by Chris Kamler
DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF WEEKEND
After talking about gaps of 22 years between playoff victories, the chance for the Chiefs' next playoff victory is only seven short days later. And the challenger is none other than the New England Patriots. It won't be easy. This is the PATRIOTS we're talking about here. But Cinderella has a funny way of finding the right moment to shine. For eleven weeks, they've found a way. Now, they just need to do it two more weeks for a date with Super Bowl 50. Buckle up. It's gametime.
•Chiefs won the toss and you didn't hear about this on the broadcast, but the referees mistakenly gave New England the ball. The Patriots captain corrected the official. Chiefs, naturally, deferred.
•The Chiefs looked poor on defense early as the Patriots hit Julian Edelman three times, completing two in the first three plays to test Edelman. With the fury of the no-huddle offense, Brady moved the ball past midfield efficiently. Dee Ford was unable to cover Edelman and the defense seemed confused with coverage against the Pats.
•The big play of the drive was on a missed sack by Dee Ford on Brady. Tom Terrific was able to scramble out and complete it to Gronkowski inside the red zone.
•Gronk smashed another catch a few plays later to open the scoring for the Patriots on an 11 yard catch. 11 plays, 80 yards and it featured all passes. KANSAS CITY 0 - NEW ENGLAND 7
•With the first series of the Chiefs, they were able to mix in a flavor of passes and running. One completion was to Jeremy Maclin who they thought might've torn his ACL last week. Charcandrick West was the lead running back. The drive appeared to stall on a third and 13, but Alex Smith scrambled for the first down. They made it to the 15 but were unable to find Kelce in the end zone and settled for three. KANSAS CITY 3 - NEW ENGLAND 7
•The Pats closed out the first quarter without being able to find the end zone. In fact, the Chiefs chased them away after four plays in a very quick first quarter.
•West took the brunt of the weight in the ensuing drive but the Patriots were able to put up enough looks downfield to stop the Chiefs passing game and forced a punt.
•Both teams traded possessions and then Chiefs were forced to punt. On the punt, Danny Amendola clocked a Chiefs defender which pinned the Pats inside the five. He was only penalized two yards and the Pats moved forward.
•Brady found Keyshawn Martin as both he and Gronk ran the same fly route. The Martin catch immediately put them beyond midfield. The defense was penalized for a late hit on Brady which extended the drive and then he scrambled to the one. Then one play later, Brady dove over the goal line for the second TD of the game. KANSAS CITY 3 - NEW ENGLAND 14
•Charcandrick West blasted a 17 yard run before halftime and followed it up with a huge 20 yard pass to Jason Avant into the red zone. Under a minute to go and the Chiefs found themselves at the 18 yard line with the Chiefs desperately needing a touchdown.
•Travis Kelce hurdled a defender and the Chiefs called their final timeout. On second down, they tried again to get it up to the 6'4 Travis Kelce but was overthrown. On third down, the Chiefs had 21 seconds left and they had to take a delay of game. So from the 19 yard line Smith threw out of bounds and the Chiefs had to settle for a field goal, but will get the ball to start the second half. KANSAS CITY 6 - NEW ENGLAND 14
•The second half did start with the Chiefs having the ball and they managed to make it to near midfield until Knile Davis, who was third on the depth chart, took a handoff and fumbled. The Patriots made them pay for it right back with a two play drive for a touchdown. KANSAS CITY 6 - NEW ENGLAND 21
•The following drive by the Chiefs featured one of the most beautiful pieces of magicianship by Alex Smith who scrambled from two defenders in the backfield to make a 20 yard pass to Jason Avant. That drive finished with two beautiful passes and the touchdown strike to a sliding Albert Wilson in 12 plays that included a fourth and three conversion. KANSAS CITY 13 - NEW ENGLAND 21
•The Patriots got the ball back under two minutes to go in the third but their drive would extend into the fourth quarter.
•The team whose defense led them to 11 straight victories was held without a sack or a pickoff today and it has been killing them. But they were able to hold the Pats on third down forcing a 32 yard field goal to extend the Patriots lead to 11. KANSAS CITY 13 - NEW ENGLAND 24
•The next drive by the Chiefs was feeble and weak. Jeremy Maclin stood on the sidelines after succumbing to his injured ankle last week. Without a key receiver, Smith was left without any bullets and they Chiefs were forced to punt.
•The Pats followed that up with another field goal and the lead was back up to 14. KANSAS CITY 13 - NEW ENGLAND 27.
•Alex Smith and Albert Wilson connected a few times in the next drive, but it again stalled with about six minutes left to go in the game and you began to see the end barreling towards you. The end of 11 straight wins. The end of an already improbable playoff run where if you squinted, you could see the Chiefs in the 50th Super Bowl. The end of the 45th season without winning a Super Bowl.
•There was some late drama as under three minutes, the Chiefs put a goal line drive together but clock management wasted nearly five minutes of game time and they Chiefs couldn't score until their fourth time from inside the five under a minute to play. KANSAS CITY 20 - NEW ENGLAND 27
•Listen, there can only be one Super Bowl champion and I think if you look yourself in the mirror and look deeply, you'll admit that the Chiefs were never going to be that. But what a ride they took us on. Eleven straight wins. Alex Smith seemed to come into his own (finally) as a top-tier quarterback. A rotation of runningbacks that seemed interchangeable at times and that defense. What a year.
•By any measure except hoisting a Lombardi trophy, 2015 should be ruled a success. This is a team that was defined early on by losing Jamaal Charles and Charles's week 2 fumble against the Broncos. The team was reeling for several weeks and then finally began to play like advertised.
•There is way more work to be done in the offseason - including hiring a new offensive coordinator as Doug Pederson is taking an NFL head coaching job with Philadelphia. But the defense is a tremendous building block and a revised AFC West without Peyton Manning, a recently moved Los Angeles Chargers and the perennially hapless Raiders sure looks like a great setup to 2016.
•Thanks for reading this year. Here's to 2016!
Not since Ace of Base had the number one song in the country with “The Sign” has a Chiefs team seen a victory in a postseason game. It was also in Houston, but many of the competitors in that game are now in the Hall of Fame or long since faced. The time is now for the new heroes of the Kansas City Chiefs. Will they finally get their first postseason win in 22 years? The chances are good against a one-trick pony Texans team with only J.J. Watt and literally nothing else.
•Reminiscent of Game 1 of the 2015 World Series, the Kansas City team was on top before you even got your popcorn popped. Knile Davis blew past the Texans special teams on the opening kickoff for 106 yards. That's the way you want to start. KANSAS CITY 7 - HOUSTON 0
•It's early, but I mentioned that JJ Watt is all there is to look forward to with the Texans. And their offense is dreadful. The first few drives, the Chiefs defense of Eric Berry and Marcus Peters are having their way. Both would notch interceptions of Brian Hoyer in the first half.
•Both teams remained scoreless in the first quarter, but the Chiefs opened the scoring in quarter number 2 with a bomb 49 yard field goal by Cairo Santos. He's been all-world this season. KANSAS CITY 10 - HOUSTON 0
•In fact, this defense would shine through the first half as Allen Bailey and Jaye Howard both notched sacks and Dontari Poe picked up a fumble on the Howard sack.
•The defense was also able to stuff the Texans on their only appreciable scoring drive from the Chiefs 2 yard line. A huge series that showed the defense was meaning business.
•That series netted another long 49 yard field goal to end the half. Chiefs looking pretty good through two quarters. KANSAS CITY 13 - HOUSTON 0
•If the first half was the Chiefs defense establishing themselves and winning a game, then the second half was about the Texans offense losing the game.
•All told, the Chiefs would intercept Brian Hoyer four times in the game. It was the last time the Chiefs had four INT's in a postseason game since 1991 when they played the LA Raiders. Remember them?
•The Chiefs put the exclamation point on the game following an 89-yard 11-play drive finishing with a nine yard pass to Chris Conley. It was only Conley's second touchdown of the season. KANSAS CITY 20 - HOUSTON 0
•Spencer Ware added the final pudding on the pie with a five yard touchdown run. KANSAS CITY 30 - HOUSTON 0
•The Chiefs won their first postseason game since they beat the Oilers 28-20 and extend their streak to 11 games.
•To put that into perspective, the Royals were up 2-0 in the ALCS against the Blue Jays when the streak began.
•The shutout was the first in a Wild Card game since 2003 when the Jets beat the Colts 41-0.
•Eric Berry was undergoing intensive chemotherapy one year ago. Saturday, he notched his first postseason interception.
•The Chiefs were able to do it in the air, on the ground but most importantly -- on defense. They'll need that defense as they go up against Tom Brady and his deflated balls on Saturday. It will be the first time the two teams have ever met in the playoffs.
•FINAL SCORE - KANSAS CITY 30 - HOUSTON 0
It's the final weekend of the regular season, or as Chiefs fans had come to know it, the first weekend to start paying attention to college basketball. But not this year. Your Chiefs are relevant and playoff-bound in the New Year. Fans will be watching not only the early games to see how the Jets do, but also the alternate 3 p.m. game as the Broncos are clinging to their AFC West championship and a lot coupled with a Chiefs win would mean your Chiefs are the West champs. Plenty of plot lines in this one today as the Chiefs face off against the hated Oakland Raiders, who are looking to play the role of spoiler.
•On the silver and black sidelines, there isn't much left to play for EXCEPT that it's Charles Woodson's final game as a Raider. The free safety is finishing up all 18 years of his career with the Raiders and will finish his career on the same field where it began.
•Chiefs lost the toss, but the Raiders deferred with the Andy Reid special. First pass was to the fullback Anthony Sherman.
•As we are watching both the Chiefs game and the Broncos game, the Broncos scored on their first play from scrimmage. If the Broncos open it up early, the Chiefs may pull off the gas and pull their starters as there would be nothing to play for.
•The Chiefs wasted no time as it only took eight plays and two catches by Jeremy Maclin. The final one a strike on play-action for Maclin's eighth TD of the year. Maclin easily the best free agent pickup of the season for the Chiefs. OAKLAND 0 - KANSAS CITY 7
•Ron Parker was able to chase down Derrick Carr from behind on third and long on the Raiders first series to force punt. Parker had some closing speed on that run.
•The Chiefs second drive of the quarter featured a heavy dose of the running game and Spencer Ware. The key play of the drive was a fourth and short attempt after the fans implored Andy Reid to go for it at the 43 yard line. The option formation worked as Alex Smith dove forward for the first down. The drive was capped by a short TD run by Spencer Ware as the Raiders are Swiss cheese. OAKLAND 0 - KANSAS CITY 14
•The first quarter ended with the Raiders mounting a bit of a drive after a great runback on the kickoff.
•But the Chiefs defense built a wall and forced a field goal by Janikowski to open the scoring for the silver and black. OAKLAND 3 - KANSAS CITY 14
•The Chiefs first drive of the second quarter featured another nifty Alex Smith scramble, but stalled. A great punt will start the Raiders inside the 5.
•About midway through the second quarter, Alex Smith threw only his fifth interception of the season on an attempt to Wilson. The INT set up the Raiders into Chiefs territory.
•But then a pick six on the next play by the Raiders put them right back in the ball game. Terrible few plays for Alex Smith there. OAKLAND 10 - KANSAS CITY 14
•The next series featured a neutered series for Alex Smith and a quick three and out. The Chiefs have looked better.
•The half moved very quickly and provided us to keep an eye on Denver. Their game was a one point game into halftime as boo birds were flying at Mile High over Brock Osweiler.
•If you're OCD and ADD like me, you'll love the next 90 minutes as the Broncos are clinging to a one point lead and the Chiefs are clinging to a four point lead. If the scores stood right now, the Chiefs are the Wild Card. But you never know.
•Opening few series by the Raiders and Chiefs yielded not much. Following two interceptions by Alex Smith, the Chiefs offense went ultra-conservative and a combination of the Raiders being Raiders and the Chiefs defense being outstanding yielded a ton of nothing from the Oakland offense.
•The key play was a sack by Dee Ford followed up by an DJ Alexander blocked punt out of the end zone for a safety. OAKLAND 10 - KANSAS CITY 16
•The safety meant the Chiefs got the ball back and the drive was quick, deadly and beautiful as Demetrius Harris went up and made one of the best catches of the year for his first touchdown of the season as the Chiefs begin to open it up and the Broncos continue to flounder. OAKLAND 10 - KANSAS CITY 23
•And just like that, the San Diego Chargers took the lead in Mile High. If those scores hold, the Chiefs will be the AFC West champion and host a playoff game next weekend. Plenty left to go, however.
•Seconds later, Peyton Manning came off the bench in a bit of high drama and drove the field for a game leading touchdown for Denver. At the same moment, Jeremy Maclin of the Chiefs was heading to the locker room after an injury.
•The Chiefs closed out the third quarter with a Mike DiVito sack of Derrick Carr.
•And the Chiefs defense opened the fourth quarter with a sack by Jaye Howard.
•Much of the drama is over in this game, while eyes begin to turn to Denver who has pushed the panic button and taken the dust cover off of Peyton Manning. The move worked and they went ahead and their defense was reinvigorated.
•The fourth quarter featured a terrible muffed field goal by the Chiefs and a garbage time touchdown to Crabtree by Carr to make it interesting late. OAKLAND 17 - KANSAS CITY 23
•The Chiefs were unable to ice it under two minutes and gave the ball back to the Raiders down six with under two minutes.
•The Chiefs gave Carr 94 seconds and no timeouts to go 90 yards to win in a game far closer than it needed to be. Just like last weekend, the Raiders ran out of time and the Chiefs prevail. Now... onto the Denver game.
•San Diego didn't keep their promise and promptly peed down their leg right after the Chiefs game. Philip Rivers gave up an interception and the Charger defense laid down on the next play for the go ahead Denver score 27-20.
•The Chiefs finish with a record of 11-5. That's just incredible. The first 10-game winning streak in franchise history and one of only two teams ever to start 1-5 and make the playoffs. Credit overcoming so much adversity and injury to start the season and also credit Alex Smith for finding his groove late in the season.
•The Denver win and the Chiefs win mean that Denver is the number one seed in the playoffs and the Chiefs will take on the Houston Texans in Houston this weekend.
•The matchup is a good one for Kansas City, but that Houston defense will certainly play better than defenses the Chiefs have seen recently. Expect a heavy dose of JJ Watt. But the Chiefs defense is likely to do the same against the Texans offense. I'd look closely at the under on this game for sure.
•The stat is silly, but still jaw dropping. The Chiefs haven't lost since the Royals won the World Series. Amazing.
•Houston will host Kansas City at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. KC defeated the Texans in week 1 pretty handily, but both teams have had wholesale changes since then.
•We'll have full coverage of the Chiefs and Texans next week in The Landmark!
NINE IN A ROWWWWWWWWW
The weather has finally turned cooler and thousands of your friends and neighbors braved the wind and cold to watch the anticipated return of Dwayne Bowe to Arrowhead Stadium as the 9-5 Chiefs take on the 3-11 Cleveland Browns. All kidding aside, the Browns are an awful football team but any given Sunday can make an upset and Bowe is certainly motivated. But the Chiefs have turned a 1-5 start and flipped it into a juggernaut, winning their last eight games. With only two left to go, the Chiefs are thinking about an AFC West championship. It will take them winning out and the Broncos slipping once which is certainly possible.
•Cleveland won the toss and deferred. I think Andy Reid's secret is out. First drive will start at the 35.
•Alex Smith's first pass was to Jeremy Maclin, that connection has been huge this year as Smith ranks third in touchdown to interception rate with a 3.35 behind Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
•Smith also has been doing it with his feet as the opening drive also featured an 8 yard run by Smith for a first down and also a 5 yard run by Smith to get inside the 30.
•The score was consummated on a laser beam to Jeremy Maclin diving across the middle to open the scoring. The Browns' defense looked like Swiss cheese on that series. CLEVELAND 0 - KANSAS CITY 7
•With Tamba Hali and Justin Houston out this week due to injury, this was a big series for the Chiefs defense. If you can hold Johnny Football down, you have to think this would be a long afternoon for the Browns. They did. They forced a quick three and out by the Brown offense.
•The second series started with a huge run left by Charcandrick West across midfield. The Browns defense is looking awful. Alex Smith had another first down run in the series but it stalled on an incompletion to Kelce. It did set up a 40 yard field goal by Cairo Santos. CLEVELAND 0 - KANSAS CITY 10
•Isaiah Crowell opened the second drive by the Browns with a very nice run to the 40 yard line. But they were unable to convert the next set of downs and had to give the ball back as time expired on the first quarter.
•The second quarter started as both teams exchanged short drives. The Browns were able to cross midfield at the 11 minute mark with an 18 yard play-action pass to Jim Dray out of the backfield. Manziel scrambled and threw a disputed pass that was originally ruled backwards then ruled illegally forward after a challenge. This set up a field goal putting the Browns on the board.
LEVELAND 3 - KANSAS CITY 10
•The next series featured the first downfield pass by Alex Smith which resulted in a 40 yard pass interference penalty down to the Browns 35. But Smith would be intercepted down at the 15 and the Browns would run it back to midfield. Smith is among the best at not allowing interceptions and that one was huge at a critical time.
•But it was short-lived as the Chiefs also excel at forcing their own interceptions and Marcus Peters picked off Johnny Football running it back to the 30. The drive was further extended by a Browns holding penalty. The drive was crippled by back to back holding calls.
•After yet another weak Browns drive, the Chiefs found themselves with the ball under two minutes. Another sparkling Alex Smith scramble then another laser into the end zone - again to Jeremy Maclin put the Chiefs up by 14. CLEVELAND 3 - KANSAS CITY 17
•Inside 30 seconds, a 23 yard scramble by Johnny Manziel set up a 50 yard field goal try but it was blocked with two seconds to go in the half.
•In the first half, Smith was 11/17 for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Kelce had 5 catches and Maclin had 3 with 2 TD's.
•Because of the coin toss, the Browns opened with the football and were able to drive the length of the field mostly due to a 30 yard scramble by Johnny Manziel. The drive was capped off by 10 yard run by Isaiah Crowell. CLEVELAND 10 - KANSAS CITY 17
•Alex Smith needled passes to Albert Wilson and Jeremy Maclin on the next drive. Smith looks like a completely different guy from the opening of the year. Throwing with confidence and throwing it deep. The offensive line let him down, however and Smith was sacked on third and long at the 40 forcing a punt.
•The next Browns series featured a fake punt by Jordan Poyer which might've been the best play of the day not by someone named Manziel for the Browns. Manziel was able to scramble several times in that series including a 20 yard run at the final moments of the third quarter.
•The Manziel drive continued to open the fourth quarter. He had 8 carries for 86 yards through three quarters and now the Browns opened the quarter inside the Chiefs 20. Now would be a good time for a Chiefs turnover.
● The Browns made it as far as the 9 yard line and found it in a 4th and 2. Manziel lined up in the shotgun, then rolled right for a huge first down making it first and goal from the 7. You get a sense that the entire game rests right here.
•What followed was a pretty bizarre play. Manziel scrambled out of the pocket but lost his footing. As he fell, the dumped it off to Mitchell Schwartz, and offensive lineman. The problem is, offensive linemen are not allowed to catch the ball. The drive stalled and the Browns settled for three points. CLEVELAND 13 - KANSAS CITY 17
•The next drive by the Chiefs started with seven minutes to go and stalled pretty quickly on a third down run by Charcandrick West that fell short. This left a little more than five minutes remaining for Johnny Football to go 58 yards to tie the game.
•Manziel got a quick first down and found himself with a third and seven at the 30 yard line. The pass was incomplete and then on fourth down, Manziel threw it to the third row incomplete and turned it over with under three minutes to go.
•The Chiefs held the ball for a little over a minute on a weak three and out which left Manziel with just under two minutes down four.
•The opening pass made it to midfield by Manziel to Jennings. Manziel had an 11 yard scramble down to the 44. One minute to go.
•Two more incompletions, but with 32 seconds, another completed pass to Parker at the 32 yard line. A touchdown is needed and Manziel has 28 seconds to go.
•Manziel completed a pass for a first down with seven seconds to go, but the refs were unable to put it back into play in time and time expired. Chiefs win.
•With a win by the Baltimore Ravens over the Steelers, it's official, your Chiefs are heading to the postseason. Next week will determine who and where, but your Chiefs are looking for their first victory in the playoffs since Joe Montana was their QB.
•Johnny Manziel is a wealth of talent, but man, what a waste of a team around him.
•It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win and the Chiefs have strung together nine straight as improbable as it is.
•Your final score CLEVELAND 13 - KANSAS CITY 17
•Chiefs improve to 10-5 and take on Oakland next week in the home finale.
Wait a second. I thought the Chiefs were dead and buried and now, here we are, with three games to go in the season and there's legitimate talk about possibly winning the AFC West but almost certainly getting a Wild Card spot. (87% chance coming into today's game.) The Chiefs are on a seven game winning streak and have a great chance against a Baltimore Ravens team that's on their third quarterback (Jimmy Clausen). This one might allow you to have time in the second half to wrap presents if the Chiefs have anything to say about it.
•The only way the Chiefs are going to receive to start a game is if the other team defers it, and that's exactly what happened to start the game. Your move, Coach.
•Spencer Ware is hurt and will only be used in an emergency today, which means they're going to pack Charcandrick West in bubble wrap today. The first series showed that, as it was pretty pass heavy. The drive was beginning to stall but the Ravens came through with a late hit which extended the drive deep into Baltimore's territory. Sure enough, two plays later, Charcandrick West bolted 38 yards for the opening score. KANSAS CITY 7 - BALTIMORE 0
•The Ravens wasted no time getting on the board, however, after a 50 yard kickoff return put them in great position, scoring on a little three yard pass. KANSAS CITY 7 - BALTIMORE 7
•A quick series by the Chiefs offense gave the ball back to the Ravens. With a third string QB in and a team with little to play for, Tyvon Branch picked up a fumble and ran it back 73 yards for a touchdown. The Ravens are doing their best to check out in the first quarter. KANSAS CITY 14 - BALTIMORE 7
•There were even more signals that the Ravens were terrible, as they tried to fake a punt on the next drive and fell short, giving the Chiefs the ball at the Ravens 25. If you're not familiar with football, that goes in the category of “stupid.”
•One play into the second quarter, the Chiefs make the Ravens pay with a slick strike to Jeremy Maclin with his sixth TD reception of the year. KANSAS CITY 21 - BALTIMORE 7
•The teams traded unremarkable possessions and the Ravens found themselves with the ball following a Chiefs punt at their own 15 with six minutes to go in the half. You get the feeling that a Baltimore score here could keep them in the game, but coming away with no points would absolutely bury the Ravens.
•They didn't score.
•The Chiefs worked the final five minutes of the half and went the length of the field to score a 53 yard field goal in the cold of Baltimore. Quote the Raven...
"Nevermore.” KANSAS CITY 24 - BALTIMORE 7
•Jimmy Clausen closed the half on a high note however as he threw a Hail Mary down the field. The throw was short to Aiken who caught it at the 10 and ran it in for a 70 yard touchdown pass making it somewhat of a game at halftime. KANSAS CITY 24 - BALTIMORE 14
•Listen, the Chiefs are going to win this game, so I'm going to use this time to tell you that you should go out and watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens this week. It's amazing. If you've already seen it, go see it again.
•Not much happened in the third quarter to be honest. This game really turned on that fake punt by Baltimore in the second quarter. Man, the Ravens are stupid.
•In garbage time, Cairo Santos smacked another field goal securing what is likely his player of the year honors for the Chiefs this year. KANSAS CITY 27 - BALTIMORE 14
•In the final moments of the game with under five minutes to go, the Ravens completely gave up as Marcus Peters picked off an interception and ran it back 90 yards for the second defensive score of the game and the capper to a very workmanlike victory for the Chiefs. KANSAS CITY 34 - BALTIMORE 14
•Those footsteps you're hearing in Denver are the Chiefs running right up your backside. The Chiefs are now one game out of first place with two games to go and KC holds the tie breaker over the Donkeys.
•Denver takes on the first place Cincinnati Bengals next week on Monday Night Football. The only saver for Denver is that the Bengals have already secured their playoff spot. But there is a scenario where Denver loses both remaining games (second one against the Chargers) and missed the playoffs altogether.
•For Kansas City, the schedule with two home games. Christmas Sunday against the Browns and January 3 against the Raiders. A back loaded home schedule is going to pay off as the Chiefs really only need to win one of their remaining two to make the playoffs. Winning both could make them AFC West champions, though. Losing both could mean missing the playoffs.
•The defense has never played better, scoring 14 points in this game and really twisting the knife against the Ravens offensive line. Marcus Peters is turning into a star before our eyes.
•Keep your eyes peeled on The Landmark the next two weeks as we'll be live from the press box. Follow @chriskamler on Twitter for live updates from Arrowhead as the Chiefs continue their improbable push toward the playoffs and a 10-game winning streak.
•FINAL SCORE: KANSAS CITY 34 - BALTIMORE 14
SEVEN IN A ROW
For the second consecutive home game, Chiefs fans will be subjected to miserable, cold, and wet weather - oh, and the teams will too. The big difference is that the last time these fans assembled, the Chiefs were at .500 and now they have a strangle-hold on a Wild Card playoff spot. Today's opponent is the floundering San Diego Chargers. Their quarterback, Philip Rivers, is battling the flu and the team is 3-9 and proclaimed their intention to “go out and ruin their [Chiefs] season” during pregame. The contrast is that the Chiefs seem to be getting stronger every week even despite mounting injuries. Should be a soggy but fun one at Arrowhead.
•The one benefit with all the rain is that at least it's not frigid. Sure, it's cold because it's raining, but the temperature is 61 at kickoff making it the warmest December game in Kansas City in 20 years.
•The Chiefs... wait for it... kick off to start the game.
•It worked, a quick three-and-out as the Chargers were unable to convert on a no-huddle third and one forcing a punt to the Chiefs.
•The return was great, but called back because of a penalty starting the drive inside the 20--negating a 58 yard return.
•In the first series, there was a heavy dose of Jeremy Maclin catching the first four passes from Alex Smith in the muck. The drive was halted by two major penalties and a tackle in the backfield forcing a punt.
•In more punter news, it looks like the Chargers punter Mike Scifres looks like he was concussed after making a tackle on the opening drive. The field goal kicker may be forced to punt.
•The next Chargers drive feature two circus catches but Tamba Hali stuffed the drive as he tackled the runningback Gordon forcing a long third down and a sack. But the punt was fumbled by Frankie Hammond. Basically the Chargers picked up about 40 yards and will start the drive at the Chiefs 30.
•The Chargers struggled to take the gift and do anything with it and even missed the field goal keeping the game scoreless into the second quarter.
•The second quarter began with a beautiful catch for 29 yards by Albert Wilson but the next play was an interception breaking 313 consecutive attempts without an interception by Alex Smith on a throw downfield.
•The Chargers drive stalled again but was resuscitated thanks to an encroachment penalty on fourth and one. But the referees screwed the Chargers as they failed to reset the 40 second play clock forcing the Chargers into a time out. That drive stalled and resulted in a punt.
•The referee crew headed by Pete Morelli was actually taken off a game last week they were so bad.
•The Chiefs running game blasted out in the final drive before halftime, but Spencer Ware suffered a rib injury at the two minute warning. Nine plays and the Chiefs ran eight times. The ninth was a pass to Albert Wilson across the middle that went for a 44 yard touchdown opening the scoring. SAN DIEGO 0 - KANSAS CITY 7
•Derrick Johnson intercepted Philip Rivers with 30 seconds to go forcing Philip Rivers to dart off the field into the locker room. Not sure I've ever seen that before.
•With five seconds to go, Cairo Santos blasted a 40 yard field goal and with the first quarter and a half being less than inspiring, the Chiefs will take a 10 point lead into halftime. SAN DIEGO 0 - KANSAS CITY 10
•Half number two opened and the Chiefs got the ball. thanks to an unsportsmanlike penalty for a late hit, the Chiefs drove the ball easily through a deflated Chargers defense, but the drive stalled thanks two back to back penalties and missed Santos FG with a terrible snap.
•The next drive by the Chargers, their first of the half, was significantly better as tight passes from Rivers and key running got them into the Chiefs red zone. But a hustle sack by Dee Ford stalled the drive, forcing a Chargers field goal. SAN DIEGO 3 - KANSAS CITY 10
•With the Chiefs next drive, it was torpedoed by a pass interference call on Travis Kelce who has had a horrid game today. It called back a 60 yard TD run by Spencer Ware. The drive also featured a Smith sack and a Colquitt punt to the 25.
•Dee Ford had another Rivers sack in the final moments of the third quarter leaving the Chiefs clinging to a 7 point lead heading to the final quarter.
•LaDarious Green caught a Rivers strike to open the fourth quarter getting the ball past midfield. Rivers has been awful this year, and he's battling the flu, but you can't keep him within a touchdown because he's still Philip Rivers.
•It helps when Dee Ford is able to absolutely flatten Rivers on a sack to his blindside which is exactly what ended their drive.
•A brief drive by the Chiefs left the Chargers with the ball inside their own 20 with five minutes to go. Rivers was sacked for a fourth and fifth times, but completed a 40 yard pass downfield across the 50. A few incompletions later, on a fourth and three with just over a minute to go, Rivers found Javonte Herndon across the middle at the 40 extending the drive.
•Three more incompletions and another fourth down, this time with 43 seconds to go was again converted to Antonio Gates inside the 30. A field goal does no good, they need to get in the end zone.
•Three MORE incompletions brings up ANOTHER fourth and 10 - this time with 20 seconds to go from the 23. That one was complete at the one yard line.
•What a crazy finish as under 10 seconds, Rivers got four tries to get it in the end zone and the final pass was incomplete giving the Chiefs the 10-3 victory. Great comeback by the Chargers, but they ultimately didn't have enough in the muck and the mire.
•It wasn't pretty thanks mostly due to the weather, but the result is the same - seven wins in a row and a record of 8-5. They now are nearly assured of the first Wild Card spot and still have a few home games remaining against awful teams.
•Dee Ford had an insanely good game including breaking up the final play by Rivers in the end zone. He had seven tackles and three sacks and is coming into his own in this tough Chiefs defense.
•The offense did just enough in the final moments of the first half and the conditions really meant it's not a good barometer on their success. It was nice to see the resurgence of Jeremy Maclin who got six catches for 68 yards. Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware split carries and finished with 54 and 52 respectively.
•The Chiefs will have their final road game next week against 4-8 Baltimore. They need to win at least one of their final three to make it to the playoffs.
•FINAL SCORE: SAN DIEGO 3 - KANSAS CITY 10
If you're anything like me, you spent the last few weeks getting ready for the holidays, maybe still suffering a tinge of a hangover from the Royals World Series and you might not be completely in touch with your Kansas City Chiefs. If you checked out on the season somewhere around Week 4, you've missed quite a bit.
Jump ahead to Week 12 and your Chiefs are at .500 and knee-deep in the hunt for a Wild Card playoff berth. Today's game features a pair of .500 clubs that are relatively similar on paper. The Chiefs are beaten and battered and will feature their fourth starting running back. The QB for the Bills is also nursing an injury but will play today. Tyrod Taylor has been playing well this season and should be watched closely. The conditions are also noteworthy today in that they are miserable. It's above freezing, but there is rain and expected to be some wind. Wear lots of layers, let's get it on.
•Kickoff featuring a half-empty stadium, a 30 degree wind chill, a steady, cold rain and temps right around freezing.
•Kansas City won the toss and again deferred. Womp. Womp. Womp.
•Buffalo wastes no time as the third play of the game was a 48 yard pass to Sammy Watkins to put the Bills inside the 10.
•Two passes inside the 10 however were batted away and the Bills were forced to kick a chip shot field goal to take the lead. Huge hold deep by the defense including a swatted pass by Derrick Johnson.. BUFFALO 3 - KANSAS CITY 0
•The Chiefs opened their first drive with a 12 yard pass to Travis Kelce. Will be interesting to see how the passing game changes throughout the game as the field conditions worsen.
•Case in point, on a third and five, Alex Smith's pass was awful. With Charcandrick West out, the Chiefs have their fourth string running back in today. Might spell issues.
•The Bills second drive featured shorter swing passes, but still managed to drive down the center of the field with relative ease.
•But the conditions reared their ugly head on a carry by LeSean McCoy that was punched out by Jaye Howard and recovered by the Chiefs.
•That drive was a three and out as the Chiefs still are reluctant to run the ball, but with a wet ball, two incompletions make it ineffective for a drive.
•The third drive by Buffalo featured a replay challenge on a Sammy Watkins catch on a 14 yard gain but the call was upheld. Buffalo certainly able to throw the ball more effectively and LeShawn McCoy is certainly a better rusher than Spencer Ware for the Chiefs.
•Additionally, a huge blow to the Chiefs as Justin Houston collided with his own man and was taken out of the game and into the locker room during the scoring drive by the Bills capped off by great touchdown catch by Sammy Watkins. BUFFALO 10 - KANSAS CITY 0
•The second quarter started with the third three and out by the Chiefs. If they don't get something going on offense soon, they're in jeopardy of losing their crowd at halftime. All of them.
•The Bills first drive of the second quarter was again impressive driving down the field with a balanced rushing and passing attack. Without Houston, the Bills can pick their spots. But the drive did stall giving the Chiefs the ball with 10:00 to go in the half.
•The drive opened with a great downhill run for 16 yards by Spencer Ware. The ground game may be the only hope the Chiefs have right now. Four straight positive runs by the Chiefs then a beautiful sliding catch by Jeremy Maclin at the goal line followed by a two yard run by Ware for a touchdown. Only took Andy Reid a quarter and a half to realize they can run the ball. BUFFALO 10 - KANSAS CITY 7
•The next series by the Bills again showed they can move between the 20's pretty easily but the playing conditions continue to worsen. But the Chiefs defense was simply unable to find a solution for Sammy Watkins as he, according to Ivan Foley, “stitched the Chiefs DB's a clownsuit,” catching two big catches including a 12 yard TD pass. Extra point missed. BUFFALO 16 - KANSAS CITY 7
•But here's the thing about this Chiefs team, they certainly know how to make it interesting. A long 41 yard pass to Jeremy Maclin just past the 2:00 mark put the team within two. Maclin has come up big today. BUFFALO 16 - KANSAS CITY 14
•A quick possession by the Bills gave the Chiefs a punchers shot with under a minute to go in the half but Cairo Santos hit the crossbar on a 54 yard field goal attempt to take it to halftime.
•The third quarter started with the same Chiefs that finished the half and not the ones that started the game. A great runback by Knile Davis, a great pass to Jeremy Maclin to get inside the 20 and then a dart to Travis Kelce for the go ahead touchdown. The perfect way to start the half for the Chiefs. BUFFALO 16 - KANSAS CITY 21
•The first drive by the Bills of the half included a curiously poor replay review by the Bills on an obvious dropped ball. That was followed by a strip by Tamba Hali with a Chiefs recovery . Everything is coming up Chiefs right now.
•The recovery set up a big field goal by Cairo Santos. Remember, this is in a driving rain and he nails a 49 yard field goal. Huge. BUFFALO 16 - KANSAS CITY 24
•The next drive by Buffalo was a long one and featured some pretty sloppy play by the Chiefs defense including offsides, roughing the passer and a dump pass to LeSean McCoy but the two point conversion was no good and keeps the Chiefs up by two points. BUFFALO 22 - KANSAS CITY 24
•The third quarter ended with a nifty Alex Smith scramble to the 30 yard line setting up another scoring attempt.
•It all comes down to this with the Chiefs leading by two with the ball. You get a sense that Buffalo might fade if the Chiefs can pull off a score here.
•The drive fizzled however but it did set up a 38 yard field goal by Santos. BUFFALO 22 - KANSAS CITY 27
•The Chiefs defense was able to keep the Bills off the board and took over with 10 minutes to go in the game.
•Spencer Ware finally had his breakout run for 32 yards right up the middle and moved the ball past midfield.
•A roughing the passer penalty put the ball at the 15 yard line with just under six minutes to go but then a holding call put them back to the 25. That's Santos time and he makes another 37 yard field goal. BUFFALO 22 - KANSAS CITY 30
•A huge mistake by Rex Ryan in the third quarter going for two too early now means he's forced to go for two if the Bills can get in the end zone. Rex Ryan continues to baffle me on how he's a head coach.
•On fourth and nine, Bills QB McCoy fell one yard short and the Chiefs got the ball with two minutes to go. That'll do it for the game.
•A huge adjustment midway through the second quarter in this one turned a pile of poo into a playoff team.
•Chiefs improve to 6-5 and are in the driver's seat for a wild card playoff spot. They take on Oakland next week on the West Coast and will finish with three more home games.
•How did they do it? Well, they used a fourth-string running back, evaded injuries but mostly they did it on the back of Spencer Ware who really had a coming out party - rushing for 114 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown.
•But the real entertainment came by watching the showdown of wide receivers. Sammy Watkins put on a show for the Bills in the first half catching six balls for 158 yards and two touchdowns, but the Chiefs didn't allow him to catch anything in the second half. On the Chiefs side, you had Jeremy Maclin doing exactly what the team got him for with nine receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown. That was quite a show they both put on.
•Maybe the team will be dry by the time they make it out to Oakland Sunday.
● FINAL SCORE: BUFFALO 22 - KANSAS CITY 30
FOUR IN A ROW
After a good run of games for the Chiefs offense, they find themselves as heavy favorites for the first time in a while against the two-win Chargers. The key to the recent run has been the protection of Alex Smith, allowing him to scramble and throw short passes with just enough running game to get the ball moving. Look for more running on first and second down today in an effort to open up the passing game. Heavy pressure on Philip Rivers will need to be key as Chiefs fans know well that a rushed Rivers is awful.
•The Chiefs started the game with the football for the first time all season and started with a gadget play, running a quick reverse. Then back to back passes to DeAnthony Thomas and Travis Kelce got the ball across midfield in the opening minutes of the ballgame.
•The drive stalled just past midfield because the defense tightened up and the running game on first and second down wasn't able to move the ball.
•Another issue is a helmet-to-helmet hit to Thomas in the first series and was taken to the locker room for a concussion protocol. He is huge on runbacks as well as a wide receiver so it will need to be watched moving forward.
•The Chiefs were able to get into the backfield on the Chargers first drive, keeping them to only five total yards on their first series. Jeremy Maclin took over returning punts.
•The second drive featured a second and three pass to Charcandrick West that went for nearly 60 yards to the San Diego 20 yard line. Alex Smith extended his record of interceptionless catches and the Chiefs make it to the red zone. This second drive featured absolutely no defense from the Chargers as Maclin and West both got touches and the drive went down to the one yard line on fourth down.
•This featured a rare Chiefs call here, going for it at fourth and goal from the one and Dontari Poe, the defensive specialist played the role of Refrigerator Perry on the one yard dive over the end zone. KANSAS CITY 6 - SAN DIEGO 0 (Missed PAT after a hands to the face penalty).
•And how's this for a record... Dontari Poe surpassed Refrigerator Perry for the heaviest player to score a touchdown tipping the scales at 346 pounds eclipsing the 335 of Perry.
•On the first series after the TD, the first play in fact, Philip Rivers was sacked by Josh Mauga - a great sign that this could be a long day for the San Diegos.
•A less than impressive drive by the Chiefs defense to open the second quarter as the Chargers were able to get 10 yards at a time for several plays. The pressure seemed to be not affecting Rivers who had several passes across midfield.
•But that defense did hold the Chargers to a field goal, cutting the lead in half. KANSAS CITY 6 - SAN DIEGO 3
•Demetrius Harris got a nice 20 yard catch and run across the middle from Smith as the Chiefs continue to attack the mid-range passes.
•An illegal shift penalty on the Chiefs canceled out a 20 yard scramble by Smith which stalled the drive at midfield, but was able to pick up a first down on the next play on a pass to Jeremy Maclin. Then threaded the needle into Wilson to get inside the red zone. In weeks past, the Chiefs would've folded up the tent after the penalty.
•The drive again stalled forcing Cairo Santos's first field goal of the day. KANSAS CITY 9 - SAN DIEGO 3
•The following series by San Diego featured a non-pass interference call on the Chiefs which resulted in a punt back to Kansas City. Plenty of early contact. Somehow the yellow hanky didn't fly.
•With under two minutes to go, Alex Smith scrambled for 15 yards followed up by a quick slant to Travis Kelce. That was followed by a 20 yard pass to Albert Wilson who jotted out of bounds. No defense to be found by San Diego. Two more quick passes and the Chiefs found themselves with a first and goal with 16 seconds to go in the half with no timeouts.
•Alex Smith found Travis Kelce in the end zone with 11 seconds to go in a rare 2:00 minute offensive touchdown. But it was called back after the ball hit the ground. There was a penalty on that play which put the ball at the five with only six seconds. Not enough time for the Chiefs who struggle with the clock and forced another Santos field goal. KANSAS CITY 12 - SAN DIEGO 3
•The first drive by the Chargers to start the second half featured two sacks of Philip Rivers.
•The Chiefs charged out of halftime with their first series with a nice long pass to Jason Avant to put the ball at midfield. The nice thing about the Chiefs offense is that it's featured nearly all their wide receivers. The running game wasn't great, but the Chiefs have been able to move the ball through the air nearly at will.
•In the next series by San Diego, Tamba Hali had his second sack of the day on Rivers, who displayed his trademark hand shrug.
•Furthermore, the Chargers had their third head-shot (only one of which was called) during the ensuing Chiefs drive. The drive also featured a Chargers sack of Alex Smith halting the drive. The punt did pin the Chargers inside the 15.
•The field position paid off as a terrible pass by Rivers was picked off by Justin Houston at the 15 who took it to the end zone for a pick six. Rivers is a great quarterback who continually plays poorly against the Chiefs. KANSAS CITY 19 - SAN DIEGO 3
•Rivers finished out the quarter with another poor series as he was unable to connect on a long pass down the middle that was dropped. Rivers again displayed his trademark pout on his way off the field.
•The Chiefs have controlled the field position game today and finally it started paying off as the first series of the fourth quarter stalled for the Chiefs, but they picked up a fumble on the punt giving them the ball in Chargers territory.
•The drive stalled, but Colquitt plopped the punt at the one yard line.
•Rivers was able to wriggle free and get the ball down to midfield thanks to a pass interference call on Shawn Smith. The relentless Chiefs defense was able to pressure Rivers twice forcing incompletions and another Charger punt.
•Spencer Ware made them pay on the next play with a 52 yard run right up the gut of the Chargers defense. It set up a Spencer Ware one yard TD icing it for the Chiefs. KANSAS CITY 26 - SAN DIEGO 3
•The night for the Chargers came to an end shortly after on an unceremonious turnover on downs after not being able to convert a fourth and shorty. Eric Berry with the stop as he continues to regain strength after being out with cancer last year.
•Spencer Ware put the hammer down with a short run for the final TD and the final nail in the game. KANSAS CITY 33 - SAN DIEGO 3
•For all the complaining about Alex Smith, he has really pulled this team out of the fire. His team record for completions without an interception coupled with his newfound confidence to scramble out of the pocket has enabled a new weapon for the Jamaal Charles-less offense. It's paid off in spades as it has opened up the passing game.
•Very quietly, the Chiefs defense has been spectacular in the past several weeks as well. They held the Chargers to only three points, but also scored a TD and didn't allow but one reception to the Chargers key wideouts until the fourth quarter.
•Keep an eye on the training table this week as the Chiefs had multiple players out during the game including West and Maclin.
•The Chiefs have outscored their opponents by 84 points in the last four games.
•Today's win puts the Chiefs right back into a playoff hunt for a wild card spot as key teams ahead of them all lost this week. Still pretty unlikely, but the Chiefs do have to play the Chargers again plus the Raiders twice more this season and are nearly all automatic wins. Leave it to the NFL, you can never count a football team out of the playoffs no matter how poorly they start.
•Next week will set up a huge playoff battle as the Buffalo Bills head to Arrowhead with similar records fighting for a wild card spot. Don't touch that dial. The Chiefs have won four straight and are out for blood.
•FINAL SCORE: KANSAS CITY 33 - SAN DIEGO 3
THANKFULLY, THE REMATCH GOES BETTER
Welcome back to Chiefs Briefs after a week off. What's happened in the past two weeks? Oh, only a Royals World Series championship, 800,000 fans crammed into one space with three restrooms and Gary Pinkel resigns at Mizzou. Slow couple of weeks. But we look back in on our Chiefs as they get a rematch of a game against the Broncos where it all went wrong in the beginning of the season. A second chance, but you'll have to do it on the road. The Broncos have certainly had a better season after these two teams crossed paths, having only suffered their first loss last week. The Chiefs won last week so they've got some improved mojo heading into Mile High.
•It'll be interesting to see how the game begins with Peyton Manning only a few yards shy of some passing record. Maybe they'll just encase him in ice and ship him right to the Smithsonian.
•Another week and another start where the opponent has the ball first. Manning opens the game with two straight runs then an interception by Marcus Peters. Manning tried to throw into triple coverage and Peters came out with it.
•The interception gave the Chiefs outstanding field position deep in Denver territory. Heavy dose early from Charcandrick West getting a first down on the ground into the red zone and then inside the five for a first and goal.
•West scored from five out for his third rushing TD of the season. KANSAS CITY 7 - DENVER 0
•Following the TD, Manning was rushed and coughed up the ball which was recovered by Denver. Finally, Manning threw the 71,480th yard to be the all time leader. But about the worst start as you could imagine.
•That series resulted in a three-and-out by Denver.
•Next series featured a nice 30 yard catch and run by DeAnthony Thomas to cross midfield for the Chiefs. But the drive stalled after a two yard scramble by Alex Smith on third and long. It did set up a Cairo Santos 48 yard field goal in the mountain air. KANSAS CITY 10 - DENVER 0
•The Broncos followed that up with another three-and-out.
•With six seconds remaining in the quarter, Shawn Smith climbed over the top of his defender for another Manning interception.
•The second quarter opened with a drive just past midfield featuring a fourth and inches conversion by the Chiefs offense. The offense has managed to really get their running game going today with some surgical passing by Smith.
•A Travis Kelce pass was a yard short of a first down, but that got yet another Santos FG from 49 yards in the altitude it was a no brainer. KANSAS CITY 13 - DENVER 0
•Really credit the Chiefs defense, which has been all over Manning in the backfield today as well as in the secondary. Forced passes and awkward catches make Manning look 200 years old.
•Manning was being audibly booed midway through the second quarter.
•With seven to go in the quarter, the Chiefs drive stalled and a punt was downed inside the 10. This is a huge series for the Broncos to try to get something on the board heading into halftime. We ALL remember how Week 2 ended and the Broncos just need to get close, with the Chiefs wanting to keep them off the board at all costs.
•And then Peyton threw his THIRD interception of the day, leaving the Chiefs inside the Denver 25. ANOTHER Santos FG makes it 13 points off turnovers today. KANSAS CITY 16 - DENVER 0
•Denver was held to under nine minutes of possession the entire first half if you want to know what kind of day they're having.
•The final minutes of the half culminated in a great drive by the Chiefs but a dropped TD pass to Albert Wilson. Wilson looked surprised they were trying to throw for a wide receiver TD. But that's where Cairo Santos bailed the Chiefs out again, settling for his fourth field goal of the day from 33 yards out. KANSAS CITY 19 - DENVER 0.
•I certainly hope if you're playing fantasy football that you drafted Cairo Santos. He's been straight money all year and the Chiefs opened the second half with another drive that stalled once it hit the 30 yard line. Santos was able to connect, however, and the Chiefs opened up a 22 point lead on the Donkeys. KANSAS CITY 22 - DENVER 0
•Earlier in the game, you started to see a few jokes on Twitter about how old Peyton Manning looked, but midway through the third quarter, after Manning threw his FOURTH interception to the Chiefs, you really started to wonder if this might be one of the last games Manning will play. That'd be fine with the Chiefs and the rest of the AFC West.
•The ensuing drive resulted in a Chiefs punt and Brock Osweilier steps in for Peyton Manning. Osweilier connected with his first pass attempt, but nearly got picked off two plays later and the drive resulted in a three-and-out.
•The rest of the third quarter resulted with some minor successes from Osweilier, and one incomplete pass downfield. Eric Berry had great coverage there. A fourth down conversion attempt by Denver was complete to Demarius Thomas over a Chiefs secondary that is now trying to stop the big play.
•The Broncos put together a really long drive to start the final quarter but it ended with an Eric Berry interception of Osweilier on a corner route into double coverage.
•On the next play, Alex Smith dumped it down to Charcandrick West who absolutely went off for an 80 yard pass and touchdown. The pass was the longest of Alex Smith's career and you've got to be wondering now how different this season would've been had Jamaal Charles not fumbled in week 2. KANSAS CITY 29 - DENVER 0
•The Donkeys did pick up a garbage time touchdown on a two yard run by Hillman. Two point conversion was no good. KANSAS CITY 29 - DENVER 6
•Santos did finally miss a field goal, by the way.
•I've got to be honest with you, I switched over to Red Zone and missed the Broncos final score. Sorry. I have failed you. All of you. KANSAS CITY 29 - DENVER 13
•This game will likely have longer lasting effects for the Broncos than it will for the Chiefs. The Chiefs are still clinging to very faint hopes for a playoff opportunity, but they would absolutely need to win out the rest of their games.
•For the Broncos, we might have seen the final flicker of the once bright light of Peyton Manning. But I also wouldn't be surprised if he threw for four touchdowns.
•So the Chiefs now sit at 4-5, magically tied for second in the AFC West. More importantly, the Broncos are 7-2, but look awful with a broken down quarterback. IF you wanted to dream a little bit, you could see a scenario that allows the Chiefs to creep through the back door of the playoffs. Still, that type of optimism might be relegated to Disney movies.
•But you've got to be impressed with the resurgent play of Alex Smith, Charcandrick West and a tenacious defense. This has been a great run of games for sure.
•FINAL SCORE - KANSAS CITY 29 - DENVER 13
TWO TEAMS DESTINED FOR A HIGH DRAFT CHOICE
Top 'O The Morning to Ya! Wait. That's not right. G'Day! No, that's still wrong. God Save The Queen! There we go. Today is the “London game” in which Clark Hunt is reportedly giving up a Chiefs home game shipping it to London in an effort to possibly get a Super Bowl somewhere down the road. Their opponent today is the Detroit Lions, who made wholesale changes to their coaching staff just before jumping on the plane to the UK. Two teams mired in the battle for a high draft choice facing off. Here we go.
•The Chiefs again won the toss and deferred to the second half. If someone can explain this strategy to me, I'm all ears.
•There's a shockingly large crowd at Wembley Stadium. These London games continue to sell out and lend more credence to the idea that someday an NFL team will be in London.
•The Lions had no problem getting up early and pulled off their longest run of the season at 32 yards by Joique Bell putting them in scoring territory.
•The defense was unimpressive in the first series until they got down inside the red zone. Credit also the new Lions Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter (yes, that's his name) who turned super conservative and settled for a field goal to open the game. DETROIT 3 - KANSAS CITY 0
•Knile Davis rattled off a 50 yard runback on the ensuing kickoff. The word “ensuing” is only used in this context. You never say it in normal conversation.
•This is a good matchup for Travis Kelce against the Detroit defense and got a big catch early in the drive. And the Chiefs make it to the end zone on a DeAnthony Thomas run for 10 yards off of a misdirection run unabated to the endzone. You only use the term unabated in football also. DETROIT 3 - KANSAS CITY 7
•Both teams traded possessions to end out the first quarter and the second quarter started with a long scramble by Alex Smith that went for 49 yards - their longest run of the year.
•He followed that up with a 12 yard scramble out of the pocket for a touchdown. Renaming him to Jamaal Smith. DETROIT 3 - KANSAS CITY 14
•Matthew Stafford threw an interception moments later to Shawn Smith and the Chiefs. The Lions are a bad football team.
•This set up a 33 yard field goal by Cairo Santos and the Chiefs are rolling. DETROIT 3 - KANSAS CITY 17. The Chiefs should never return to the United States.
•Justin Houston with another interception of Stafford.
•Charcandrick West had a five yard run up the middle to bust it wide open. They are scoring like the Royals offense in the eighth inning. DETROIT 3 - KANSAS CITY 24
•In the final minutes of the first half, the Lions put together their best drive of the game but it stalled badly after a dropped pass. Man, the Lions are horrible.
•HALFTIME - DETROIT 3 - KANSAS CITY 24
•Hey! Whaddya know! The deferment to the second half paid off. Turns out you have to have a lead at halftime for this to work.
•It did work. A two yard pass to Travis Kelce set up by an 18 yard pass to Kelce made this into a rout. Where have these guys been all year? DETROIT 3 - KANSAS CITY 31
•Then the sack party started. Tamba Hali and Justin Houston both ganged up on Matthew Stafford as the quarter ended. Man, it'd suck to be a Lions fan.
•Quarter opened with a beautiful 20+ yard pass threading the needle between two defenders to Jeremy Maclin. The day Smith has put in has been ungodly and unconscious. Easily the best game of his career. DETROIT 3 - KANSAS CITY 38
•The Lions scored a touchdown. I honestly don't know how. I was making breakfast. London games are weird. DETROIT 10 - KANSAS CITY 38
•Another long run by West for about 25 yards. This offense really looks good - pretty sure it's just because the Lions are awful, but hopefully something to build on the rest of the year. This is followed up by a short run by Spencer Ware for his first NFL touchdown. DETROIT 10 - KANSAS CITY 45
•A complete whitewashing of the Lions inside the United Kingdom. This team needed a game like this. But, frankly, they needed it about three weeks ago. This entire season hinged on the Broncos defeat and a game to follow that up like this one could've saved things. But hope is what hope is and the Chiefs fans now squint and try to see an 8-8 season or maybe squeak into the Wild Card conversation.
•With a bye week next week, the Chiefs will lose some of their momentum.
•For Alex Smith, an incredible morning 145 yards and two touchdowns. 18 for 26 through the air plus 78 yards rushing and a touchdown.
•Kelce, Maclin, and West also all picked up TDs in the effort.
•The Chiefs will take a week off and play the afternoon game the next Sunday on the road against the Broncos in a rematch of the opener where it all went wrong.
GIVE ME SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN
Two of the more storied franchises in the NFL - both having awful seasons. You get the feeling some of these guys are here so they don't get fined. Regardless, there are still plotlines to follow. The Steelers are on their umpteetnth quarterback. The Chiefs are holding to the slim thread that Alex Smith can still lead this team. Let's get it on.
•Chiefs will kick off. Shocker. Somebody has yet to explain to me the reasoning behind wanting to give your opponent the ball first.
•First series by Pittsburgh resulted in a punt. This offense is pretty awful. Might be a 3-0 game today.
•A good runback by DeAnthony Thomas gave the Chiefs great field position to start. It was immediately followed up by a dropped pass. But they did move the ball into Steeler territory pretty well thanks to a couple of 20 yard passes.
•Jeremy Maclin was ruled inactive today due to a concussion so your offense is without Jamaal Charles and Maclin. so they used smaller routes and a nice run by Thomas to get into the red zone. It's being done with duct tape and bailing wire at this point, but this first drive is impressive, though again stalls in the red zone. Another field goal. PITTSBURGH 0 - KANSAS CITY 3
•After a strong opening effort, the Chiefs defense did a much poorer job on the Steelers second series. Several routes across the middle were open and Marcus Peters hobbled off the field.
•The defense continues to be asked to stop 7's while the offense is only picking up 3's. The Steelers second drive got into the red zone and DeAngelo Williams dropped it inside the five forcing a field goal. PITTSBURGH 3 - KANSAS CITY 3
•The Chiefs first series of the second quarter opened with a long pass to Chris Conley which put them at midfield.
•A fracas broke out on a first and 10 after Alex Smith was hit hard after sliding to the ground. The penalty went on the Chiefs, but at least it shows they care.
•They again got into the red zone but a 13-play drive stalled again after a draw play to Charcandrick West went for 1 yard. Another field goal. PITTSBURGH 3 - KANSAS CITY 6
•The Steelers next drive ended in a turnover on downs. Mike Tomlin LOVES to go for it on fourth down and a run up the middle couldn't get the necessary two yards for the first down. Good stand by the defense.
•Albert Wilson broke a tackle on the next drive and scampered 48 yards down to the 14.
•But the Chiefs red zone offense is more inept than a kid on prom night and forced yet another field goal. I hope you drafted the Chiefs kicker in your fantasy league. PITTSBURGH 3 - KANSAS CITY 9
•A late interception gave the Chiefs a quick chance for a body blow right before halftime, but again stalled. A 54 yard field goal attempt was no good.
•HALFTIME PITTSBURGH 3 - KANSAS CITY 9
•Chiefs opened with the ball to start the half. Three and out. Good thing we waited for the second half for that.
•The Steelers started their second half with a long pass play to Antonio Brown which put them across midfield with a 26 yard gain.
•I ate a cookie. It was dry. It was still better than the Chiefs offense.
•The Chiefs defense has come up big twice this game as Eric Berry secured an interception of the Steelers second drive. A great moment for Berry after you realized the year he's had.
•That interception led to a 62 yard scoring drive featuring a spirited Chiefs offense. The drive featured what they are calling a “bonus field goal” or, in laymen’s terms, “a Touchdown.” These are worth six points PLUS they give you a chance for an “extra point.” All kind of hokey, but the Chiefs won't complain. PITTSBURGH 3 - KANSAS CITY 16
•But the pendulum swung both ways as the Steelers easily drove the 78 yards with a beautiful 20 yard TD pass to Martavis Bryant. It seems Pittsburgh can score TDs too. PITTSBURGH 10 - KANSAS CITY 16
•The Chiefs got the ball back at the 16, but picked up a taunting penalty pushing them back and into the fourth quarter.
•The Steelers came out strong and into the Chiefs red zone but a Tamba Hali sack forced yet another field goal. PITTSBURGH 13 - KANSAS CITY 16
•If you've watched a lot of Chiefs football this year, a) I'm sorry and b) you've got to be wondering how the Chiefs might lose this. With 9:00 remaining in the game the Chiefs offense was called upon to put together a long scoring drive to take the game away from the Steelers. Smith connected with Kelce for a 26-yard gain to put the ball at midfield.
•That was followed up by a huge run by West into the red zone for 36 yards to the 16.
•With six minutes remaining, the Chiefs had a huge third and one at the 15. Alex Smith was able to scramble for a yard and a half putting the Chiefs in great position for a TD. It happened. A five yard TD pass to Chris Conley put the ice on the game (you'd hope.) PITTSBURGH 13 - KANSAS CITY 23
•Now it's up to the defense with five minutes remaining up two scores. We've seen them fail here before.
•But the Steelers aren't like the offenses of the Broncos or even the Bears and they went quietly into the final five minutes of the game on a sack and fumble forced by Tamba Hali.
•The Chiefs still have plenty to play for - no, the playoffs aren't really a possibility, but they have got to figure this offense out and if Alex Smith has anything left in the tank. Today, he proved that he can still be Alex Smith.
•That doesn't really mean he's Dan Marino or anything, but he is a good leader and can command his team down the field as he needs to.
•The Chiefs improve to 2-5 and will travel to the United Kingdom to take on the Detroit Lions next week in an 8:30 a.m. game. The Lions are also terrible so this game might give the Chiefs something to build on for the rest of the season.
•FINAL PITTSBURGH 13 - KANSAS CITY 23
A MODERN DAY TOILET BOWL FOR THE AGES
Well here we go, Kansas City - the death rattle of the 1-4 Kansas City Chiefs up against the 2-2 MInnesota Vikings. The land of 10,000 lakes versus the heartland of BBQ in a modern day toilet bowl for the ages. These two teams feature a running back coming off of suspension because of spanking and an entire team that has been spanked all season. Hold onto your butts.
•The Chiefs deferred the coin toss again. I don't understand this.
•After two runs to Adrian Peterson, defensive corner Marcus Peters was targeted again as the Vikings connected for a 20 yard pass to take them across midfield early and then a 52 yard connection to Jarian Wright against Abdullah at safety. The Chiefs defense continues to leak more than a rusty boat at Smithville Lake.
•But a poor pass by young QB Teddy Bridgewater into the end zone resulted in an interception by Ron Parker. The Chiefs will need about 20 more of these good plays today.
•Parker's only mistake was taking the ball out of the end zone to the 4 and that meant starting the series deep against the goal line. The Chiefs offense isn't known for its creativity and was quickly a three and out.
•Another torch of the secondary to Diggs puts the Vikings right back into the red zone. Sets up another field goal. If you were playing a Chiefs game field goal drinking game, you'd be dead. KANSAS CITY 0 - MINNESOTA 3
•The Chiefs offense is without Jamaal Charles, obviously, so they're leaning heavily on Knile Davis. He had a decent 9 yard run in the next series, but immediately lost two yards on the next carry. Another punt to the Vikings.
•First pass from the VIkings in the second quarter was a 15 yard connection to Mike Wallace. The Vikings have had three drives and easily moved through the Chiefs at will. They're lucky to only be trailing by three points. But the drive fell short and resulted in a punt.
•The Chiefs committed their third holding penalty of the game on the first play of their drive. I haven't seen this much holding since I watched Friday the 13th with Ivan Foley last year. That was followed up with ANOTHER holding call.
•On first and 25, the Chiefs handed it off for a 3 yard run. This is why they are terrible. Three and out.
•Two penalties on the same play by the Chiefs resumed a stalled drive by the Vikings allowing them to again gash the defense capped by a 10 yard pass to Kyle Rudolph. KANSAS CITY 0 - MINNESOTA 10
•Both teams traded possessions and the Chiefs finally got to start a drive with their best field position of the day - their own 31. It ended with a Chiefs' dropped pass and a punt.
•The half ended with Minnesota running out the clock deep in their own territory. The Chiefs offense has looked overmatched and the defense has looked strong at times, but they've also been on the field a lot.
•HALFTIME: KANSAS CITY 0 - MINNESOTA 10
•The Chiefs got the ball to start the third quarter! What a genius move to defer to the second half so you know how many points you have to score in the second half.
•That first drive made it past midfield when Smith finally tried to throw it to Chris Conley deep on third and seven and he overthrew it. You've got to wonder how long until we see Chase Daniel in this game. Punt.
•The first play of the half for the Vikings opened with an Adrian Peterson run for 25 and another long catch to Diggs. It set up another field goal. Thirteen points might as well be 200. KANSAS CITY 0 - MINNESOTA 13
•The Chiefs completed a 39 yard pass to Jeremy Maclin! That should be good for 50 points right there, right? The play made it all the way to the 10 where it was third and inches. Anthony Sherman wasn't able to get it across. Man, the Chiefs miss Jamaal Charles.
•This made it fourth down and with the season's time of death hinging on a first down, the Chiefs went for it on their deepest penetration of the game. The play call was a draw to West who was dropped two yards behind the line of scrimmage.
•The season ended at 2:02 pm if you're keeping track of the official time of death.
•I'm thinking about making some soup.
•The Chiefs were able to take a long drive to start the fourth quarter, but it also stalled. I have to be honest with you, MLB Network was replaying the seventh inning from yesterday's Royals/Blue Jays game, so all I know is that there was a 40 yard field goal to end the shutout. KANSAS CITY 3 - MINNESOTA 13
•The subsequent drive featured a nice interception by rookie Marcus Peters. Peters has been targeted a lot this season and has been sometimes bad and sometimes brilliant. This interception gave the Chiefs a little late life.
•Then... something spectacular happened, a little screen pass to Albert Wilson resulted in a 42 yard touchdown for... wait for it... the Chiefs!! KANSAS CITY 10 - MINNESOTA 13
•Now it'll be up to the Chiefs defense - asked to do so much already today - and they stood up, forcing the Vikings to a 45 yard field goal. KANSAS CITY 10 - MINNESOTA 16
•Alex Smith will be asked to score a game winning touchdown with 4:46 to go in the game and without Jeremy Maclin (concussion) and Jamaal Charles. Smith is not exactly Joe Montana when it comes to fourth quarter touchdowns.
•First pass was a laser to Travis Kelce for 37 yards. Then Charcandrick West promptly fumbled the ball away along with the hopes for any sort of over .500 season.
•Game over. Season over.
•If you're looking for silver linings, there are few. Our punter is still the best in the NFL. Marcus Peters appears to be a pretty good first round pick. There. That's about it.
•If you're looking for a grey cloud, you are soaking in it. Weak offense. Spotty defense. Fumbles. Play calling problems. Lack of confidence in just about everything.
•Next week, the Chiefs face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Should be fun. The Landmark will have you covered. We might be the only ones there.
•FINAL KANSAS CITY 10 - MINNESOTA 16
GRABBING DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY
What an awful first quarter of the season. It's important to remember that the optimism shared by many Chiefs fans about this season - many of which picked 10 or 11 wins - was predicated on us playing the NFC North this year. A monumentally bad division. If there ever was a must-win game for a team, this one against the 1-3 Bears would certainly be it. Jay Cutler versus Alex Smith. Hold onto your butts America.
•Game started with former World Series MVP Bret Saberhagen hitting the big drum, a neat tradition started a couple years ago. Best form the Chiefs have seen all season.
•Chiefs again without the football to start the game this blew up in their face last week.
•Crowd for this one expected to have a large Chicago contingent. At game time, it's about 60/40 Chiefs to Bears fans.
•Bears first drive stalled after a couple of first downs as did the Chiefs first drive.
•A huge penalty on the ensuing kickoff put the ball on the 8 for the Bears and two plays later a sack gave the Chiefs a sack and a fumble recovery. This team continues to find non-traditional ways to score points. KANSAS CITY 7 - CHICAGO 0
•Bears next drive was absolutely torpedoed by a holding call. Penalties crushing the Bears so far.
•A long screen pass to Matt Forte pushed them past midfield and kept the late Q1 drive alive for Chicago and they were able to get within field goal range for their first points. KANSAS CITY 7 - CHICAGO 3
•Second quarter stars with the third dropped ball by the Chiefs for a three and out. Punter Dustin Colquitt pins the Bears inside the 10 again, though.
•Bears return the three and out and will give the Chiefs good field position. Credit punter.
•Good 10 yard scramble by Alex Smith set up a 19 yard screen pass to De'Anthony Thomas. Good drive. KANSAS CITY 14 - CHICAGO 3
•Chiefs struggled with their two minute offense last week, but again found themselves with the ball late in the half. A nice 20 yard strike to Kelce gave the offense the ball at the 22 with 27 seconds left. Smith was sacked with :21 to go. This forced the Chiefs to again play for three instead of seven. KANSAS CITY 17 - CHICAGO 3
•The Chiefs came out with a run-heavy drive after halftime as they rattled off eight straight runs then a deep pass to Jeremy Maclin. And then... disaster. With first and goal from the nine, Jamaal Charles suffered some sort of leg injury, the drive stalled and the Chiefs field goal was blocked. Probably the worst thing that could've happened other than a UFO falling on the stadium. Charles would not return turning over the rushing duties to Charcandrick West and Knile Davis.
•The Bears marched down the field and scored a field goal on the ensuing drive. KANSAS CITY 17 - CHICAGO 6
•While both teams traded ineffective drives, Twitter was abuzz with reports that Charles was getting his ACL checked on his right knee. If that would be a season ending injury, just about any hope of a winning streak might be over for this team and certainly any playoff hopes.
•Chicago started the fourth quarter with a long drive and then both teams traded awful drives.
•In the final five minutes of the game, the Bears had the ball trailing 17-6 and the Bears were moving the ball. A penalty extended the drive and put the Bears at the Chiefs 30.
•Cutler threw a beautiful pass for a touchdown through two defenders. Marcus Peters continues to get carved up by NFL quarterbacks. KANSAS CITY 17 - CHICAGO 12 (PAT missed)
•A quick three and out gave Chicago the ball without Jamaal Charles in there. The Bears will have just over two minutes to take it the length of the field.
•Lots of channel flipping going on in Kansas City as the game has passed the 3:00 mark and the Royals game is moments away from starting.
•A quick pass to Meredith gave the Bears the first down with 1:16 to go. Chiefs need to put together a stop here.
•Cutler had a sure TD to Martellus Bennett dropped at the 5 yard line. Credit Trayvon Branch with heavy coverage on Bennett.
•Marcus Peters interfered and gave the Bears a first down inside the 15 with :57 to go. Costly penalty. Might've cost them the game.
•The next play a floppy pass to the end zone gave the Bears the lead. KANSAS CITY 17 - CHICAGO 18 (PAT missed)
•Chiefs got the ball with under a minute to go and a pass to Jeremy Maclin with :02 was ruled as bobbled out of bounds. That would have set up a 57 yard field goal. Instead, Cairo Santos tried a 66 yard field goal. It was not good.
•Unbelievable. Another loss grabbed from the jaws of victory.
•Penalties. Injuries. Poor play calling. If there isn't a house cleaning coming at Arrowhead, it can't be far off. Don't know about a hot seat for Andy Reid, but he's shown awful decision making with clock management all season
•It's pretty telling that through the injury of Jamaal Charles, the weak defense and the continued impotent offense, your best hopes of winning a game in the final two seconds falls to a 66 yard field goal.
•FINAL SCORE - KANSAS CITY 17 - CHICAGO 18 Chiefs fall to 1-4 and are on the road against the Vikings next Sunday.
WHAT'S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Boy this sounded like a really good idea for a column in my head. Here the Chiefs sit, at 1-2 after coughing up a game to the Broncos and being outclassed by the Packers. And now, you face a red headed quarterback. What's the worst that could happen? .500 is just around the corner, right?
•Kansas City won the toss and deferred. I don't know who started this idea, but I hate it. Take the damn ball. Shove it down their throats. Then stop them and shove it down their throats again. Boom 14-0. Instead, you get a chance to get run over and lose momentum on the road. Terrible idea and we haven't even kicked off yet.
•The Bengals are 3-0 off of the arm of Andy Dalton. The NFL ain't that hard, you guys.
•I've about had it with all the pink. We're aware of breast cancer. If you can tell me how a 320 pound offensive lineman wearing pink cleats can reduce a cancerous growth cell in a breast, great. Until then, leave it to the doctors and block your man.
•Fourth play of the game, Dalton goes deep and connects with AJ Green on a 35 yard catch now deep in Chiefs territory. Sure glad you gave them the first chance to do this.
•Well whaddya know. The Bengals marched right down the field for a touchdown. KANSAS CITY 0 - CINCINNATI 7
•They just showed a stat showing the Bengals like to start hot early. Best point differential in the first half.
•Good first few plays by the Chiefs on their first series. Nice pass play to Jamaal Charles on the flat for 15 yards. Followed by another pass to Maclin. Looking great so far.
•Another sack. Seven last week and one that stalls the first drive here. Embarrassing. If you watch #66 Ben Grubb, he engages his defensive lineman and then just totally runs away allowing the sack. Embarrassing. Did I say embarrassing?
•Chiefs did make it to the red zone, but went ultra conservative with short runs and a dropped pass to Conley. Chiefs settle for a field goal. KANSAS CITY 3 - CINCINNATI 7
•Another big pass, this one a 27 yard strike in the middle of the field by the Bengals. It's almost like they're working with a gameplan. Bernard to the endzone. KANSAS CITY 3 - CINCINNATI 14
•The Chiefs start the second quarter nearly snapping the ball over Alex Smith's head. Chiefs settle for a field goal. I'm detecting a theme. Can't be trading 3's for 7's. KANSAS CITY 6 - CINCINNATI 14
•Second drive by the Chiefs in the quarter stalled after another sack. This one was by Chewbacca, I think.
•Smith continues to struggle throwing downfield. Inaccurate. Another field goal. KANSAS CITY 9 - CINCINNATI 14
•Missed field goal by Cincinnatti. At least we're beating them in soccer. Bengals leaving the door open for a big play to put them right back in it.
•Big run by Charles at the two minute warning. 20 yard gain. AND he held onto the ball. Puts him over 100 total yards.
•A penalty puts the Chiefs at first and 20 and seem to be in no hurry to get in the endzone. They just let 30 seconds run down before a snap at 1:11. Another run up the middle. No timeout.
•Why aren't the calling a timeout? What the hell? Where is the sense of urgency? Surely they're not just playing for a field goal are they?
•You come out of a timeout and you try to take another timeout? What the hell? I'm stunned. Holy crap, you're just playing for the field goal. Awful. KANSAS CITY 12 - CINCINNATI 14
•Cairo Santos's leg is going to fall off. HALFTIME
•I don't know why I'm so grumpy. Maybe it's because there was football on at 8:30 this morning with the London game. I love the NFL like anyone, but let me eat my scrambled eggs before I see the Jets and Dolphins. Might make me sick.
•Remember when the Chiefs wanted the ball to start the second half? Well, we didn't score. We instead went and gave it back to the Bengals. Solid plan there.
•Cincinnati started their drive at the 10 yard line and marched right down the field and then on third and 11 threw a 60 yard laser to Brandon Tate for a diving touchdown. An incredible catch for his first reception of the year. KANSAS CITY 12 - CINCINNATI 21
•You get a sense midway through the third quarter that the Chiefs need to score a touchdown (that's the one with 7 points instead of 3) here otherwise it's over. They didn't. KANSAS CITY 15 - CINCINNATI 21
•An uncharacteristic fumble by Travis Kelce. Kelce had a bad day. I hope you drafted Santos and not Kelce this week. Led to a chip shot run by Jeremy Hill. KANSAS CITY 15 - CINCINNATI 28
•You don't have to be a Park Hill mathlete to know that trading 3 point scores for 7 point scores is going to produce a losing result.
•Well, you've got your work cut out for you, Chiefs. You're going to have to start throwing the ball downfield and that isn't exactly in the bread basket for Alex Smith.
•Fun Fact: The Chiefs are last in the NFL converting on third down.
•There we go. With 10 minutes to go, the Chiefs are finally inside the 10. First down: Incomplete pass. Second down: Incomplete pass. Third down: Incomplete pass. Fourth down: Another. Damn. Field goal. KANSAS CITY 18 - CINCINNATI 28
•Well this is just stupid now. KANSAS CITY 18 - CINCINNATI 36
•Well surely inside 3 minutes left in the game, you send out the field goal unit down a million? Ah, screw it. He's like the college girl at the high school party. She's the only one scoring. KANSAS CITY 21 - CINCINNATI 36
•I'm sure glad the Royals are in the playoffs. The Chiefs are failing in all phases of the game except field goals, but including clock management.
•The final two minutes of the first half are enough to put Andy Reid on the hot seat. That was some grade A terrible football planning there.
•FINAL SCORE - KANSAS CITY 21 - CINCINNATI 36 Chiefs fall to 1-3 and are home against the Bears next Sunday.
One to forget
Another week, another prime time matchup for your 1-1 Kansas City Chiefs.
Let's just forget how the Week 2 game ended, shall we? Extra challenge points because the Royals are on the second screen. So if you enjoy ADHD-enabled game stories, you'll love this one.
•A light rain is falling at kickoff and the history of Super Bowl I against these same two teams hangs over Lambeau Field. Fifty years later, both teams still evoke deep memories of the NFL's past.
•Green Bay's first series was a three and out including a hard tackle by Justin Houston on Aaron Rodgers.
•A naked bootleg on the Chiefs second play from scrimmage nets about seven yards for Alex Smith, but their first series ends in a three and out also.
•Second series by the Packers was way more efficient as they carved up the Chiefs defense including a 15 yard TD pass to Montgomery. KANSAS CITY 0 - GREEN BAY 7
•The Chiefs answer with another quick series resulting in a punt. Alex Smith looks completely overmatched by the Green Bay defense and Aaron Rodgers looks, well, like Aaron Rodgers. This might be a long night.
•Another Rodgers passing TD after a Rodgers scramble put them at the two. Oof. Plus EJ Gaines was taken off the field with a knee injury the play before. This could be a really long night. KANSAS CITY 0 - GREEN BAY 14
•In the final minute of the first quarter, Alex Smith had a third and short. He didn't see any receivers downfield and started to scramble, taking a loss. Another Chiefs punt. The Chiefs, so far, have yet to notch a first down.
•The Packers opened the quarter going for it on fourth and five, but the Chiefs defense was able to stop them putting KC at midfield.
•Kansas City finally got some forward momentum in the opening minutes of the second quarter on a long pass play to tight end Travis Kelce which was then added to by an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Packers. It put the ball inside the 10.
•And then they handed off to Jamaal Charles who took it the remaining nine yards for the Chiefs first score. KANSAS CITY 7 - GREEN BAY 14
•The next break came with 8:29 to play when Rodgers fumbled the ball into the diving arms of Tamba Hali giving the Chiefs the ball - but wait, a penalty downfield reversed the fumble and gave the Packers five more yards. Within a few more plays, the Packers had put three more points on the board. KANSAS CITY 7 - GREEN BAY 17
•The Chiefs had a chance to grab a few more points in the final minutes of the first half, but called a very curious screen pass on third and three which went for a loss of four on the play. Andy Reid has been pretty poor in his play calling over the past couple of weeks in big situations.
•But a few seconds remained for Aaron Rodgers who found six more points in the corner of the end zone. Aaron Rodgers is good at football. KANSAS CITY 7 - GREEN BAY 24
•The second half opened to a driving rain which surely wouldn't improve the hopes of the Chiefs especially given their lack of productivity from Alex Smith.
•Smith and his Chiefs offense had two series where they did little. Twitter began to openly wonder if it was time to bring in Chase Daniel.
•I've got to be honest with you, I was kind of not watching, and rather watching the Royals in extra innings against the Cubs. Alex Smith did something stupid. He threw an interception from his own end zone. Smith is not having a good night and may have jeopardized his future in Kansas City.
•Oh. Then Aaron Rodgers threw another touchdown. KANSAS CITY 7 - GREEN BAY 31
•In the final seconds of the third quarter, however, our long national nightmare ended as Alex Smith connected with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Yes, you read that right. It had been nearly two full years since a Chiefs quarterback threw a touchdown to a wide receiver. But that's exactly what Alex Smith did. He didn't even need a reason. Touchdown Chiefs. KANSAS CITY 14 - GREEN BAY 31
•Another Rodgers TD. KANSAS CITY 14 - GREEN BAY 38
•Garbage time now. Jamaal Charles scores after a nice catch and run by Jeremy Maclin. KANSAS CITY 22 - GREEN BAY 38 (2 point conversion good)
•Chiefs made it interesting in the final minute of the game as a long drive by the Chiefs resulted in a 10 yard Jamaal Charles TD. KANSAS CITY 28 - GREEN BAY 38 (2 point conversion no good)
•Watching Yordano Ventura pitch on the other television was more fun than watching this game.
•Watching the Royals lose in extra innings was the same amount of painful as watching the Chiefs in the first half.
•The Chiefs were able to end the worst streak in the NFL - that of the drought of wide receiver touchdowns. But they got absolutely owned in every stage of the game.
•Most importantly, Alex Smith got further exposed as a “safe” quarterback who cannot bring you back from any sort of deficit.
•FINAL SCORE - KANSAS CITY 28 - GREEN BAY 38
Chiefs fall to 1-2 on the season and travel to the Bengals next week.
Thursday Night Football. Home Opener. If you can't get up for this one, you better check your pulse.
•The Chiefs won the toss and deferred and managed to stop the Broncos on their first drive.
•The Chiefs first play from scrimmage was a six yard carry to Jamaal Charles. That's significant because they want to establish the run early. Second carry was Charles for a first down.
•Big play off of that first down as there was a 24 yard gain plus a personal foul to move KC all the way to the 32. The early runs opened up the running game and Kansas City traipsed down the field. Two unsportsmanlike penalties on that drive by Denver. They were bothered by the sellout crowd.
•A couple of conservative play calls at the line of scrimmage inside the 10 and Jamaal Charles had a costly fumble turning the ball over to Denver to stop the Chiefs opening drive.
•During the Broncos second drive which started at the 9, Old Man Manning had to call a timeout on a 3rd and 14 due to the crowd noise in the West end zone. Drive resulted in a three and out.
•First quarter ended with a Justin Houston sack and Manning looks as old as advertised. But that costly fumble cost the Chiefs the lead. DENVER 0 - KANSAS CITY 0
•The opening play of the quarter was a fumbled punt by the Chiefs, recovered by Denver, but that drive stalled.
•The second quarter opened with some chippiness by the Broncos as they had multiple personal fouls that extended the Chiefs first drive of the quarter.
•Jamaal Charles made them pay with a beautiful 34 yard TD run to put the Chiefs up. DENVER 0 - KANSAS CITY 7
•On the ensuing drive, Peyton Manning threw the ball short and it was picked off and run back 55 yards by Marcus Peters. DENVER 0 - KANSAS CITY 14
•The crowd has now gotten two opportunities to express their displeasure of the new Chiefs touchdown song. Regardless, they do seem to be interested in cheering points on the scoreboard.
•The next drive by Denver did show some classic Peyton Manning. Incredible checkdowns and some tight spiraling throws for consecutive first downs.
•Denver was able to recover from the crowd noise and got their first touchdown of the season on 6 yard reception to Emmanuel Sanders. DENVER 7 - KANSAS CITY 14
•If you were a time traveler from the year 1988 and landed at Arrowhead Stadium, you'd really like the music.
•Second play following the Denver TD was picked off by Aquib Talib. That's the Chiefs third turnover of the game. This set up a gift for the Broncos inside the 20 with 2 1/2 minutes to go in the half.
•Manning didn't turn down the gift. DENVER 14 - KANSAS CITY 14
•The opening drive of the third quarter featured a nice downfield pass by Alex Smith to Jeremy Maclin, but stalled again as they touched the red zone and had to settle for a field goal. DENVER 14 - KANSAS CITY 17
•The good thing about being in the press box is that I've gone an entire half of football without hearing about Draft Kings.
•The third quarter went quickly, but I got to introduce myself to Len Dawson. He's on the Mt. Rushmore of Kansas City athletes along with Tom Watson, George Brett and Derrick Thomas
•When I was meeting Len Dawson, Denver tied it with a field goal. DENVER 17 - KANSAS CITY 17
•It is said that Alex Smith isn't the guy who's going to beat his own team, but it's also said that he won't be the guy to win you a game. With 14:32 to go in the fourth quarter, he got his chance to lead a game winning drive. He didn't on that one, but rather was sacked inside his own 30.
•The ball went to Peyton Manning with 11:30 to go. On a third and nine, Justin Houston pounded Manning for a huge sack. Ball back to the Chiefs.
•The Chiefs again drove the length of the field only to be stymied once they hit the 20. Reid called a gadget reverse pass that went for a three yard loss. On third down, Smith's pass slipped out of his hand and ended up going to Denver on an interception. Still tied at 17 with 6:27 to go.
•Finally the Chiefs got it to their workhorses Kelce and Charles and made it into inside the 20. From the 10, they gave it to Knile Davis and he went to the promised land. DENVER 17 - KANSAS CITY 24
•There will be much said about Peyton Manning, at times he looked tremendous, at times he looked very frail. With two minutes to go in the game, he was asked to pad his NFL record 41 fourth quarter comebacks.
•He sliced through the Chiefs down the field in less than a minute to the 25 when a costly holding call against Kansas City gave Manning a fresh set of downs at the 19 with 49 seconds to go.
•Manning threaded the needle to Emmanuel Sanders past cornerback Jamell Fleming - they'd been targeting the rookie Fleming all night and it paid off with a 19 yard TD pass. DENVER 24 - KANSAS CITY 24
•And then... disaster... with 27 seconds to go on the first play after the TD, Jamaal Charles fumbled and it was a costly one. It was scooped up and returned for a Denver touchdown. Turn out the lights. DENVER 31 - KANSAS CITY 24
•The Eric Berry return tribute was great.
•Tons of turnovers for the Chiefs and tons of personal fouls by the Broncos in the game.
•Even though it was a huge prime time game, it seemed flat at times. The timeouts really take a lot of energy out of the crowd.
•The new touchdown song sucks.
•Charles has gotten a pass for his fumbling in the past, but it has officially become a problem. The Chiefs fall to 1-1.
•The Chiefs have not defeated the Broncos since Tim Tebow was their quarterback. They have never defeated Peyton Manning in a Broncos jersey.
Chiefs coverage courtesy of The Landmark - Your one stop shop for the hottest of takes
•Eric Fisher, the team's number one draft pick a few years ago, announced to Chiefs officials the morning of the game that he would be unable to play due to a high ankle strain. You're not allowed to complain if you've ever gotten up on Monday morning and tried to crawl back in bed.
•Early in the first drive of the Chiefs, Alex Smith outran JJ Watt for a Chiefs first down. This prompted me to yell in my living room, “Turn down for WATT???” Nobody laughed.
•That first series ended with Smith throwing two passes into the Texans defensive line, but Dustin Colquitt did what Colquitt does and pinned the Texans inside the 10 with a 4.2 second hang punt.
•First round draft pick Marcus Peters picked off the Texans on the next drive. I stood up and spilled a beer on my lap. Didn't care. CHIEFS 7 - HOUSTON 0
•That drive resulted in a 12 yard TD pass to Travis Kelce. Travis Kelce is good at football.
•I have to admit, I was in the kitchen making nachos when Travis Kelce caught his second touchdown. Frankly, it feels like Kelce might be too good at football. CHIEFS 14 - HOUSTON 0
•Remember earlier when I told you that Marcus Peters did something good? Well, in the closing seconds of the first quarter, he did something bad and allowed Deondre Hopkins to leap over him for a really nice touchdown catch. CHIEFS 14 - HOUSTON 6
•Houston missed the PAT - remember there's new PAT rules that makes it a 33 yard kick instead of the chip shot it used to be. But still, bruh, make the kick. It's free. It's extra. That's why they call it an extra point.
•Second quarter started with a lead pass to, who else, Travis Kelce. He was hit hard in the chest but remained running then stayed on the ground for a long time - through two Flo from Progressive commercials (why is she still a thing?) Kelce left the game but would return a few plays later. A collective sigh from Kansas City was uttered at 12:50 pm. CHIEFS 17 - HOUSTON 6
•The big thing to watch this year is the addition of Jeremy Maclin to wide receiver. He had a bunch of catches in the first half which is great - but Alex Smith doesn't typically like to throw downfield. So keep an eye on that this season.
•JJ Watt sacked Alex Smith without a helmet. That happened. Earlier, I stubbed my toe making nachos.
•Cairo Santos banged a 48 yard field goal after Andy Reid almost went for it on fourth and long. The karma was strong in the Chiefs favor. CHIEFS 20 - HOUSTON 6
•Justin Houston came from the right side of the Texans offensive line to absolutely drop Brian Hoyer forcing a fumble. On the next play, Jamaal Charles gets into the end zone for the first time of the year. Houston > Texans CHIEFS 27 - HOUSTON 6
•Somewhere along the lines, Houston made a field goal. They are not a good football team. CHIEFS 27 - HOUSTON 9
•A Jeremy Maclin catch was overturned when he went to the ground and appeared to juggle the catch for a millisecond. This is a garbage rule. Everyone and their sister knows that was a catch.
•The Texans Vince Wilfork is listed at 325 pounds. This is a lie. His gut might weight 325 pounds. If he's under 400, then I'll eat this newspaper.
•About halfway through the third quarter, Houston put together a nice drive which started after a touchback. They went no-huddle which stressed the defense of the Chiefs. It was the first time their offense was able to move the football laterally and Brian Hoyer looked like an NFL quarterback. That drive was stalled by the Chiefs defense forcing big turnover on downs inside the 15 on a fourth and one.
•The third quarter ended with a Derrick Johnson sack of Brian Hoyer - the Chiefs fourth of the game. This defense is significantly improved.
•At one point, CBS announcer and Kansas Citian Kevin Harlan referred to Sam Mellinger's column in the “Kansas City Times.” Not Harlan's best day. Or maybe my paper guy has been missing my driveway for the last 15 years.
•Dustin Colquitt has placed the Texans inside the 15 several times this game and has also had two one yard punts called touchbacks. It's hard to make a punter the MVP, but when you have to go 90 yards instead of 80 or 70 every series, those accolades add up.
•Ryan Mallett replaced Brian Hoyer with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Hoyer was pressured constantly by the Chiefs defense, but it's his decision making that got him benched. Also the four sacks.
•Mallett promptly drove the length of the field and popped a late-game TD to Hopkins over Peters. That was the second time Peters got burned on a TD today. CHIEFS 27 - HOUSTON 15
•After missing a PAT earlier in the game, Houston went for 2 and got it. CHIEFS 27 - HOUSTON 17
•In the trailing minutes, Travis Kelce made a huge catch and shed a defender like he was squirming out of his pajamas to go to work. First down. That iced it for the Chiefs.
•Another good drive by Mallett led to a field goal, but the die had been cast. CHIEFS 27 - HOUSTON 20
FINAL NOTES - CHIEFS 27 - HOUSTON 20
•Travis Kelce has 100+ receiving yards in the game.
•Houston's offense was better in the final 5 minutes than the previous 55.
•JJ Watt is good at football. But he's the only one there is on that team.
•I wouldn't want to be the guy planning a gameplan for Thursday night's home opener against the Chiefs at Arrowhead. This was a complete victory in all three phases of the game.
•Chiefs move to 1-0 on the season and look every bit like a team that can make a playoff run this year.
•Expect coverage from inside the Chiefs press box all season long exclusively here in The Landmark. Football coverage may never be the same.