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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 1/7

Good morning! Must be a big game coming up, because we have another day full of Kansas City Chiefs news. Enjoy!

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

What We Learned in Wednesday's Media Availability from The Mothership

Q: Is there game plan similar with regard to slowing down J.J. Watt for this game as it was in Week One?

PEDERSON: "You know what, first of all, tremendous player as we all know. They're doing a little bit more with him now, they're moving him around, standing him up, lining him up over the center, lining him up at linebacker. They're just trying to create an edge for him and utilize his strength at rushing the passer. We have to be aware, offensive line, quarterback, backs, in our protection schemes, we just have to know where he's at and understand why they're doing certain things. The game plan, for us, becomes simple - try to stop J.J. Watt. And they've got a lot of other good players on that defensive line as well. But he's one that you have to know where he's at and try to put as many hands as you can on him. You just try to hope to slow him down a little bit as best you can."

Alex Gordon on the Chiefs season: "It has been pretty special to watch" from The Mothership

After the traditional portion of the media press conference was over, Gordon took the time to talk about his affinity for the Kansas City Chiefs—something that has been a part of him from a very young age growing up in Nebraska.

"I always remember tailgating at Arrowhead Stadium with the family," Gordon recalled. "That was always a special moment because fans during the tailgate are just so fun to be a part of. Some of the personalities out there always are pretty special.

"I just remember the atmosphere—coming to the games, never hearing anything like that really, just the craziness and everything that goes along with Arrowhead Stadium."

Alex Smith's Playoff Success Brings Even More Confidence to Teammates from The Mothership

On three separate occasions, Alex Smith has been the guy under center for a team in a playoff game, and his teams have averaged more than 32 points per game in those contests.

In those three games, two of which came as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, Smith has thrown for an average of 291 yards per game with 9 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Statistically speaking, he's been fantastic, and although he's only won just one of the three, the offenses he's led haven't struggled to put up points.

Justin Houston Set to Play on Saturday Against Texans from The Mothership

Houston confirmed to the media on Wednesday that he's ready to get back on the field.

"That's the plan, to play, as of right now," he told the media on Wednesday.

While Houston didn't play last Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, he practiced on Friday, which was a good sign for the Chiefs that he'd be ready to go this week.

"I'll definitely have some rust to knock off and it probably won't hit me until the first quarter," Houston said. "After the first quarter, I'll be all right."

Chiefs Take Top Spot for AFC in Latest NFL Power Rankings from The Mothership

After their 23-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders last Sunday afternoon, the Chiefs have maintained their No. 4 spot in's latest Power Rankings.

With the New England Patriots' 20-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins last Sunday, they dropped from No. 3 to No. 6 in this week's ranking, which means the Chiefs are now the top-ranked team in the AFC as the playoffs get started this weekend.

Official Chiefs Kingdom Bar Watch Party at Power & Light District from The Mothership

The Kansas City Chiefs will host an official Chiefs Kingdom Bar watch party at KC Live! in the Power & Light District for the Wild Card matchup against the Houston Texans on Saturday, Jan. 9. This free event will kick off at 2:30 p.m. and will include appearances by KC Wolf, Chiefs Cheerleaders, the Rumble, Chiefs personality Jillian Carroll, former players and more.

The first 5,000 fans in the door at KC Live! will receive an exclusive Chiefs Kingdom Playoff flag, presented by Hy-Vee.

Chiefs vs. Texans: 10 Stats to Know from The Mothership

1. The Chiefs have been tested

For the Chiefs, all but one of their losses this season have come against teams that are currently in the playoffs (Denver, Green Bay, Cincinnati and Minnesota).

The Chiefs have also already defeated three teams that currently find themselves in the playoffs, and all three are AFC teams (Pittsburgh, Denver and Houston).

D.J. Alexander Named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week from The Mothership

Rookie linebacker D.J. Alexander has been named this week's AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his block of Oakland Raiders punter Marquette King in the end zone last Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The play resulted in a safety for the Chiefs, extending their second-half lead to 16-10.

He's back: Chiefs' Justin Houston set to return to action from The Kansas City Star

If the plan meets fruition, the Chiefs will regain the services of one of the NFL's top defenders. Before his injury, Houston had accumulated 7  1/2 sacks with three multisack games.

He had one of the team's five sacks against the Texans in September, four against Hoyer, who was pulled for Ryan Mallett. Hoyer wound up starting nine games, including last week's finale against Jacksonville.

Against the Chiefs, Hoyer threw a touchdown pass and an interception and lost a fumble — forced by Houston — at his 7, leading to another short-field touchdown.

Justin Houston puts in full practice; Jeremy Maclin limited from Chiefs Digest

This marked Houston's first full practice since Nov. 27, 2015. Ford filled in for Houston the final five games of the regular season after Houston suffered a hyperextended knee in Week 12.

Free safety Husain Abdullah (concussion, not injury related), linebacker Tamba Hali (thumb, knee) and rookie center Mitch Morse (concussion) also didn't practice Wednesday.

The Chiefs continue to err on the side of caution by holding out Hali from practicing on the indoor turf to protect his knee, so there isn't a concern with Hali not working. He missed all three days of indoor practices last week and saw action in the season finale.

It's plug and play for Chiefs and LB Justin Houston from ESPN

"I'm not worried about his ability to get back in there," Sutton said of Houston, who missed the final five games of the regular season with what the Chiefs have called a hyperextended knee. "You've got to see where he's at with his conditioning and his reaction time and all those things. Deep down inside, you believe this guy has played a lot of football and he knows what he's doing, and I think he will be fine.

"I think if he keeps progressing like he has the rest of this week, I think he's going to be ready to roll."

Chiefs' Jeremy Maclin returns to practice Wednesday from The Kansas City Star

Chiefs receiver Jeremy Maclin returned to practice Wednesday after suffering a hip bruise in the Chiefs' 23-17 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Maclin, who was limited, said after the game that "there's no way" he'd miss the Chiefs' playoff opener.

Chiefs' Justin Houston on track to play Saturday from Chiefs Digest

Houston, who sported a brace on his left knee during the practices open to the media, said he wasn't frustrated during the lost time because the team was winning.

The Chiefs, of course, closed the season on a 10-game winning streak and clinched a postseason berth in Week 16.

With Tamba Hali (thumb, knee) also expected to play, the Chiefs appear on track to have both starting outside linebackers in the lineup against a Texans offensive line without starting left tackle Duane Brown, who was placed on injured reserve with a calf injury.

Chiefs' Zach Fulton ready to play center again, if needed from The Kansas City Star

After his performance against the Raiders, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Fulton "did a heck of a job."

"Just having some experience underneath my belt makes you feel a little bit more confident in playing anywhere they want me to, really," Fulton said.

Fulton, a sixth-round pick in 2014, was a 16-game starter a year ago at right guard. He's been active for all 16 games this season, starting six — one at center, three at right guard and two at left guard.

Notebook: Zach Fulton ready if called upon to start at center from Chiefs Digest

Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson's name has been linked to the Philadelphia Eagles, with some national reports indicating definitively he will interview for the head coach job.

There's an apparent hiccup, however, specifically Pederson's response Wednesday to a reporter when asked directly if he has received calls for interviews.

"I have not, no," Pederson said.

Chiefs' Demetrius Harris savors first NFL touchdown from The Kansas City Star

"It feels good, but at the same time, I know what I can do, the coaches know what I can do, and it's just a matter of time of progressing and getting some touches," said the 6-foot-7, 230-pounder. "I know I don't get plenty of touches, so once I get one, I try to make the most of it."

Harris, who has caught seven passes for 74 yards and a touchdown this season, has flashed the ability to make the spectacular catch in practice, but his touchdown catch was the first time he's done it during a regular-season game.

Chiefs' D.J. Alexander recognized as AFC Special Teams Player of the Week from Chiefs Digest

Chiefs rookie linebacker D.J. Alexander received the news during a team meeting Wednesday morning.

"Coach (Andy) Reid just said my name and kind of threw me off guard because he never really says my name and he said that and I was shocked," Alexander said.

What caused the surprise?

Alexander was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the season finale, the NFL announced.

Chiefs have nothing to fear when they go on the road from ESPN

They weren't exactly road warriors this season, but by many measures they were a better team on the road than they were at Arrowhead Stadium.

That's why if they lose in the first round of the playoffs Saturday against the Texans in Houston, it won't be because the Chiefs had to leave Kansas City to play the game.

Coach Andy Reid is a creature of habit and keeps the Chiefs on the same schedule whether they're playing at home or on the road. The Chiefs don't need reminders on the road of meal or meetings times. They're always the same.

Chiefs return to scene of their last playoff win -- 22 years ago from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City

Start with the fact they're heading to Houston on Saturday to face the AFC South champion Texans. The last time the Chiefs won a playoff game? They beat the Oilers in Houston.

Then consider their cross-parking lot neighbors, the Kansas City Royals, who snapped a 30-year stretch without a World Series title last season. Where did their playoff run begin? Houston.

All good signs?

"It could be," Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said. "Hopefully so."

Chiefs wary of J.J. Watt, but is Whitney Mercilus a problem, too? from The Kansas City Star

Houston star defensive end J.J. Watt commands plenty of attention, and rightfully so. The reigning NFL defensive player of the year just posted his second consecutive 17  1/2 -sack season.

But Watt isn't the only pass rusher the Texans have, as outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus has quietly been a force as well, racking up 12 sacks on his own.

In a 30-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, the two combined for 6  1/2 of the Jaguars' eight sacks.

The game plan: Recreating the Houston magic from Chiefs Digest

The Kansas City Chiefs have an opportunity on Saturday to get their first playoff win since the last time they visited Houston in 1994.

The Chiefs and Houston Texans faced off in Week 1, which resulted in a Chiefs' 27-20 victory. To get another win, here are the focal points in attacking the Texans.

Good things often await teams that beat an opponent twice on the road from ESPN

It's unusual if not rare for a team to venture twice into an opponent's stadium in the same season, but the Chiefs can take some comfort in this fact: The last team to beat an opponent twice on the road in the same season wound up winning the Super Bowl.

Long playoff win drought doesn't weigh heavily on these Chiefs from Stats Inc via FS Kansas City

For a group that started 1-5, it's never been about living in the past.

"I don't think this team's carrying that weight, to be honest," said Smith, who threw for 378 yards and four TDs two years ago when Kansas City blew a 28-point second-half lead in a 45-44 wild-card loss at Indianapolis.

"Those were the other 22 years and 22 teams. This is us ... we're just trying to go out and win a ballgame. All that other stuff, we'll see."

Vote: Which wild-card team has the best chance to win the Super Bowl? from ESPN

Since the wild-card round of the playoffs started in 1970, 10 wild-card teams have advanced to the Super Bowl. Six have won the Super Bowl -- the Oakland Raiders (1980), Denver Broncos (1997), Baltimore Ravens (2000), Pittsburgh Steelers (2005), New York Giants (2007) and Green Bay Packers (2010).

This year's wild cards all have a Super Bowl pedigree, having won at least one each.

Chiefs watch party planned for Saturday in downtown KC from The Kansas City Star

The free event will kick off at 2:30 p.m. and will include appearances by KC Wolf, Chiefs cheerleaders, former players and more.

The game, which kicks off at 3:35 p.m., will be shown on the big screen. Prizes and giveaways are planned.

All ages are welcome, but anyone under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Guests must be 21 or older after 9 p.m.

Grading every NFL team's regular season from ESPN

Kansas City Chiefs

Grade: A-minus

The Chiefs won 10 straight to finish the season, made the Broncos work until the end to win the AFC West and made the playoffs. But they also started the regular season 1-5, and that can't be ignored. -- Adam Teicher

Wild Card Weekend preview: Chiefs-Texans from


Brace yourself for a low-scoring slobberknocker featuring fleeing quarterbacks. Neither of these teams are allowing more than 13.0 points per game since midseason. The offenses, on the other hand, are low on playmakers, forcing the coaching staffs to get creative with option, read-option, jet sweeps and Wildcat looks. Don't be surprised if the decisive play is of the gadget variety or a defensive score.

Watt is especially monstrous at home, with 11.5 sacks and 36 QB hits in eight games. Now that his cast has been removed -- unleashing maximum beast potential -- I'm siding with the disruptive Texans defense in a bruising bout.

Houston Texans 13, Kansas City Chiefs 12

Chiefs Enter Playoffs as N.F.L.'s Hottest Team from The New York Times

Coach Andy Reid was under fire, notably for a puzzling decision to hand off to Charles at the end of regulation in Week 2 against Denver, which led to a fumble and a loss.

Still, Reid was hopeful. "It's a very fine line between winning and losing in this league," he told The Associated Press.

The Chiefs crossed that fine line or, rather, obliterated it. Kansas City won its final 10 games, including victories over the Steelers and the Broncos, and became the first 1-5 team to make the playoffs since the 1970 Bengals. The Chiefs will be favored at Houston on Saturday afternoon in the wild-card round.

The NFL games to watch (and skip) this weekend from The Washington Post

4. Kansas City Chiefs-Houston Texans (4:35 p.m., ABC/ESPN)

This game is the NFL's flannel nightgown, the one deemed least likely to entice TV audiences, so it gets the Saturday afternoon treatment. Which naturally means there's every chance that it will be the most exciting game of the weekend. Sometimes flannel rocks.

The 2015 MMQB Awards from MMQB

Coach of the Year: Ron Rivera, head coach, Carolina, with 18 first-place votes. Andy Reid was next with four...

...Defensive Rookie of the Year: Marcus Peters, cornerback, Kansas City, in a rout over fellow corner Ronald Darby of the Bills, 19 first-place votes to three.

Former Helix quarterback Smith leads Chiefs into this weekend's NFL playoffs from The Californian

The hottest team and quarterback in the NFL as the playoffs get ready to start this weekend? Look no farther than the Kansas City Chiefs and former Helix High School signal-caller Alex Smith after the Chiefs picked up their franchise-record 10th consecutive win by defeating the visiting Oakland Raiders, 23-17, on Sunday, Jan. 3.

Brian Hoyer came back from first-game benching from Sports Xchange via UPI

It was a long, painful walk back to the Houston Texans' bench, the exact place that gritty quarterback Brian Hoyer wanted to avoid.

After enduring years of rejection and obscurity before finally being anointed as an NFL starter, Hoyer got the shocking news from Texans coach Bill O'Brien during the fourth quarter of a season-opening defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 13. He was being replaced by backup Ryan Mallett.

Angry, embarrassed and frustrated at the demotion, Hoyer watched as Mallett sparked the offense during a losing cause. The since-fired Mallett ultimately flamed out after four starts and Hoyer reclaimed the offense. However, the sting of what happened against the Chiefs isn't something Hoyer could forget or easily forgive.

Bill O'Brien on admitting mistake in benching Brian Hoyer: ‘You have to tell the truth to your players' from The Houston Chronicle

"I think that when we got to halfway through the season, I asked every player in that room to really study their own games and think about what they could do better, and I talked to them about what I was going to do better," O'Brien said. "I talked to them about different decisions that I had made during the year and how I was going to try and improve because it started with me. Whether it was schematically or personnel or situational or whatever it was.

"I think as a leader, I've said this a bunch of times, I think you have to be able to sit there and tell the truth to your players, and that's what we try to do, and then players did a good job of making sure that they did what I asked them to do, and they've improved. Now we're in this position, which is a good one."

The Texans face the the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday in an AFC wild-card playoff game.


One guy to look out for: Smith, specifically, his ability to run. He was fourth among all quarterbacks when it came to running the ball in 2015 with 498 yards on the ground, trailing only Cam Newton (636 yards), Tyrod Taylor (568 yards) and Russell Wilson (553 yards). It's an important part of his game, and defenses have to take that ability into account when you'€™re game planning for the Chiefs.

Potential playoff villain: As previously stated, Peters has had a really great year. Two of his eight interceptions were returned for touchdowns, and his 26 passes defensed on the season (per Pro Football Reference) is one of the best totals in the league. An uber-confident youngster who isn't afraid to take chances, he's good, and isn't afraid to talk a little bit when he steps between the lines.

ESPN's 30 for 30: The tragic story of Joe Delaney from Hidden Remote

Take a half hour and watch the 30 for 30 short this week or next on ESPN or ESPN 2. It's a captivating segment that will only take a short while to watch but may weigh on your mind for a few days. This filmmaking series has a way of putting unique fresh spins on unknown stories.

Yesterday, I didn't know who Joe Delaney was. Tonight, I am grateful that I do know who he was and what he did.

Rest in peace, Joe.

AFC Playoff Preview: It's all about the QBs from The Eagle-Tribune

When it comes to playoff football, I'm a firm believer in the "hot quarterback" determining wins in losses in the postseason.

Not the best quarterback, although they are often one and the same (see 2001, 2003, 2004 and 20015). How else do you explain Eli Manning's two rings? Joe Flacco's title? Heck, even the Seahawks' last two playoff pushes.

The hot quarterback wins in the postseason. It's the equivalent of pitching plus clutch hitting in baseball's playoffs, and the sizzling goalie (see Tim Thomas) carrying his playoff-grizzled group to the Stanley Cup.

Who is ready for that 3 or 4-game charge to immortality?

Clark Brings Wealth Of Experience As Duane Brown's Fill-In from CBS Houston

The Texans may have lost their longest-tenured veteran in Duane Brown, but his replacement is no youngster.

Chris Clark said Wednesday he's more than ready to step in at left tackle, and he's got he resume to prove it.

Clark started on Denver's AFC championship squad in 2013, has played in 69 games total and is an eight-year veteran who has been on four different teams.

The Texans acquired him for a seventh-round pick back in August for a scenario exactly like this. Clark is grateful he's had a whole season to prepare for this moment.

Texans report: Chris Clark offers fellow linemen insight into familiar foe Chiefs from The Houston Chronicle

"He has a lot of experience playing against (Chiefs) so much," right guard Brandon Brooks said. "He came to us Monday kind of gave us his speech and things to look out for."

Clark played well against Jacksonville after replacing Brown.

"He's done a tremendous job whether it was at right tackle or left tackle," Brooks said about Clark coming off the bench this season. "We always had faith in him."

Texans' Quintin Demps knows first-hand how good Chiefs' Alex Smith can be from The Houston Chronicle

Safety Quintin Demps knows Alex Smith better than any of Texans teammates because he played with him in Kansas City in 2013. Demps says there's a lot to like about Smith as a quarterback, an athlete and a leader in the locker room.

"He's a professional, first and foremost, and a very smart player," said Demps, who moved on to the Giants last season before rejoining the Texans during the 2015 training camp. "He knows that system very well, and he comes to work every day ready to put in what it takes to get the job done."

Texans injury report is lengthy heading into playoff game against Chiefs from The Houston Chronicle

The Texans' training room is crowded heading into Saturday's AFC wild-card playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Texans filed a lengthy injury report Wednesday. However, the only players in any danger of missing the game are outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (left foot) and wide receiver Nate Washington (hip).


Relatively speaking, the first game of wild-card weekend, airing at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday, is considered the throwaway game by the networks that televise the NFL, the game that traditionally rates the lowest of the quartet. Houston has been relegated to this neglected time slot in each of its last two playoff appearances (in 2011 and 2012), and sure enough, the Texans are back in the twilight this year too.

That's a shame, because that means fewer people will be watching J.J. Watt and an even better story on the other side: Chiefs free safety, Eric Berry.

Brazilian kicker Cairo Santos lives when quarterback and complete a pass in field from [translated from the original Portuguese]

Accustomed to using only the feet, the Brazilian player had to turn in a play of attempted field goal that gave nothing right. After the snap, the player Dustin Coquitt, responsible for handling the ball so that Cairo kick, did not do what it should have done and sent the ball "on fire" for the Brazilian player, who at the sight of an opponent coming your way, He had to think fast and act.

Cairo then saw the mate Anthony Sherman move to the side and quickly passed the ball to a player who ran 3 yards before being knocked down.

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