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The Picture For AFC Playoffs – 11/23

Other than moving the race for the AFC playoffs one more week down the road, the activities of week No. 12 did not clear the smoke that hangs over the last four slots in the post-season bracket.

It’s still New England and Denver leading the way and then another eight teams sporting winning records and dreams they could be playing in January.

That group on top could have included the Chiefs with the Patriots and Broncos, but they failed to win game No. 8, falling last Thursday night to Oakland.

Cincinnati sits just a half-step ahead of the rest of the field at 7-3-1, and then it’s the Chiefs and at least four other teams at 7-3, all with at least three losses in the AFC. That group could grow to six teams with a Baltimore win against New Orleans in the regularly scheduled Monday night game.

The Chiefs ended up losing more in position for the playoffs than any team during the week. But it was not a step back as much as it was the familiar to step forward. That leaves them trying to fight through five tough weeks and at least five other teams. …Read More!

Stats & Snap Judgments – Oakland

Here are the snaps played in the rain and credited by the NFL to the Chiefs in Thursday night’s game against the Raiders, on offense, defense and in the kicking game. Names in bold are those that played 100 percent of their unit’s snaps:

Offense (66)

  • Backs – Alex Smith 66, Jamaal Charles 60, De’Anthony Thomas 33, Anthony Sherman 12, Knile Davis 5, Charcandrick West 1.
  • Receivers – Travis Kelce 62, Dwayne Bowe 61, Frankie Hammond 56, Albert Wilson 17, Junior Hemingway 16, Phillip Supernaw 4, Anthony Fasano 2.
  • Line – Eric Fisher, Zach Fulton, Ryan Harris, Rodney Hudson & Mike McGlynn, each with 66; Jeff Linkenbach 1.

…Read More!

Chiefs Make Roster Change At Wide Receiver

The Chiefs announced Friday that they signed wide receiver Jason Avant to the 53-man active roster.

To make room for Avant, wide receiver A.J. Jenkins was placed on the injured-reserve list due to a shoulder injury he suffered last week in practice.

The 6-0, 210-pound Avant is a veteran of nine NFL seasons, including eight years with Philadelphia. In seven of those seasons he played for Eagles head coach Andy Reid. He began the 2014 season with the Carolina Panthers, catching 21 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown catch. Avant was released on Tuesday.

In 127 NFL games (52 starts) Avant caught 318 passes for 3,847 yards (12.1-yard per catch average) with 13 touchdown receptions. He entered the NFL as a fourth-round choice (#109) of the Eagles in the 2006 NFL Draft. Avant played at the University of Michigan, where he finished third in Wolverines history with 169 catches for 2,247 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Jenkins wrapped up his season with missing the last two games after suffering a shoulder injury in practice. He caught nine passes for 92 yards in the Chiefs offense.

Chiefs Comeback Falls Short In Oakland

The Chiefs five-game winning streak came to an end on a soggy Thursday night in Oakland when the Raiders picked up a 24-20 victory.

It was the first winning performance in over a year for Oakland, as the Raiders are 1-10 on the season. It was the first time the Chiefs lost a game in seven weeks. They are now 7-4 on the season.

The first half of the game was played in a downpour and the Raiders took advantage and jumped to a 14-point lead in the third quarter. But the Chiefs came back with 17 unanswered points and grabbed a three-point lead with just over nine minutes to play. That’s when rookie quarterback Derek Carr pulled together a 17-play, 80-yard scoring drive that finished up with a 9-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver James Jones that posted the winning points.

Here’s our coverage of the game that joins the history of the great Chiefs-Raiders rivalry:

Chiefs-Raiders Highlights New Oakland Quarterback

Another chapter in one of the most historic rivalries in the history of pro football goes down Thursday night when the Chiefs visit the Raiders in Oakland.

Kickoff is set for 7:25 pm. CST at the Oakland Coliseum with television coverage on the NFL Network and in Kansas City on Channel 41.

It will be the 111th time the Dallas Texans-Kansas City Chiefs have faced the Oakland-Los Angeles-Oakland Raiders. Some 40 years ago when the American Football League was rolling through its final days, the Chiefs and Raiders rivalry reached its apex, as one or the other played in three of the first four Super Bowls against the NFL.

That’s all prehistoric times in pro football, especially in today’s world of 144-character rants and immediate analysis and reaction from the Internet and social media. These teams have not played each other in a game that mattered in the month of November or December in many years. Actually, the last critical game was just a few hours into the 21st Century when the Raiders under head coach Jon Gruden showed up for the first game of the 2000s and the last game of the 1999 season. A Chiefs victory in Gunther Cunningham’s first year as head coach would have sent his team to the playoffs but Oakland won in overtime.

Since then, the Raiders have struggled to play with any sort of respectability. The Chiefs have often done the same. Thursday they arrive for the first of two outings this season with the Chiefs at 7-3 and the Raiders at 0-10. Oakland is the only team in the league that has not won a game in this 2014 season and their last victory was 367 days ago.

It’s an interesting situation for the Chiefs. The Thursday night game brought a short preparation week for Andy Reid, his staff and players. They had Monday and Tuesday to think and act Raiders and then left on Wednesday for the Bay Area. That’s about half their normal amount of prep time for a game. …Read More!

4 Keys To Winning For the Chiefs Against The Raiders

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Volume #3 of keeping Alex Smith’s uniform without a blemish from the Raiders defense

With the exception of the game in Buffalo when Smith was sacked six times by the Bills defense, the protection for the Chiefs quarterback has improved each week, with no sacks allowed last week against Seattle. The Seahawks have a far more formidable defense than the Raiders, who have just 10 sacks in 338 passing plays through the first 10 games. What’s helped is the success of the running game; that’s taken some of the focus off the pass protection issues the team has carried through the season.

…Read More!

Tale of the Tape: Chiefs vs. Raiders

There are 11 categories in our weekly Tale of the Tape comparison, and generally the Chiefs have posted a majority in their favor each game, somewhere around six or seven areas of the competition.

But Thursday night’s Tale of the Tape falls decidedly in favor of the Chiefs. That would have been expected given the seven-game difference in the loss column between the teams. It’s a decided difference, as in our estimation the Chiefs have an edge in 10 of 11 areas, missing only at wide receiver.

That’s on paper; it will be fun to see it play out on that suspect field in Oakland: …Read More!

Chiefs Low On Receivers – Injury Report November 19

The Chiefs will step on the field again Thursday without a full complement of wide receivers; the club declared Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins out of the prime-time game against Oakland.

Avery and Jenkins missed last Sunday’s game against Settle. Avery practiced this week, but apparently has not improved enough in the eyes of the team’s medical staff to be able to play a full game. He’s coming back from a sports hernia injury/surgery. Jenkins did not practice after suffering a shoulder injury in practice last week.

Also declared out of Thursday night’s game is cornerback Chris Owens as he continues to work at getting back from a knee injury he suffered on October 5th.


OUT – Wide receiver Donnie Avery (sports hernia), wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (shoulder), cornerback Chris Owens (knee).

QUESTIONABLE – Tight end Anthony Fasano (knee), cornerback Jamell Fleming (hamstring).

PROBABLE – Right guard Zach Fulton (ankle), cornerback Phillip Gaines (ankle/quadriceps), outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee), tight end Travis Kelce (ribs/shoulder), left guard Mike McGlynn (knee), right cornerback Sean Smith (groin).


OUT – Tight end David Ausberry (foot), cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle), safety Jonathan Dowling (back), left cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee).

QUESTIONABLE – G Gabe Jackson (knee).

PROBABLE — Linebacker Miles Burris (hip), quarterback Derek Carr (quadriceps),

Expected starters in bold.

Why Everybody Is Trapped Into Talking Trap Game

It’s one of the favorite terms of the short week for the Chiefs:

Trap game.

As in – will the 7-3 Chiefs fall into the trap of taking the 0-10 Raiders lightly in Thursday night’s game in Oakland?

It’s a silly premise, especially in today’s National Football League. Every time a big underdog pulls a surprise victory does not mean it was a trap game. Every time a heavy-favorite stumbles and ends up on the wrong side of the score does not define the term trap game.

From this man’s well-worn football seat, a trap game requires as part of the equation a team that’s actually accomplished something. That would eliminate the Chiefs from the equation right off the bat.

Yes, the Chiefs went 11-5 last year and made the playoffs. And, they’ve comeback this season after an ugly 0-2 start and are now 7-3 with a share of first place in the AFC West. That’s impressive and makes for plenty of hope in the Chiefs nation.

But they haven’t accomplished anything that should make them think they are superior to their other brethren in the league. They’ve accomplished nothing of significance. They have no recent championships, whether the titles are from a division, conference or league.

For the 2014 Chiefs to overlook an opponent would be an act of stupidity that does not fit the profile of this team. They win football games with smart play and limited self-inflicted blunders. It’s not going to happen, not even with a game against Denver looming just ahead on the schedule. …Read More!

Shields Advances In 2015 Hall of Fame Process

Will Shields advanced yet another step Tuesday in the process for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as he joined the semi-finalist group of 26 names that will be considered for induction early next year.

Hall of Fame voters will cut that number down to 15 before the final voting takes place on Saturday, January 31, the day before the Super Bowl in Arizona.

It would be an upset if Shields did not make the final 15. He’s been there in the previous three years. In voting for the class of 2012 and 2013 he was eliminated in a cut from 15 to 10. In voting this past February for the class of 2014, he was eliminated in the vote from 10 to 5.

The only other semi-finalist with ties to the Chiefs is kicker Morten Andersen. Here’s the complete list of men still under consideration for Canton’s Class of 2015: …Read More!

Chiefs/Raiders Practice-Injury Report – November 18

Although wide receiver Donnie Avery participated in practice on Tuesday afternoon, head coach Andy Reid indicated it was unlikely Avery would be ready to play on Thursday night against Oakland.

Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins and cornerback Chris Owens did not practice. Earlier in the day, Reid said Owens would practice, but the participation report indicated otherwise.

Out in Oakland, quarterback Derek Carr was a limited practice participant for the second consecutive practice because of a strained quadriceps.

Here are the details for each team:


DID NOT PARTICIPATE – Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (shoulder), cornerback Chris Owens (knee).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION – Wide receiver Donnie Avery (sports hernia), tight end Anthony Fasano (knee), outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee).

FULL PARTICIPATION – Cornerback Jamell Fleming (hamstring), right guard Zach Fulton (ankle), cornerback Phillip Gaines (ankle/quadriceps), tight end Travis Kelce (ribs/shoulder), left guard Mike McGlynn (knee), right cornerback Sean Smith (groin).


DID NOT PARTICIPATE – Tight end David Ausberry (foot), cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle), safety Jonathan Dowling (back), left cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION – Linebacker Miles Burris (hip), quarterback Derek Carr (quadriceps), left guard Gabe Jackson (knee).

Expected starters in bold.

Sometimes Versatility Makes For A Tough Road In NFL

This is a story about Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey.

But first, it’s a story former long-time Chiefs guard Dave Szott.

In the 1990 NFL Draft, the Chiefs selected Szott out of Penn State University in the seventh round, pick #180. He would spend the next 11 seasons with the Chiefs, appearing in 143 games, starting 135 games at left guard, next to fellow ’90 draft-class member Tim Grunhard.

Szott seriously outplayed his draft position; seventh round choices don’t spend 11 seasons in the league, with more than 100 starts. Did the Chiefs and the rest of the NFL poorly evaluate Szott coming out of Penn State? No, they really never got the chance to accurately assess him. Szott never had a home with the Nittany Lions – he played on the offensive line and defensive line for head coach Joe Paterno. He was such a good athlete – impressive upper-body strength and remarkably quick feet – that when the Penn State staff needed to plug a hole, they would usually shift Szott to the other side of the football.

It wasn’t until he landed with the Chiefs that he became strictly an offensive lineman, strictly a guard and a pretty darn good one.

Back to Allen Bailey, a third-round choice by the Chiefs in the 2011 NFL Draft. It has taken almost eight years for Bailey to find a home on the football field. In four seasons playing college ball for the University of Miami Hurricanes he was constantly moved on the roster, from defensive end, to defensive tackle, even some spring ball at tight end. Then, there were three more years of being a jack of all trades on the Chiefs defensive line, where he played defensive end on both the left and right side, and defensive tackle in sub-defenses at both the right and left side.

This was a player without a home, but with playing time. The old saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” might as well have been written about him. …Read More!

Alex’s Not Running; Snap Judgments From Seattle

One of the aspects of Alex Smith’s game last season that was so important to the Chiefs offense was his running ability.

It wasn’t just his talent to step away from pass-rush pressure and stay out of the grasp of defenders. It was how Smith could take off and gain important yardage for the Chiefs offense, turning potential disaster into big plays. He set a franchise record for rushing yardage by a quarterback and he finished sixth among starting NFL quarterbacks with 431 rushing yards.

Every season is different for every NFL team and while the Chiefs have returned to contender status after opening in a 0-2 hole, they have not done it the same manner that produced last year’s 11-5 season. That’s especially true of Smith. Despite sometimes shaky pass protection, Smith is not taking off on the run like he did last year. Whether he’s been asked to pull back, or it’s just how circumstances have fallen together over 10 games, he’s run 25 fewer times for 131 fewer yards through 10 games than he did last season.

Overall, he’s run 33 times for 186 yards. That still has him No. 6 among running quarterbacks in the NFL this year, behind Russell Wilson (571 yards), Colin Kaepernick (322), Cam Newton (293), Ryan Tannehill (261) and Blake Bortles (204).

In the Chiefs last three games, Smith has run just six times for 24 yards. Against Seattle, he had two runs for minus-1 yard. Three games ago against the New York Jets, he did not have a single run. …Read More!

Chiefs-Raiders Practice/Injury Report – November 17

The Thursday night game moves up all the rules and regulations on teams reporting on injuries, so that Monday essentially becomes a Wednesday for a regular Sunday game.

That’s why both the Chiefs and Raiders released practice/injury info on Monday afternoon. Here’s what they reported to the league office:


DID NOT PARTICIPATE – Wide receiver Donnie Avery (sports hernia), wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (shoulder), cornerback Chris Owens (knee).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION – Tight end Anthony Fasano (knee), outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee), left guard Mike McGlynn (knee).

FULL PARTICIPATION – Cornerback Jamell Fleming (hamstring), right guard Zach Fulton (ankle), cornerback Phillip Gaines (ankle/quadriceps), tight end Travis Kelce (ribs/shoulder), right cornerback Sean Smith (groin).


DID NOT PARTICIPATE – Tight end David Ausberry (foot), cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle), safety Jonathan Dowling (back), left cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION – Quarterback Derek Carr (quadriceps), left guard Gabe Jackson (knee).

Expected starters in bold.

Chiefs Extend Win Streak With Victory Over Seattle

From Arrowhead Stadium

Keyed by a strong defensive effort in the second half, the Chiefs have now won five straight as they beat the visiting Seattle Seahawks on a cold Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.

Although they were pounded by the sturdy legs of running back Marshawn Lynch, the Chiefs defense bent but did not break, stopping the Seahawks on three different fourth down plays in the fourth quarter.

Their victory along with the 22-7 upset of Denver by St. Louis has the Chiefs 7-3 and tied with the Broncos for first place in the AFC West with six games to play.

Here’s our coverage from Sunday and remember it grows hourly into the wee hours of Monday morning. Enjoy:

Here’s our coverage of the Chiefs and Seahawks:

Chiefs Face Another Big Test With Visit From Seahawks

They once shared space in the AFC West, spending 25 seasons bumping up against each other twice a year.

NFL realignment broke up that relationship back in 2002 and over the last 13 NFL seasons, the Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks have seen each other infrequently, just three times and only once at Arrowhead Stadium. When they meet on Sunday they will get reacquainted in a big way. Kickoff is just after 12 noon with television coverage on the FOX network.

Both clubs are 6-3 and in the middle of the fight for one of the spots in the conference playoffs brackets. With tough schedules ahead for both teams in the next six weeks, they need the help of a victory against a team from the other conference, even if it doesn’t help so much in the tie-breakers

“One of the things you learn in this league is that all that tie-breaker stuff is absolutely useless on Sunday when you are working to win a game,” said defensive end Kevin Vickerson. “We can’t look beyond anything but kickoff. If you win, that stuff takes care of itself.”

The Chiefs have now won four consecutive games to inject themselves into the AFC’s post-season picture. The Seahawks are the defending Super Bowl champions but they’ve already lost as many games as they did in 19 games last year. They’ve now won three in a row and need to keep pace with division leading Arizona, just like the Chiefs must stay on the heels of AFC West leader Denver. …Read More!


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Extra emphasis on ball security against Seahawks

Years ago, Marty Schottenheimer invoked special instructions during the preparation week for two meetings each year against the Seahawks. He called it the “Seattle Rule” created because of the Hawks ability to take the ball away. In practice, offensive players were required to hand the ball to officials working the workouts. That was then, but even now Seattle has a dynamic defense that likes to take the ball away from opponents. They have 12 takeaways and a dozen sacks this season and those are not league leading numbers of any kind. They are tied for 20th in turnovers caused and are No. 28 in sacks per pass plays faced. But with the likes of cornerback Richard Sherman and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas they are capable of much more. The Chiefs are among the league leaders with just 8 giveaways; this is not a game where they should break that profile. …Read More!

Chiefs-Seahawks Injury Reports For Sunday’s Game

The Chiefs will be down at least three players for Sunday’s game against Seattle based on the injury report submitted by the club Friday afternoon.

Wide receivers Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins, along with cornerback Jamell Fleming have been declared out of action. That leaves the Chiefs short at wide receiver with only four players available: Dwayne Bowe, Frankie Hammond, Junior Hemingway and Albert Wilson. The team also has Armon Binns and Fred Williams on the practice squad.

The focus over the next 36 hours will be on tight end Anthony Fasano and cornerback Chris Owens, both with knee injuries. During the practice week, Fasano made some progress while Owens appears to have taken a step backward after practicing on Wednesday.

Here are the injury reports submitted by the Chiefs and Seahawks to the league office on Friday:

…Read More!

So You Want To Build a Super Bowl Team?

Seahawks owner Paul Allen, head coach Pete Carroll and G.M. John Schneider with the Lombardi Trophy

History sits there waiting for us to use it as a resource; there are lessons to be learned from the success and failure of those who came before.

Consider the task of building a Super Bowl championship team. There have been 48 trophies awarded since the first game was played after the 1966 AFL and NFL seasons. Of the league’s 32 teams, 19 have won at least one Super title, with a dozen franchises picking up multiple Lombardi Trophies.

Change is constant in the NFL, so the lessons of building a championship team from the 1970s do not always translate to the football business of today. One thing that factors into every championship equation is having enough players that are schooled, motivated and physically gifted. The changes come in how those players are acquired from one era to another.

Led by general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, the Seattle Seahawks finished the 2013 season with a 16-3 overall record and a convincing 43-8 victory over Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII. They bring the 2014 version of the Seahawks to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, just a year removed from their championship squad.

“This is year five right now,” Carroll said of his tenure in charge of the Seahawks. “I think how you develop a championship mentality that gives you an opportunity to play on late in the season and see how far you can take it every year . . . we’re focused on what’s up and what’s right here right now. That’s the way we’ve done it.”

…Read More!

Chiefs Roster Structure Compared To Seahawks

The Chiefs and Seahawks operate with a shared outlook at their big-picture plans for obtaining players. It’s a product of each team’s general manager getting his first real instructions on building a team under legendary NFL G.M. Ron Wolf. Over 40 years in pro football, Wolf worked in various personnel department roles for the Raiders, Eagles, Jets, Buccaneers and Packers. It was in Green Bay where he retired in 2001.

Essentially, Wolf’s approach that he passed down to Chiefs G.M. John Dorsey and Seahawks G.M. John Schneider was to leave no stone unturned. Draft choices were valuable, but only if they were used wisely. Free agency was not something to be afraid of, but was also not something to embrace. The personnel department needed to work closely with the coaching staff, but not cede authority on making decisions. Scouts find talent, coaches develop the talent found.

Here’s a tale of the tape of sorts on how the current rosters for both teams were built: …Read More!

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AFC West Analysis 2014
Answer Bob
Chiefs 2014 Schedule
Chiefs Practice-Injury Reports 2014
Chiefs Roster Moves 2014
Game Coverage 2013
Game Coverage 2014
Minicamps-OTAs 2014
NFL Almanac 2014
NFL Combine 2014
NFL Draft 2014
NFL Free Agency 2014
Other News
Practice Reports 2014
Training Camp 2014