Chiefs vs. Bills: Game Preview from The Mothership
The Kansas City Chiefs (5-5), after rattling off four wins in a row, currently hold possession of sixth place in the AFC. The Buffalo Bills (5-5), who boast the same record as the Chiefs, are in eighth.
Given those circumstances, head coach Rex Ryan openly stated how important the matchup between the Chiefs and Bills at Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday becomes.
"I think both teams are desperate to win this game because we know what it means," Ryan said. "Both teams are fighting to try to get into the playoffs, so we know it's a critical game for both teams."
Chiefs vs. Bills: How to Watch and Listen from The Mothership
Play-by-Play: Kevin Harlan
Color Analyst: Rich Gannon
Derrick Johnson Nominated for Influential Award by NFL from The Mothership
"It's a big deal," Johnson said. "It's a testament to the way I was raised and having character. Character to me means what you do when no one's looking, on and off the field.
"For me to represent the Chiefs and the guys around me—that means the most to me."
The award was was created last season in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr.
The winner of the NFL Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community will select eight finalists from the 32 nominees (four in the AFC and four in the NFC). The panel is comprised of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.
Game Day Forecast from The National Weather Service
Sunday Rain or drizzle likely. Cloudy, with a high near 37. East northeast wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Sunday Night Rain or drizzle likely before 1am, then rain, mainly after 1am. Low around 36. East northeast wind around 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Chiefs-Bills scouting report from The Kansas City Star
Bottom line: Chiefs 23-20
This one should be close, as it always seems to be between these two teams, but with the way the Chiefs' defense is playing, it will take a strong effort by a banged-up Taylor to come out of Arrowhead with a victory. The Bills are among the league's most penalized teams, which never helps on the road, but the Chiefs better not underestimate their opponent — both teams are 5-5 and should be treating this like a playoff game. If the Chiefs bring it and play as well as they did against San Diego last week, they should prevail.
Postseason stakes high for Chiefs, Bills in Week 12 showdown from Chiefs Digest
Plenty has happened, however, since the Chiefs last played at Arrowhead Stadium more than a month ago to boost enthusiasm.
The Chiefs last true home game came on Oct. 25, which resulted in a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers to snap a five-game losing streak. The Chiefs, then 2-5, now return to Arrowhead Stadium at 5-5 based on a four-game winning streak and hold the sixth playoff spot over the Bills (5-5).
Week 12's matchup provides an electric postseason feel as both teams jockey for position. But Chiefs coach Andy Reid downplayed the intensity level, choosing instead to look at the big picture with six games remaining in the regular season.
NFL Week 12 predictions: Bet on Patriots over Broncos; Panthers-Cowboys a toss-up from ESPN
BUFFALO VS. KANSAS CITY
Buffalo Bills: Bills coach Rex Ryan is calling this a "huge, huge game" and he's right. It could determine which of these two teams earns a wild-card playoff berth. In their four-game winning streak, the Chiefs are second in Total QBR (83.0) and first in opposing Total QBR (9.4), so both their offense and defense have been clicking. On a short week and playing their third consecutive road game in a notoriously loud environment, the Bills face a huge test. Chiefs 17, Bills 10. -- Mike Rodak
Kansas City Chiefs: The matchups aren't great for the Bills, at least when they have the ball. The Chiefs are allowing just 93 rushing yards per game, so the going will be rough for LeSean McCoy and the running game. And the Bills, 29th in passing yardage, don't have the firepower to succeed consistently against the Chiefs through the air. Chiefs 26, Bills 16. -- Adam Teicher
Chiefs' Dustin Colquitt mastered rugby kick to become elite from The Kansas City Star
Colquitt, it turns out, has perfected this skill with hard work and a not-so-secret weapon that San Diego Chargers punter Mike Scifres — yes, his AFC West rival — helped Colquitt hone.
"Yeah, it's the evolution of the rugby kick down there," Toub said. "It used to be coffin corner, (but) coffin corners no more. I mean, that was Feagles, what he used to be good at that, but now the rugby kick with the spin, when it hits, it comes back, so everybody goes with that. It's a much more high-percentage kick — everybody has that now. You can't be an NFL punter without having the rugby kick."
Chiefs elevate WR Frankie Hammond to active roster, waive DB Saalim Hakim from Chiefs Digest
The transaction is a reversal of what occurred on Nov. 9 when the Chiefs waived Hammond in favor of elevating Hakim, who originally signed with the practice squad on Oct. 13.
The Chiefs then signed Hammond to the practice squad on Nov. 11 before Saturday's transaction.
Saturday's move comes as wide receiver/returner De'Anthony Thomas (concussion) has been declared out for Sunday's contest against the Buffalo Bills.
‘I'm a lucky guy': Len Dawson, 50 years into a second career as a broadcaster from The Kansas City Star
That was a lifetime ago, really, back when he was still a Hall of Fame quarterback. Yes, it's been a very good life.
A large man stands outside the door with his arms crossed, the posture screaming try me, but he smiles and extends his hand as Dawson approaches. Dawson doesn't notice, though, because he's looking down for the credential he wears now as a Hall of Fame broadcaster.
"I don't need to see that," the big man says. "I know who you are, Mr. Dawson."
"You do?" he says, unsurprised but still playing the role.
"It's good to see you, sir."
"Well," Dawson says, "it's good to be seen."
Savvy Smith manages well in Chiefs' offensive system from The Buffalo News
One of the easiest ways to insult a quarterback is to call him a "game manager" or even imply that he merits wearing such a label...
...I was guilty of delivering such a message during a conference call with the Kansas City Chiefs' Alex Smith earlier in the week when I suggested his franchise-record and NFL-long streak of 253 passes without an interception was largely because of an offense that doesn't ask him to make a lot of risky deep throws.
"Yeah, I don't know," Smith said. "I feel like we've pushed the ball" downfield "a lot this year. Defenses are giving us that and we're taking it. So I think we've done a much better job this year, for sure, of stretching the field in both ways - vertically and horizontally."
There's no denying that Smith has had some success with big-play passes on the way to the Chiefs' 5-5 record. His eight completions of 40 or more yards are tied for the most in his 11 NFL seasons.
Jay Skurski's scouting report: Defense has to bring the heat while offense must warm to task from The Buffalo News
2. Continue to bring the heat. We finally saw the defense we expected to see on Monday night against New England. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was consistently under duress, and according to ESPN Stats & Information, was pressured on 20 of his 40 drop backs, the most in the past seven years. He was hit 13 times, threw the ball away eight times and the Patriots' offensive line committed six penalties. In classic Rex Ryan fashion, the Bills threatened pressure from every angle. Ryan pledged that's the type of defense the Bills will play going forward. Kansas City ranks 28th in Football Outsiders' pass protection statistic.
The Other Side: Paylor on on the Chiefs' defense, Peters, prediction from The Buffalo News
Q: What's been the mood in the Chiefs locker room this week, how are they approaching this one?
Paylor: It is a confident, jovial room. This team was in the dumps after the 1-5 start, but they never turned on each other, kept working diligently and clawed their way back. There is respect for the Bills, however, and particularly their defense.
Milt Northrop's Sunday playbook: It's a parity party as December approaches from The Buffalo News
The scoop: In each of last two seasons the Chiefs walked out of The Ralph with a win they probably didn't deserve because of huge Buffalo gaffe, same kind of plays that cost a chance to upset Patriots last Monday. ... KC has won last four to jump back into playoff picture. Toughest game remaining is at Oakland and three of five are at home. ... Health of QB Tyrod Taylor (right shoulder) and absence of Mario Williams not good for Bills. Chiefs QB Alex Smith is 3-0 in career against Buffalo with no INTs. That includes one game as a 49er. Odd stat: In seven games, Smith never has thrown an INT against an AFC East opponent. ... Justin Houston of Chiefs has 7½ sacks. Bills have only 15 as a team. Chiefs had given up more sacks than Buffalo, however.
Outlook: Where would Chiefs be if they hadn't blown game to Denver on last-minute pick-six? Can't see Bills offense being effective in Arrowhead bedlam against KC rush. Chiefs, 27-10.
Getting to Know Colton Schmidt: Consistency is key to punter's longevity from The Buffalo News
When the punter isn't being discussed, that punter is probably having himself a solid season. That's been the case for the Buffalo Bills' Colton Schmidt. In his second season, Schmidt's net average of 42.5 yards per punt ranks fifth in the NFL. But as detailed in this week's Getting to Know, there's much more that goes into a punt than an average.
The third-year pro out of UC-Davis discusses the need to stay measured, his switch from soccer to football and the art of his profession. After getting cut by San Francisco (twice) and Cleveland, he has found a home in Buffalo.
Five matchups that will define NFL Week 12: Tom Brady short on weapons vs. Broncos from USA Today
Buffalo Bills WR
Sammy Watkinsvs. Kansas City Chiefs CBs Marcus Petersand Sean Smith
Rex Ryanwants Watkins to get more touches, and the second-year wide receiver is all but demanding the same...
...But integrating Watkins might not be as simple as getting deep targets from
Tyrod Taylor, who still looks uncomfortable in stretches. And the Chiefs might have an answer for him in Peters.
The brash rookie cornerback has shown a penchant for making big plays by using his excellent recovery speed. But he also has given up a few big plays, so Watkins once again could find himself waving for the ball.
NFL picks against the spread, Week 12: Looking to maintain consistency in the SuperContest from SB Nation
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-6.5) over Buffalo Bills
The Chiefs are playing well, which means my decision to pick them probably means this is when they stumble. Kansas City has won four straight, covering the spread in all four. Kyle Williams and Mario Williams are both out, which would seem to bode well for Alex Smith and this offense at home.
Bucs' Jameis Winston has earned team's respect with preparation, play from USA Today
If the playoffs were today... Kansas City would be in. With a four-game winning streak,
Andy Reid's squad (5-5) provides a fresh reminder of why it can be foolish to write off some teams after only a few weeks. Still, the Chiefs are surging without Jamaal Charles(torn ACL, gone for the year), proof of what can happen when a team doesn't beat itself. During the winning streak, the Chiefs haven't committed a single turnover. The Bills (5-5) are pushing for the playoffs, too, which is why Sunday's game at Arrowheadmight become a tiebreaker factor. Then again, the Chiefs already have one break in their favor: one of the NFL's easiest schedules. After Buffalo, each of the Chiefs' remaining opponents are currently carrying a losing record, with a combined mark of 11-29.
NFL Picks Week 12: Computer Predictions Against the Spread from Heavy
The biggest covers of the week go to the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks. The Chiefs are a 6.5-point favorite at home against the Buffalo Bills, and the computer has them covering with relative ease by a final score of 26.9-13.7.