Chiefs vs. Chargers: 10 Stats to Know from The Mothership
Justin Houstonhad monstrous games vs. Chargers last season
Houston had 5 sacks in two games against the Chargers last season, including a dominating performance in Week 17, when he picked up 4 sacks and almost broke Michael Strahan's NFL record of 22.5 sacks in a single season.
Houston finished with 22.
Over the past two games, Houston has 3.5 sacks and helped lead a Chiefs defense to three consecutive victories.
CB Marcus Peters Up for NFL's Pepsi Rookie of the Week from The Mothership
To cast your vote for Peters, click here.
9 Things You Didn't Know About Josh Mauga from The Mothership
8. If you could have any other job what would it be?
A stock broker.
After news released that Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel would retire due to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, former Tigers
Chase Danieland Jeremy Maclinwished him well.
Chiefs dismiss Broncos' claims of dirty play from The Kansas City Star
"You can't get away with that in real life," Maclin said. "You can't punch somebody in the back of the head while they're on the ground in real life and expect to get away with it.
"So, you know, hey. He hurt his team."
It was, in many ways, a sweet end to a long-awaited win for the Chiefs, who snapped their seven-game losing streak against the Broncos and, some would say, finally stood up to them, too.
"We've got a tough football team," Maclin said. "We're going to match everybody's intensity when it comes to that."
Chiefs place TE James O'Shaughnessy on IR, awarded DL David King off waivers from Chiefs Digest
The Chiefs are left with three tight ends on the active 53-man roster: Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris and rookie Brian Parker.
The addition of King bolsters depth on the defensive line with defensive end Allen Bailey dealing with a calf injury. Bailey did not play in Week 10's game against the Broncos.
The 6-4, 281-pound King originally entered the in 2013 out of Oklahoma as a seventh-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles. Seattle signed King off the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad in December 2014.
Chiefs place tight end James O'Shaughnessy on injured reserve, add two players from The Kansas City Star
The Chiefs signed tight end Ross Travis to the practice squad.
Travis, 22, is an undrafted free agent who played basketball at Penn State. He spent a week on the Chiefs' practice squad earlier this season. The 6-foot-7, 235-pounder was a forward who averaged 5.5 points and 6.3 rebounds as a senior in 2014.
To make room for Travis, the Chiefs released defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo.
Notebook: Chiefs awaiting word on safety Tyvon Branch's foot injury from Chiefs Digest
"He had a broken foot at one time - it was repaired before he got here - and he had soreness in that foot," Reid said. "So they were going to go in and do a CT scan. He's actually there now just to see."
Branch, who signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs in March, missed 13 games in 2014 while as a member of the Oakland Raiders with a fractured foot.
That, in part, is because the Chiefs have played against a slate of opponents who are difficult to score against. The 4-5 Chiefs have played five games against teams in the top five in scoring defense: Cincinnati (No. 1), Minnesota (No. 2), Denver (No. 3) twice and Pittsburgh (No. 5).
Meanwhile, the Chiefs have played just one game against a team in the bottom five in scoring defense. The Chiefs had their highest scoring game of the season that day, against the Lions.
Mellinger Minutes: The end of a legend, a Chiefs push, and a thought about the next Mizzou coach from The Kansas City Star
This season is feeling very 8-8-ish. Maybe 9-7-ish. Which, actually, is where a lot of people thought they'd be.* The mojo in the locker room is strong right now, and it should be. They've won three in a row, and the defense can talk about being the group that knocked out Peyton Manning. That doesn't suck.
* I ended up thinking nine, with 10 a better possibility than eight.
If we're talking about the Chiefs going from five straight losses to the playoffs, we're talking a lot about the crappy remaining schedule. Maybe it's true that the Chiefs were never as bad as they looked when losing to the Broncos (really should have won that game), Packers (when the Packers were good), and the Bengals. Even the Vikings are 7-2, though, honestly, it's still hard to know how good they are.
ESPN Analytics, which crunches the numbers and comes up with its own predictions about these things, disagrees. It calls the Chiefs the favorite to claim the second AFC wild-card spot.
It says the Chiefs have a 46.8 percent chance of making the playoffs, second-best behind the 6-4 Pittsburgh Steelers (57.7 percent) among teams unlikely to win their division. Something to keep in mind if the Chiefs and Steelers wind up with the same record and tied for the final wild-card spot: The Chiefs would make the playoffs because they beat the Steelers last month.
Broncos' focus on eliminating penalties has led to loss in aggression from The Denver Post
The Broncos have a NFL-worst 21 personal foul penalties. The defense had arguably its cleanest game in terms in penalties against Kansas City on Sunday before T.J. Ward punched Kansas City's Jeremy Maclin and was ejected. The Broncos' defense also forced zero turnovers.
Do you give up the aggressiveness that causes turnovers to limit personal fouls that can cost the Broncos a game?
"Not at all," safety Omar Bolden said, pointing out the Seattle Seahawks were one of the most penalized teams the past two seasons. "They had the No. 1 defense the past two years. We'll take it. That's the cost of doing business."
Since Chiefs debacle, Rivers less hittable from The San Diego Union Tribune
Arguing against seven more sacks this Sunday, the Chiefs' best interior rusher, Dontari Poe, has lost some zip since back problems waylaid him this past summer and led to surgery. Poe has only one sack and five hurries, a year after compiling seven sacks and 18 hurries.
Here's another reason Rivers is more apt to stay upright.
He's throwing the ball too fast for defenses to sack him.
From snap to release, Rivers is getting the ball out in 2.25 seconds.
Talented Chiefs D poses Bolts challenge from The San Diego Union Tribune
Field position winners
The Chiefs are below average at downfield passing but excel at protecting the ball, stealing possession and winning the turf duel.
They start drives, on average, at their 31.3 yard-line; their opponents start at the 24.5.
Alex Smith has thrown only three interceptions. No other team has thrown fewer.
Justin Houston, 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, is a top-drawer pass rusher who also stuffs the run. A year after leading the NFL with 22 sacks, he tops all "3-4" linebackers with eight sacks and 37 quarterback hurries.
Houston has played well against San Diego's right-side blockers, Joe Barskdale and D.J. Fluker, a former tackle.
NFL's biggest movers: Bengals choke in prime time; Steelers and Chiefs have new life from The Washington Post
Before Week 10, Kansas City was ranked eighth in Football Outsiders' adjusted sack rate (7.4 percent), which gives sacks (plus intentional grounding penalties) per pass attempt adjusted for down, distance, and opponent. That could be good enough to keep them rising in the AFC West.
Denver will turn to Osweiler for the forseeable future, and, according to football Ousiders, have the fourth toughest schedule going forward. The Raiders have been inconsistent and have almost as easy a remaining slate (24th toughest) as the Chiefs (19th).
Since it happened, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has made it clear that the team didn't want to lose wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. They simply didn't value him as highly as the Kansas City Chiefs did.
The Chiefs signed Maclin to a five-year, $55 million deal this past offseason, with $22.5 million guaranteed. It isn't known officially how high the Eagles were willing to go, but according to a report from the Kansas City Star, the team was willing to get pretty close, but wasn't willing to completely match.
An evaluation that so far has proven to be a big mistake.
Reading the Defense: Week 11 IDP fantasy preview from NFL.com
Week 11 boomer
Justin Houston, LB, Kansas City Chiefs: Houston is one of the most sack-dependent players in all of fantasy football. Good news! The Chargers have a bad offensive line and throw the ball a lot. If that doesn't add up to lots of sack opportunities for Houston, I don't know what will. Houston should be able to get to Philip Rivers more than once this week which should make for some decent fantasy production.
Antonio Gates' knee still not 100 percent from The San Diego Union Tribune
Gates said it'll be obvious to all when he's back to full speed.
If, that is, he can get there. He said he's not certain it will happen this year because it's his first MCL sprain.,
For now, he's getting by on know-how more than mobility. A former college basketball star, Gates said he doesn't think he could dunk a basketball right now, because he lacks the explosiveness.
The recent bye week helped, he said, and he'll have more recovery time before facing the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
AFC Playoff Picture: Six competing for two spots from NFL.com
That would leave Buffalo, Kansas City, Oakland and the Jets battling for one spot. Each team has real strengths and look better than any team in the AFC South. The Bills have the highest ceiling because of their overall talent, but the Chiefs are playing the best right now. Don't be shocked if Kansas City, once 1-5, is still playing for a playoff spot in Week 17.
21. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 22): Add the Chiefs to the growing list of teams that everyone — myself included — thought were dead but are now actually kind of alive because the "top teams" couldn't take care of business.
Rick Gosselin's NFL rankings: Tony Romo, Johnny Manziel quarterback the two worst teams in NFL from The Dallas Morning News
14. Kansas City. The Chiefs opened the season 1-4 with Jamaal Charles as their primary offensive weapon. Since losing him in mid-October with a knee injury, they have gone 3-1. Go figure.
Trouble with the cutback from The Topeka Capital-Journal
The Chiefs came away with their first victory over the Broncos during Coach Andy Reid's tenure. This play is one of the big reasons why.
Kansas City brings out a three tight end set for this first series. Brian Parker is going to go into motion and align in a fullback position. The rookie tight end is essentially going to be a pulling guard on the play.