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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 12/17

Good morning. Here is today's Kansas City Chiefs news. May the Force be with you.

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Here's What We Learned From Andy Reid on Wednesday from The Mothership

Q: What have you tried to do and what do you need to do to get more consistency out of Travis (Kelce) in terms of production and discipline?
REID: "Yeah, nobody works harder. He comes out here every day and busts his tail. You've got to remember that this is his first year as a full-time starter, so I've been proud of how he's handled himself and working through it. He's so competitive. Does he have some youthful moments? Yeah, there are some youthful moments, but he sure has had some big plays for us. He'll continue to do that, you've just got to keep in mind that this is the first year he's been asked to be that guy every day."

Q: Do you think these mistakes come from trying too hard?
REID: "He loves to play the game. You never have to worry about that with him. There's a hiccup here or there, it's normal because he's going 110 miles an hour. I don't ever worry about him not liking or wanting to play the game or any of that. He loves doing it. He works his tail off. He's always here getting better at the game, and I think he's one of our better players and has had some huge plays for us. I think it's just a matter of continuing to play and those little hiccups get out of the way. He hasn't had too many."

Chiefs QB Alex Smith Talks About Importance of Playing With an Edge from The Mothership

Q: On comfort of timing and understanding between QB and WR.
SMITH: "It's just something that never ends, you're just constantly working on it and each week presents a different challenge. You're facing different people and a different scheme, so it's a whole new set of challenges. And you always just kind of build. You learn from all of the prior stuff and you kind of continue to keep cataloging and learning and like I said, it just never ends."

Q: With the coaches giving you more to do, does that mean you have more flexibility?
SMITH: "Yeah, for sure. And a similar thing, obviously, we're in the third year now so I think there's just more familiarity there and it's easier to do those things, for everybody, not just myself. And then it does change week to week, some weeks more than others. But yeah, to give you that flexibility to get into something we really like, to get out of something that doesn't look good. All of those - kind of everything in between. But certainly, a big part of it is about just being together and you start to build a lot of that stuff over time and have it in."

Four Chiefs Named to Pro Football Focus Pro Bowl Roster from The Mothership

As Pro Football Focus notes in its article, "The story here is that Berry hasn't just returned to playing football, but that he's playing as well as ever."

Check out the full list of Pro Bowlers here.

Local Hero James McGinnis Serves as Honored Guest at Chiefs Game from The Mothership

Most of Kansas City knows James' story. He was a senior slotback and outside linebacker for Olathe East, set to play in one of the city's best Friday night rivalries against Olathe South. James was playing linebacker when he tackled a Falcons ball carrier.

The next play, James seemed fine and began walking back to his position. Then suddenly, he collapsed.

"It happened between the whistle so the play was over," Pat said. "When I looked up, I saw a player on the ground. Then I heard one of the boys say, 'That's James.'"

Paramedics rushed to James' side and began the treatment they would eventually learn saved his life.

"The way we've always looked at things as a family, no matter the case, is that you can't change history—you can only look forward and focus on what's ahead of you. That's how we've been ever since."

QB Series Chapter 28: Scrambling for Answers and Finding Some from The Mothership

Quarterbacks Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard suffered season-ending injuries in the Chiefs game against the Tennessee Titans, and Gailey was forced to turn to little-known quarterback Tyler Thigpen for the remainder of the year.

Kansas City had acquired Thigpen in a manner similar to how it had lost Steve Stenstrom back in 1995. The Vikings had tried to slip Thigpen, a seventh-round pick in 2007, through on waivers on the final pre-season cutdown, likely planning to re-sign him to the regular roster or practice squad after he cleared. The Chiefs had tried the same stunt with Steve Stenstrom, who was promptly snapped up by the Chicago Bears, and later started for them. The Chiefs quickly grabbed Thigpen, who their scouts had seen and liked, and cast him as their third quarterback.

"I had seen him play in a pre-season game," a Chiefs scout remembered, "and he had played very well, and showed he was mobile, too."

The Vikings had seen what they liked, too, and immediately sat him for the rest of the pre-season in an effort to prevent other NFL teams from getting any tape on him. "Chan liked what he saw, his athletic skills and his competitiveness," the scout continued, "so it was an easy claim when he was released."

Chiefs' Justin Houston visits orthopedic surgeon from The Kansas City Star

The Chiefs confirmed Wednesday that outside linebacker Justin Houston has visited noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews, according to a team spokesman.

The news was first reported by NFL Network's Rand Getlin.

Houston has missed the Chiefs' last two games after suffering a hyperextended knee in a 30-22 win over the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 29. Head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said in the days following the game that Houston is considered "day-to-day," but Houston has still not practiced since then — Wednesday included — and the Chiefs have not set a timetable on his return.

Chiefs' Justin Houston visits renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews from Chiefs Digest

The extent of Houston's injury to prompt a visit to Andrews remains unclear.

Andrews has performed surgery on numerous high-profile athletes, including Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, who underwent a procedure to repair a torn ACL in late October.

After slow starts, Chiefs' season turned, Ravens' did not from The Kansas City Star

After six games, the Chiefs and Ravens stood 1-5 and neither season was going according to script.

The Chiefs had been openly optimistic about their team's chances of making the playoffs, and postseason had become a forgone conclusion for the Ravens, who had been there in six of coach John Harbaugh's seven seasons.

But the fifth loss became a pivot point for the Chiefs, who have ripped off seven straight victories and find themselves in the playoff picture.

The season never turned for Baltimore, who lug a 4-9 record into Sunday's game at M&T Bank Stadium.

Justin Houston again misses practice; that's not a good sign from ESPN

The Chiefs are 3-0 without Houston, counting the final three quarters of the Buffalo game following his departure. But Houston is their best defensive player and if he's out for the rest of the season, the Chiefs will not only attempt to reach the postseason but possibly break their eight-game playoff losing streak without their best player on both sides of the ball.

Running back Jamaal Charles tore his ACL two months ago and is out for the season.

Week 15: Wednesday injury report from Chiefs Digest

Joining Houston as non-participants are outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee), safety Husain Abdullah (concussion), wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas (concussion) and running back Spencer Ware (rib).

Hali missing a Wednesday workout is no cause for alarm, as the Chiefs continue to take it easy on the veteran.

Thomas, on the other hand, is a concern given the missed time since sustaining a concussion in Week 11.

Andy Dalton injury should be cautionary tale for Alex Smith from ESPN

Coach Andy Reid advises Smith and backups Chase Daniel and Aaron Murray to be the last line of defense on an interception, a free safety in case none of the 10 teammates can make the tackle first. But he realizes that isn't realistic.

"Sometimes you can't do that,'' Reid said. "It's right there on top of you. You've got to do [try to make a tackle].

"You're not going to tell them to not make a tackle. They're competitive guys. So you let them do it and hopefully [they'll use] enough technique and [they'll] get out of the way so they'll do it the right way.''

Chiefs place Tyler Bray on non-football injury list from The Kansas City Star

Bray suffered an ACL injury in January, and after missing the entirety of training camp, he opened the season on the NFI list.

He returned to the practice field in late November, beginning a three-week period where the Chiefs— per NFL rules — could evaluate his play before deciding to add him to the 53-man roster or return him to the NFI list. That period came to an end Tuesday, and the Chiefs obviously chose the latter,

Chiefs' Tyler Bray back on non-football injury list from Chiefs Digest

Bray, who signed a two-year contract extension on Sept. 5, is allowed to attend team meetings and continue rehabilitation at the team's training facility.

The Chiefs are set to finish the regular season with quarterbacks Alex Smith, Chase Daniel and Aaron Murray on the active roster.

The best athlete on each NFL team from ESPN

An interception in an October game against the Minnesota Vikings showed why cornerback Marcus Peters is the best athlete on the Chiefs. Peters was in coverage on one receiver down the field, with his head turned back toward the quarterback. That allowed Peters the vision to see the ball being thrown to a different receiver and the time to make the pick. It was a most uncommon play that only a few elite athletes could make. "He has tremendous ball skills,'' coach Andy Reid said. "A lot of corners in bumpandrun can't find the ball like he finds it.'' -- Adam Teicher

Dwayne Bowe will have an unsatisfying return to Kansas City next week from ESPN

Cleveland.com this week had a nice look at Bowe's plight with his new team.

The Chiefs were proved right in releasing Bowe, though the move came a year or two too late and at a cost. Bowe is costing the Chiefs almost $9 million against their salary cap this year even though he's with another team.

Top 10 Comeback Player of the Year candidates from NFL.com

2. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings running back: Peterson has bounced back in resounding fashion after missing the final 15 games last year, flashing 2012 MVP form in recent games versus the Raiders and Falcons. Peterson is currently leading the league in rushing attempts (268), rushing yards (1251), rushing yards per game (96.2), rushing touchdowns (9) and yards from scrimmage (1,457). If he maintains those leads, it will be his first time sweeping those five categories in a stellar career that will someday lead to a bust in Canton.

3. Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs safety:

NFL.com: Child abuser tops cancer survivor for Comeback POTY from Fansided

Yet, Wesseling actually has Berry a spot behind that child-beater in Minnesota. Why not just put Greg Hardy on the list, who was also suspended 15 games with pay for allegedly beating Nicole Holder, his now ex-girlfriend. What is the difference between these scum bags, Peterson and Hardy? Neither are men. They are cowards who hide behind a helmet and facemask once per week and get paid millions to do it.

Meanwhile, Berry has inspired millions around not only the country but the world, who are facing similar battles.

Chiefs can't let up against ailing Ravens in playoff pursuit from Stats Inc via FOX Sports Kansas City

Kansas City (8-5) is in the midst of facing three consecutive opponents that are currently out of playoff contention and could take on a fourth in a row in the season finale Jan. 3 against Oakland.

The Chiefs will try to use that slate to maintain their hold on one of the two wild-card spots. They're ahead of New York (8-5) because of a superior conference record (7-2 to 6-4) and lead Pittsburgh (8-5) due to a 23-13 win Oct. 25, which started their streak.

They're also still in contention for the AFC West but are two games behind Denver and could hand the Broncos the division title with a loss Sunday.

Send Christmas greetings with the help of the Kansas City Chiefs from FOX4KC

The players also pick which charity they want to send a portion of the proceeds of the profit to. AYO director of marketing Bridget Paulson says most of the player chose to donate it all to charity.

"Fans love it. It's really a great way for the players to connect with the fans. They get to keep it on the phone. They get to show their friends all the time," said Paulson.

Alex Smith is a rarity among NFL QBs -- still rolling in Week 15 from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City

"He's a tough kid. All these guys that play that position are tough kids," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Wednesday.

"There's a lot of glory in that position, and a lot of pub that goes with it, but down underneath it, those are tough guys doing it. The ones that make it through are very fortunate."

Just ask the Baltimore Ravens, the Chiefs' opponent this weekend.

Justin Houston could miss rest of regular season from NFL.com

It's uncertain if Houston would be healthy enough for the playoffs if Kansas City gets that far. What is certain is that the Chiefs are not the same team without their most dominant defender.

One hopeful note, though, is the play of outside linebacker Dee Ford, who piled up three sacks, seven tackles and a pass breakup in Sunday's smothering win over the San Diego Chargers. Ford will be counted on to repeat those heroics deep into December -- and maybe beyond.

Ravens cornerbacks prepare for high school reunion with Chiefs safety from The Baltimore Sun

Cornerback Jimmy Smith thought that it was crazy this season to be reunited with his former Colton High (Calif.) teammate Shareece Wright in the Ravens secondary. On Sunday, Smith and Wright will share a field with a third Colton teammate: Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen.

Smith was a wide receiver and cornerback for Colton, while Wright played running back and defensive back. Sorensen was a safety and the team's punter.

Jets Playoff Picture Heading Into Week 15 from Heavy.com

Coming into this Sunday, the Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers all boast an 8-5 record and are all prime contenders for two wild-card spots. If all three squads win out, New York will be on the outside looking in when it comes to playoff berths thanks to a three-way tiebreaker.

So, how exactly does that work? Caution: math'ing ahead.

Even if the Jets wrap up the year at 11-5 they would lose out to Kansas City based on conference record and drop behind the Steelers based on their record against common opponents. Right now New York is 6-4 in conference with two more AFC East games left on the schedule.

Here's the remaining three games for the top three Wild Card contenders:

Kansas City Chiefs: at Baltimore Ravvens, vs. Cleveland Browns, vs. Oakland Raiders
New York Jets: at Dallas Cowboys, vs. New England Patriots, at Buffalo Bills
Pittsburgh Steelers: vs. Denver Broncos, at Baltimore Ravens, at Cleveland Browns

6 Surprises In The AFC West This Season from CBS Denver

The Chiefs can win without Jamaal Charles.

The Chiefs started out 1-5, and most everyone quickly wrote them off of contesting for anything. Then star running back Jamaal Charles tore his ACL, and everyone really wrote them off for the season. But since that loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Chiefs haven't lost. That's seven straight wins, and with remaining matchups against the Ravens, Browns and Raiders, they could easily secure a wild card spot and possibly overtake the Broncos for the AFC West division title.

CBSSports Video: Brad Fanning Talks Chiefs Football

Forget the No. 1 seed, Broncos are in danger of losing AFC West from The Denver Post

The Broncos' offense showed serious problems raising the question of can they score enough to get through the AFC's gauntlet?

Well, first they have to secure their own division. A proposition that seemed ridiculous by the end of October is not becoming very well — Denver is in danger of not winning their fifth straight AFC West title.

Why? It's simple. The Kansas City Chiefs didn't quit on their season when they lost star running back Jamaal Charles for the season to a torn ACL. In fact, they've won seven in a row and now sit at 8-5, daring the Broncos to give up the crown.

Shutdown Corner Playoff Projection: Which 8-5 team misses out? from Yahoo! Sports

One team currently at 8-5 or better will miss the postseason. The most likely in this boat are the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs are all jockeying for the two wild-card spots, and though the Steelers and Chiefs have outside chances of winning their respective divisions, their best chances come as either the five or six seed.

Transcripts: Ravens-Chiefs Media Availability 12/16 from BaltimoreRavens.com

You worked with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid for a long time. When you see his bunch on film, do you see any spot on similarities to what you're trying to do here or any real market differences? (Joe Platania)

"I haven't looked at it like that, in all honesty. I haven't thought about it that way. I see a lot of familiar stuff, certainly, with what they do. But times change, and they're always evolving their offense. They're running more spread stuff. They're running a lot of the read-option stuff. That has been new to the whole league in the last couple years, and Andy is running that. [Spread game analysis/special projects coach] Brad Childress is the organizer of that for their offense. We know their coaches. We know their philosophies, and it's obviously on tape. They're doing a great job with it, and they've been very successful."

Ryan Mallett has a 'chance' to play before season ends; Matt Schaub returning to practice from The Baltimore Sun

New Ravens quarterback Ryan Mallett spent all day Tuesday in meetings trying to learn the team's offense, as coach John Harbaugh said there's "absolutely a chance" he gets on the field in the final three games of the season.

"We'll see," Harbaugh said. "We're in a situation right now, our quarterback situation is up in the air, obviously, with the injury to Matt [Schaub] and Joe [Flacco] before that."

Schaub, who suffered injuries in the Week 13 loss to the Miami Dolphins that kept him out of Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks and gave Jimmy Clausen his first start as a Raven, is expected to take some practice snaps Wednesday. Clausen, however, will get the majority of the snaps, with Mallett running the Kansas City Chiefs' plays with the scout team.