Yet the Chiefs, who rank 16th in the league in rushing at 109 yards per game, have not always shined on the ground this year. While they managed to close out the Raiders on Dec. 8 with their ground game, there have also been plenty of times, like their 19-17 loss against Tennessee, where their running game has come up short. One of the most notable plays in the Titans loss came on a play similar to the one described above, when the Titans stuffed a fourth-and-goal play from the 1 on a play that involved two people pulling yet saw three Chiefs, in all, whiff on their blocks. Still, the fact the Chiefs came right back the next week and dialed up the same gap-style running plays instilled a sense of confidence in the offensive line, which started its eighth consecutive game together following the season-ending injury to left guard Parker Ehinger and might be jelling as a unit.
Answers never seem to be "yes" or "no," but rather accompanied by an "if" clause: if the defense causes a turnover, or if tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill are able to score game-breaking touchdowns, as they did last weekend against Denver. One person has no doubt about Smith’s ability. "Alex, I think, has had a good year. He’s had a good four years," said Chiefs Coach Andy Reid, who went on to call the Denver performance "one of his better games since he’s been here."
Gordon said he participated in some team drills Thursday and felt a lot better than he did earlier in the week. Gordon said getting reps during team drills in practice helped give him more confidence that he can play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Keenan Allen is the Chargers WR who had six catches for 63 yards against the Chiefs in Week 1 before tearing his ACL in the second quarter. We noted during that game that Allen was playing very well, especially against Chiefs CB Marcus Peters. Frankly, Allen’s injury felt like a big reason why the Chiefs were able to come back and win that game. That’s true. But this tweet? Where did that come from?
As the year has gone on, though, I’ve heard more than a few fans on Twitter and elsewhere express disappointment with Schwartz for not being as dominant as they expected. This came as something of a surprise to me, as I was all right with how he was playing, especially considering he was fighting through an ankle sprain. Schwartz, who is known for his durability, didn’t miss a single snap while hobbled, but his lateral agility was clearly affected. This resulted in some struggles against Denver the first time around (as well as some other games) and, naturally, people started talking.
"I don’t know what to expect Sunday," Rivers said. "I really don’t." Last year’s home finale at San Diego turned into an impromptu celebration. The team routed the Miami Dolphins 30-14 in front of a raucous crowd. Rivers and his teammates signed autographs for more than an hour after the game. Rivers isn’t sure that kind of lighting bolt can strike twice.
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs, 64.1 percent
Kansas City Chiefs defensive linemen Chris Jones and Rakeem Nunez-Roches recorded a video message for Alexander Goodwin, the 9-year-old cancer patient from England who is in Kansas City receiving treatment.
Houston didn’t practice at all last week because of swelling in his knee and missed last Sunday night’s game against the Broncos as a result. Coach Andy Reid said on Monday that the plan was to take things "day by day" with Houston and the decision on Wednesday was to keep him off the field.
Chargers fans aren't the only ones not knowing how emotions will play out Sunday. Smith grew up in the San Diego area and went to Helix High in suburban La Mesa, where he was teammates with Reggie Bush. He knows all about Qualcomm Stadium. "Weird. I played there in high school and I played there in college. I think it'd be strange and sad if the Chargers left," Smith said. "That's just for me personally and the community having grown up there. Obviously, I'm getting ready to play a game so it's not on the forefront of my mind, but definitely sad. I hope they stay."
Then there are the Chargers, with nothing on the line when it comes to the playoffs, but dispatching Kansas City would hand the division title to the team they love to hate the most, the Raiders. "It’s a little bit weird thinking we can be winning a game to help Oakland win the division," Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. "For us this week is about being a pro and going about it the right way and winning another division game."
Miller was the NFL sack leader with 13.5 through game 12. But while Miller has recorded an impressive 20 tackles in his last three games, there have been no sacks. And the Broncos have lost all three games. He has been passed for the sack lead by Atlanta’s Vic Beasley Jr., who has 14.5. As for the DPOY honor, Miller should still be the frontrunner, although the Broncos missing the playoffs won’t help. Khalil Mack, who has 11.0 sacks and a pick six for the 12-3 Oakland Raiders, is now getting strong consideration for the top defensive award.