CO-OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MATT NAGY
Q: Why do you think you got off to such a slow start against San Diego?
NAGY: "Well, I think there's a few factors in it. One, everyone's a little juiced up. For some guys, it's their first time out there on the field, but credit to their defense. They had a good scheme for us. The biggest thing that we wanted to do going into that game was move the sticks and have some extended drives like we did in preseason, unfortunately, we didn't do that. But, we stuck together, we hung in there and got into the second half and fought."
Q: It has to be encouraging to see your team come back and fight like that?
NAGY: "Yeah, that's huge. We've put a lot of time and effort into the offseason in improving, get better, work on our two minute stuff. When you get behind, you're forced to be one dimensional. So, I think the players, the guys did such a great job understanding where we were at in that game with the clock, and how the rules go with when the clock stops, when it starts, getting up to the line of scrimmage and rolling. Just to go back and watch that and see the amount of plays that we had and the time that we used up, it was neat. You don't really want that to happen the first game and get down like that, but it just goes to show all the hard work that they put in this offseason came into fruition."
The Chiefs were in the midst of a historic comeback and it was a decision that could tilt the outcome in any direction.
"At the end of the game, that was a critical situation," Toub explained on Thursday. "I actually had the onside kick team up in the huddle, and [head coach Andy Reid] trumped it. He made a great decision by deciding to kick it deep and play defense.
"So we just banged the ball out of the back of the end zone and our defense stepped up and did a great job."
Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson: "I Think We Showed a Lot of Grit" from Chiefs.com
Kansas City Chiefs veteran linebacker
Derrick Johnsonhas seen a lot during his 12 years in the NFL.
From losing seasons to all-time winning streaks, four Pro Bowls and an All-Pro honor, not to mention a few improbable comebacks sprinkled in there as well, Johnson—the team's first-round pick out of the University of Texas back in 2005—has already put together a storied career with more than 1,100 career tackles, which leads the franchise.
So when it comes to the 2016 season, the 33-year-old Johnson knows there's another chapter left to write in his book, and it's already off to a good start after a historic comeback win in Week 1.
"[Tardif] is a tough player and a very hard worker," right tackle Mitch Schwartz explained. "You can tell he doesn't just want to make the block, he wants to finish the block. He's always out there perfecting his craft and that's something that can get lost a little bit when you see him 10 yards down the field mauling guys. He's a big strong guy and when he gets his hand on you, then you're kind of done."
With the Chiefs pulling off the greatest comeback in franchise history last week against the San Diego Chargers, there was plenty of credit to be thrown around, and most of the time that credit is sent towards the guys holding the ball.
But after a closer look at three of the most important plays in the game, the light should shine, at least a little bit, on just how valuable the offensive line, and Tardif particularly, were on these touchdown plays.
Chiefs Opponent Preview: Get to Know the Houston Texans from Chiefs.com
Bill O' Brien weighed in on how the Texans ended last season on a conference call with the Kansas City media this week.
"I think you look at the whole year, I don't think you can just look at one game," O'Brien said. "Obviously that's not the way we wanted to end the season, but I do think you look at the whole year and try to look at your team and you say OK, ‘What do we need to do to improve this team for the 2016 season?'
"This is a different year, we're a different team, we have a lot of different players especially on offense. I think we looked at the whole year and just felt like we needed to do something to help our team, so we made some additions that we think have helped."
NFL media analyst Elliot Harrison recently tackled a very interesting question—which player had the greatest three-year stretch in NFL history?
His answer, per the following video? "Some dude who ‘rode the pine' in Baltimore."
Former Chiefs kicker (1980-93)
Lowery was ranked first in field goal percentage and also had the most field goals in NFL history during his tenure. He is currently 10th on the NFL's list of all-time scoring leaders, and is the Chiefs all-time leading scorer, with 1,466 points in his 14 seasons with the team.
Lowery was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2009.
Chiefs defensive snap-count observations: Justin March-Lillard gets work in passing situations from The Kansas City Star
Analysis: March-Lillard saw time in plenty of passing situations/nickel packages, as the Chargers used "11" personnel (three-wide) 67 percent of the time and the Chiefs, in turn, used a two-man interior front with four linebackers 42 percent of the time. However, March-Lillard was replaced in certain passing situations by safety Daniel Sorensen, who looks like Bob Sutton's new safety/dime linebacker when the Chiefs want another defensive back on the field. D.J. Alexander did not play on defense but is a core special-teams player (29 snaps). New linebacker Sam Barrington did not play on defense but he logged 10 special-teams snaps.
Bengals claim former Chiefs corner KeiVarae Russell off waivers from The Kansas City Star
On Wednesday, Chiefs coach Andy Reid left the door open for a reunion with third-round rookie cornerback KeiVarae Russell, who was released to make room for outside linebacker Dezman Moses.
But that door closed Thursday when Russell was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Bengals. The current waiver order is still determined by the 2015 standings, which means 23 teams passed on Russell before the Bengals — slotted 24th — picked him up.
Chiefs' Knile Davis returns Sunday to site of big return from The Kansas City Star
His 106-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that opened an AFC Wild Card playoff game at Houston got the Chiefs off to a fast start in a 30-0 victory, the team's first playoff triumph in 22 years.
"It was huge for the team and me, something I'll always remember," Davis said. "I had the pregame jitters, I wanted to do well, the blood was pumping a lot."
But when he's on the road, Smith is the best in the league at taking care of the ball. He throws seven TD passes for every interception (28 to 4) in 23 road games with the Chiefs.
Turnovers are as good a reason as any why the Chiefs have been so good on the road in their three-plus seasons with Andy Reid as their coach and Smith as their quarterback. The Chiefs play their first road game of the season on Sunday in Houston against the Texans.
Chiefs look for the defense that finished, not started, Sunday's game from The Kansas City Star
The defensive failure was difficult to process considering how good the unit was during the team's 10-game winning streak to end the 2015 regular season.
The Chargers had scored more points against the Chiefs in their first three possessions than nine opponents did in an entire game during the streak. And only once did an opponent top San Diego's 388 total yards.
The Chiefs had a big-play defense in 2015, averaging nearly three sacks per game and collecting an NFL-best 22 interceptions. But last week the Chiefs didn't come up with a takeaway and the lone sack was supplied by linebacker Dee Ford in the fourth quarter. It was a big one, helping snuff out the Chargers' final possession.
Chiefs seek balance versus J.J. Watt, Texans defense from Chiefs Digest
"I think the biggest thing is you just go to try and keep them a little bit off balance," Nagy said. "You see it in the Chicago game, if you get one dimensional with this team and they tee off and pin their ears back, you're in trouble."
That's how the Chiefs beat the Texans twice last year, once in the season opener and again in the wildcard round of the playoffs. The Chiefs averaged 203 yards passing and 119 yards rushing in the two games while outscoring Houston 57-20 combined.
Watt leads a Texans defense built around a ferocious defensive front aimed at stopping the ground game and creating a hectic pass rush. Houston picked up five sacks against the Chicago Bears last weekend along with 13 quarterback hurries.
"You have an appreciation for him that you can't have until you're actually on the field," Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. "From our standpoint, coaching, and our players, they at least know who he is. They've got kind of an idea of the strength of his arm, what he can do. He's obviously a big man.
"It's a limited view, just a half. But you appreciate it."
The exposure to Kansas City's defense aided Osweiler, too. He was 14-of-24 for 146 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception in the Chiefs' 29-13 win, their first in Denver since 2011. Osweiler guided the Broncos to both of their touchdowns that day.
Jeremy Maclin misses Chiefs practice for personal reason; expected back Friday from The Kansas City Star
Running back Spencer Ware (toe) returned to practice. Offensive linemen Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle) and Parker Ehinger (concussion) didn't practice. The linemen played all 73 snaps of the Chiefs' victory over the Chargers on Sunday.
Week 2: Thursday injury report from Chiefs Digest
Did not participate in practice: T Duane Brown (knee) and ILB Brian Cushing (knee)
Limited participation: G Jeff Allen (calf), J.J. Watt (back), Christian Covington (groin) and Derek Newton (knee)
Full participation: OLB John Simon and FB Jay Prosch (ankle)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Did not participate in practice: WR Jeremy Maclin (personal), G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle), G Parker Ehinger (concussion) and LB Sam Barrington (hamstring)
Limited participation: RB Jamaal Charles (knee) and LB Tamba Hali (knee)
Full participation: RB Spencer Ware (toe)
After starting eight offensive line combinations last year because of injuries and coaching decisions -- and struggling at times because of it -- the Kansas City Chiefs this year decided stability would be best. They identified a starting five during offseason practice and then stayed with that group through training camp, the preseason and the first regular-season game.
That stability apparently will last no longer. The Chiefs might have to make changes at both guard spots for Sunday's game against the Texans in Houston.
Late onside kick was possibility for Chiefs against Chargers from The Kansas City Star
Special teams coordinator Dave Toub had the onside kick team ready to take the field with the Chiefs trailing by seven points and 3 minutes, 9 seconds left in regulation Sunday. Coach Andy Reid gave the order. Kick away.
Ten of the most iconic quotes in Kansas City sports history from The Kansas City Star
"Keep matriculating the ball down the field, boys!"
| Former Chiefs coach Hank Stram in Super Bowl IV
The most surprising statistic about Spencer Ware's opening game for the Chiefs was his seven catches for 129 yards. He had just six catches for 5 yards in 2015. "He's got good hands," Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said. "He was a pretty good baseball player in high school, good enough to play baseball at LSU his freshman year. You can't be a good baseball player and have bad hands."
Houston Texans wary of Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce from The Sports Xchange via UPI
"Very tough matchup," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "He's got really good size combined with really good athletic ability. So his size and strength, his playing strength, plus the fact that he's very athletic. He's a very difficult matchup.
"You're never going to have a guy on him in man-to-man coverage for instance that is as big as him. You have to figure out ways to cover this guy and mix it up on him. He's one of the best tight ends in the league and a guy that we have a lot of respect for."
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson joined SportsRadio 610's In The Loop with former Chiefs star Dante Hall, John Lopez and Cody Stoots on Thursday, ahead of their game against the Houston Texans this Sunday...
"...He's almost back to 100 percent," Johnson said. "His 80 or 90 percent that is enough for us. He's not on the active (roster) but Jamaal Charles is our running back for the scout team right now.
"It's crazy, sometimes he makes these cuts and breaks on us and coach doesn't even fuss at us, cause he knows that's Jamaal Charles."
Texans injury report: J.J. Watt downgraded to limited from The Houston Chronicle
There are no indications that Watt has had any setback, though, in his ongoing recovery from back surgery in late July to repair a herniated disk.
The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year made his return Sunday against the Chicago Bears and recorded one tackle and three quarterback hits in 49 snaps, 88 percent of the total defensive plays.
10 things you need to know about Texans vs. Chiefs from The Houston Chronicle
3. Kansas City has scored at least 27 points on the Texans five times in six visits to NRG Stadium, including both games last year. In 2003 and 2005, respectively, they scored 43 and 45 points in lopsided wins. But in the other one - Matt Schaub's debut in 2007 - the Texans held the Chiefs to a field goal in a 20-3 victory.
Breaking down Texans vs. Chiefs from The Houston Chronicle
Who has the edge
Offense - Kansas City. The Chiefs churned out 413 total yards and 26 first downs in a 33-27 overtime win over San Diego, most of that on the arm of QB Smith, who threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns.
Defense - Houston. The Texans held Chicago to 258 total yards in a 23-14 victory. Only three teams produced fewer yards than the Bears in Week 1, and that was with a rusty J.J. Watt managing only one tackle.
Elite matchup between Texans' DeAndre Hopkins and Chiefs' Marcus Peters to headline Sunday's game from The Houston Chronicle
Although Peters still has his moments where his temper gets the best of him and he's frequently penalized, he's emerged as one of the most dangerous cornerbacks in the league through his combination of aggressiveness, instincts and athleticism. He was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season as he intercepted eight passes and returned two for touchdowns.
Peters victimized the Texans twice last season, including picking off former Houston quarterback Brian Hoyer during his first NFL game and career snap. He also intercepted Hoyer during the Chiefs' 30-0 AFC wild-card playoff victory.
Chiefs' Peters looks to change more than his checkered past from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
It was Peters who locked arms with his team in a sign of unity, then raised his gloved right fist for all to see.
"It's not about attention for me," he said after the game. "I'm more so, 'Don't talk about it, be about it.' I come from a majority black community from Oakland, California.
"I've grown up around my people a lot. I still have family that struggles. I'm not saying one thing or another, but we need to educate youth coming up. If we keep educating them, we'll eliminate these problems."
That doesn't exactly sound like someone who is juvenile and selfish.
Sounds more like someone who has grown up.
NFL Week 2: Chiefs-Texans — Four Things to Watch For from The Houston Press
1. Offensive progress
Against the Bears, the Texans only averaged 3.7 yards per carry on the ground, a not entirely unexpected (but still underwhelming) number. However, that number was cobbled together in almost its entirety with a number of short, pile moving, grinding runs up the middle by Lamar Miller that kept the Texans ahead of the chains for nearly the entire afternoon and greatly contributed to their going 12 for 20 on third downs. (15 of their 20 third downs were 3rd and 7 or shorter.) In other words, this was an ACCEPTABLE 3.7 yards per carry day!
Chiefs prepare to face a different Texans team from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith talked about how often Houston has been on the schedule.
"There has been a lot of history," Smith said. "Anytime you get that, it certainly carries with it a little more juice, for sure. Third time in a year, there is a lot of familiarity there and a lot of history. I'm sure the intensity will be high."
The Chiefs have won three in a row against the Texans and have won a franchise record 11 straight regular-season games.
The Chiefs Don't Want to Be Boring Anymore from The Ringer
Over the offseason, Reid decided that the pace needed to be picked up. From Week 7 Reid, along with his two new offensive co-coordinators, Brad Childress and Matt Nagy, removed some plays from the two-minute drill to simplify the call sheet, and he cut down the verbiage of the tongue-twisting, West Coast-offense play calls that sound like jibberish to the untrained ear, like "shift to halfback twin right open, swap 72 all-go special halfback shallow cross wide open..."
As soon as the Chiefs got the ball back after Lambo's missed field goal on Sunday, Reid put his team into this newly calibrated hurry-up mode. And unlike against New England, they ran the offense primarily from the no-huddle, where hand signals and code words replaced play calls, and the tempo ensured they'd get enough possessions to cut down the 17-point deficit.
The next three drives did exactly that:
Chiefs' on-field improvement hasn't translated to Forbes ranking from The Kansas City Business Journal
The team's revenue has been climbing steadily since reporting $196 million in 2007. Its operating income has climbed from $35.2 million in the same period; it dipped to $10 million in 2014, Forbes reports.
Texans -2.5 vs. Chiefs: The home team gets three points by default from Vegas, and the Texans aren't getting the max. People loved the Chiefs and are continuing to buy them at 1-0. They're underselling the Texans, whose offense looks capable of really exploding this year. J.J. Watt should be better in Week 2 and Lamar Miller should do some damage against a Chiefs defense that allowed 4.8 yards per carry to the Chargers last week.
Shutdown Corner Playoff Projection: Admitting our preseason mistakes is easy from Yahoo! Sports
First, with the good. In the AFC ... not too bad! We kept 1 through 5 the same, and merely flip-flopped AFC West teams in the wild card spot. Denver Broncos in, Kansas City Chiefs out. Yes, the Chiefs' comeback was impressive; the Broncos' opening night win was more so.
Week 2 NFL picks: Redskins avoid 0-2 start, Bills upset Jets from The Washington Post
Houston Texans (-2.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs, 62.8 percent
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs +2.5
Start or sit: Kelvin Benjamin is back as a top wideout from USA Today
...QB Alex Smith" culang="en">Alex Smith,
Kansas City Chiefs
Smith had 363 passing yards and three total scores in the Chiefs' overtime win. Don't count on a repeat performance. The stubborn Texans secondary limited the Chicago Bears to 185 passing yards. Points will be hard to come by for both teams this week.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif sprained ankle from RDS [translated from the original French]
Duvernay-Tardif was named the unsung hero of the meeting by USA Today .
The praise does not stop there while his teammates and Andy Reid acknowledged the brilliance and especially the rapid growth of the sixth round pick in 2014.
"When he arrived in the NFL, he was still learning about the sport - speed, concepts - but now we can see that he is confident. Its execution speed is fast and that's what you want to see an offensive lineman, "said quarterback Alex Smith in an article published on the website of the Chiefs.