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Abdullah Should Not Have Been Penalized

The NFL public relations machinery has been broken in recent times but the folks in New York responded quickly to the 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty called Monday night against Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah.

After returning an interception 39 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, Abdullah slid on both knees in the end zone and then knelt and bent over in prayer. Abdullah is a Muslim faith, who follows the rules of his religion including spend several months each day kneeling on his prayer rug.

That’s what he did at the end of his slide and the game officials hit him with the 15-yard penalty. The flag ended up causing no problems for the Chiefs, but the league was quick to establish that the whole incident was not correct.

The league statement read: “Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct following his fourth quarter touchdown. Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) states ‘players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground.’ Β However, the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play.”

Chiefs Do Everything Right In Beating Patriots


From Arrowhead StadiumΒ Β Β Β 

Offense, defense and special teams – they were all there Monday night and they allowed the Chiefs to dominate the New England Patriots, winning 41-14.

Andy Reid’s team did not just dominate the Patriots, they beat them up, controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, while allowing New England nothing in the kicking game. It was as complete a performance as the Chiefs have had in the Andy Era.

It got them back to even at 2-2 on the season, with a trip west coming up to play the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday.

Here’s our coverage:

Fans & Chiefs Look To Make Monday Night Noise

Whether the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium can make enough noise to take back from Seattle Seahawks fans the designation as the loudest sporting venue in the country will be decided by a guy holding a decibel meter.

Whether the Chiefs can make their own Monday night noise and push themselves back into the conversation among AFC contenders will depend not on machinery, but how they perform against and handle the visiting New England Patriots.

Kickoff is 7:15 p.m. with television coverage on ESPN and in Kansas City, KMBC-Channel 9.

The Chiefs are 1-2. The Patriots are 2-1. Both teams have been disappointments to their fans for underachieving in the season’s first three weeks. Both clubs have been hampered by injuries. Each team has offensive line problems. The Chiefs and Patriots are going to rely on their defenses at this point in the season.

Andy Reid’s team needs to carry a 2-2 record into Tuesday morning, and leave the Patriots with a similar 2-2 record. A K.C. victory would turn what began as a disastrous first quarter into a month of momentum for going forward with trips ahead to San Francisco and San Diego.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” said quarterback Alex Smith. “They are all big opportunities and certainly this one is. I think momentum can be a big, big thing in this game and I feel like we’ve got a little bit going and would love to keep it going.” …Read More!

Andy & Bill Bring Victories Into Monday Night


372

That’s how many victories Andy Reid and Bill Belichick will bring to Arrowhead Stadium for Monday night football when the Chiefs host the Patriots.

No game currently on the 2014 NFL schedule will bring together coaches with as many winning regular season and post-season efforts as the meeting between Reid and Belichick.

Career head coaching records:

  • Belichick – 220-115-0, a .657 winning percentage in 20 seasons.
  • Reid – 152-110-1, a .580 winning percentage in 15 seasons.

They currently rank No. 1 (Belichick) and No. 4 (Reid) in most victories among active NFL head coaches. In league history Belichick ranks No. 5 and Reid is No. 21.

In fact, this game will feature the most victories between two head coaches for any game ever played at Arrowhead Stadium. It tops the 370 victories that Don Shula and Marty Schottenheimer carried into the October 13, 1991 game between the Dolphins and Chiefs. That was a blowout victory for Schottenheimer, as the Chiefs won 42-7. …Read More!

Officials Preview – John Parry & Crew

One of the NFL’s higher ranked officiating crews will work Monday night handling the Chiefs and Patriots in Monday night football at Arrowhead Stadium.

Referee John Parry is in his 15th season as an NFL official and eighth season as a referee. The Patriots know him well – he was the referee for Super XLVI in Indianapolis when the New York Giants beat New England. That’s Parry on the right, holding out a hand to help out a defeated Tom Brady at the Super Bowl.

A financial advisor in suburban Akron, Ohio, Parry and his crew have averaged 15 penalties walked off for 143 yards in three games this season, including the NFL’s regular-season opener in Seattle between the Seahawks and Packers. They also worked the Arizona at New York Giants game and last week handled San Diego’s visit to Buffalo. That ranks them in the top third of flag throwers in the league.

This crew has leaned on the defense, walking off 27 of their 45 penalties against the defenders. That includes 18 coverage penalties, including eight illegal contact calls, more than any other crew. On the offensive side, they have walked off 14 penalties with half that total offensive holding.

The Chiefs are 2-3 in the last five games where Parry has been the referee; the most recent was the Monday night game last season in Denver, when they had fewer penalties than the Broncos but still lost.

…Read More!

4 Keys To Winning For the Chiefs Vs. Patriots

Β 

Four

Handle Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones

Here’s a number to consider when discussing New England’s third-year defender and 2012 first-round selection in the NFL Draft: 85.75 inches. That’s the wingspan of Chandler Jones and it’s a problem the Chiefs must deal with in Monday night’s game. The 6-5, 260-pound Jones has arms that are 35Β½ inches long; thus he can spread those wings more than seven-feet wide. That makes him a threat to knock down any pass on his side of the field, plus he’s a load to handle in pass protection. This year in three games Jones has 14 total tackles, two sacks and two passes knocked down. Against Minnesota, he blocked a field goal, picked up the ball and scored on a 58-yard return. Figure Bill Belichick and his defensive staff will find the weakest point of the Chiefs offensive line and attack there with Jones.

…Read More!

Jackson County Bridge Will Wear Len Dawson’s Name

On Friday morning the state of Missouri honored Chiefs and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson by attaching his name to a bridge near Arrowhead Stadium.

Missouri General Assembly Bill No. 1866 designated the bridge on East Stadium Drive over Interstate 435 as the Len Dawson Bridge in ceremonies at the stadium.

“I’m excited and I’m also humbled to be the recipient (of this honor) in this very special way,” Dawson said. “A kid from Alliance, Ohio . . . I think we had a bridge there, I’m not too sure, but it wasn’t named after anybody.”

Dawson spent 18 years in Alliance, a small town just east of Canton. Then it was off to four years in West Lafayette, Indiana at Purdue University, three years in Pittsburgh after the Steelers selected him in the first round of the 1957 NFL Draft, and then two seasons in Cleveland when he was traded to the Browns before he landed in Dallas for a year with the Texans. In 1963 Dawson joined the rest of Lamar Hunt’s franchise and moved to Kansas City. It’s been his home for the last 52 years.

“I want to thank Lamar Hunt for bringing the franchise from Dallas to Kansas City,” Dawson said. “Kansas City is home and I wouldn’t want to think about being home in any other place but Kansas City.”

The honor comes as part of the Missouri Department of Transportation’s highway designation program that honors certain individuals, events, places or organizations on Missouri’s state highway system.

Chiefs Practice Update/Injury Report – September 27

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs wrapped up their practice week in preparation for Monday night’s game against New England with what was a normal Friday practice.

Afterwards, head coach Andy Reid said that safety Eric Berry would not play against the Patriots because of his sprained ankle suffered on September 14 in Denver. Berry did not practice on Saturday and has not worked with the team since suffering the injury. Also out is running back Joe McKnight with his Achilles tendon rupture.

Running back Jamaal Charles (ankle) and running back/wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas (hamstring) both practiced for the third consecutive day. “(Jamaal) did everything,” Reid said of practice participation for Charles. “De’Anthony did all his stuff out here. I’m probably more optimistic about Jamaal than him (Thomas).”

Charles has been designated probable to play against the Patriots and Thomas questionable.

New England made a roster move on Saturday sending defensive tackle Sealver Siliga to the injured-reserve list/designated for return. Siliga suffered a foot injury in the first half against Oakland last Sunday. He played in the first three games with two starts and had eight total tackles. …Read More!

Tale of the Tape: Chiefs vs. Patriots

On the surface there would not seem to be much to compare between the Chiefs and their next opponent, the New England Patriots. It’s been 10 years since the Pats won a Super Bowl championship; it’s been 45 seasons since the Chiefs earned their only Super Bowl trophy. Over the last decade, New England averaged 12.4 victories per season; the Chiefs averaged half that in the same time period.

But as the teams get ready to face each other this coming Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium they are far closer than many would assume given recent history. Other than the all-important habit of winning that the Patriots have in buckets, there are not a lot of current differences between the teams.

Here is the head-to-head, position-by-position tale of the tape for the Chiefs and Patriots: …Read More!

Keeping The Stars Out of the Eyes of Young Defenders

That’s a Tamba Hali sack and strip of Tom Brady in a 2011 game at Foxboro

Tom Brady has been on the NFL’s radar screen for 15 seasons now. With three Super Bowl victories, two other appearances in the league’s final game, his boyish grin and Hollywood lifestyle, Brady has become one of the iconic figures in the game.

Many of the Chiefs defenders attempting to stop Brady on Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium were not even teenagers yet when Brady won his first championship ring in the 2001 season with the Patriots victory over St. Louis in New Orleans.

Nose tackle Dontari Poe and cornerback Marcus Cooper were 11 years old. Outside linebacker Justin Houston and defensive end Allen Bailey were 12. Running back/receiver De’Anthony Thomas will not be on the field against Brady, but he was just eight years old when Brady first held the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Playing against Brady tends to tighten the emotion strings on young defensive players. It can become a psychological jumble playing against a superstar they watched as a kid, knowing from film study and the defensive coaches that Brady always finds the defensive mistakes and weaknesses. They want to play perfectly because it’s a national stage of Monday night. They feel like they must be perfect given Brady’s experience and skills. But not even the coaches expect their players to go through a 60-minute game doing everything perfectly for the defense.

It’s a combination of emotions that can test the resolve of any young player. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Report/Injury Update – September 26

From the Truman Sports Complex

After getting the bad news about running back Joe McKnight and his ruptured Achilles tendon, the Chiefs went through practice on Friday with only one other player off-the-field.

Safety Eric Berry did not practice for the second day this week because of his sprained ankle. That diminishes his chances of being on the field Monday night against New England.

The remaining players on the roster were taking part in practice during the media period. In Foxboro, there were no changes to the Patriots practice update. Here are the Thursday reports for both teams: …Read More!

Catapano Had Virus & Concussion

From the Truman Sports Complex

Mike Catapano is back around the Chiefs facility after being absent for most of the last two months as he tried to shake an intestinal virus that caused him to be unable to practice.

But in moving around the country to different specialists, it was also discovered that Catapano was suffering from a concussion. Just when that happened is not clear, given that he practiced for only a few days in camp before he went down with the virus/concussion.

Chiefs head trainer Rick Burkholder described the situation on Friday.

“Mike had a two issues: one he had a virus that was gastro-intestinal based and as we study that and we study that extensively, he went to New York to the Hospital of special surgeries and there it was determined he had a concussion,” Burkholder said. “He was studied at New York University Hospital, University of Michigan Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh for the concussion. …Read More!

McKnight Goes Down With Ruptured Achilles

From the Truman Sports Complex

In a stunning announcement Friday morning, the Chiefs reported that running back Joe McKnight suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in practice Thursday. He will definitely not play Monday night against New England and he’s headed for surgery, ending his 2014 season.

After his performance against Miami last week where he caught two touchdown passes and had a very nice kickoff return, losing McKnight is a huge blow to the Chiefs depth and takes away a potential weapon from the offense and special teams.

“It’s unfortunate because he did have a tremendous game on Sunday,” said offensive coordinator Doug Pederson. “It tugs at your heart a little bit because he battled through injury here and injury in New York (Jets) and sitting out of football and knowing just how hard he worked, the time and effort he put in going all the way back to the OTAs. He was a guy that brought energy to that room and brought another skill-set to use. I just want to get him healthy and get back as soon as possible.”

No prognosis was given by head trainer Rick Burkholder when he announced the injury to the media Friday.

“He’s in the evaluation process right now and we are trying to determine when he’ll have the surgery and who will do the surgery,” said Burkholder. “It will be up to Coach Reid and John Dorsey to decide his status on the roster.”

McKnight had 132 all-purpose yards on 10 touches last Sunday against Miami. He had one rushing play for three yards, caught six passes for 64 yards and two touchdown catches and he returned three kickoffs for 65 yards.

Next Opponent: New England Patriots

The two-man Mt. Rushmore of the Patriots: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady

Game – No. 4.

Opponent – New England Patriots.

2014 record – they are 2-1, after losing their opener to Miami 33-20, and then posting back-to-back victories over Minnesota 30-7 and Oakland 16-9. They have allowed 49 points, while scoring 66. After three games they are ranked No. 26 in offensive yards with an average of 301.3 yards per game. Despite having quarterback Tom Brady, the Pats are No. 27 in passing yards per game at 196.3 yards. Defensively the Patriots are No. 3 in fewest defensive yards allowed, giving up an average of 272.7 yards. They are plus-6 in the turnover ratio and even in the sack ratio.

Franchise began – in 1960 when the Boston Patriots were one of eight charter members of Lamar Hunt’s American Football League. They became the New England Patriots in 1971 when they moved into their new stadium in Foxboro, MA. That building changed names several times, but the Patriots played there until Gillette Stadium was built and opened in Foxboro for the 2002 season.

Ownership – The Kraft family owns 100 percent of the team. Robert Kraft, the family’s 73-year old patriarch holds 30 percent ownership. His four sons (Jonathan, Dan, Josh and David) equally share the other 70 percent. Kraft bought the Patriots in 1994 from St. Louis businessman James Orthwein for $175 million. Orthwein, a great-grandson of Anheuser-Busch found Adolphus Busch of brewery fame bought the franchise from New York businessman Victor Kiam in 1992. Kiam bought the team for $83 million in 1988 from the founding Sullivan family. It was Billy Sullivan who paid $25,000 in 1960 for a franchise in the AFL. Over the years, Sullivan had many partners and several times became 100 percent owner in the team. But Sullivan did not come from money, and eventually operating a team in a dilapidated stadium in Foxboro limited his income opportunities. Billy Sullivan died in 1988, forcing his heirs to sell the club because of the inheritance tax situation.

Quiz 1 – Patriots founder Billy Sullivan played a major part in Lamar Hunt’s life. What was his role? Sullivan made the presentation speech for Hunt when the Chiefs founder was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

General Manager – ?, the Patriots do not have a person listed as holding that title. The duties of the G.M. are split among several persons, with the most public being director of player personnel Nick Caserio. This 14th season with the Patriots, with 12 coming in the personnel department and two as an assistant coach. There is no question who holds the football power in the organization – read on. …Read More!

Stability – Will the Chiefs Know What To Do With It?


Jamaal Charles walks off the field in Denver after suffering a sprained ankle

From the Truman Sports Complex

Thursday marked nine days since the Chiefs made any personnel moves that involved active players on the 53-man roster, or the 10-man practice squad.

That’s the longest stretch of no activity by general manager John Dorsey and his personnel staff since a 17-day quiet period from June 27 to July 14. That’s when the NFL was on vacation.

Dorsey and those that work for him have not taken any time off since the start of the regular season. Due to the large number of injuries the Chiefs suffered in the season’s first two games, rosters were being adjusted and juggled on an everyday basis.

In fact on September 9, two days after the season opener the Chiefs made moves involving 15 different players.

So far this week, the only personnel item for the Chiefs was the move of defensive end Mike Catapano from the reserve/non-football illness list to the injured-reserve list. That means Catapano who has been dealing with a mystery illness cannot return to the active roster this season. If he had remained on the reserve/illness list, he could have made an attempt to return after six games.

“That was a long process, so I think it’s better that he just steps back, gets healthy and feeling good,” said head coach Andy Reid. “He’s had a million different tests done. I’m not trying to eliminate telling you but there’s been a million things done on him just to try to find out what the answer is.

“I think he is starting to feel better. I had a chance to visit with him and he’s in good spirits so that’s positive. Now it’s just a matter of building back up and getting himself back where he gets his strength back.” …Read More!

Chiefs Practice/Injury Report; Berry Still Out – Sept 25

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs thought they would have all their injured players on the active roster back to start the preparation for Monday night’s game against New England.

But safety Eric Berry’s ankle did not cooperate. He did not work in Thursday afternoon’s practice at the Chiefs facility.

“Eric’s ankle it’s a little different deal,” head coach Andy Reid said Thursday morning. “It’s right where the high ankle sprain component comes in. Right now it’s leaning more to a high ankle sprain. You just don’t know.

“He’s trying like crazy to get back, but he won’t practice today and then we’ll just have to see.”

The Chiefs listed five players as limited participants in practice, topped by running back Jamaal Charles and running back/receiver De’Anthony Thomas. Both missed last Sunday’s game, Charles with a sprained ankle and Thomas due to a strained hamstring. Also limited were running back Joe McKnight (Achilles), cornerback Sean Smith (groin) and outside linebacker Tamba Hali (ankle/knee).

Here are the practice reports for both teams from Wednesday: …Read More!

Snap Judgments/Miami: TEs Changing Chiefs Offense

As an offensive play-caller there’s one thing Andy Reid craves each Sunday – options. Give an offensive mind like the Chiefs head coach a toolbox full of different implements and there’s no predicting what he can build when his team has the football.

The game within the game that’s played out in every game on Sunday is where the offensive and defensive coaching staffs try to decipher what the other guys have shown in previous games, and then create a game plan to leave the other guys guessing.

Over the last two weeks, Reid and his offensive coordinator Doug Pederson have not put together cookie-cutter game plans. They have taken their basic offensive scheme and continue to make subtle changes. That comes with the motion and shifting of players when the offense comes out of the huddle and there are the personnel packages created to run the plays.

On Sunday in Miami, the offensive game plan included a heavy dose of the Chiefs running a three tight end alignment. But this wasn’t the standard short yardage/goal line three tight ends. Due to the skills of Anthony Fasano, Travis Kelce and Demetrius Harris, the Chiefs can put formations on the field that don’t provide any clue of what’s about to happen.

“They give you some flexibility because they’re all good receivers,” Reid said Monday. “We put that in for OTAs and then we ran it a little bit last week (against Denver) where we threw the ball. We thought we could get a decent match up there with them in the run game.”

The Chiefs had 11 snaps on offense with all three tight ends on the field. It always started with all three lined up to the outside of right tackle Ryan Harris, usually with Fasano, Harris and Kelce in that order. In effect, it gave the Chiefs five blockers on the right side of the center. On several of those plays, Kelce went in motion from right to left. …Read More!

Chiefs Earn A South Beach Victory Over The Dolphins

The odds are nearly impossible for an NFL team to reach the playoffs after starting the season 0-3. The numbers since 1990 show only 2 percent improve enough to make the tournament.

Andy Reid and his Chiefs will not have to worry about those numbers, as they picked up the season’s first victory, bouncing the Miami Dolphins 34-15 in a Sunday afternoon meeting at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Without running back Jamaal Charles, inactive because of his sprained ankle, Davis became the offensive engine, running 32 times for 132 yards. Quarterback Alex Smith threw three touchdown passes, including a pair to running back Joe McKnight. The defense didn’t get a takeaway, but the pass rush pressure on Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill produced four sacks.

Now 1-2, the Chiefs host the New England Patriots next Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium.

Here’s the coverage of Sunday’s victory:

Time For ’14 Chiefs To Show Just Who They Are

Two weeks ago, the Chiefs bad overall performance led to loss No. 1. A week ago they had a much better day of production and still they were slapped with loss No. 2.

It’s the third week of the 2014 season and reading the tea leaves on this year’s edition of the Hunt Family franchise remains nothing but guess work. There are obvious reasons for the team’s inconsistency against Tennessee and Denver. They started the season with seven new starters (including the kicker) and after two games they now have a dozen different starters from last year’s team that made the AFC playoffs.

On this Sunday, the Chiefs are in south Florida to face the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. It’s a 3:25 p.m. start with television coverage on CBS.

“Certainly it’s not where we hoped to be two weeks ago,” said quarterback Alex Smith. “It’s a long season and you never know what can happen and I think that’s the reason the mentality is win this week and put some things together. You never know what can happen; there are so many things out of your control that you can’t worry about.

“The one thing we can control is how we prepare and go out and play the Dolphins and let’s just focus on that.” …Read More!

Week #3 Notes: Cradle of Kickers – St. Augustine, FL?

Some 300 miles from Miami, traveling up Interstate-95 along the east coast of Florida is St. Augustine.

Known as the oldest continuously inhabited village in the continental United States, St. Augustine saw European explorers as early as Ponce de Leon in 1513 and what became a permanent settlement was set up in 1565. There’s 600 years of history there that went down on the Atlantic Ocean and in the many rivers that crisscross the city.

But it’s doubtful anyone has ever called St. Augie the cradle of kickers. But of the 32 men booting the ball in the NFL, two are from St. Augustine and they’ll be together on the field Sunday afternoon when the Chiefs and Dolphins face off back down I-95 in Miami Gardens.

Caleb Sturgis will be kicking for the Dolphins. He’s in his second season with the team out of the University of Florida and St. Augustine High School. Cairo Santos will be booting the ball for the Chiefs. He will be in his third NFL game after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane University with his high school days coming at St. Joseph Academy in St. Augustine.

Of the 30 other kickers this week around the league there are two that kicked at the same high school – Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, California: Nick Folk of the New York Jets and Kai Forbath of the Washington Redskins. Sturgis and Santos are two of six kickers that have come out of Florida, from St. Augustine in the north, to Ft. Lauderdale in the south. There are also six Texas raised kickers in the league. No other state or area had more than two kickers.

Sturgis and Santos have never kicked against each other in a game – St. Augie and St. Joe were in different leagues and classifications, so they never went head-to-head. But they have spent many hours kicking together in St. Augustine during springs and summers when they came back for visits. …Read More!

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