grabs, along with a second receiver. At this point, it is nauseating to imagine Albert Wilson starting again, along with Zach Fulton/Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Donald Stephenson. Considering Stephenson and Jeff Allen are free agents, expect them to hit the bricks.
This year, they’re in a familiar spot. Quarterback jail. Good-guy Alex Smith, God bless him, is not getting it done though he is, or was, until of late, a cut above what the Chiefs typically have trotted out behind center. The San Diegan looks spooked. He’s taken more sacks than any other AFC quarterback. Defenses are again daring him to beat them downfield, and he’s not making them back off.
"What we came up with was, let’s figure out a way to buy them a beer," Donovan said. "The idea is if you’re coming to London, whether you came in on a train from Manchester where you live or whether you came over on a flight or whether you came in from Germany because it’s easier to get to London than Kansas City, you came to support the Chiefs and we want to buy you a beer."
"I think it was the start of helping me be equipped for a situation like this," said Cassel, acquired in a trade with Buffalo two days after Romo's injury in Week 2 at Philadelphia. "This is my 11th year. I've been through all different types of situations at this point in my career." For instance, he started 47 games over four seasons with Kansas City after the Chiefs traded for him following the surprising 2008 season. But he lost the starting job each of his last two seasons there, and was gone for good after throwing six touchdowns with 12 interceptions in 2012.
Here are a few facts for your Friday to keep in mind as you get fired up for the upcoming game. All of these stats are from the Mike Tomlin era.
Now, Haley is headed back to Kansas City, where he was head coach for the better part of three seasons. The Chiefs fired him with three games remaining in the 2011 season. This is the third time the Steelers and Chiefs have played since Haley came to Pittsburgh, but the first time in Kansas City. "It's a place where I lived for three years, so obviously I'll see familiar spots and things like that," he said. "Maybe when I'm in the stadium I'll have some flashbacks. I'm very proud of what I accomplished there. Didn't really end the way I imagined it would, but I'm still very proud."
That play won’t cause the Chiefs to go to either of their two other backs, Knile Davis and Spencer Ware, in clutch situations Sunday against the Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium. Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson indicated the Chiefs haven’t lost confidence in West. "He’ll learn from that," Pederson said of West, who made his first NFL start in Minnesota. "Put in that situation again, he’ll hang onto it."