Tight end James O’Shaughnessy, fifth round, Illinois State. Starts: 3. Snaps: 111. The Chiefs already have gotten more from O’Shaughnessy (six catches, 87 yards) than they had a right to expect from a mid-round draft pick from a smaller football school.
Elsewhere, the Kansas City Chiefs have won back-to-back games and increased their playoff chances from 5 percent to 30 percent. They can take another major leap forward with a win at the Broncos in Week 10.
Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs: C. Three of his five losses are to Cincinnati, Denver and Green Bay and, more importantly, his team has competed valiantly since losing RB Jamaal Charles for the rest of the year.
ESPN Stats and Info has found the Chiefs to have the third easiest remaining schedule of the 32 teams. The collective winning percentage of the Chiefs' remaining opponents is 43.3, which is behind only Jacksonville (37.7) and the New York Jets (43.1).
Offensive line coach Andy Heck said the offensive linemen, a unit doing the dirty work in the trenches every game, also enjoyed seeing Smith display some of the same nastiness the linemen consider integral to their identity. "Our job as offensive linemen, we always talk about, ‘Protect the quarterback,’ ‘Protect the football,’ ‘Protect our runners,’ and at the same time make your presence felt," Heck said. "The defense has got to feel you every single play, and so, hey, when one of our guys is down there, if it gets a little bit chippy within the rules of the game, we want to make sure we’re the aggressor in every situation."
The Texans placed center-guard Greg Mancz on injured reserve with a knee injury. Mancz got hurt last week. The Texans replaced him on the active roster with center-guard Eric Kush, a former Kansas City Chiefs sixth-round draft pick.
"Jeff by nature has a little bit of an edge to him and it’s stuff that you like to see in offensive line play," Heck said with a grin. "He’s finishing to the echo of the whistle. We try to make sure that we’re making guys on defense feel our presence every play and he’s a guy that really brings that to the table. So, he leads in that way by example and it carries over to the rest of the guys."
"When I was able to break the tight end touchdown record," Gonzalez quickly noted. "We did it here at Arrowhead Stadium against the Cincinnati Bengals back in 2007. I needed one to tie and two to break the record. I was able to do that in the middle of a season that we weren’t very good. We won four games that year, but we won that particular game. "My whole family was here, so that was special for me."