Chiefs Will Play the Houston Texans in Wild Card Round of NFL Playoffs Saturday from The Mothership
The Kansas City Chiefs will travel to NRG Stadium to take on the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs this Saturday at 3:35 p.m. CT. The Texans won the AFC South division with a 9-7 record and the Chiefs clinched the AFC's first Wild Card spot at 11-5.
Saturday will mark the second meeting between the Chiefs and the Texans, who met in a Week 1 game the Chiefs won, 27-20. Chiefs quarterback
Alex Smithhad 243 yards passing and 3 touchdowns in the victory.
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders, 23-17, finishing the 2015 regular season with a franchise record 10 consecutive wins and an 11-5 record overall.
"I like this football team," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said after the game. "They're a pretty humble crew. They don't get caught up in accolades or wins and all that stuff. They just go play. That's the way they practice. They practice just like the way they play. They go out and go a hundred miles an hour and they do it every day. Every team has got its own personality, but that's kind of this group. Humble group that work hard. They don't think anything is impossible. You love that about them."
With Week 17 over, the Chiefs enter the playoffs as the first Wild Card in the AFC.
Chiefs vs. Raiders: 10 Observations from The Mothership
7. Ron Parker sets franchise record, then picks off another pass...
...8. Jeremy Maclin also sets franchise record...
...9. Marcus Peters also sets franchise record, too!
KCChiefs.com Videos: Chiefs vs. Raiders: Kansas City Highlights
Chiefs beat Raiders 23-17, win 10th straight game from The Kansas City Star
Two-and-a-half months ago, the Chiefs were a fledgling 1-5 squad, easily one of the league's most disappointing teams.
The team chairman, Clark Hunt, was fielding questions about the future of coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey, and fans were debating the merits of drafting a quarterback in the first round.
So much for all that.
On Sunday, the Chiefs won their franchise-record 10th straight game â a 23-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders in the regular-season finale before a crowd of 76,114 at Arrowhead Stadium â to officially maintain their status as the league's hottest team entering the playoffs.
Chiefs beat Oakland, shift focus to facing Houston in playoffs from Chiefs Digest
On orders from Reid, the folks inside Arrowhead were kept in the dark about developments in Denver until the victory was assured for the Chiefs. Denver rallied behind Peyton Manning to beat San Diego, 27-20, and lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC. A Denver loss and a Chiefs victory would have given them the division title and a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
"That was pretty farfetched," tight end Travis Kelce said of the Denver losing to San Diego scenario. "It was wishful thinking; at the end of the day, we don't care who we got. We are fired up about being in the playoffs and taking on whoever we got."
It was also a day for nostalgia with the NFL saying good bye to one of its best defensive players, as Oakland safety Charles Woodson played his 254th and last game in an 18-year career with the Raiders and Packers. A first-round selection by Oakland in the 1998 NFL Draft, Woodson first pro game was played at Arrowhead on September 6, 1998. The Chiefs won that one too, 28-8.
Defense shines, dominates highs in Week 17 win over Raiders from Chiefs Digest
Do you believe in miracles? Because the Kansas City Chiefs sure do.
The Chiefs were 1-5 through Week 6. The future looked grim. Playoffs? That hope seemed far fetched 11 weeks ago.
But they weren't going to give up hope. And 11 weeks later, the Chiefs finished the regular season with 10-straight wins.
The regular season was punctuated with a 23-17 win at home against the Raiders (7-9) to solidify the Chiefs' first wildcard spot.
A look back at the regular season finale's highs and lows:
How far they can go: The Chiefs have no reason to fear their first-round playoff opponents. They beat the Texans 27-20 in Houston in September. The Chiefs have nothing to fear on the road in the first round. A strong case can be made that they've been better on the road than at home this season. Despite Smith's struggles against Oakland, he's clearly behind only New England's Tom Brady and Roethlisberger among AFC playoff quarterbacks. He should be good enough to help the Chiefs get one playoff victory, if not more.
Chiefs playoff bound, Raiders head into offseason with loss from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
The Chiefs kept their run going with a 23-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, though they were denied the AFC West title when Denver beat San Diego. And now they'll head to Houston next weekend to face the same team they beat in their opener knowing that a loss ends their season.
''Our mindset has changed a lot since then,'' Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe said. ''We have a certain grit about us. That's big, I think, why we're on the winning streak we're on now.''
That grit showed through once more on Sunday.
Blocked punt against Oakland reboots Chiefs from The Kansas City Star
The Chiefs thought they could get to a Raiders' punt but knew it would be a difficult chore.
Raiders' punter Marquette King gets his kicks off quickly. Even untouched, it would take a superb effort to get a hand on the ball.
Which made D.J. Alexander's play in the third quarter all the more impressive. He flew in and blocked the punt with his left arm around the elbow.
The ball bounded out of the end zone for a safety, a well-time play that rebooted the Chiefs.
"Definitely, definitely a pivotal moment of the game," Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said.
Teammates enjoy Mike DeVito's celebratory dance moves after sacks from Chiefs Digest
Defensive back Ron Parker, safety Ron Parker, defensive end Jaye Howard, outside linebackers Dee Ford and Frank Zombo, and defensive end Mike DeVito each totaled a sack.
But it isn't a sack party without a little celebratory dance led by DeVito, who has performed some of the modern popular dances during the 2015 season.
DeVito did the Dab in Week 10 and can now add rapper Piles' "Ran off on da plug twice" dance, which has gained popularity during college bowl games, to the repertoire after sacking Carr late in the third quarter.
T Eric Fisher: He again failed to solidify the left tackle spot the way a former No. 1 overall draft pick should. Fisher again struggled with opponents who brought a strong pass rusher.
Clark Hunt's faith in Andy Reid, John Dorsey has paid off from The Kansas City Star
Entering the Raiders' game, Reid and Dorsey had compiled a 30-17 record since 2013.
"They took us â after a very disappointing 2012 season â to the playoffs the next year," Hunt said. "We narrowly missed the playoffs last year, and all of us thought this was probably the best team that we've had since they've been. We were just disappointed, but I had a sense that they might be able to turn it around."
Hunt said he got that sense by having regular conversations with both men throughout the losing streak.
"We talk every week, and obviously when you're losing, those conversations are a little bit harder," Hunt said. "And Andy said the key was ‘Look, we've just to keep focused on our next opponent, and that's what we did."
Clark Hunt never lost confidence in Andy Reid, John Dorsey from Chiefs Digest
"Andy said the key was we got to keep focused on our next opponent and that's what he did," Hunt said. "We got that first victory, which I think really lifted the team's spirit. Went to London, I think the team had a great experience over there. Obviously, won the game and it just took off from there."
A large part of Reid's leadership surrounded keeping the team together, and his ability to not lose the players during the losing streak held the Chiefs together.
"In this locker room, we all looked at each other and we knew we had this," running back Charcandrick West said. "We stuck together and you see the outcome."
Hunt gave Reid and Dorsey a public vote of confidence in Week 8 during a media session in London, and he reinforced Sunday what he previously stated about not making changes during the losing streak.
Texans, Chiefs followed similar paths to playoffs from The Kansas City Star
Four quarterbacks would start for the Texans this season. Brian Hoyer, who started Sunday's victory over the Jaguars that clinched the AFC South title, will get the start against the Chiefs.
Just as he did in the season-opener, a game won by the Chiefs 27-20 at NRG Stadium, site of this weekend's game.
Chiefs to face Texans in first round of playoffs from Chiefs Digest
The first round of Wild Card Weekend features a rematch of Week 1, which saw the Chiefs emerge victorious 27-20 at NRG Stadium.
Houston is also the site of the Chiefs' last playoff win, which came against the Oilers on Jan. 16, 1994.
History aside, the Chiefs look to extend a franchise-record 10-game winning streak into the postseason in what has been a magical year in sports for two of Kansas City's biggest sports teams.
The 2015 season marked the first time in Kansas City history the Royals and Chiefs made the postseason in a season.
Coincidentally, the Royals jumpstarted their run to a World Series crown in Houston behind a five-run rally in the eighth inning against the Astros in Game 4 of the ALDS.
2016 NFL opponents: Home and away games for all 32 teams from FOX Sports
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Kansas City Chiefs Odds to Win Super Bowl 50 from Heavy.com
Here is a look at the teams in front of the Chiefs along with the Super Bowl odds:
Charles Woodson walks away a legend in Kansas City from The San Jose Mercury-News
This day, a legend played his last snap. One of the Raiders all-time greats said goodbye. And not even the Raiders heart-breaking 23-17 loss could taint the importance of this moment. Because Charles Woodson is an NFL treasure appreciated across the board, even by Kansas City Chiefs fans who despise the Raiders.
Bell: Beware red-hot Chiefs, who hit playoffs in full stride from USA Today
Sometimes, it's how you do it.
"We're getting the results we want and also saying it's week to week," Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson" culang="en">Derrick Johnson reflected Sunday night, after yet another gritty victory.
"When that starts happening, you start believing it."
Just consider this journey, the most improbable run for any team in the playoffs. In mid-October, the Chiefs were 1-5. In the NFL, that's life-support territory.
Now, having finished off the Oakland Raiders 23-17, Kansas City is headed into the playoffs with the league's longest winning streak, a franchise-record 10-game run.
Texans to host Chiefs in Wild Card round of playoffs from HoustonTexans.com
Because the Broncos beat the Chargers in Week 17, they locked up the AFC West division crown, which meant the Chiefs, at 11-5, were a Wild Card team.
After his squad beat the Jaguars, head coach Bill O'Brien said the Texans weren't satisfied.
"Do we want to rest on our laurels of where we are right now?," O'Brien asked. "I think it's great. I really do. I think it's a good thing, but this is the second season and we'd like to try to keep it going."
Eagles fans just breathed a sigh of relief.
Two independent sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the subject, told N.J. Advance Media that Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson was not a leading candidate to replace Chip Kelly as Eagles' head coach.
An ESPN report Sunday morning listed Pederson as a leading candidate for the job.
"That's not going to happen,'' one source said.
How far they can go: Set to face the Kansas City Chiefs, I wouldn't count the Texans out of winning at least one game. Yes, they suffered a devastating injury in the season finale, losing left tackle Duane Brown. But they've handled injuries gracefully all season. With the defense playing as ferociously as it has been this season, the Texans could surprise some. The Chiefs won the first meeting between the two teams, and started 1-5 while the Texans started 2-5. And while Kansas City has won 10 games in a row, the Texans are also entering with confidence, having won the AFC South, and will be playing at home.
When I first put on the tape to find a few plays that illustrate Berry's talent and performance this season, the thing that struck me initially is that it's sometimes kind of hard to find him on the field immediately. He's constantly moving around -- playing in the deep middle, up in the slot against a receiver or tight end, up in the box against the run, and a little bit of everything in between. Honey Badger gets a lot of love for his versatility and that's well deserved, but Berry does a good amount of moving around too, and I saw him play zone, play man coverage, support the run and do some blitzing to boot. He's an integral and dangerous piece of the Chiefs' elite defense, and he's a fun player to watch.
Alex Smith looked down at his phone in the middle of the Chiefs locker room, moments after leading his team to its franchise-record 10th straight victory.
"Just checking messages," he said with a grin.
Not checking scores.
Turns out, Smith already knew that Denver had knocked off San Diego to deny Kansas City the AFC West title.
But with their 23-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, the Chiefs managed to keep their unprecedented roll going into their playoff opener in Houston next weekend.
"This week it would have been easy, clinch last week on that emotional high, to have a lull," said Smith, who threw two TD passes against the Raiders. "We still came out and played good football."
Hopkins Hints At Texans Super Bowl Run For Texans from CBS Houston
When asked what he remembers from that Week 1 loss to Kansas City, Hopkins said:
"We lost, so I really don't want to remember too much from it. But I remember the first play, the interception. That's going to stick out."
Hopkins later admitted that it was his mistake that led to the interception by first-round rookie cornerback Marcus Peters, not one by Brian Hoyer.
However they started the regular season, the Texans have rolled toward the finish, winning seven of nine games en route to becoming one of the hottest teams in the leagle.
What to watch for in Wild Card Weekend from NFL.com
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans, 4:35 pm ET (ESPN/ABC)
1. This is a rematch of a 27-20 Week 1 win by the Chiefs that established many Kansas City themes for the season. Kansas City is great at getting leads early, and then holding on for dear life with a strong running game. Now the Chiefs have Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware running the ball instead of Jamaal Charles, yet they have only improved throughout the season.
2. That opening loss also set up the enormouse waste of time that Texans coach Bill O'Brien called "The Ryan Mallett era." Brian Hoyer was replaced in that game and Mallett's solid relief effort gave him an extended audition for the gig. Hoyer ultimately provided stability at the position and is fully healthy after missing a few games with a concussion. He finished with 19 touchdowns and seven picks in a sneaky solid season.
3. J.J. Watt has the use of both of his hands again, and he'll have a favorable matchup against a mediocre Chiefs pass protecting crew. The bigger X-factor is Kansas City's best player, Justin Houston. He could be returning from a knee injury for his first game since Week 12. And he could have a great matchup against a Texans team that will be without stalwart left tackle Duane Brown, who tore his quad in the season finale.
Duane Brown, LT, Houston Texans: Brown suffered a gruesome-looking right leg injury toward the end of the first quarter Sunday. The entire Houston bench emptied to show support for Brown as the longtime Texan was being fitted for an air cast. According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, Brown suffered a torn tendon in his right quad. The left tackle entered Week 17 having played 7,541 offensive snaps since 2008, tied for sixth most among primary offensive linemen, according to ESPN Stats & Information. ESPN Texans reporter Tania Ganguli said Brown had tears in his eyes as he was taken off the field. Houston will turn to Chris Clark, who has been the team's swing tackle, against a Chiefs defense that ranked fourth overall with 47 sacks this season.
Marcus Peters. He had eight interceptions and returned two for touchdowns. The rookie has transformed the Kansas City defense, which last season had six interceptions and picked off 22 this season. -- Adam Teicher