Five Takeaways from Monday's Media Availability from The Mothership
The Kansas City Chiefs participated in a short 10-10-10 practice Monday afternoon following the bye week. With the 45-10 win over the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium in London still fresh in mind, head coach Andy Reid described his philosophy during the time off.
"[I told them] to step away but not too far," Reid explained. "You want to make sure that you understand that you're only half done with the season but at the same time, get some rest and relaxation. Get healed up and get ready for the final push here in the second half of the season."
The smiles let you in to catch a glimpse of his infectious personality, but the ability he flashes on the field is why the general public is just now getting to know the 5-foot-10, 210-pound running back.
West earned the respect of his teammates in Kansas City long before he stepped on the field four weeks ago. He spent time on the practice squad for the Chiefs last season after signing as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Division II Abilene Christian before training camp.
He was active for six games for the Chiefs last season, playing 65 total snaps—with all but four of those coming for Dave Toub's crew on special teams.
His sophomore season has been a different story.
Social Recap: Bye Week Allowed Some Chiefs to Go Back to College from The Mothership
...as fellow Georgia Bulldog and Star Wars fanatic
Chris Conleycontinued to patiently wait for December 18.
11 Things You Didn't Know About Sean Smith from The Mothership
6. What is your favorite TV show?
Chiefs begin season's second half with momentum from The Kansas City Star
"They've worked hard, they've stayed focused," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "I think some of the young players have grown up a bit. And then some of the guys that were banged up a bit, either from last year or earlier in this season, have come back and look like they're getting more into the swing of things."
Add it up, and the Chiefs, who defeated the Steelers and Lions before entering the bye week, have played their consistently best football since starting with five losses in their first six games.
The momentum will be put to the test Sunday, when the Chiefs visit the division-leading Broncos.
The Kansas City Chiefs would have three victories against the Denver Broncos since Peyton Manning became a part of the rivalry if they were better at finishing. But the Chiefs are 0-7 against Manning and the Broncos because in three games in particular, the Broncos and not the Chiefs made the plays as the final seconds ticked away.
The Chiefs get another, and perhaps their last, chance to beat the Broncos with Manning at quarterback Sunday when the teams meet in Denver.
Chiefs midseason outlook: Schedule eases up from The Kansas City Star
The Chiefs, 3-5, have won their last two games, and Charcandrick West has done an admirable job replacing star running back Jamaal Charles, who is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
But most importantly, the schedule over the last half of the season doesn't appear to be nearly as daunting than their first eight games, which featured a three-game stretch against Denver, Green Bay and Cincinnati, who are now a combined 21-3.
Here's a look at the Chiefs' final eight games, complete with opponents' records and a quick thought on each as the Chiefs' prepare for the home stretch:
Chiefs starting left guard Ben Grubbs (neck) still not practicing from Chiefs Digest
With Grubbs out of the lineup against the Detroit Lions in Week 8, the Chiefs moved Jeff Allen from right tackle to left guard and Jah Reid started at right tackle.
The Chiefs head coach said the starting offensive line would include those two players along with Eric Fisher at left tackle, rookie Mitch Morse at center and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif at right guard if Gubbs is unavailable Sunday.
Defensive back Saalim Hakim fits what the Chiefs covet in players, specifically versatility.
"I play receiver, corner, kick returner, I play it all," Hakim told ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal on Oct. 29. "I don't play just one position, but I've been learning a lot about cornerback."
The Chiefs must have liked what they saw out of Hakim based on the team elevating him to the active roster Monday and waiving wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr.
Andy Reid didn't attend the University of Missouri, but he did coach there as an assistant for three years from 1989 through 1991 before he moved to the NFL. He still feels an attachment to the university and monitored recent developments closely.
"I'm a big Missouri fan,'' Reid said. "I loved my time there. It's a great university, phenomenal university. They're taking care of their situation. We've all got situations we've got to handle. That's how life is in every business, in every phase of life. They're doing what they have to do to fix whatever problem is there.''
Turmoil at Missouri had Chiefs coach Andy Reid's attention from Chiefs Digest
Reid isn't the only one in the Chiefs organization with ties to Missouri.
Special teams coordinator Dave Toub served as a defensive line and strength & conditioning coach with the Tigers (1989-00), and current Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and center Mitch Morse played at Missouri.
Daniel and Maclin, in particular, are prominent Missouri alumni and both were inducted in the MU Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame earlier in the year.
Chiefs begin second half still with playoff aspirations from The Associated Press via FOX Sports Kansas City
The Chiefs (3-5) head into the second half of their season still harboring playoff hopes, but the road isn't about to get any easier.
Kansas City's game at Denver begins a stretch of three of the next four games on the road.
And the Broncos are sure to be smarting from their first loss of the season.
Aqib Talib suspended one game for eye-poke from NFL.com
Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib's adventures in eye-poking on Sunday against the Colts will result in a suspension.
The NFL notified Talib he has been suspended without pay for this Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs for his eye-poke of Colts tight end Dwayne Allen. The NFL said Talib violated safety-related playing rules with the action. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Talib will appeal. Mike Klis of NBC-9 in Denver first reported the story.
Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib appealing his one-game suspension by NFL from The Denver Post
A contrite Aqib Talib admitted Monday he deserved discipline from the NFL for his eye-gouging incident during the Broncos' 27-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, but he seeks to have his one-game suspension overturned in favor of a hefty fine.
Talib's appeal will be heard Tuesday, with a ruling expected the same day.
"They are entitled to discipline me. I deserve discipline. I should have never went over there in the first place," the Pro Bowl cornerback said. "But it was not intentional."
"Yeah, there is concern,'' Kubiak said. "I'll be honest with you here. There is concern. I know he wasn't feeling very good after the game at all. I talked to him via text kind of bus-to-bus when we were coming from the airport back home last night. He told me he was feeling better. We start over [Monday] and we'll have to see how much ground we can make up.''
Wouldn't take over Bradford (10)
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
CBS Sports Video:NFL: Week 10 Preview: Chiefs at Broncos
Starting defensive end Mike DeVito returned to practice on Monday for the first time since he suffered a concussion in a mid-October game against the Vikings. If DeVito can play on Sunday against the Broncos, the Chiefs will have a nice pool of defensive linemen from which to choose. The list also includes Dontari Poe, Allen Bailey and Jaye Howard. -- Adam Teicher
The schedule's better in second half, but Ravens have no room for error from The Baltimore Sun
You feel good about the Ravens (2-6) because one opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, has a similar record and another, the Cleveland Browns (2-7), is worse. The Kansas City Chiefs(3-5) lost star running back Jamaal Charles for the season with an injury and the Miami Dolphins (3-5) can't draw flies much less fans at their home in Sun Life Stadium.
Jacksonville is led by quarterback Blake Bortles. Who?