Here's What We Learned from Andy Reid and Alex Smith on Wednesday from The Mothership
Q: How often do you feel you get in a play-calling "slump" and reach out to guys like Doug Pederson and Brad Childress?
REID: "Andy Heck is in that boat, too. We all feed off of each other. I came up with Mike Holmgren, who would do the same thing. The bottom line is, what's best to be successful on the offensive side - I don't even know the number, I can't give you a number - but I have full trust in those guys. Doug Pederson has done a great job. I've watched him grow from being a player for me, now as a coach, and each year he's done this thing, now a coordinator, growing. Unfortunately, he's got a head coach who's an offensive guy. He doesn't get enough credit for what he does, but I have full trust to turn the whole game over to him and let him call. It's something I enjoy doing, but I have full trust in him doing it and that's a comfortable feeling. I've done it with Brad (Childress) in the past, and then Andy Heck does the run game. I'm being real with you when I say that, when I give credit to those guys, it's not just something that I'm putting out there. Andy Heck gives me a set of runs every series, and that's what we go off of. That's just how it works."
Q: How do you know when you're in a slump?
REID: "I've got a pretty good feeling."
Safety Tyvon Branch Named the AFC's Defensive Player of the Week from The Mothership
It was his first game against the Raiders after spending the first seven years of his career with the organization.
THE LIFE AND CAREER OF TOM MELVIN from The Mothership
They would meet once a week.
It was important to the new offensive line coach at San Francisco State University that his guys would get together every week and spend some time with one another.
This was Andy Reid's first coaching job. The year was 1983.
Every Thursday, there they were, in his little 900 square foot apartment, a bunch of offensive linemen joking and relaxing with one another
But they would also work, thanks to an uncommon electronic device Reid had purchased—known as a VCR. There were no tablets, laptops or internet back then. They'd watch tape of upcoming opponents, discuss blitz pickups and more.
Reid was new to the job, hadn't been in town all that long and building camaraderie among the guys on his OL was important to him...
...One of his seniors on the offensive line for that San Francisco State team was Tom Melvin, the current tight ends coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Two Kansas City Chiefs running back hopefuls sat in a hotel room in the Adam's Mark in Kansas City a little more than three months ago.
The St. Joseph portion of training camp and the first cut that came with it was over. They had made it.
Unsure how the next round of cuts would go, they opted to room together as they searched for permanent housing in Kansas City.
One night, one running back turned to the other and allowed his imagination to run free.
"What if we were the one-two punch one day?" he asked.
Spencer Warewas talking to Charcandrick West.
Why Chiefs Running Backs Spent Their Day Off Playing Video Games at Arrowhead from The Mothership
The Chiefs running backs traveled to Arrowhead Stadium for the sixth annual "Pros vs. GI Joes" gaming event where they took on members of the Marines Combat Logistics Regiment 4 at Madden and Call of Duty as a way to say thank you for their service to the country.
"It's just being able to come out, take some time off and just enjoy it," said Charcandrick West. "They're pretty competitive. I mean, I'm not very good at Call of Duty, but I think I'm the best Madden player in the world."
Part of the not-for-profit Joint Forces Initiative, the "Pros vs. GI Joe" movement started in 2007 with the idea of connecting troops in Iraq with professional athletes using the medium of video games. This outreach program is designed to provide troops who are either deployed or on-site with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play head-to-head against their favorite professional athletes in video game competitions.
QB Series Chapter 27: The Transition from The Mothership
Trent Green was approaching the end of his career in Kansas City, although he could not have known it at the time. His backup since 2001 had been Todd Collins, who had been with the team in a similar position since 1998 but had seen almost no on-field action. He would eventually be replaced by another veteran, Damon Huard, who had come over from New England where he had been cast in the same role.
Edwards would see his plans take shape immediately, if not intentionally. In the opening game of the 2006 season against Cincinnati, Green left the game in the third quarter after suffering severe head trauma following a hit near the sideline. He would not be cleared by the medical staff for return until November. For the first time since 2001, a quarterback other than Green would start a contest for Kansas City. Huard was immediately called into action, compiling a 5-3 record as a starter, a worthy mark for a new backup.
Chiefs safety Tyvon Branch wins AFC Defensive Player of the Week award from The Kansas City Star
The honor was the first by a Chiefs defensive player this season and the first since Tamba Hali was named defensive player of week in Week 14 of 2013.
Chiefs' Tyvon Branch named AFC Defensive Player of the Week from Chiefs Digest
"It's a blessing, man," Branch said. "To be a part of a team like this, a defense like this, it's definitely a blessing."
Branch finished the game against with four tackles and the interception.
And he had a sense of satisfaction the production came against a team where he spent seven seasons (2008-14) before signing a one-year deal with the Chiefs in March.
Reid's job isn't done, but the way this thing is trending, he is well on his way toward seeing the Chiefs through a dismal time and doing it without their best offensive player, running back Jamaal Charles. If the Chiefs wind up making the playoffs, Reid deserves consideration, at least, as coach of the year.
If he gets that award, Reid might be the first coach to do so for staying the course or not doing anything dramatic. He didn't flinch when the season appeared to be careening wildly out of control. He didn't panic when the Chiefs lost Charles to a season-ending knee injury.
He didn't fight any urges to bench Alex Smith, who was playing poorly, because he never had them. Reid stuck to his beliefs that his quarterback would improve, the Chiefs indeed had a solid roster around him and his methods would eventually prevail, as they have for much of his 17-year head-coaching career.
Chiefs looking solid for wild card, not division from The Kansas City Star
The playoff scenario for the Chiefs is simple: Keep winning, and the postseason is no problem.
But winning the AFC West may be out of reach.
The dream of catching the Broncos and winning the division has been slipping away for a couple of weeks with Denver winning three straight after falling to the Chiefs.
The Chiefs take a 7-5 record into Sunday's home game against the Chargers, three games behind the Broncos, who entertain the Raiders this weekend.
The Broncos would have to lose three of their final four for the Chiefs to have a chance.
I found one that has the Chiefs, who would be the first of two AFC wild-card playoff entrants and the conference's No. 5 seed, slipping down a notch and being the second wild card and the No. 6 seed, even if they win out and finish 11-5.
But that scenario involves the Pittsburgh Steelers winning out and winning the AFC North championship and the New York Jets winning out and winning the AFC East title. The chances of the Chiefs, Steelers and Jets winning out while the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots collapse? Not very good.
Week 14: Wednesday injury report from Chiefs Digest
Houston, who suffered a hyperextended knee in Week 12, was observed without a brace on either knee and he appeared to walk without a limp during the open locker room media session.
The remaining players to not practice are outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee), safety Husain Abdullah (concussion), defensive end Mike DeVito (concussion, shoulder) and wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas (concussion).
The Chiefs have taken it easy on Hali, so there are no concerns here.
Mitch Morse returns to practice for Chiefs from The Kansas City Star
Morse had taken every snap this season until suffering a concussion in the victory over the Bills on Nov. 29 and hadn't practiced since then. Bailey (calf) had been a limited-practice participant, but both players were inactive for last week's game at Oakland.
"I'm a mama's boy, so I called my mom," Pughsley said. "I actually joked with her; I don't think she was too happy about it. I told her my practice-squad contract had been taken away and she was all upset, and I was like because they're moving me up to the 53."
So how did his mother take it?
"I won't be making jokes like that anymore," Pughsley said with a laugh.
Jokes aside, Pughsely is overjoyed for the opportunity and grateful the Chiefs maintained faith in him.
Chiefs' Jarrod Pughsley expected to provide depth at guard, tackle from The Kansas City Star
This marks the first time Pughsley has ever made an NFL active roster during the regular season. He is expected to provide some depth at tackle and guard, which will be needed, especially if tackle Donald Stephenson is needed to step in at left guard again for starter Jeff Allen, who is dealing with an ankle injury.
Chiefs sign center Daniel Munyer to practice squad from Chiefs Digest
The Chiefs signed Munyer to the practice squad, a source familiar with the transaction on Wednesday evening informed ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal.
The 6-1, 305-pound Munyer, who was waived Tuesday, cleared waivers Wednesday afternoon.
Munyer first joined the Chiefs in May as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado.
Chiefs' Zach Fulton aces first regular-season test at center from The Kansas City Star
"He makes me laugh on the field ... (making) some weird sound coming out of his mouth when he blocks somebody," Duvernay-Tardif said with a chuckle as he turned to Fulton, who was standing nearby in the Chiefs' locker room Wednesday.
"I hear it four or five times a game, at least, and when he pancakes somebody, he's like ‘ohp, ohp, ohp,' and he just lands on him. It's just fun to play next to him. He's a cool dude."
The noise, Fulton said, doesn't necessarily mean anything, in particular. But it has gained some traction in the Chiefs' offensive line room.
"It's a random thing — we're all using it occasionally," Fulton said. "You've got to have fun in there sometimes, remember it's just a game."
Fluker said he suffered a second concussion against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 22, five days after having one at a Wednesday practice, taking a blow on top of his head.
Defensive lineman Sean Lissemore (shoulder), defensive lineman Corey Liuget (foot), cornerback Brandon Flowers (knee) and receiver Dontrelle Inman (neck) did not practice on Wednesday.
Quarterback Philip Rivers (foot), tackle King Dunlap (ankle) and linebacker Manti Te'o (not injury-related) were limited. Rivers said he expects to play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Chiefs' recipe for success is simple: Work hard, trust in each other from Stats Inc via FOX Sports Kansas City
Rivers has thrown three INTs and no TDs while being sacked 10 times in the last two against Kansas City.
He hasn't been helped much by rookie Melvin Gordon, who has rushed for just 565 yards - a team best - but does not have a TD and was benched last Sunday after fumbling twice and losing his fourth of the year. Gordon held on to the ball but managed 37 yards on 15 carries Nov. 22.
San Diego, 30th in the NFL with 82.7 rushing yards per game, could catch a break if Houston misses a second straight contest with a knee injury.
Chargers Mock Draft 2016 from The San Diego Union-Tribune
Our expert predicts who the Bolts will pick in next year's NFL Draft
Ditching Tomlinson paid off for Bolts foe from The San Diego Union-Tribune
While LaDainian Tomlinson spoke last month, a Chiefs linebacker decided enough was enough.
No. More. L.T.
L.T.'s shoes, that is.
"The cleat that I like using, the LaDainian Tomlinsons, they don't make them any more," Tamba Hali was saying on Wednesday. "So, I switched to something much newer."
So, while a teary-eyed Tomlinson was addressing Chargers fans at halftime, a frustrated Chiefs pass-rusher was ditching his L.T. model shoes.
Properly shod for the second half, Hali found his footing at Jack Murphy Field. He promptly sacked Philip Rivers twice and drew a holding penalty as well, helping the Chiefs run away to a 33-3 victory.
Melvin Gordon fumbling at an alarming rate from The San Diego Union-Tribune
Tom Telesco invested a $36.5-million contract in guard Orlando Franklin. He figured to improve the run and pass blocking, off Chad Rinehart's poor 2014 season. Against the Broncos last week, Franklin made his third start since returning from a mid-season knee injury. One run play stood out. Franklin used his strong hands to displace a lineman. Then he sealed a linebacker. Gordon, who had taken a draw handoff from shotgun, followed the two blocks for a 21-yard rush.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, they've mostly floundered in the ground game.
What Do the Chiefs Say Fuels Philip Rivers? from Chargers.com
The last time the two teams met, KC held Philip Rivers to just 178-yards, his lowest single-game total of the season. Hali credits the coaching staff for always putting them in the best position possible to win matchups, but admits he has the utmost respect for #17.
"I believe Philip Rivers is one of the premiere passing quarterbacks in our league. He makes plays. They have a good offense (with) skill positions that can make plays. They've been a little hindered with injuries this year but apart from that, this is a good team we're playing with a good offense that can make plays. And they've got a bunch of guys who are willing to do that. It's just going to come down to execution on Sunday and who really wants it."
Chiefs' Branch finding place to flourish in Kansas City from The Associated Press via USA Today
The image of Tyvon Branch" culang="en">Tyvon Branch returning an interception for a touchdown in Oakland is exactly what the
Raiderspictured when they signed him to a lucrative contract extension a few years ago.
They just didn't picture him doing it for the
Kansas City Chiefs.
The veteran safety was voted AFC defensive player of the week after his pick-six in last Sunday's 34-20 victory over the Raiders. Branch also had four tackles and broke up a pass in his best game since signing with
AFC Westrival Kansas City this past offseason.
So. how 'bout them Chiefs? No, really — if you'd asked a month or so ago, most would've said, "Uh...what about 'em?"
In the run to the Royal's first World Series title in 30 years, the city was lost in a blue haze — it still lingers — and the Chiefs weren't even an afterthought. More like a painful thought that was easy enough to suppress. After six games, and a downward spiral of heartbreak and futility, any expectations had vanished. No team in the NFL had a worse record, the best player was down and out for the season and it looked like the Chiefs might never win again.
Then something happened: they couldn't lose.
Chiefs, Texans ride turnarounds into postseason contention from The Associated Press via The Tri-City Herald
When the Kansas City Chiefs visited the Houston Texans to open the regular season, two teams with striking similarities harbored the exact same goal: Get back to the playoffs.
They're still in position to do it. But how they've reached that point is nearly unprecedented.
After beating the Texans that September day, the Chiefs proceeded to lose five straight, along with star running back Jamaal Charles to a season-ending injury. They lost to division rival Denver on a fumble returned for a touchdown and to Chicago on a last-minute TD toss, their season so full of expectations spiraling perilously out of control.
Things weren't a whole lot better in Houston, where star running back Arian Foster was lost to his own season-ending injury. There was a quarterback controversy, lousy play by a historically solid defense and very little reason to think that things would turn around.
Yet they have. For both teams.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Chiefs haven't kept Alex Smith off the turf. Kansas City is on a hot streak due mostly to Smith's ability to avoid mistakes, but he has also pulled the trigger just once on a throw while being hit. So instead when the pressure gets to Smith on 37.42 percent of his dropbacks, he often resigns himself to take a sack, which is one of the reasons why the Chiefs are 23rd in total offense, although his streak of nine games without an interception has made up for that.
Like Smith, the two most pressured quarterbacks in the NFC are Russell Wilson and Teddy Bridgewater, who are also the two least likely to throw while being hit.
Jimmy Clausen would join rare club with start against Seahawks from ProFootballTalk
The list of quarterbacks to start games against the same opponent, but with two different teams in the same season is a rather short one...
...Kyle Orton was the most recent quarterback to do it and the only one to do it with two separate opponents in the same season. Orton faced both the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders in 2011 as a member of the Denver Broncos. After being released by Denver and claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs, Orton started games against both Green Bay and Oakland before the end of the season.
Betcha Didn't Know: Which coaches can close? from USA Today
Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs: 36-20 SU and 32-24 ATS. Like McCarthy's, Reid's numbers improve in division games, to 21-10 SU and ATS.
Marcus Peters, Ronald Darby: New Kids On The Corner from The Post Game
Less than five minutes into his first game, cornerback Marcus Peters picked off Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer, and the Chiefs scored a touchdown two plays later, giving them a lead they would not relinquish. The next week he intercepted Peyton Manning and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.
"He has very good instincts," said Hall of Famer and Chiefs defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas. "And he has impeccable ball skills."
Quickly recognizing the talent of another instinctive rookie cornerback, Bills head coach Rex Ryan gave Ronald Darby the same treatment as Darrelle Revis when he coached him. He put Darby on an island early in training camp, forcing him to cover the team's best receivers one on one and knowing that he would get burned.
San Diego (3-9) at Kansas City (7-5)
Sunday, Dec. 13, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Chiefs have won six consecutive games, while the Chargers are done. They look little like the team that opened the season with the glut of injuries. Kansas City will continue to play well and roll on to the playoffs. Alex Smith is playing well.
The Pick: Chiefs 23, Chargers 13
Highlights: The Chiefs are getting significant contributions from several players who weren't drafted before they entered the NFL. West replaced the injured Jamaal Charles as the Chiefs' featured back early in the season and leads the Chiefs in rushing. West played a big part in the October win over the Steelers that started the Chiefs on their current six-game winning streak. He rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown that day. Parker, who was released a total of eight times by three different teams before he made it to Kansas City, is a key defender for the Chiefs.