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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 1/6

Good morning! LOTS of Kansas City Chiefs news for you today. Start reading now. Go Chiefs!

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

What We Learned from Tuesday's Media Availability from The Mothership

Q: Does that last playoff loss to the Colts stay with you?

REID: "Well you try to learn from it. I mentioned this after that game, it's a great learning experience for all of us - having been to the playoffs there and you get a lead and you can learn from those things. However, this team's different from that team, you only have a few guys that are still here. But listen, we all learned a good lesson there and so you take that to heart."

Q: Did you need a day or two to get [past] that at the time?

REID: "I can't tell you I was the happiest guy in the world after that game, that's not a good feeling. But again, I try to draw something out of it that can make you better. Rather than dwell on it, try to learn from it."

Q: What was the number one thing you learned from it?

REID: "You've got to finish the game. You've got to score touchdowns, that's what it's all about. It doesn't matter how many points you're up by, you've got to find a way to get it in the end zone and there were some things there that I could've done better to help that."

What's Different for the Chiefs Offense This Time Around vs. Texans? from The Mothership

While they may wear the same jerseys and run the same plays, these are not the same teams that met back on September 13. They have both dealt with injuries and have different starters on both sides of the ball.

For the Chiefs, look no further than the offensive line, particularly that left side.

Left guard Jeff Allen missed the first six games of the season with a knee injury, and left tackle Eric Fisher played just one offensive snap in that game as he was working his way back from a high ankle sprain suffered at the end of training camp.

Both of these young players have been critical to the overall development of the Chiefs offense throughout their franchise-record 10-game winning streak.

But the depth of this offensive line has also been critical.

10 Things To Know About the 10-Game Winning Streak from The Mothership

4. The offense has averaged 28.1 points and the defense has allowed an average of 12.8 points during the win streak.

Closing games has been an offensive issue for Chiefs, Alex Smith from The Kansas City Chiefs

As a pattern, Smith and the Chiefs prefer the snowflake analogy. No game is the same.

"Every one of these games is a different challenge," Smith said.

But so many of them have looked, or at least unfolded, in similar fashion recently.

In their final three home games, the Chiefs constructed double-digit leads in the first half, and in each case the Chargers, Browns and Raiders had the final possession and trailed by seven points or fewer. Comfort became discomfort and the Chiefs found themselves playing to run out the clock.

Memories of their last playoff game are still vivid for Chiefs from ESPN

The calendar, the opponent and most everything else about the situation is different for the Kansas City Chiefs in this season's playoffs. It's been two years since their last postseason game, that one against the Indianapolis Colts, and now they're preparing to play the Houston Texans.

But for those Chiefs players and coaches who were involved in that last playoff game, the haunting memories remain large. The Chiefs led 38-10 in the third quarter but proceeded to waste that lead, the second-largest for a losing team in NFL playoff history. The Chiefs watched the Colts storm back to win 45-44.

Chiefs' Andy Reid on Justin Houston: ‘I think he feels pretty good' from Chiefs Digest

While the Chiefs did not issue an official injury report, Houston practiced Tuesday at the team's indoor facilities.

The Chiefs will continue to evaluate the Pro Bowl linebacker's progress leading to Saturday's road game at NRG Stadium.

"We'll just take it day-by-day," coach Andy Reid said Tuesday, "but I think he feels pretty good."

How much work Houston gets in the coming two days should go a long way in determining his status against the Texans.

Chiefs' Justin Houston, Jah Reid practice on Tuesday from The Kansas City Star

Four other key Chiefs - receiver Jeremy Maclin, outside linebacker Dee Ford, center Mitch Morse and safety Husain Abdullah- did not practice Tuesday.

Maclin sat because of a hip contusion sustained against the Raiders. He said after the game, however, that "there's no way" he'd miss the Chiefs' playoff opener.

Chiefs elevate C Daniel Munyer to active roster, sign LB Orie Lemon to practice squad from Chiefs Digest

The Chiefs elevated rookie center Daniel Munyer from the practice squad to the active roster, a source familiar with the transaction on Tuesday informed and The Topeka Capital-Journal. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Chiefs have not announced the signing.

The Chiefs later announced the signing.

This marks the second time Munyer has been elevated to the active roster. The Chiefs previously had the 6-1, 305-pound Munyer on the active roster in Week 13.

Chiefs elevate Daniel Munyer, sign Orie Lemon to practice squad from The Kansas City Star

If Morse can't play, Zach Fulton will start at center. He's started one game there — the Oakland win on Dec. 6 — and didn't have any poor snaps. He was also praised by Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who said it was a "heck of a game by him."

To fill Munyer's spot on the practice squad, the Chiefs signed inside linebacker Orie Lemon. Lemon, who is listed at 6 feet 1 and 242 pounds, is a fifth-year pro who has recorded 32 tackles in 26 career games.

Chiefs sign six, including WR Kenny Cook, to reserve/future deals from Chiefs Digest

The players signed are: Wide receiver Kenny Cook, defensive end Dominique Davis, linebacker Cameron Gordon, defensive back Jordan Kovacs, fullback Trey Millard and defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu.

Cook is a notable signing because the Chiefs are familiar with him.

The 6-4, 218-pound Cook originally entered the league with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent out of Gardner-Webb. He spent the offseason, training camp and time on the practice squad the past season.

Chiefs sign six players to reserve-futures contracts from The Kansas City Star

Ta'amu, 25, is listed at 6 feet 3 and 348 pounds. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He's appeared in 21 NFL games — including three starts for the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 — and has recorded seven tackles. Ta'amu went to college at Washington.

Only players who are not on an NFL team's active roster at the conclusion of the regular season are eligible for these contracts. Last January, the Chiefs signed three players who are still with the team — running back Spencer Ware, guard Jarrod Pughsley and receiver Fred Williams — to reserve-futures deals.

How Alex Smith and the Chiefs Turned a Season Around from MMQB

On a very micro level, this is how the Chiefs turned around their season. The team was at a crossroads, falling to 1-5 and losing its top offensive weapon, running back Jamaal Charles. So to get out of it, they tapped into one of their most valuable assets: Alex Smith's brain, giving the veteran more freedom to change protections, runs and routes at the line. For as many great quarterbacks as Reid has coached in his West Coast system—as Brett Favre's quarterbacks coach in Green Bay, and in Philadelphia with Donovan McNabb—none has been given as much freedom as Smith has this season.

No Charles? No problem: Chiefs keep churning out the yards from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City

Nobody will ever confuse Spencer Ware or Charcandrick West with Jamaal Charles.

Ware is a former sixth-round pick who didn't play a game last season, and landed with the Kansas City Chiefs almost as an afterthought. West was an undrafted free agent out of tiny Abilene Christian who had carried the ball a handful of times before Charles was lost to a season-ending knee injury.

It turns out the two of them together have been just as productive.

Forming a quintessential thunder-and-lightning combination, Ware and West have combined with the scrambling of quarterback Alex Smith to make the Chiefs one of the most productive running teams in the entire NFL. They're averaging nearly 130 yards per game, fourth best in the league, even without the franchise's career rushing leader taking handoffs.

Ref who made incorrect penalty call among those working playoff games from The Associated Press via ESPN

Ronald Torbert, at the center of an incorrect penalty call in an October NFL game, will work the Chiefs-Texans wild-card game Saturday.

Torbert, in his second season as a referee and sixth year as an NFL official, did not recognize Ravens guard John Urschel's signaling that he was lining up as an eligible player in a Monday night game Baltimore lost 26-18 at Arizona. The Ravens were flagged for an illegal formation, and the league's officiating vice president, Dean Blandino, later said Torbert was distracted while correcting the number of a penalized player on the previous play.

Even so, Torbert's work the rest of the season was strong enough for the NFL to include him for postseason assignments. Playoff officials are chosen based on a ratings system for the regular season.

Three Matchups We Watched Sunday Against The Kansas City Chiefs from

Cooper finished the day with two catches for 20 yards, but on the other side of the football, Peters recorded just one tackle, one tackle for loss and one pass defensed in the Kansas City win.

Peters did not spend the day tailing Cooper exclusively - he also got a look at Michael Crabtree, who took exception with the rookie's trash talk and then proceeded to burn him for a 31-yard touchdown.

"I was just tired of the No. 22 [Marcus Peters] talking noise like he was that great," Crabtree explained. "So, we just went deep on him for six. He was mad after that. He's a good football player - competition."

While the Cooper/Peters battle was rather quiet Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, Cooper's two receptions gave him 72 on the season, which gave him the most receptions in NFL history by a wide receiver 21-years-old or younger.

Texans-Chiefs Face Off In First-Round AFC Playoff from CBS Las Vegas


This is a tough draw for the Texans, as the Chiefs are hot and hungry. Expect a defensive battle that could go either way late, with the winning team being the last one to have the ball on offense. It will be a low-scoring affair decided by a last-minute field goal, so hopefully the Houston crowd will be able to make a difference and vault the home team to the divisional playoff round.

Yahoo! Sports Video: How can Kansas City Chiefs stop J.J. Watt?

The Chiefs' defense edges the Broncos defense in the only stat that matters now from FOX Sports

Yes, only a half-point separates the two division rivals on average. But Denver's defense, with Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. and DeMarcus Ware, is billed as an all-time one. Kansas City's isn't.

Chiefs Face Next-Hottest AFC Team In First Round Of Playoffs from CBS New York


The Texans won the weakest division in the AFC, and even though the Chiefs finished with two more wins, they have to travel to Houston. Kansas City Head Coach Andy Reid and his team remember what it was like to lose to the Colts two years ago, and that memory will fuel the Chiefs to a playoff victory this time out. It won't be easy, because the Texans play tough defense at home.

Texans-Chiefs matchup brings to mind K.C.'s last postseason visit from The Houston Chronicle

The last time the Kansas City Chiefs won a playoff game was Jan. 16, 1994, before a crowd of 64,011 - the largest in Astrodome history.

If you are an Oilers fan, Kansas City's 28-20 victory in the divisional round of the playoffs brings back a lot of bad memories.

Now the Texans will try to create positive, long-lasting memories for their fans when they host the Chiefs in a wild-card game Saturday at NRG Stadium.

Like the Dome 22 years ago, NRG is going to rock for a team that was resurrected from the dead. By winning the AFC South title, the Texans earned the first-round game at home.

Preview: Chiefs at Texans from The Sports Xchange via WPTZ


1. Kansas City LB Justin Houston sat out the team's final five games with a knee injury but could be in line to return versus the Texans - against whom he forced a fumble that led to a touchdown in the opener.

2. Houston RB Alfred Blue (team-leading 698 yards) rushed for 102 yards last week but was limited to just 42 on nine carries in Week 1.3. The Chiefs have lost eight straight postseason games.

PREDICTION: Chiefs 24, Texans 16

Kansas City take on the Houston Texans to kick off our live coverage of the NFL play-offs from SKY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans, Saturday 9.30pm on Sky Sports 1

Houston claimed the AFC South title after Sunday's 30-6 thrashing of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but coach Bill O'Brien has demanded more from his players as they prepare for the visit of Chiefs.

"Do we want to rest on our laurels of where we are right now?," O'Brien told Houston's official website. "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."

The Chiefs claimed a 27-20 win over the Texans in September, which was their only victory before they lost five straight games.

But Kansas dramatically revived their season with 10 straight games and linebacker Justin Houston could return from a knee injury.

Tale of the Tape: Chiefs' Jeremy Maclin vs. Texans' DeAndre Hopkins from ESPN

When the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs meet in the wild-card round Sunday in Houston, the teams' leading wide receivers will be among the most important players on the field.

Houston's DeAndre Hopkins was among the NFL leaders this season in catches (111), yards (1,521) and touchdowns (11). The stats for Kansas City's Jeremy Maclin weren't as impressive (87, 1,088, eight) but he still had a dramatic impact for a team that struggled to pass the ball last season.

Hopkins had the better day when the Texans and Chiefs met in the regular-season opener in September in Houston, catching nine passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Maclin had five receptions for 53 yards.

ESPN NFL Nation Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher and Texans reporter Tania Ganguli compare the two receivers.

Red-Hot Chiefs Are Most Likely Opponent For Patriots In Divisional Playoff from CBS New York

Kansas City Chiefs (#5 seed, 11-5-0 record)

Riding a 10-game winning streak, the Kansas City Chiefs are the hottest team in the NFL. After a 1-5 start, the Chiefs came within one game of overtaking the Denver Broncos for the AFC West title. Even though Kansas City will be going on the road to face the Texans in the Wild Card round, the Chiefs opened up as a three-point favorite this week, making them New England's most-likely opponent in the Divisional round. The Chiefs met the Texans in Houston back in Week 1, and Kansas City came away with a 27-20 victory.

The Wild-Card Mailbag from MMQB


So I see that you're pretty high on the Chiefs, but when I look at their 10-game winning streak, they only beat two teams with winning records—the Steelers and Broncos. The Steelers were without Big Ben and the Broncos game was when Manning was injured and threw four picks. Outside of that, I don't see any impressive wins. Do you think they are legit, or just benefited from an easy schedule down the stretch? I could see the Texans winning this one.

Richard O.

Good question. As I pointed out the other day, Houston finished the season winning seven of its last nine and amazingly, allowed six points in five of those seven wins. The Texans pass rush will be very hard to block. But I guess when it comes to looking at a team's schedule, I would say you can only play the teams that are on it. Is a 45-10 victory over the Lions less impressive because the Lions were playing poorly at the time? Is a 34-14 win at Baltimore unimpressive even though the Ravens beat Pittsburgh the following week? The Chiefs beat San Diego by a combined 43-6 in two games; doesn't holding an NFL team to six points over eight quarters mean something? I get your point. But I guess what I would think is, winning 10 games in a row in the NFL is pretty impressive even though the schedule that KC played to get those 10 wins was unimpressive.

Forget the seeds, here's where the power is from The Hamilton Spectator

3. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) / AFC 5th seed

They are only the AFC's No. 5 seed but the Chiefs just might be the conference's best team in terms of current level of play, especially given the flaws of the Broncos, Patriots and Bengals. They don't have a bye this coming weekend and they must play an opening-round game on the road at Houston. But that might work in the Chiefs' favour, keeping the momentum of their 10-game winning streak going. The defence is extremely good and not only can shut down an opponent and generate turnovers, but also can score on its own. QB Alex Smith must continue to play mistake-free football.

Hopkins on first playoff game: "It is my job" from

If you want to hear emotion or excitement from DeAndre Hopkins this week, you won't. 

The 2015 Pro bowler is approaching the postseason with a businesslike approach despite, making his first playoff appearance on Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

"It is my job, so I am not going to sit here and say it is special because it is my job," Hopkins said Monday. "I can't look at it as overwhelmed or excited about something that is my job."Hopkins has performed under pressure all season. The third-year wide receiver became the first player in NFL history with four games with 100-plus receiving yards under four different quarterbacks in the same season.

N.F.L. Playoffs: Teams Are Lined Up as Race Toward Super Bowl Begins from The New York Times

Kansas City has a great deal of momentum on its side, but J. J. Watt, who may be the single most dominant player in football, makes Houston a team to be feared even if some of his teammates are underwhelming. Freed from a cast he had worn to protect an injured hand, Watt responded with three sacks this week, joining Reggie White as the only players to have three 15-sack seasons in the first five years of their careers.

The teams met back in Week 1, and Kansas City came away with a 27-20 victory. The Chiefs had five sacks and forced two turnovers in the game, which is the kind of performance they will be hoping for in the wild-card round.

Lil Jon to perform Turn Down For Watt, err, What, at Texans' halftime Saturday from ESPN

NRG Stadium has turned "Turn Down for What" by Lil Jon into a J.J. Watt anthem.

Sometimes when he gets a sack, sometimes simply when he takes the field, they'll play the song over the sound system. Watt will react by shaking his shoulders in some abbreviated dance moves, and fans will take it from there.

Well, Saturday during halftime of the Houston Texans' wild-card game against the Kansas City Chiefs, fans will get a live taste of it. Lil Jon is booked to perform. Watt, of course, will be in the locker room for the performance.

WhatIfSports NFL Wild Card predictions: road teams have the edge from What If Sports

After the numbers were crunched, Kansas City was victorious 55.3 percent of the time by a final score of 22-20.

NFL Power Rankings: Who's the bozo who doubted Redskins and Texans? from CBS Sports

I had the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 18 and the Houston Texans at No. 20. They will meet in a wild-card game on Saturday.

The Packers were first in my original set of rankings, and that hasn't played out. They are in the postseason, but far from the best team in the league and more like a team limping into the playoffs.

So laugh it up. That's what makes the NFL so great, the unpredictability of it all -- season-changing injuries included.

Sportsbooks don't want these five teams to win Super Bowl 50 from

"As far as who we'd like to see get knocked out right away, Pittsburgh, Denver, and Kansas City. But it's the Chiefs we'd like to see get knocked off first," Jeff Stoneback, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage, tells Covers. "We're not a big loser to Kansas City but we're not much of a winner either."

Kansas City opened the season on a 1-5 SU skid, which ballooned their Super Bowl 50 odds from 30/1 to 200/1 at MGM books. The Chiefs proceeded to win 10 straight games to finish the season and grabbed an AFC Wild Card ticket to the tournament, entering the playoffs at 12/1 odds.

"I know there are some tickets out there at 200/1, 100/1, 80/1, 75/1. There are some very excited people out there," says Stoneback. "We're a little lower on them compared to everybody else, since we don't want to take any more money on them. During that 10-game streak, they became a very popular bet."

10 storylines for NFL playoffs: Victory droughts, lack of newcomers, more from Sports Illustrated

And let's not overlook the futility in Kansas City, where the Chiefs are 0-8 in their past eight postseason games, a streak that began with their 30-13 loss at Buffalo in the 1993 AFC Championship Game. The next year, Kansas City went back to the playoffs, but dropped a first-round matchup at Miami, in Joe Montana's final game. That was the first of seven consecutive one-and-done playoff trips, stretching from 1994-2013.

But why'd I have to go and bring up 2013 to Chiefs fans? You remember that game at Indianapolis, right? Kansas City led 38-10 in the third quarter—Indy's win probability was at 0.10 at that point—but somehow lost 45-44 to Andrew Luck and his comeback Colts. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith played the game of his life that day, with 378 yards passing and four touchdowns, to go with 57 yards rushing, and still lost.

Saturday could be a very big day indeed in Kansas City and Cincinnati, because no one else in the playoffs has a drought that comes anywhere near matching the Chiefs' and Bengals' wait for postseason gratification.

A Guide to Watching the N.F.L. Playoffs from The New York Times

Kansas City. Two weeks ago, the Chiefs became the first N.F.L. team to lose five straight and then win eight straight; last week, the Chiefs became the first N.F.L. team to lose five straight and then win nine straight; this week, the Chiefs became the first N.F.L. team to lose five straight and then win 10 straight. Kansas City is this season's feel-good story. The feel-good part coincides almost exactly with the star Jamaal Charles's placement on injured reserve. Just as the Seattle offense improved when Jimmy Graham was hurt, the Kansas City offense got better without Charles. Football being a team sport, high-profile ball-handlers can have a corrosive effect. Kansas City has a solid chance of becoming the first team to lose five straight and then win 11 straight.

NFL Week 17 Overreactions: Brady vs. Manning coming soon from The Concord Monitor

OVERREACTION: The Chiefs are the team nobody wants to the play in the playoffs. Kansas City goes in riding a 10-game winning streak.

REALISTIC REACTION: Seahawks, Steelers and Packers are no slouches. Four road teams can win wild-card games.

Unsung Run Support from The Topeka Capital-Journal

A portion of the Chiefs run defense that has flown under the radar is their subpackages. Kansas City has a rotation of safeties that are capable of providing effective coverage against intermediate routes and stout against the run. One of the unsung heroes is Daniel Sorensen. The second year veteran has become a key part of the Chiefs run support in nickel packages.


1. QB catastrophe clean-up

Thankfully, the one position that has required the most attention, teaching, coaching and discipline is the one position that O'Brien was brought here to teach, coach and (unfortunately, thanks to Ryan Mallett's alarm clock) discipline. In the first half of the season, O'Brien made continual mistakes in handling the quarterbacks. He admitted as much during the bye week when he told the team he had erred in benching Brian Hoyer for Mallett after Week 1. Eventually, O'Brien cleaned out the cancerous tumor that was Mallett after the Miami loss, and he's been King Midas ever since.

Columnist's fearless sports predictions for 2016 from The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

Seahawks, Redskins, Bengals and Chiefs win NFL wild-card round games ... NFL coaching carousel sends Mike Shanahan to San Francisco as head coach, Doug Pederson to Philadelphia and Chip Kelly to Tennessee

3 Most Likely People To Become Next Eagles' Head Coach from CBS Philly

As a player, Pederson was a backup QB in Green Bay from 1996-98. The Green Bay QB coach at the time? Andy Reid. When Reid was hired to be the Eagles' head coach in 1999, guess who he signed to be Donovan McNabb's backup. Pederson, of course.

ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported Pederson is expected to be the "leading candidate."

When fans hear Pederson's name and the next Eagles' coach in the same sentence, the sound that follows is usually "ugh," "no," or "psh." And while my reaction was not any different, I'll say this: Pederson the coach is not necessarily Pederson the player.

He better not be.

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