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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 9/12

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Goooood morning! Happy Opening Day Eve! Lots of Kansas City Chiefs news for you today. Enjoy!

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Chiefs vs. Texans: How to Watch and Listen from The Mothership

Series History

• Week 1's matchup in Houston marks the seventh time the Chiefs and Texans have met. The six-game series is tied at 3-3, and in games played in Houston, the series is tied at two games apiece.

• Chiefs players have set two personal records while playing the Texans. In 2004, Priest Holmes passed Christian Okoye to become Kansas City's all-time leading rusher. The following season, Larry Johnson broke Barry Word's franchise record for single-game rushing yards with 211. Both records have since been broken by Jamaal Charles.

• The Chiefs and Texans have met one other time in a season's opening game. The Texans defeated the Chiefs, 20-3, in Week 1 of the 2007 season.

Chiefs vs. Texans: Chiefs Begin Regular Season Against Familiar Faces from The Mothership

The last time Reid began the regular season in Houston came in 2006 and resulted in a 24-10 victory for the Philadelphia Eagles, who put up 441 total yards on the Texans. Altogether, Reid is 4-0 against the Texans with three wins during his tenure in Philadelphia and one win with Kansas City in 2013. In those four games, Reid's teams have outscored Houston 110-67.

Likewise, quarterback Alex Smith is 4-3 when starting in a season opener. In those matchups, the play caller threw for 1,349 total yards for an average of 192.7 yards per game.

Along with the kickoff of the 2015 regular season for Kansas City, Sunday will also feature a new crop of familiar faces, former teammates, former coaches and friends on the field. Former Chiefs head coach and now Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is among them.

Chiefs DL Jaye Howard Continues to Validate John Dorsey's Decision from The Mothership

Before last season, Kansas City Chiefs fourth-year defensive lineman Jaye Howard had only played 70 snaps in his professional football career.

Howard was originally a fourth-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks out of the University of Florida back in 2012. After spending just one season with the Seahawks and playing in just two games as a rookie without recording a tackle, Howard was released a week before the start of the 2013 season.

He had played just one season and 22 snaps before the team that brought him into the NFL decided to go in another direction.

A humbling moment for a talented player, but it didn't take him long to find another opportunity.

Former Chiefs Playmaker Dante Hall is Big Fan of De'Anthony Thomas from The Mothership

Every time they touch the ball, you hold your breath.

It's a trait held by very few people.

But former Chiefs playmaker Dante Hall, who electrified Arrowhead Stadium throughout his seven-year career in Kansas City (2000-06), and current standout De'Anthony Thomas, share plenty of similarities, and not just the ability to get fans on their feet.

"I absolutely see myself in him," Hall recently said of Thomas. "I've been a fan of De'Anthony Thomas since he was at Oregon. Just the speed that he has, the effortlessness way he runs is what amazes me. I definitely see myself.

"He's a little guy like me and he may be faster than me. We may have to race to see if that's true."

Chiefs Download Podcast: Ron Parker

CWO Members, City Year Host Middle School Girls from The Mothership

On September 10, the Chiefs Women's Organization (CWO) spent time with a group of seventh and eighth grade girls in conjunction with the City Year program. About 40 girls from Central Middle School in Kansas City, Mo., were chosen based on behavior and attendance for the first month of school.

"A really big thing that City Year does is that we focus on relationships and role modeling," said Selina Rios, senior impact manager for City Year. "To see the women in the organization, to be toured around by the cheerleaders and to see how they carry themselves are really good examples of how to grow up and how to model after women like that."

Week 1: Friday injury report from Chiefs Digest

The Chiefs officially designate guard Jeff Allen (knee) and tackle Eric Fisher (ankle) as questionable for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.

The listing comes despite both players putting in full practice Friday, and coach Andy Reid didn't appear concerned over Fisher's availability.

"He's working through the thing," Reid said Friday, "that's what he's doing. We'll see how all that rolls, too."

Dontari Poe will play, Chiefs otherwise head to Houston in great shape from ESPN

The Kansas City Chiefs in effect announced that nose tackle Dontari Poe would play in Sunday's season opener at the Houston Texans by listing him as probable on their final injury report of the week.

If he plays, Poe would complete a rapid comeback after having surgery in July to remove a herniated disk from his back.

Chiefs' Dontari Poe primed for action Sunday from Chiefs Digest

The Chiefs list Poe as a full participant for Friday's practice, signaling he went full bore for a third straight day.

Still, the Chiefs could also utilize a rotation of Poe and the 6-3, 330-pound Jaye Howard, who was set to fill in if Poe missed significant time.

Whatever the team does, Poe's defensive teammates are excited over the prospects of seeing him in the lineup.

"Dontari Poe is a big boy, so he's a guy that we really depend on the defense," inside linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "We knew he was going to recover quick because he's not a guy that gets hurt a lot. I'm glad - he plays right in front of me - so I'm glad he's back."

CB Sean Smith is suspended, but remains with Chiefs from ESPN

He was in the Chiefs' locker room with his teammates following Friday's practice. He is not allowed to practice, and he wasn't on the field when the Chiefs were working during the small portion of this week's sessions that were open to the media. He is allowed to use the team's workout facility.

A change in the NFL's substance policy this year allowed Smith to be at the Chiefs' practice facility during his suspension. Formerly, suspended players were not allowed to be at the facility during the length of the suspension.

Notebook: OL Jah Reid's comfort level with Chiefs led to signing from Chiefs Digest

"It's a great organization," Reid said. "They showed a lot of interest in me. It came down to it, I met everybody, I really like how it felt. Everybody seemed really genuine and everything seems really nice, so I decided to come here."

Reid, who finished his college career at Central Florida with 33 starts at right tackle, appeared in 39 games with seven starts with the Ravens and offers the ability to play either tackle position or guard.

A good thing, too, because the current Chiefs regime covets versatility.

Chiefs have defense they envisioned for opener at Houston from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Dontari Poe was coming off back surgery. Standout safety Eric Berry had just finished treatment for cancer. All-Pro pass rusher Justin Houston was trying to land a long-term contract, and there was a very real possibility that he might hold out.

Fast forward to Week 1 and Sutton will have virtually a full defense at his disposal.

Poe has been practicing despite missing all of training camp and the preseason. Berry was back at the start of training camp some 250 days after his diagnosis. And Houston signed his $101 million contract a week before reporting, ensuring he would be on the field Sunday.

These numbers show De'Anthony Thomas' considerable value to Chiefs from ESPN

Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson told me this week that the value of De'Anthony Thomas to the Kansas City Chiefs' offense went beyond his rushing and receiving totals. He said the Chiefs had stats that reflected their offense being much better last season when Thomas was in their lineup as opposed to on their sideline.

ESPN Stats and Info dug up those numbers and they do reflect Thomas' importance to the Chiefs. They averaged 1.5 more yards per play with Thomas than without. That includes 2.3 more yards per rush and 0.9 more yards per pass.

"The ball doesn't have to be in his hands all the time for him to have an impact,'' Pederson said. "Just having him on the field gives us that extra little something to have an explosive play."

Watch Now, Watch Later: A Preview for Week 1, and the Season from Grantland

Chiefs (+1) over TEXANS

Watch Now: Can the Texans run the ball without Arian Foster? I wrote about Foster's groin injury in August and how it was forcing Houston to go with Alfred Blue, who as a rookie was one of the worst backup running backs of the last 25 years. The good news is that Foster's recovery time has been slashed dramatically, with reports suggesting he could be back by the end of September. The bad news is that the Texans didn't make any additions during camp and appear to be going with Blue as their primary back.

NFL Week 1 predictions: Broncos, Vikings, Colts, Packers the favorites from ESPN

CHIEFS VS. TEXANS

Kansas City: Season openers can be unpredictable, but I am confident of this: The defenses will dominate and it will be an ugly game. The Chiefs won't get their long-awaited wide receiver touchdown, but they are better at quarterback and have all their important pieces in their lineup. They will still get enough done to survive. Chiefs 20, Texans 16 -- Adam Teicher

Houston: Chiefs coach Andy Reid joked this week that he wasn't going to pass the ball at all against the Texans. The Chiefs also ranked last in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and receptions last season, with quarterback Alex Smith averaging the fewest yards per pass attempt, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Though the Chiefs have one of the league's top running backs in Jamaal Charles, and added explosive receiver Jeremy Maclin, the Texans' starting defense has a lot of pent-up aggression and they've got even more talent. Texans 13, Chiefs 9 -- Tania Ganguli

Facebook: Fans of Chiefs, Dolphins most optimistic; Pats, Chargers lag from CBS Sports

The social media site aggregated all of the posts and comments that NFL fans made on its website from July 22-Sept. 7. Facebook was able to rate the comments made by any of the 49 million people who "like" an official NFL team page on the site.

Besides Kansas City, the most optimistic fans were in Miami, Minnesota, New Orleans and Tennessee. It's hard to fault Titans fans for their optimism; they're probably just hoping the team does better than 2-14 this year.

17 Fearless (and Completely Arbitrary) Predictions for the 2015 NFL Season from Grantland

14. The Broncos will go 7-9. See no. 4.

And:

14. The Chargers will go 9-7. The Chargers are never not 9-7.

And:

14. The Chiefs are winning the AFC West.

Here is Andy Reid describing the perfect burger in alarming detail: "Then a nice slice of good, fresh Vidalia onion on it. Some mayo and ketchup. A little squirt of mustard but not too much. Pickles, lettuce and tomato and I'm ready to roll. ... when you bite into it baby, it's ecstasy."

The Chiefs are winning 11 games this year, and it will be wonderful.

2015 NFL Season Preview: Kansas City Chiefs from RealGM

The schedule might be a reason why folks aren't ready to believe in these Chiefs. Four of the first six are on the road, including trips to returning playoff teams in Green Bay and Cincinnati. As long as Smith & Co. can survive the taxing early schedule, they have a real chance to get hot late. After a Week 9 bye, they travel to Denver and San Diego. That's a rough patch for sure, but coming off a bye there (after playing a tough Detroit team in London) is the best-case scenario. After that, KC should be favored in every game except the trip to Baltimore the week before Christmas.

I know it's not a popular take, but I think these Chiefs will win the AFC West. I'll stand by that even if the Broncos don't falter near as much as I anticipate (I have them 8-8). I'm not sure they can win a playoff game, but I will be surprised if they don't get a crack at it. Kansas City finishes 10-6.

Behind Enemy (Side)lines: Kansas City Chiefs from The Houston Texans

Sport's Illustrated's Peter King had the Chiefs winning the AFC West this year, though he still had Denver reaching the AFC championship game in his MMQB column. What factors are contributing to this upward trend for the Chiefs?

Paylor: This is Year 3 of the current regime so typically you get a chance to bring in your own players, your own people and that matters. You've really got a ton of the guys to fit the system that you like and Andy Reid is one of the better game day play callers in the league. He managed to help the team overcome some offensive-line difficulties last year. Now with a better receiving corps, the offense should get better. The defense is pretty good as well, obviously with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali

At the end of the day, these guys can score points and they can rush the passer and if you can do that in this league, you've got a chance to win a lot of games.

Although Sunday will be Houston's nicest day since May expect the Texans' roof to be closed from The Houston Chronicle

Why doesn't the team open the roof when its reasonably nice out? After all, when the Texans were convincing Harris County to spend $10s of millions of dollars more for a retractable roof in 2000, then Texans president Steve Patterson boasted that the roof would only be closed during substantial thunderstorms because "football is an open-air sport."

What has happened is that Texans fans don't like to sit under the sun, especially during early September when it still rises pretty high in the sky, and over the last 15 years they have let the team know it.

Poe's Back But is he Ready for Texans? from Warpaint Illustrated

Fun fact No. 1: In the preseason, the Houston Texans ran for 2.8 yards per clip, 93.5 rushing yards per game, one touchdown on the ground over four exhibitions.

As NFL rankings go, that's — let's see — 29th, 19th, 28th.

Fun fact No. 2: The Kansas City Chiefs gave up 3.2 yards a pop, 81.8 yards per game, and three scores on the ground.

And, scrolling again: sixth, fourth, 15th.

Somebody missed Arian Foster.

A hell of a lot more than somebody else missed Dontari Poe.

Texans Report: Blue uses playing time to showcase potential from The Houston Chronicle

A tall, upright runner at 6-2 and 223 pounds, the former LSU standout is set to start in the season opener at NRG Stadium while Pro Bowler Arian Foster works his way back from groin surgery.

"Alfred's patient, he does a lot of positive things," guard Brandon Brooks said. "We're excited to see him get an opportunity and see what he does with it. Alfred has power and speed and can break tackles."

Blue provided glimpses of his skills last season as a rookie when he rushed for 528 yards and a touchdown with 15 receptions for 113 yards and a score.

"I feel like Sunday will just add to the résumé," Blue said.

The Playbook: A complete guide to Week 1 action around the NFL from Sports Illustrated

Chiefs at Texans (1 p.m., CBS)

Kansas City could be a real threat to any opponent this season, with a potentially dominant defense and new receiver Jeremy Maclin ready to make plays. In OLB Justin Houstonthey have the best pure pass rusher in the NFL not named J.J. Watt. Unfortunately, it will be up to the Chiefs' O-line to handle Watt in this game, and with the addition of Vince Wilfork and a healthy Jadeveon Clowney to that front, look for Alex Smith to check down a lot—even more than he usually does. -- DF

When he needed contract advice, A.J. Green turned to Justin Houston from ESPN

While the rest of the NFL's top-tier receivers who needed new contracts got them this summer, Green sat idly by wishing them well as he awaited the fate of his own massive contract extension. Before it came Friday, there was a time when he was on edge. The uncertainty about the process even led him to believe it might not get done until after the season. That worried him a bit.

So, to keep calm, he turned to one of his former college teammates who went through his own contract saga not so long ago.

"One of my best friends is Justin Houston," Green said at a post-extension news conference Friday.

Fantasy Football Timeout: Week 1 starters and benchwarmers from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans vs. Chiefs. I feel for the folks who invested a premium pick in Hopkins, who seems destined to struggle due to mediocrity at the quarterback position. Facing a solid Kansas City secondary that has been fortified by the return of safety Eric Berry, all bets are off with Houston's passing game.

The Read Option: There's (hypothetical) money to be made in Week 1 of the NFL from The Springfield News-Leader

Kansas City (even) at Houston

This may be one of the more attractive plays we'll see all season. The Chiefs appear to have all the pieces in place to make a run at the AFC West title, and they will visit a Houston team that seems to be in a constant state of rebuilding.

The Chiefs have an offense that has some life to it with the addition of Jeremy Maclin to a cast that already includes players like Jamaal Charles and Travis Kelce, and boast what is arguably the best defense in the AFC. Justin Houston and the Chiefs' defense should do exactly what they want all day against a Texans' team quarterbacked by Brian Hoyer and still without marquee running back Arian Foster.

The only question mark remaining is the offensive line, and that could be trouble against J.J. Watt and the Texans' formidable front seven on defense.

But if the Chiefs are as good as all indications have shown throughout training camp and the preseason, they win this one going away.

Touchdown Tunes: Extra Mustard's music guide for fans of each NFL team from Sports Illustrated

Kansas City Chiefs

The National — High Violet

Technically proficient, powerful, pretty, and permanently boring. The National have maintained the same level of popularity for a decade with album after album of glum indie rock and depressing pontification. Meanwhile, Alex Smith has a career 60-percent completion rate and is someone I've never considered critically in my entire life. The Chiefs will probably go, like, 9-7 again this year and fail to inspire us once again.

NFL Report: What the 'L'? from Philly.com

So what would make for the most interesting Super Bowl 50 matchups on the first Sunday in February?

Here are the top five:

Eagles vs. Kansas City. No, this would not be the most interesting Super Bowl nationally, but from a Philadelphia perspective it will always top the list as long as Andy Reid is the coach of the Chiefs. Imagine the two-week wait for a game between the Eagles and their former coach to see which one is going to end the long pursuit of a title?