Here's What We Learned from Andy Reid on Monday from The Mothership
Q: How difficult was it for
Donald Stephensonto move from tackle to guard in-game?
REID: "Yeah, he did get some work last week. Everything's faster in there, so even though you don't have that naked side where you're not protected, you've got people on both sides, in other words, playing guard. But you're closer to that defensive lineman in a pass protection and a run game situation where normally you can kind of skip-step to the guy. Now it's on you, by the time you set that second step, it's in your face and right now you're in the battle. So that takes a bit of getting used to, we're not doing anything live in practice so you do it the best you can and as live as you can in practice, but you don't get the full feeling until you get into the game. So his run game wasn't as good as his pass game."
Q: Overall, how did Donald Stephenson perform at guard?
REID: "He did some good things, yeah, he did some good things. I was proud of him for that. Just like you said, it's a tough thing to do and I think he would tell you, just like I'm telling you, he felt more comfortable in the pass game part of it than the run game part. And even that's different. There's a difference there in the speed of it."
How are the Chiefs Finding Success with so Many Key Injuries? The Answer. from The Mothership
Heading into the 2015 season, the Chiefs figured they would be counting on production from
Jamaal Charles, Justin Houston, Husain Abdullah, Ben Grubbs, Phillip Gaines, Allen Bailey, Mitch Morse, De'Anthony Thomas and Jeff Allen.
Besides Allen, who left after just seven snaps on Sunday with a re-aggravated ankle injury, the rest of these guys weren't suited up for Sunday's 34-20 win over the Raiders.
That's eight players.
With 22 total starters (11 on each side), and expanding that to 30 or so guys counted on for "considerable action," particularly the likes of Houston and Charles, the Chiefs were missing at least a quarter of the personnel they had been counting on when the season began on Sunday.
Looking at it this way, the performance against an improved Raiders team becomes that much more impressive.
Key Interceptions Fuel Chiefs Rally over Raiders on Sunday from The Mothership
Mauga returned the interception 66 yards to the 2-yard line of the Raiders, narrowly missing a pick-six as he was chased down from behind.
"I told him he probably hadn't run that far since high school," Chiefs coach Andy Reid laughed after the game. "Those legs got heavy there about the last 5 yards, but he did well."
Mauga's only mindset was to hang on to the football.
"I was thinking ball security and just praying I could at least make it to the goal line, and maybe I could carry it in and just fall in the end zone," he explained. "It didn't work out that way, but it put our offense in a great position to score."
KCChiefs.com Poll: Chiefs vs. Raiders: Top Plays
Chiefs' pass rush steps up without Justin Houston from The Kansas City Star
When the Chiefs took Ford with the No. 23 overall pick that year, they already had two strong players — Houston and Tamba Hali. But they took Ford anyway because they believed in his talent and his quick first step, and thought that a team can never have too many pass rushers.
Sunday's game — a 34-20 win at Oakland — showed why. With the Raiders, who led 20-14, driving early in the fourth quarter, a swarm of rushers pressured quarterback Derek Carr to step up into the pocket, and Ford tackled him. The ball fluttered out of Carr's hand and was intercepted by Josh Mauga, who returned it 66 yards to set up a touchdown that tied the game.
It was the only tackle Ford recorded all day, and the only hurry as well. But it was a big one.
Chiefs among teams in Week 13 to show PAT no longer automatic from Chiefs Digest
On the first miss, there was a high, but controllable snap from James Winchester. Holder Dustin Colquitt was able to get the ball down in time for the kick by Cairo Santos, but he lost control of the hold and Santos stopped his approach to the ball. Colquitt stood up and tried to throw the ball, but his attempt was incomplete.
"I thought the first one, Dustin didn't get a good grasp on it," Reid said. "He went to put it down and it slid right out, off his hand. Heck that happens."
After the Chiefs next touchdown, Santos missed the kick wide right and it wasn't close.
"There's probably no excuse for the second one," said Reid. "We have to make that. It wasn't the cleanest delivery and all, but you have got to just kick it through the uprights and that's how it rolls. It's not always going to be perfect. You're not always not going to have the laces and all this stuff. You have got to just drill it and go with it."
"I just think we have to up the focus just an inch or so. That's where I'm at. I'm not changing my opinion on that.''
The Chiefs did successfully go for two points after their final touchdown of the game, but that was because Reid wanted a 14-point margin instead of 13. The Chiefs beat the Raiders 34-20.
But Reid may go for two points in unconventional situations if the kicking operation doesn't get better.
Chiefs' Marcus Peters suffered calf cramp in Raiders game from The Kansas City Star
And while Peters also left the game in fourth quarter because of an injury, coach Andy Reid said Monday it was just a calf cramp.
"I thought it was good," Reid said of the running back arrangement. "We didn't have a lot of snaps that first half. I think we're going to be OK there. Both of them are good players. They ran hard, too hard at times. The ball popped out a couple times."
Each player did drop the ball, though neither was ruled a fumble.
Reid wouldn't commit to a rotation for next Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium or beyond.
"I think every week will probably be a little different," Reid said.
Chiefs RB Charles expects he'll be back before next season starts from The Associated Press via FOX Sports
"Even then, I was just chill," Charles said. "I just wanted to get the surgery done and get back on my feet again. I want to be ready for the start of next season. I want to play."
The Chiefs do not allow injured players to speak to reporters at their facility, but Charles agreed to discuss his surgery, recovery and the road back with The Associated Press.
"There's nothing more that our team wanted to do than to deliver a big victory at home and put ourselves in second place, right in the thick of the playoff hunt. Now it's extremely unlikely for us. I think it's obvious," Del Rio said. "I look at the different probability tables. I think we're 1 percent chance or something. That's not real good odds. That's kind of like the 'Dumb and Dumber' deal, ‘So we still have a chance?'
Team Grades: Tale-Of-Two-Halves Sums Up Raiders' Heartbreaking Loss To Chiefs from CBS Sacramento
Del Rio and his staff have to be the ones to blame for the Raiders loss this afternoon. Not only did they fail to continue doing the things they did correctly coming out of the break, but the fact that they crumbled when the Chiefs picked up its level of play also falls on the shoulders of this coaching staff.
NFL Week 13 overreactions: Seahawks seizing NFC crown again? from USA Today
3. The Pittsburgh Steelers are ahead of the pack as a potential wild-card team
Make no mistake, the Steelers are awash in skilled offensive playmakers. And with
Ben Roethlisbergerslinging the ball downfield, they are capable of outscoring any team in the AFC in any venue. But the key phrase is potential wild-card team.
At the moment, the Steelers (7-5) are on the outside looking in. The surging
Kansas City Chiefs, winners of six straight games, have the inside track on one wild card berth. The New York Jets(7-5) have a reasonable chance to at least reach nine wins.
Former Kentucky Wildcats great Art Still will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame Tuesday night at the 58th annual National Football Foundation Awards Dinner in New York City.
A Camden, New Jersey native, Still played at UK from 1974-77 under Coach Fran Curci and was a four-year starter who totaled 327 tackles during his career, all while playing defensive end. Quarterback sacks were not kept during his career and tackles for loss are available only for his senior year, when he compiled 22 TFLs, which remains a school record to this day.
The president also used the speech to defend Muslim Americans and encourage their community to stand up against extremism.
"Muslim-Americans are our friends and our neighbors, our co-workers, our sports heroes. And, yes, they are our men and women in uniform who are willing to die in defense of our country. We have to remember that," Mr. Obama said.
While the president didn't cite any sports heroes by name, there are many he could have mentioned...
...Football has its practitioners of Islam, too, including the Denver Broncos' cornerback Aqib Talib. Kansas City Chiefs Husain Abdullah drew a 15-yard penalty for sliding to his knees in prayer after a touchdown run in 2014. Later the NFL said he shouldn't have been penalized for going to the ground for religious reasons.
15 points: KANSAS CITY over SAN DIEGO, Sunday at noon
Speaking of two months ago, these two teams were pretty much in the same boat - left for dead. Only difference now is, the Chiefs stole the keys and paddles and kicked the Chargers onto a desolate island. The defense has been ferocious, and Alex Smith looks unflappable. Not picking against Kansas City again until they prove me wrong. Weird stat: Chiefs have been a double-digit favorite over San Diego just once in 30 years. Too many points to give up. Against the spread: Chargers plus-10.5.
Chiefs following in Royals footsteps from KCTV5
The Chiefs haven't lost since the Royals won the AL pennant and Ned Yost and company brought the prize to Arrowhead Stadium, and some fans believe those two facts are related.
Suggesting that the Chiefs players are somehow drawing inspiration from the Royals? I don't buy it.
If that were the case, why didn't those Royals teams of the 1990s draw off the Chiefs overwhelming success? Why didn't Royals shortstop Neifi Perez ride the success of Dick Vermeil's Chiefs, instead of flaming out in spectacular fashion?
I think the Chiefs success is fairly easily explained. They stopped beating themselves and started playing easier competition.
Wouldn't take over Bradford (8)
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Mark Sanchez, Eagles
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
Nick Foles, St. Louis Rams
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
Josh McCown, Cleveland Brown
Time to start wondering who could fill Tom Coughlin's shoes from The New York Post
Todd Haley (Steelers offensive coordinator)
PROS: Head-coaching experience with Chiefs. Offensive guru and developer of wide receivers who helped get Kurt Warner-Ken Whisenhunt Cardinals to Super Bowl. Coordinating an explosive Ben Roethlisberger offense. Coached under Bill Parcells.
CONS: Ruffled feathers by rubbing some the wrong way in Kansas City. Was 19-26 as head coach.
Inman day-to-day; Chargers to work out Pettis from The San Diego Union-Tribune
Dontrelle Inman was out of the hospital and back in the team facility Monday.
The Chargers wide receiver, who exited Sunday's game against the Broncos following a helmet-to-helmet hit during the first quarter, is "day-to-day" with a neck strain, coach Mike McCoy said. It's the latest positive development for Inman since being immobilized on a stretcher and carted off the field. The team, however, could sign a wide receiver shortly. It will hold at least one player workout Tuesday with Austin Pettis being evaluated, a source said.
Fish And Chipps: Why ‘Concussion' won't hurt the NFL from The Daily Free Press
You probably know something about the concussion epidemic and the stories of hundreds of former NFL players who are suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) or have died from the effects of the horrible brain disease.
You may remember Jovan Belcher, the former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker who killed his girlfriend and then himself at the Chiefs' training facility in 2012.
You may have heard of Pittsburgh Steelers legend Mike Webster, who was the first known former NFL player to be diagnosed with CTE...
...You may have seen some of the dogged reporting by HBO's "Real Sports" correspondents who have documented the gut-wrenching stories of former football players who have succumbed to this deadly disease.
You probably know something about all of this, but has any of it stopped you from watching or associating with football in any way?
Nope. And that's what I thought.
9) The Chiefs are making the playoffs.
This, my friends, is a fact. Kansas City has got it going on during this six-game winning streak.
Alex Smith is playing brilliant ball. His season-high passer rating of 123.7 on Sunday marked the latest high point in a nine-game stretch that's seen him put up 235.4 passing yards per game and a 10:0 TD-to-INT ratio. His rapport with receiver Jeremy Maclin is incredible. The team's mindset has totally flipped since the Chiefs' 1-5 start. And the schedule going forward -- which includes games against the Chargers, Ravens and Browns -- is relatively easy.
Enjoy this back from the dead ride, Chiefs fans. You've earned it.
The power back from The Topeka Capital-Journal
Spencer Ware will run a counter off this play between the Left tackle Eric Fisher and Left guard Donald Stephenson. The offensive line is running a combination block concept. The linemen on the right of reach block are suppose to reach until they feel their fellow lineman's left hip. That lets them know they are in position and can go second level for a linebacker.
The other key to this play is middle linebacker Ben Heeney and safety Nate Allen.
Chargers' meekness is unacceptable from The San Diego Union-Tribune
It was bad enough they couldn't keep him standing. It was worse that they wouldn't stand up for him.
Philip Rivers got a pass off and was driven to the ground by Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller at the end of a long day Sunday. Rivers immediately grabbed Miller and asked why he had put his helmet into Rivers' chest. The Chargers quarterback continued to bark, virtually helmet to helmet with Miller as they walked toward the line of scrimmage. They separated and then Rivers charged in again.
And the Chargers linemen watched.
I've never been an offensive lineman, but I know a few. In particular, I know the guys who used to protect Rivers - actually protect him - would have been between their quarterback and the bigger man on the other team.
Results and highlights of the Week 13 NFL from Gazeta Esportiva [translated from the original Portuguese]
It should also highlight the sixth consecutive victory for the Kansas City Chiefs giving the Cairo Santos increasingly hopes of becoming the first Brazilian to play a post season in the NFL.