Jeffrey says: Bob, what’s the story with Dex? Are we ever going to see him again? Last week everybody was saying he was going to play, and then he didn’t. Is there something else here that we don’t know?

Bob says: With the people currently in charge of the Chiefs it’s always possible that there’s something we don’t know. I watched McCluster go through a workout before Sunday’s game in Seattle. I’m no doctor or trainer or coach but he looked pretty good. He was running and moving pretty well. Now, there’s always something that could have come up in the workout or immediately afterwards, but I was pretty sure he was going to play. So it was a surprise a few minutes later to see him standing out there in a sweat suit.

Here’s what I think – McCluster’s high ankle sprain is 80 to 90 percent healed. For most injuries and at other positions that would be enough for him to play. High ankle sprains are tough injuries to get over and I think the Chiefs want to make sure McCluster is as close to 100 percent as possible before he plays again. They don’t want to put him out there too early, have him play and then he has a set back and has to miss more time. …Read More!

Numbers: Post-Seattle

This one was strictly “by the numbers” as the Chiefs put together their best performance of the season.

Let’s start with the passing game, which came under fire early in the season for inconsistency. QB Matt Cassel continued a string of strong performances. WR Dwayne Bowe, in a game where passing was not dictated by the score, turned in another terrific game, grabbing 13 of the 17 passes thrown his way.

And Charlie Weis should get some kudos as well, opting to open up the game passing as Seattle tried to stuff the box tighter than a Thanksgiving turkey. On the Chiefs opening drive of the game, the Chiefs had passes on five of the seven plays and four of the first five first-down plays.

Three of Cassel’s four touchdown passes were first-down plays.

I believe what this illustrates is the Chiefs’ brain trust becoming more and more confident that Cassel can carry the load, and Cassel becoming more and more confident that his top target is putting in the time to completely understand the team’s passing game.

The average-gain-per attempt is a bit lower than you would like. But you can’t question the efficiency of the passing game against the Seahawks. If you factor in Cassel’s 29 yards of scrambles on called pass plays, it would bump up the average per attempt. …Read More!




Last week Dwayne Bowe talked the talk after the game against the Cardinals, and yesterday he started to walk the walk against the Seahawks. And with his second 13-catch, 170-plus-receiving-yard day in his last three games, Bowe is primed not only to become the Chiefs’ first (full-time) WR in the Pro Bowl since Andre Rison back in ’97, but to assume the role of the Dark Horse in a race where the prize is the Derrick Thomas Award. Not bad for a guy who seemed to had a ticket out of town reserved for him, after his crucial drop against the Colts.

…Read More!

Seattle Leftovers On The Half-Shell

From Somewhere Over the Rockies

It was on third downs where the Chiefs had one of their biggest advantages in Sunday’s victory over the Seahawks.

Offensively, the Chiefs moved the sticks 11 times in their 17 opportunities or a conversion rate of 65 percent. Defensively, they limited the Seahawks to just three conversions in 12 third down plays, a 25 percent conversion rate. That’s the major reason that the Chiefs had such a huge advantage in time of possession, of 22 minutes, six seconds. That’s how they got in 29 more offensive plays than Seattle.

“The time of possession was ridiculous,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “I think it was 40 minutes or something, but that goes back to third downs on both sides. We didn’t convert on offense and we couldn’t get off the field on defense. They did a great job of moving the ball and taking control of it, and they controlled the football game.”

On third down, Cassel was eight of 12 for 83 yards.

“We kept ourselves in manageable distances on third downs,” said Cassel. “We didn’t get in bad situations and that always makes it easier. We developed a rhythm and we were able to keep it going.” …Read More!



  • 101 – Oakland WR Jacoby Ford kickoff return (above) for TD vs. Miami (L).
  • 89 – N.Y. Jets WR Brad Smith kickoff return for TD vs. Cincinnati (W).
  • 87 – Seattle WR Ben Obomanu TD catch vs. Chiefs (L).
  • 79 – New England WR Deion Branch TD catch vs. Detroit (W).
  • 65 – Baltimore TE Todd Heap TD catch vs. Tampa Bay (W).
  • 65 – Washington WR Brandon Banks kickoff return vs. Minnesota (L).
  • 65 – Buffalo RB Fred Jackson TD catch vs. Pittsburgh (L).
  • 64 – New Orleans P Thomas Morstead punt vs. Dallas (W).
  • 61 – N.Y. Jets P Steve Weatherford punt vs. Cincinnati (W).
  • 60 – Dallas WR Miles Austin run vs. New Orleans (L).

RUSHING (over 100 yards)

  • 173 – Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles on 22 carries, 1 TD vs. Seattle (W).
  • 151 – Pittsburgh RB Rashard Mendenhall on 36 carries, 1 TD vs. Buffalo (W).
  • 143 – Houston RB Arian Foster on 30 carries vs. Tennessee (W).
  • 131 – Cleveland RB Peyton Hillis on 26 carries, 3 TDs vs. Carolina (W).
  • 117 – Chicago RB Matt Forte on 14 carries vs. Philadelphia (W).
  • 113 – Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew on 21 carries vs. N.Y. Giants (L).
  • 110 – Atlanta RB Michael Turner on 23 carries, 1 TD vs. Green Bay (W).
  • 103 – San Diego RB Michael Tolbert on 26 carriers, 1 TD vs. Indianapolis (W). …Read More!

Around The AFC West – 11/28

It’s all very typical for the San Diego Chargers. Start poorly then come on strong in the second half of the season.

The Chargers are doing it again, as they won their fourth straight by bashing the Colts in Indianapolis 36-14.

“At 2-5, a lot of teams would have thrown in the towel,” said QB Philip Rivers. “We’ve got a group of resilient guys, tough guys that really play together and really believe in one another. We weren’t going to let this thing get away from us. Now, we’re right here in the hunt.”

They are that. After Sunday’s action, the Chiefs lead the AFC West with a 7-4 record. The Chargers are 6-5 after their victory. Oakland is 5-6 after getting beaten badly by Miami 33-17. Denver is coming to Arrowhead Stadium this coming Sunday after losing to St. Louis 36-33 and the Broncos are now 3-8 and out of it in the division.

Here’s how the day went down for the Chargers, Raiders and Broncos.

Chargers 36, Colts 14 @ Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

The Lightning Bolts have become the biggest pain in the butt for Colts QB Peyton Manning and that continued in the Sunday night game. San Diego forced five turnovers, including four interceptions of Manning, two that were returned for touchdowns.

San Diego’s defense allowed the Colts just 24 rushing yards, sacked Manning twice and got four interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Offensively RB Mike Tolbert ran for 103 yards on 26 carries with a three-yard TD run. Rivers was 19 of 23 for 185 yards with no touchdowns and most importantly for San Diego, no interceptions. “I think all of our guys understand now that you’ve got to protect the ball,” Chargers coach Norv Turner said. “You’ve got to be sound in the kicking game and we can’t give up big plays on defense.”

This coming Sunday, the Chargers host Oakland in the first of three straight home games.

Dolphins 33, Raiders 17 @ Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Things started out so well for Oakland. Just as he did against the Chiefs, rookie Jacoby Ford dented the Miami special teams with a 101-yard kickoff return to start the game.

From there it was all downhill for the Raiders, who struggled to stop the Dolphins offense and could not get anything going offensively behind QB Bruce Gradkowski. He was back in the starting lineup after Jason Campbell played so poorly in Pittsburgh last week.

But Gradkowski threw two interceptions and suffered a reinjured right shoulder on the last play of the day. Oakland had just 16 rushing yards, and Darren McFadden finished with eight carries for two yards. Miami picked up 471 yards on offense, including nearly 42 minutes in time of possession.

Rams 36, Broncos 33 @ Invesco Field

It was not a good weekend for the Broncos. On Friday they found out that the team and head coach Josh McDaniels were fined $50,000 apiece for a case involving the illict taping of a San Francisco 49ers practice during Denver’s trip to London. Then, they came out and fell to the Rams on the best performance of rookie QB Sam Bradford’s young career.

“There wasn’t one bit of distraction,” QB Kyle Orton said of the controversy. “We had one team meeting over it and it was pretty much over after three minutes. There’s stuff that happens throughout an entire NFL season and as pros and as men you worry about your own business.”

Veteran CB Champ Bailey said he felt bad for owner Pat Bowlen. DL Justin Bannan said he felt bad for McDaniels.

“Josh didn’t do anything wrong,” Bannan said. “Josh is a great coach and we’ve got his back and he’s got ours. Obviously, things are tough right now, but what are you going to do? What we’re going to do is come out and play better football.”

They were unable to slow down Bradford, who finished with 22 of 37 for 308 yards, three TDs and no interceptions. He drove the Rams on three straight touchdown drives and two more than ended in field goals after the Broncos took a 10-0 lead

The Broncos are 5-16 since their 6-0 start last year. It’s the worst 21-game stretch in four decades.

Carroll: “We Played Like Garbage”

From Qwest Field, Seattle

There were not too many Saturday like this Sunday for Pete Carroll when he was at Southern Cal. Seldom was his team dominated like the Seahawks were controlled by the Chiefs in a 42-24 Kansas City victory.

“It was a disappointing day,” Carroll said. “We didn’t play anywhere near like we had planned. It didn’t work out in really any phase. It was a bad day for us out there, for the showing and the fans were ready to crank it up and get going.

“We played like garbage out there.”

So disappointing was his team’s performance that Carroll said they need to start over on Monday.

“We need to get a new start,” said Carroll, who is now 5-6 on his third trip through as an NFL head coach. “This start isn’t the one we wanted, so we’re going to start it again next week and see if we can get going.”

Carroll gave credit where credit was due, especially to the Chiefs running game.

“I thought the running game they brought in had been the best in the league,” he said. “We thought we saw some stuff that we could do and boy we couldn’t handle it. They ran the ball beautifully today. We got knocked around.”

QB Matt Hasselbeck was not happy with the play of the offense.

“We didn’t really accomplish any of the goals that we set out to do before the game,” he said. “We knew how they would play us for the most part. We had some ideas of what we could do against them, running the ball and throwing the ball we were pretty unsuccessful at almost all of those things.”


The Seahawks announced a paid attendance of 66,370 and they were an involved and loud group, and Chiefs head coach Todd Haley paid them their due.

“I’ve got to take my hat off to these fans,” said Haley. “They do a really, really, really great job. Other than our place, I don’t know a place like this. They can really swing the momentum; you can feel it. It could have gotten rolling the other way in this game, but we were able to put a stop to it before it did. That’s one of the keys to us winning.”

They sell the “12th Man” idea around the Seahawks and they like to brag about how many false start penalties they get at every game. They got the Chiefs, as LT Barry Richardson was called for a false start.

The temperature was 43 degrees at kickoff and there was no wind at all. The sun broke through the normal Seattle overcast and it was actually a pleasant day on the shore of Puget Sound.


This part of the Chiefs performance was not up to standards and the fact they were able to overcome not one but two blocked kicks speaks to how well the offense and defense played.

“Generally when you give up blocked kicks and blocked punts for touchdowns, you’re not happy at the end of the game,” said Haley. “But we’re happy.”

Here’s how the teams broke down, starting with the two blocks.

PUNT TEAM – CB Kennard Cox came through the middle of the Chiefs protection unit and blocked Dustin Colquitt’s punt. FS Earl Thomas picked the ball up at the 10-yard line and ran it in for a touchdown. “We’ve seen a couple things on tape that they showed and we just took advantage of it,” said Cox. “We timed it up all week. Coach talked about it and that’s what happened.”

It’s the third blocked punt of Colquitt’s career and the second in a row that was returned for a touchdown. San Diego got one last year at Arrowhead Stadium from FB Jacob Hester.

Other than the block Colquitt punted four times for a 45.5-yard average and a 36.8-yard net average. Three of his punts ended up inside the 20-yard line. The Seahawks returned one punt for minus-2 yards.

FG & PAT – Ryan Succop’s 43-yard field goal attempt was blocked by DT Craig Terrill.

“I got up between the guard and tackle and was able to get a hand up on it,” said Terrill. “I wish we could have picked it up and made something happen with it, but that’s the way it goes.”

Over his career, Terrill has now blocked six field goals. It was the second block of Succop’s career; Dallas got hands on a 53-yard attempt last season.

It was Succop’s only FG attempt of the game.

RETURNS – The Chiefs got nothing in the return game. Javier Arenas handled the punt returns, grabbing two for returns of 14 and three yards. On kickoff returns, Arenas got some relief and both Terrance Copper and Verran Tucker handled a return; Copper went 17 yards and Tucker 15 yards.

KICKOFF COVERAGE – This was a point of emphasis for the Chiefs as they were concerned about Leon Washington, who had a pair of TD returns earlier this season against San Diego. That’s why they had Succop punching out mortar kicks – kickoffs that went high and not as long as normal kickoffs. In the end, Seattle had seven returns for an average of 16.4 yards. Washington had five of those returns, his longest going for 23 yards. He did cough the ball up once, but was able to recover his own fumble.

OVERALL COVERAGE – Press box statistics gave Jackie Battle, Reshard Langford, Ricky Price and Verran Tucker credit for two tackles each on special teams.


Tony Corrente’s crew came into the game as the second ranked officiating group for penalties so far this season. But they finished up well under their average, walking off eight infractions for 76 yards. Five of those flags were against the Chiefs for 50 yards:

  • Offense – LT Barry Richardson, clipping, minus-15 yards.
  • Offense – TE Leonard Pope, holding, minus-10 yards.
  • Offense – Richardson, false start, minus-4 yards.
  • Defense – ILB Jovan Belcher, pass interference, minus-6 yards.
  • Defense – CB Travis Daniels, roughing the passer, minus-15 yards.

Todd Haley threw the red replay challenge flag once and hit. It came on the blocked field goal, where officials ruled that the block, an attempt by holder Dustin Colquitt to run with the ball led to a fumble and then Succop kicked the ball out of bounds. They were going to give Seattle the ball at its 47-yard line.

But Haley challenged the ruling and after taking a look at the play, Corrente ruled that Colquitt had recovered the block but was down by contact before he lost the ball.


First-year CB Jackie Bates made his first NFL start on Sunday against the Seahawks, filling in for the injured Brandon Flowers. Bates went out of the game in the third quarter with a left knee injury and did not return.

Veteran LB Brian Waters started his 144th game, tying him with Kevin Ross for the ninth highest total in Chiefs history.

The inactive players for the Chiefs were Flowers, WR Dexter McCluster, DB Donald Washington, FB Tim Castille, S Jon McGraw, LB Charlie Anderson, LB Justin Cole and DT Anthony Toribio.

While he was on the active roster, OT Branden Albert did not play in the game because of the groin injury he suffered last week. The only reason that he would have been dressed was as an insurance policy if either one of the other tackles were injured.

Inactive players for the Seahawks were WR Mike Williams, FB Michael Robinson, G Chester Pitts, DE Clifton Geathers, OT Will Robinson, DT Colin Cole and DT Amon Gordon. Seattle’s inactive third quarterback was J.P. Losman. With Williams out, Deon Butler was in the starting lineup for the Seahawks.


From Qwest Field, Seattle

RUSHING OFFENSE: A – This was another one of those dominating performances by the Chiefs running game. Jamaal Charles was nearly impossible to stop as he bounced inside and outside, picking up 7.9 yards every time he ran the ball. Thomas Jones ran it 20 times and broke loose for a couple nice runs. Even QB Matt Cassel did a good job getting out of the pocket and getting as much as possible, including a 23-yard gainer.

PASSING OFFENSE: A – They didn’t post a lot of yardage, but they were ultra-efficient in getting done what they needed to get done. Cassel was outstanding as evidenced by his 129.3 passer rating and his four touchdown passes. WR Dwayne Bowe had another sensational game and the pass protection was outstanding, not allowing a sack. Press box stats gave the Seahawks just one quarterback hit all day.

RUSH DEFENSE: A – The way the game went, there wasn’t much of a need for the running game by Seattle. But when they tried to run, they got nowhere with an average of just 1.7 yards per carry. They had 12 running plays and six went for zero yards or minus-yardage. Only two runs longer than four yards.

PASS DEFENSE: B – This was one spot where the Chiefs could have played better, although they were hamstrung by some injury situations including the absence of starting CB Brandon Flowers. The one man they couldn’t stop was WR Ben Obamanu who had 159 of the 282 yards, as well as one TD. The Chiefs did get three turnovers from the Seahawks pass offense as well as two sacks.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D – That the Chiefs were able to survive a blocked field goal and a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown is testimony to how well the offense and defense played. There’s no way a team can allow a pair of blocks in the same game. No excuse there. It really wiped out what was a nice effort in keeping Seattle returner Leon Washington under control. Washington averaged just 15.4 yards on five kickoff returns.

COACHING: B – This grade would have been an A if not for the special teams problems. Overall, the offensive and defensive plans seemed to come together quite well and both sides were able to juggle enough that the players they were missing did not hurt them significantly.

Short-handed Defense Stands Tall

From Qwest Field, Seattle

Brandon Flowers, Donald Washington and Jon McGraw were on the sidelines Sunday. They would be joined by Jackie Bates.

On a team with 11 defensive backs, the Chiefs were left with seven that could play in the second half of the game with the Seahawks. Three members of that group were rookies. Two others were first-year players.

Yet somehow, some way, the Chiefs defense found a way to mix and match those defensive backs and get a winning performance against Seattle in a 42-24 victory.

“We were faced with some adversity early on, but we stuck together, rallied around each other and pulled off a big win on the road,” said FS Kendrick Lewis. “Some things happened in the game that were bad for us. But as a unit, as a team, we stuck together.”

The Chiefs defense allowed two of the three touchdowns Seattle scored. The third came on a blocked punt that was returned for six points. They had a problem with only one man, Seattle’s fifth-year WR Ben Obomanu. A seventh-round draft choice in 2006, Obomanu caught five passes for 159 yards, including an 87-yard score. On that play, there were no Chiefs defensive players within 15 yards of him.

But that’s 159 yards of the Seattle offense’s 288 yards. That left just 129 yards for the rest of the Seahawks playmakers. Just 20 of those yards went to the rushing game as the Chiefs completely stymied Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett; Seattle averaged 1.7 yards per carry. While eight other Seahawks caught passes from QB Matt Hasselbeck, they went for 123 yards or an average of only 8.2 yards per catch.

The Chiefs were also able to force three turnovers: interceptions by Lewis and CB Travis Daniels and a forced fumble by LB Derrick Johnson that was recovered by DE Tamba Hali. Add in a pair of sacks of Hasselbeck by Johnson and DL Shaun Smith.

With Flowers out of the game because of a hamstring injury, Bates started in his spot. He was beaten by Obomanu for a 52-yard catch and injured his left knee on the play. That brought Arenas into the game as the left corner. The coaches had wanted to leave him at the nickel back spot, because they knew they were going to be playing most of the game with an extra defensive back.

With Arenas at left corner, that brought Daniels into the game as the nickel back and he was able to provide an interception. When coordinator Romeo Crennel called for the nickel defense, he had Glenn Dorsey and Wallace Gilberry on the line, with all four starting linebackers and Arenas coming in for NT Ron Edwards. When it was time for the dime defense, Mike Vrabel and Jovan Belcher left the field, and Daniels and either Demorrio Williams or Andy Studebaker came in.

With the help of the offense scoring six touchdowns, the Chiefs found themselves playing a Seattle offense that was only one-handed.

“Our job every week is to go out and stop the run,” said Dorsey. “Once we did that and we got ahead on the scoreboard, then we were able to get after them on the pass rush and we were able to take the ball away there.”

Press box stats credited the Chiefs with six quarterback hits beyond the two sacks, including two from Dorsey. Arenas and Johnson led the team with six tackles each. On the dozen running plays by the Seahawks, none went for more than six yards and two went for negative yardage.

“There was a little bit of physical play by the defense today,” said Johnson. “The offense was in situations where they could just run the ball. It was definitely a team win for us.”

“Deep-Freeze” Smith Hits The End Zone

From Qwest Field, Seattle

It was 25 years ago when the Chicago Bears had “The Frig.” That was William “The Refrigerator” Perry, a 335-pound defensive lineman who started lining up at fullback for Mike Ditka’s offense with the Bears. Perry ended up scoring four touchdowns in his rookie season, including one in the Super Bowl.

“Right now, they call me the Deep Freeze,” Chiefs DL Shaun Smith said on Sunday, after he became the latest defensive lineman to find the end zone as an offensive player. “I guess I’m going to go with it.”

Smith scored on a one-yard dive play in the first half of the Chiefs 42-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

It was the big man’s first NFL touchdown, and his first score since 1999. That’s when he found the end zone for “two or three touchdowns” for Wichita Heights High School against Wichita East.

“It was my last game when I was a senior in high school,” Smith said. “It was in the mud. I had 100 yards rushing in that game too. I wore No. 6 because of Jerome Bettis (who wore No. 6 in college at Notre Dame). That was my idol. He’s still my idol.

“Today was fun. Now that I’ve got a touchdown, I can go to Charlie (Weis) and say put me I n the short yardage package more, see maybe I can get the ball and see what happens.”

To put the touchdown in some historical perspective, Smith became the first defensive player in Chiefs history to score a rushing touchdown on offense. He became the fourth defensive player in the club’s 51 seasons to score an offensive touchdown, joining CB Dale Carter, DE Jared Allen and OLB Mike Vrabel.

Those guys all caught their touchdowns, including a Vrabel score earlier this season against Houston. Smith had to deal with the other big bodies up front to get his score.

“We worked on it in practice this week,” Smith said. “I was shocked that it was called the first time. When they called it, I knew I had to get the one yard. If I didn’t get it, I knew they weren’t going to run it again.”

One of the first people to congratulate Smith in the end zone was Vrabel, who was also in on the play, lining up at tight end.

“It’s funny that I actually got to score,” said Smith. “It’s like a dream come true. Maybe my next step is to catch the ball. ”

Actually the next step for Smith is to decide who gets the football. He held onto it after scoring and has an internal debate raging on who gets the ball.

“Do I give it to my little girl for Christmas or do I give it to my mom?” Smith said. “Most likely I will probably give it to my little girl.”

DBowe Putting On Quite A Show

From Qwest Field, Seattle

“Every day I go on the practice field and in every game I just try to run, block and catch. That’s all. And, it’s been paying off.”

That has become the mantra of Dwayne Bowe. No more shenanigans. No more goofing around. No more doing whatever he could to turn the spotlight on himself.

Just run, block and catch.

“He (Todd Haley) stressed keeping your head down, run, block and catch,” said Bowe. “My head is down, my teammates heads are down and we’ve got one goal.”

What had been a very good season to date for Bowe took a giant leap forward on Sunday in the Chiefs 42-24 victory over the Seahawks. It was most definitely the DBowe Show, topping anything the Chiefs wide receiver has done in his four-year career. Bowe caught 13 passes; that matches his career high earlier this season. Those catches went for 170 yards; his second highest total of his career. And, Bowe found the end zone for three touchdowns, the best scoring day of his career.

“I don’t like to know my stats until Monday,” Bowe said after the game. “But I’m sure you guys will tell me. I still have more to go.”

Just run, block and catch, and keep getting better.

“What could I have done better? Not dropped that last one,” Bowe said. “There’s a lot of stuff when I look at the film I’ll find out that I could do better.”

On the left, that’s the NFL touchdown leaders after Sunday’s action, with Bowe at No. 1 with 14 scores.

Probably so, but his head coach has nothing but praise for Bowe after Sunday’s game.

“(I’m) proud of Dwayne Bowe; he keeps stacking good games on top of good games,” said Haley. “He’s setting that bar higher and higher.”

As Bowe has moved the bar higher and higher, he’s gotten more and more attention from his quarterback.

“I’m impressed each and every week,” Matt Cassel said of Bowe. “It starts in practice. He’s had some great weeks of practice. He’s pushing himself to get better and it is showing on Sunday’s. He continues to make big plays and I find myself looking for him more and more and more.”

Cassel’s not only looking for Bowe, but finding him as well. On the season, Bowe now has 58 catches for 885 yards and 14 touchdowns. In just the last three games he has 32 catches for 465 yards and seven TD catches. Bowe is on a pace that would give him 84 catches, 12,287 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Right now he has three consecutive 100-yard games, which is one off the franchise record. He has four 100-yard games in the season, that’s just two off the team mark. He already holds the team records for most TD catches in a season with 14 and seven consecutive games with a scoring catch.

“The big picture is yet to come,” said Bowe. “So the things that happened today, the things that we did good – the records and that good stuff – all that is good, but the main goal is trying to win it all. I won’t feel right until we at least make it there; make it to the big dance, whatever dance that is.”

Bowe has turned into the poster-child for the outlook Haley wants from all his players. He’s unconcerned about the past, not thinking about the future, and working only for the moment, the next play, the next practice, the next game.

For a once carefree kid out of Florida, the change in outlook was not hard, or at least

“I’ve got great teammates around me, great coaches and Todd stresses that, keeping our heads down and work,” said Bowe. “It’s been paying off. It’s very easy. I recommend it to anybody; just keep your head down and worry about the next play, the next thing you need to do. Whatever happened before, whether you dropped a ball or scored a touchdown, don’t worry about it.

“If you can do that, it will take you far.”

Column: Cassel Steps Up Again

From Qwest Field, Seattle

Of all the plays that went down in the Chiefs victory over Seattle on Sunday, this one will be overlooked. When Matt Cassel’s performance is remembered, it will be one of the four touchdown passes he threw in leading the Chiefs to a 42-24 victory over the Seahawks.

Forgotten will be a 3rd-and-6 play late in the third quarter. The ball was at the Chiefs 44-yard line and their lead had shrunk from 14 points in the first half to four points. They were dominating the action, but they were ahead by only four points.

Now they faced an important play. Either the offense gets the first down and continues the possession, or the Chiefs have to punt the ball way and the Seahawks would have a chance to go down and score and actually take the lead.

The Chiefs came out in a 1-1-3 alignment with RB Jamaal Charles, TE Tony Moeaki and WRs Dwayne Bowe, Verran Tucker and Terrence Copper. Cassel was in the shotgun.

At the snap, LT Barry Richardson lost position on Seattle DE Chris Clemons. For most of the game, Richardson did a pretty good job on the left side, but this play was a potential disaster. Clemons had a free run at Cassel and if he didn’t sack him, or hit him as he was throwing, he would hit him after the ball was gone and it would be painful blow.

A year ago, heaven knows how Cassel would have reacted in the face of this situation. He would probably have been sacked, or lost the ball on a fumble, or thrown the ball up to get rid of it and watched it be picked off. …Read More!

Chiefs Overcome Themselves & Hawks For Victory

From Qwest Field, Seattle

It was half-time on this Sunday afternoon in November and the Chiefs walked into their locker room at Qwest Field leading 21-10.

Considering that they were on the road where they’ve had so much trouble winning this season, that score alone should have been enough to have them enjoying some Gatorade and whatever it is that football teams snack on during their 13-minute break.

There was no celebration for the Chiefs. Nothing even close to that happened. There was a tad bit more anger than one might imagine. The conversation was blunt and to the point – the second half was time for them to establish their identity.

They won the second half as well, 21-14 and combined it was a 42-24 victory for the AFC West division leading Chiefs. Save for a couple brief moments when the Seahawks made a play and got their loud Qwest crowd into the game, they dominated the action against a Seattle team that is now 5-6 on the season.

They did it by the tried and true method of controlling the line of scrimmage. One statistic says it all – the Chiefs were plus-250 rushing yards over the Seahawks.

“We knew we had to put our mark on this game,” said head coach Todd Haley. “It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that our calling card is that we are a pretty physical team. If we play physical, we have a chance to go toe-to-toe with teams.” …Read More!

Chiefs Grab Victory No. 7 in Seattle

From Qwest Field, Seattle

The Chiefs put together their best overall performance of the season and pushed their AFC West leading record to 7-4 with a 42-24 victory over the Seahawks on Sunday.

Offensively, the Chiefs were almost unstoppable, rolling up 503 yards as RB Jamaal Charles ran for 173 yards to go over 1,000 yards for the season. WR Dwayne Bowe caught three touchdown passes and 13 balls in all for 170 yards. Matt Cassel threw for four TD passes. They held the ball for 41 minutes.

Playing without their best player in CB Brandon Flowers, the Chiefs defense was sensational, taking the ball away three times and allowing only two offensive touchdowns in the game. Interceptions by FS Kendrick Lewis and CB Travis Daniels were big, as was a QB sack by LB Derrick Johnson that forced a fumble that was recovered by DE Tamba Hali.

Only the special teams was lacking, as they allowed a blocked field goal and a blocked punt that went for a Seattle touchdown. But the kicking unit took Seattle returner Leon Washington out of the game as he was unable to break off any big returns on kickoffs or punts.

As always, we have complete coverage. Enjoy.

  • GAME STORY – Killer instinct surfaces in Chiefs.
  • COLUMN – Matt Cassel steps forward again.
  • SIDEBAR 1 – Another show by Bowe.
  • SIDEBAR 2 – Shaun “Deep Freeze” Smith scores.
  • SIDEBAR 3 – Under-manned defense produces.
  • NOTES & QUOTES – “We played like garbage.”
  • REPORT CARD – Good grades all around for Chiefs.
  • AROUND THE AFC WEST – Chargers win four in a row.

Willie Roaf Semi-Finalist For Hall of Fame

On Sunday, the semi-finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2011 were announced and the group of 26 includes former Chiefs OT Willie Roaf.

He’s one of five first-year eligible players who are part of the group, joining RB Jerome Bettis, RB Marshall Faulk, RB Curtis Martin and DB Deion Sanders.

The Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee picked the 26 semi-finalists from a list of 114 preliminary nominees.

The complete list of 26 modern-era semifinalists is as follows: …Read More!


From Qwest Field, Seattle

CB Brandon Flowers and WR/RB Dexter McCluster top the Chiefs list of inactive players for today’s game against the Seahawks. Missing for the Hawks is No. 1 WR Mike Williams. See the complete list below.

1 p.m. CST – Good afternoon from Seattle. The morning has started cloudy and cool, but the sun is breaking through the clouds as projected for the morning by the National Weather Service. The threat of rain reportedly has past.

1:04 p.m. – The Chiefs QBs and receivers are on the field for their pre-pre-game session and it looks like WR Dexter McCluster will not play today. He’s on the field in a sweat suit but is not running routes with the receivers. If he does not play that will be his fifth game missed because of his high ankle sprain.

1:06 p.m. – TE Tony Moeaki is dressed to play and is catching passes with the other receivers. After missing last week’s game following his concussion in Denver, it appears that Moeaki is back.

1:10 p.m. – FB Mike Cox is out and dressed as if he will be active today. If that’s so then Tim Castille will be inactive, as those two share the fullback duties.

1:20 p.m. – QB Matt Cassel spending time taling at length with WR Dwayne Bowe as the passing session has reached the red zone. Cassel keeps using his hands to show Bowe how he wants the route to be run into the end zone. …Read More!

Another Important Sunday … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

From Seattle, Washington

The maturation of a football team seldom shows itself in one moment in time. It’s a process that takes months, sometimes years to fall into place. More often than not, it’s created in fits and starts, as little victories are built on top of each other. Those hills then become mountains of confidence so visible in the way a team performs and acts.

But there are exceptions and Sunday is one for the 2010 Chiefs.

They face a game that despite their opponent being part of another conference is going to be meaningful for their future over the five games that come after this Sunday afternoon.

The Chiefs and Seahawks will kick it off just after 3 p.m. with TV coverage on CBS with Bill Macatee and former Chiefs QB Rich Gannon handling the duties.

The Chiefs are 6-4, on top of the AFC West once again as the games drip off the calendar. But if they can’t get over their inability to perform up to standard away from Arrowhead Stadium, they will likely be tied for the division top spot with Oakland or San Diego or both.

Right now, the Chiefs remain just an average team. They have taken big steps in their development as what Todd Haley likes to call “a transitioning team” but they remain pretenders because of their inability to put together the same performance week-after-week, no matter the venue, the situation or the participants.

They still struggle with the mentality of one play, one game, one day at a time.   …Read More!

ANSWER BOB – 11/27

Rufus says: Hi bob, thx 4 the report. Who played CB during practice with Carr? Did they slide Carr to RCB and use Travis D at LCB? Did Don Washington play CB at all?

Bob says: Rufus it would be easier for me to get information out of the government on UFOs than the information you seek. We get 20 minutes of practice three times a week. In that hour, the team is generally stretching for 15 minutes. That leaves us 45 minutes of individual position drills where the only thing we can see is who is working and who is watching. I can tell you this – when the Chiefs were working Friday they had Daniels, Javier Arenas and Jackie Bates all on the field together. Whether that’s their plan, I don’t know. We found out from Todd Haley on Friday that the coaches are considering a lot of possibilities, including going with a smaller nickel/dime package and possibly using a linebacker in coverage. I don’t think they’ll move Carr – that takes two positions and makes them weaker. If Daniels is healthy, he would seem to be the man. Washington is not going to play CB unless it’s an emergency. Your questions are on the mark, because how the Chiefs get through this injury to Brandon Flowers will play a big part in whether they can win the game. …Read More!

Sleepless In Seattle Nuggets

From Seattle, Washington

Saturday was the classic day in the Pacific Northwest. Cloudy, foggy at times, cool temperatures, a light mist in the air. It’s what people think of when they consider Seattle and environs.

At least I did for about six or seven of my first trips here for football games. Then I was sent to Seattle on a story assignment in July and that’s when I found out why people live here. The sky was deep blue, the mountains were dazzling, the lakes and Puget Sound twinkled like diamonds. It was stunning in its beauty. There’s just too much of the crappy days for me; the overcast and rain would sink me.

The National Weather Service forecast for Sunday afternoon and it’s changed in the last few days: a 30 percent chance of showers before 10 a.m. Then, mostly sunny with a high near 40 degrees. Light south wind between 3 and 6 mph.

Given the practice time they got in this week, that type of forecast should be no problem for the Chiefs to handle.


Todd Haley tells his rookies many times as they come into the league that their surest way onto the active roster is to perform in the kicking game. Some listen, some don’t. One guy who took the words to heart is rookie WR Verran Tucker (above).

It was his work on special teams in practices that got him elevated to the active roster from the practice squad. And it was his work in the kicking game that earned him more chances to perform on offense. …Read More!

Hold On To The Ball … Saturday’s Cup O’Chiefs

From Seattle, Washington

Back in the day, it was known as the Seattle Rule. It was established by former Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer and it was instituted any week his team was preparing to play the Seahawks or another team that used a great deal of energy trying to cause turnovers.

The premise of the Seattle Rule was that on the practice field, the Chiefs ball carriers were to hand the ball to an official or ball boy at the end of each play. Failure to do so would lead to some sort of discipline.

Marty’s idea was simple – don’t get in the habit of allowing the Seahawks to touch the ball when it wasn’t in their possession.

Throughout Schottenheimer’s 10 seasons as head coach, the Chiefs were the league leader in the turnover ratio. A lot of that had to do with some outstanding defenses with players like Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith, Albert Lewis, James Hasty, Dale Carter and many others. But equal measure was given in the head coach’s eye to not giving the ball away and the Chiefs were among the league leaders in fewest turnovers each season.

From 1989-98, the Chiefs were plus-99 in the turnover ratio, easily the best differential in the league. In 160 regular season games, they gave the ball away 254 times and took it away 353 times. Both numbers rank among the league leaders. The New York Giants were second in that time frame in turnover ratio at plus-77.

This week, the 2010 Chiefs under Todd Haley did not start their own Seattle rule. But maybe they should have. When the Seahawks win the turnover battle they end up with the victory. When Pete Carroll’s team loses the turnover battle, they end up on the short side of the score.   …Read More!

Friday 11/26 Practice Report-Update2

From the Truman Sports Complex

It has been a week of experimentation and what ifs this week for the Chiefs coaching staff when it comes to replacing CB Brandon Flowers.

Flowers appeared to be the only player ho was not working at all in Friday’s practice, the last of the week in preparation for Sunday’s game in Seattle.  He was in the rehab area riding a stationary bike and he’s not participated at all in this week’s practiced. Figure him as one of the eight inactive players on Sunday, although the Chiefs did not declare him out of Sunday’s game; he was designated doubtful.

But how do the Chiefs go about replacing him? That’s what’s led to a lot of discussion and ideas between Haley and his defensive coaching staff. That there’s not an obvious answer is one of the problems the Chiefs have with their roster right now.

“Injuries for us of any kind are going to be an obstacle for us at most spots,” Haley said on Friday. “What we need is for guys to be ready for the call to duty so to speak. That’s part of the development of your younger group.”

The possibilities include rookie nickel back Javier Arenas, first-year man Jackie Bates and veteran journeyman Travis Daniels. …Read More!

A Taste Of The Border War

The Border War is alive and well in the Missouri-Kansas rivalry to be played in Arrowhead on Saturday. The following is former Kansas QB Todd Reesing’s recollection of his first KU-MU game in 2007.

It is an excerpt from Rising to New Heights: Inside the Jayhawks Huddle written by Reesing with Kent Pulliam. The book can be found at most local bookstores or at

The Border Wars

People always ask me: “Do you think the game should stay at Arrowhead?”

If the environment was like that first one then yeah.

Sure, you always like the home field advantage and such. But to be able to play in an environment like that, with the split stadium at Arrowhead – which is a really cool place to play, is pretty neat. And you couldn’t have picked a better way to start the series if it is going to remain in Kansas City.

The Missouri game is everything a rivalry game should be. It’s way different than the Kansas State game. The Missouri game is the pinnacle because of how the rivalry started, because of how close the series is, because it leads back to the Civil War.

Coming from Austin, I knew the UT-OU rivalry that they play in the Cotton Bowl every year. In having gone to the games at the Cotton Bowl between OU and UT and having grown up going to UT games, I can say the hatred and intensity of the KU-Missouri game is way higher than the UT-OU game.

That Border War mentality is alive. …Read More!

Building A Contender … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

It’s the NFL – the Not For Long League.

More than once we’ve heard both GM Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley talk about how they were working to build an NFL franchise that would compete for Super Bowl championships on a yearly basis for many years. They are not going about their business trying to catching lightning in a bottle and getting one chance to win a title. They want a whole bunch of bottles filled year after year with champagne to celebrate victories in the final game of the season.

Of course, Chiefs fans have waited a long time now for a return to a championship, so they just want a team to play in the month of February. How that team gets there and how many times they go really doesn’t matter at this point to the red and gold nation.

But it should. Over the last two weeks, the Chiefs have and will face a pair of Super Bowl teams that made one visit to the ultimate football stage and have since fallen on hard times and haven’t come close to returning for another chance at the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Last Sunday it was the Arizona Cardinals, who played in the NFL title game after the 2008 season, just two years ago. This year the Cardinals are 3-7 and since their loss in Super Bowl XLIII they are 14-14.

This Sunday the Chiefs face the Seattle Seahawks, who played in Super Bowl XL after the 2005 season. The Hawks are 5-5 this season and since losing to the Steelers at Ford Field in Detroit they have posted a 35-43 record. …Read More!

Parity Rules In Effect

We know the NFL loves its parity. So follow this logic, and you will conclude that no one – or anyone – can win the Super Bowl this year. Starting with the Chiefs opening win over the Chargers 21-14 on Monday night, you can glean this from the scores on any given Sunday. It’s NFL parity at its best.

The folks at Deadspin website came up with this nugget. Here’s the link to the original version. We’ve put the information into a different form.

Enjoy NFL parity. …Read More!

Enrique’s Video Vault: A Thanksgiving Moment

Like many of you remember, Tony Gonzalez added to his already-distinctive fame in July of ’08, when he helped a choking Chargers fan by performing the Heimlich maneuver on him, while in a California restaurant. And in making a premeditated move toward saving a man’s life, the notion that Tony G was always in the right spot was corroborated that day.

But an isolated incident, that was not. Almost eight years earlier, back on Thanksgiving Day of ’00 (at halftime of the Lions-Patriots game of that day), an amazing feature was presented by CBS’ Jim Nantz, where the pride of the Golden State gave us a glimpse at his soon-to-be-discovered life-preserving abilities … albeit in the most unusual way.

And if you take a look at this you will arrive at the conclusion that Tony G was not only in the right place, he was always on time. And here’s guessing that Mr. Pfleger is thankful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving.


You can reach Enrique directly

Thanksgiving 11/25 Practice Report

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs kicked off their Thanksgiving holiday with a full morning of work at their facility, including a normal Thursday practice session held outside in very chilly conditions.

Returning to work in the practice was FS Jon McGraw. He’s missed time the last two weeks with knee and head issues. McGraw did not practice on Wednesday, but he was dressed and went through the position portion of the drill. When the Chiefs went to work as a secondary, he was not with the first unit.

Not practicing was CB Brandon Flowers (hamstring). He spent his time on the stationary bike.

WR Dexter McCluster (ankle) appeared to be fully involved in the workout. So did Tony Moeaki (concussion). But LT Branden Albert (hip) and RG Ryan Lilja (foot) continued to do more watching than participating in practice.

Road Woes Must End … Thanksgiving Cup O’Chiefs

This week of Thanksgiving is one of busiest travel times of the year. Family and friends come and go, flying here and there, driving the family truckster to Grandma’s house and enjoy that holiday feeling of family and friends.

Everyone hopes to survive weather delays, security pat downs, that crying baby in the next seat and the after-effects of tryptophan.

The Chiefs will be traveling as well this weekend, minus the holiday feeling. They will hit the road to play the Seattle Seahawks in what’s the biggest game of the season for the 2010 team. That’s not meant in the manner that head coach Todd Haley uses the term. He said this week’s meeting with the Seahawks was the team’s most important game of the season. Next week, he will say the re-match with Denver will be their most important game on the schedule. He says that every week – its part of his “one-game at a time” mantra.

What makes this weekend trip to the Pacific Northwest extra important for the Chiefs is they must start piecing together the final pieces of their personal puzzle and establish themselves as a legitimate contender for a spot in the AFC playoffs.

To gain some sort of legitimacy and respect, the Chiefs have to start winning on the road, where they are 1-4 this season with three road trips left to play. They have re-established their dominance at Arrowhead Stadium, going 5-0; that’s one of the first steps in becoming a contender.

Now, they have to show they can win on the road when it matters, and in the NFL it always matters in November and December. It’s the time of year where teams find the combinations that allow them to dream of post-season play. As Haley said earlier in the week, it’s the time when teams establish their identity. …Read More!

Wednesday 11/24 Practice Report-Update2

From the Truman Sports Complex

They were wearing all the pads. They were outside and it was cold and windy and mist was falling.

It was quite possibly the most perfect conditions ever for the Chiefs to get prepared to play in Seattle this Sunday.  The early forecast for Sunday in Seattle for the Chiefs-Seahawks game is cloudy, slight chance of precipitation and a temperature of 41 degrees. As the Chiefs began their work week on Wednesday, the weather outside was cloudy, some light precipitation and temperatures in the low 40s.

“We were out there in pads today, trying to continue to make progress,” said head coach Todd Haley. “For us, it comes down to fundamentals, doing the things we have to do in order to have a chance at success. ”

It always helps the chances off success when the team can field its entire roster, something that didn’t go down with the Chiefs on Wednesday. The injuries are piling up and there were at least five players who had their participation limited because of injuries. As Haley said again on Wednesday, he told his players that he “needs everybody now, not next week.”

CB Brandon Flowers (hamstring) and FS Jon McGraw (knee/head) did not participate in practice. They were in the rehab area riding stationary bikes during the media window into practice. They were not dressed like they were participating in any of the workout.

Among the other injured players there appeared various levels of participation during the open window: …Read More!

Opponent: Seattle Seahawks

2010 record: 5-5, in first-place in the NFC West. The Hawks have lost three of their last four games, including last Sunday in New Orleans. They’ve beaten San Francisco by 25 points, San Diego by 7, Chicago by 3 and Arizona by 12 and then 18. Seattle has lost games to Denver by 17 points, St. Louis by 17, Oakland by 30, the New York Giants by 34 and the Saints by 15. They are 1-2 against the AFC West.

Last year’s record: 5-11 and third in the division under head coach Jim Mora, Jr.

QB Matt Hasselbeck (left) has spent 10 seasons now leading the Seahawks offense.

Record for the last five seasons: 41-39, with division titles in 2005-06-07. They finished 4-3 in the post-season and went to the Super Bowl after the ’05 season, losing to the Steelers in Detroit. In the span of four years, they went from 13-3 in ’05 to 4-12 in ’08.

Last appearance in the playoffs: 2007, when they hosted Washington and beat the Redskins 35-14, but then fell on the road in Green Bay 42-20.

Owner: Paul Allen, one of the world’s richest men thanks to his history and stake in Microsoft. Allen purchased the Seahawks for $200 million from Ken Behring in 1997. His purchase was contingent on approval of a stadium initiative by voters in the state of Washington. Once it was approved, he took over the Seahawks under his Vulcan Sports & Entertainment business. A 57-year old native of Washington, Allen became friends in his high school days with another Seattle native named Bill Gates. The two of them formed a company called Microsoft in 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The rest is history. Allen left Microsoft and now has only marginal involvement in the company, although he still owns 138 million Microsoft shares. In 1988 Allen bought the Portland Trail Blazers which he still owns. Several years ago he started the Seattle Sounders FC, outdoor soccer team. By most recent estimates, Allen’s personal worth is $13.5 billion, making him one of the richest men in the world. He is easily the richest owner in the NFL. …Read More!

Cassel’s Numbers Up … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

His passing yardage each week is laughable when compared to guys like Rivers, Brees, Manning and the like. Highlights of his long bombs do not dominate ESPN Sports Center on Sunday evenings, largely because the lengthy pass plays are few and far between for him.

But ever so quietly, Matt Cassel has become one of the most efficient passers in the National Football League. Over the last six games, only Baltimore’s Joe Flacco has done a better job of helping his team with his passing game than Cassel.

Since the game in Houston, through home games against Jacksonville and Buffalo, then road trips to Oakland and Denver, and finally last Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium against Arizona, Cassel has been one of the best players on the field for the Chiefs. In those six games, the Chiefs were 3-3 and their quarterback had more to do with them winning three, than he influenced the three defeats.

In those six games, he threw 14 touchdown passes against one interception, and he has a 108.9 passer rating. Only Flacco with a 113.5 passer rating was higher among quarterbacks that threw at least 100 passes in the previous six weeks.

His season long total of 18 TDs against four interceptions is bettered only by Tom Brady’s 19 TDs-four INTs. Cassel is completing 59.5 percent of his passes and averaging 7.13 yards per attempt. His per-game average this season has been 17 of 29 for 207 yards.

That’s miniscule compared to the yardage numbers being thrown up by guys like Rivers, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Brady. He has topped 220 passing yards just twice in 10 games. His biggest passing day was 469 yards against Denver.

“For the quarterback of our team, he’s got a clear-cut job description and that’s win games,” said Chiefs head coach Todd Haley. “I think Matt’s arrow is clearly pointing up. I’ve continued to see him make strides every day.”   …Read More!

The Numbers Game: 11/23

The numbers don’t lie.

Well, OK, they sometimes do.

The Chiefs 31-13 win over Arizona defies some of the numbers, and Todd Haley was still concerned about it early in the preparation for his team’s game against Seattle this week.

Run defense continues to be a problem. Arizona’s Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower gashed the Chiefs run defense time after time on Sunday. The saving grace was a big lead early in the game and leaving Arizona to put the game in Derek Anderson’s incapable hands.

“We gave up too many runs over 10 yards,” Haley said after reviewing video of the game. “We’ve got to do a better job there.”

On Sunday, Arizona had exactly the same percentage of successful runs (11 of 20) as the Chiefs (15 of 27). But after the Cardinals trailed 21-6 heading into the fourth quarter, they ran the ball just one more time. As for big plays, the Chiefs have given up nine runs of 10 or more yards in the past two games (just 15 in the first eight games). …Read More!

The Magic Elixir … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

If someone could figure out how to distill the feeling and bottle it, they would become billionaires many times over, own the entire Hawaiian Island of Maui and have bank accounts larger than most small countries.

That would happen for anyone who could capture the pain relieving feeling that comes with winning.

The bruised and battered Chiefs were basking in a healthy dose of that on Monday, as they looked at the tape of Sunday’s victory over Arizona, got a workout in and then headed home for a day off on Tuesday.

Todd Haley’s team is not healthy right now. Shoot, the head coach is not healthy as we’ve learned he had three hours of surgery last Monday to re-attach a quadriceps tendon to his right femur.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Haley said, even as he shuffled about the Chiefs complex with the sore right leg.

While it’s true that 32 teams in the NFL are bruised and battered at this point in the season, there are 16 clubs that don’t feel quite as bad. Those are the teams that won over the weekend and Monday night.

“It always feels better when you win,” said veteran RB Thomas Jones. “It just takes away some of the pain.” …Read More!

Leftovers From Chiefs-Cardinals

From Arrowhead Stadium

The truth can now be told: head coach Todd Haley underwent surgery last Monday, the day after the loss to Denver, to reattach his right quadriceps muscle.

Haley told the Arizona Republic that he ripped the tendon “right off the quad.” The injury went down on Nov. 11, when Haley jumped into a ball catching drill with the defensive backs. He had to dive to make the catch, but he made it and suffered the injury.

He underwent three hours of surgery on Nov. 15. “I didn’t miss a practice and I was proud of that,” Haley told the Phoenix newspaper.


Kickoff for Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and Cardinals was still 45 minutes away, but there was already some unfriendly action on the field.

The visitors from Arizona had made their way out of the locker room and were gathering on the field to begin their warm-up period with some stretching. That’s when No. 55, LB Joey Porter started yapping. One of the league’s serial instigators, Porter has started pushing and shoving matches with opponents in the pre-game.

This time he was yelling at Chiefs rookie CB Javier Arenas. It was hard to tell from the stands or high above the playing field whether this was just good-natured back and forth, or if this was a confrontation. Arenas left little doubt that Porter wasn’t asking how his first year in the NFL had gone.

“I couldn’t tell what he was saying at first, he was just yelling,” Arenas said after the Chiefs 31-13 victory over Porter and the Cardinals. “Then he started talking a bunch of smack and I said a few things back.”

Arenas obvious said something back because one of the Chiefs equipment guys had to jump in and he started pushing his player away from Porter.

“He was chasing me out of that end of the field,” said Arenas, who was catching punts right in the area where the Cardinals were going to stretch. “I just told him it wasn’t his field, it was our field.” …Read More!

Sunday’s NFL Best 11/21


  • 97 – Dallas DB Bryan McCann punt return for TD vs. Detroit (W).
  • 88 – Carolina WR David Gettis TD catch vs. Baltimore (L).
  • 87 – Tennessee WR Marc Mariani punt return for TD vs. Washington (L).
  • 84 – Baltimore WR David Reed kickoff return vs. Carolina (W).
  • 75 – Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew catch vs. Cleveland (W).
  • 68 – Seattle WR Mike Williams catch vs. New Orleans (L).
  • 67 – N. Y. Giants P Matt Dodge punt vs. Philadelphia (L).
  • 64 – Chiefs P Dustin Colquitt punt vs. Arizona (W).
  • 64 – Carolina DB Captain Munnerlyn kickoff return vs. Baltimore (L).
  • 61 – Oakland P Shane Lechler punt vs. Pittsburgh (L).


  • 132 – Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew on 24 carries, 1 TD vs. Cleveland (W).
  • 131 – Atlanta RB Michael Turner on 28 carries, 1 TD vs. St. Louis (W).
  • 130 – Tennessee RB Chris Johnson on 21 carries vs. Washington (L).
  • 124 – Cincinnati RB Cedric Benson on 25 carries, 1 TD vs. Buffalo (L).
  • 120 – Carolina RB Michael Goodson on 22 carries vs. Baltimore (L).
  • 116 – Buffalo RB Fred Jackson on 21 carries, 2 TDs vs. Cincinnati (W).
  • 111 – Philadelphia RB LeSean McCoy on 14 carries, 1 TD vs. N.Y. Giants (W). …Read More!

Around the AFC West

The Raiders were the Raiders and that did not work very well in Pittsburgh on Sunday. And Monday night, it’s the Chargers hosting the Broncos. That’s the weekend action in the AFC West.

Oakland fell to Pittsburgh 35-3, in a game that included Raiders DE Richard Seymour getting thrown out of the game for punching Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.

That outcome left the Chiefs on top of the division again with a 6-4 record after beating Arizona 31-13. The Raiders are now 5-5. San Diego is 4-5 and Denver is 3-6 before the Monday night action.

Next Sunday, the Chiefs travel to Seattle, while the Chargers are in Indianapolis for a Sunday night game against the Colts. Oakland hosts Miami and Denver welcome St. Louis to Invesco Field.

Steelers 35, Raiders 3 @ Heinz Field

It was the Pittsburgh defense that controlled this game, as the Raiders had just 182 offensive yards and could not score a touchdown. Oakland had just 61 rushing yards and the Steelers held RB Darren McFadden to 14 yards on 10 carries. The Raiders were shutout in the second half, as Pittsburgh won despite setting a club record with 163 penalty yards. Oakland had three turnovers.

Roethlisberger threw three TD passes and ran for another one. He had just completed a 22-yard score WR Emmanuel Sanders, giving to giving the Steelers a 21-3 lead, when he raised his arms to signal touchdown. He walked toward the line of scrimmage, when Seymour turned suddenly and punched him in the face.

“I was not expecting that from him,” Roethlisberger said. “It blew my mind. We knew coming in that it was going to be a pretty physical game. There was a lot of pushing and shoving and extracurricular stuff.”

Roethlisberger fell to the ground and a big fight broke out. Seymour said there was a lot of yapping between the teams, but he could not recall what was being said.

“It was a lot of ongoing crap and you’re out there to protect yourself,” Seymour said. “It’s still no excuse. I’m not sure exactly what happened on the play. I just turned around, and he just ran up on me quick. It was just natural reaction.”

That “natural reaction” figures to cost Seymour big dollars and possibly even a longer suspension that what he served on Sunday.

Broncos vs. Chargers, 7:30 p.m. CST @ Qualcomm Stadium

This is the first of two meetings between these long-time AFC West rivals. They’ll meet again in Denver on the final Sunday of the regular season. Last year, these teams split the season series, each winning on the road. Denver won by 11 in San Diego and the Chargers won by 29 points at Invesco Field.

Denver will be without CB Andre Goodman who did not play last weekend against the Chiefs because of a quad injury. Listed as questionable are LB Robert Ayers (foot), S Renaldo Hill (neck), WR Eddie Royals (hamstring) and S Darcel McBath (ankle).

The Chargers injury report includes RB Ryan Mathews who is doubtful with an ankle injury and WR Legedu Naanee has a hamstring and is listed as doubtful. DB Darrel Stuckey is questionable with a hamstring. Other questionable are TE Antonio Gates (foot), G Louis Vasquez (neck), S Steve Gregory (shoulder).

Chiefs Hammer Cardinals 31-13

From Arrowhead Stadium

It wasn’t flashy, but the Chiefs went out Sunday afternoon and dominated the Arizona Cardinals, winning 31-13.

The victory makes the Chiefs 6-4 and they are back on top the AFC West as the Raiders lost in Pittsburgh to the Steelers.

This was an efficient performance on offense and defense for Todd Haley’s team, as they did not turn the ball over and they kept the negative plays to a minimum. QB Matt Cassel had a strong game throwing for a pair of TD passes. WR Dwayne Bowe caught six passes for 109 yards and a pair of touchdowns. RB Thomas Jones had two touchdown runs as RB Jamaal Charles ran for 88 yards.

The defense did not allow Arizona receivers Larry Fitzgerald or Steve Breaston to become factors in the game, as QB Derek Anderson had his problems with accuracy. The Chiefs sacked him twice, but they pressured him all day.

A lot of angles on this one and we’ve got it all covered.

  • GAME STORY – No drama, just victory for Chiefs.
  • COLUMN – Aura of Arrowhead returns.
  • SIDEBAR #1 – DBowe catches and talks.
  • SIDEBAR #2 – Chiefs mushrooms see the light.
  • SIDEBAR #3 – Stopping the Cardinals weapons
  • NOTES – Negative plays, penalties kill Arizona.
  • REPORT CARD – No detention for Chiefs with these grades.
  • AROUND THE AFC WEST – Raiders ejected in ‘Burgh.

REPORT CARD: Chiefs vs. Cardinals

From Arrowhead Stadium

RUSHING OFFENSE: B – A more than solid performance by the two-headed monster of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones that produced 159 yards on 27 carries, including a 39-yard run by Charles and a 28-yard run by Jones. Jones also had a pair of touchdown runs. This combo came back from a bad performance last week.

PASSING OFFENSE: B – Matt Cassel’s numbers are efficient and effective, if not record breaking. He did not throw an interception and was not sacked. WR Dwayne Bowe had a big day with a pair of TD catches and 109 yards on six catches. Otherwise, there was nobody else involved in the passing game except Charles, with four catches for 38 yards, including a 25-yard gain.

RUSH DEFENSE: C – There were too many missed tackles in this game for the Chiefs defense as they had trouble getting Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells on the ground with the first hit. Arizona averaged five yards a carry and only went away from the run game because the score was so out of hand they had to throw the ball in an attempt to get back in the game.

PASS DEFENSE: B – Any time a defense can hold a couple of receivers like Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston under 100 yards in receiving it’s doing a good job. Fitzgerald had the only score, on the last play TD. The Chiefs got QB Derek Anderson on the ground twice, but they had pretty good pressure on him all day and press box stats had them with seven quarterback hits.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B – The Chiefs got a gift when Arizona kick returner LaRod Stephens-Howling was inactive because of a hamstring injury. That took out of the equation a guy who has two kick return TDs this year already. Windy conditions affected all aspects of the kicking game, as kickoffs were sailing into the end zone and punts were blowing about. Dustin Colquitt had a good day considering the conditions with a 52.8-yard average, including a 64-yard punt.

COACHING: A – Defensively, the Chiefs obviously had a good plan that kept Fitzgerald and Breaston from going off in the passing game. Offensively, they were efficient in both running and passing the ball. Todd Haley was two-for-two on replay reviews and his handling of the last seconds of the first half, with the ball nudging up against the goal line was masterful.

Negative Plays Kill Zona & Other Notes

From Arrowhead Stadium

Todd Haley talks all the time about negative yardage plays. The success of the Chiefs in 2010 has been built on cutting back on those minus yardage plays.

Maybe he’ll get a call this week from his friend Ken Whisenhunt of the Cardinals about how to battle those momentum and victory killers. For Arizona on Sunday, it wasn’t turnovers (they had none), or even sacks (they gave up two), it was penalties, a lot of penalties.

By the time the flags were done flying, the Cardinals had 11 penalties walked off against them. It cost Arizona 96 yards and a chance to be in the game.

“Whether it is penalties, dropped balls, missed assignments – we are not playing good enough football right now to overcome those things,” said Whisenhunt, as he watched his team drop to 3-7 on the season. “We have to play a lot better than we are playing in order to get something going.”

The Cardinals were hit with three false start calls and the players were complaining that they were being forced into those penalties by movement from the Chiefs.

“You have to know that is coming,” said Whisenhunt. “When they move like that, you have to stay in there. It is tough when you deal with the noise but we have to handle that better than we did today.”

Arizona did a good job of running the football with a two-headed attack of Tim Hightower (12 for 62 yards) and Beanie Wells (eight for 39 yards.)

“I thought both of our guys looked good running the football,” said Whisenhunt. “If we would have been able to stay with that plan, I think we were pleased with we were able to get accomplished.”

Whisenhunt was asked how it was playing against is old coordinator, Todd Haley.

“I would rather you ask me that after we’d won the game,” Whisenhunt said. “They played well today and they did what they had to do. I am happy for Todd. He is doing a good job.”


Of course heaven knows how serious the two major injuries the Chiefs suffered on Sunday were. LT Branden Albert left the game early in the fourth quarter with what the team announced was a hip injury. He did not return to the field; in fact, he immediately went to the locker room after he came off the field.

Later in the fourth quarter the Chiefs announced that CB Brandon Flowers was out with a hamstring problem. He did not return. He was replaced in the defense by safety Ricky Price

Also out with injuries and not active were WR/RB Dexter McCluster (ankle), TE Tony Moeaki (head) and FS Jon McGraw (knee/head). All were at the game and visible.

The Cardinals had their share of injury problems as well. DE Calais Campbell went out in the first half with some sort of injury that was never revealed by the team. WR Early Doucet went out with a concussion after his head bounced off the turf at the end of a play. LB Will Davis was taken off the field on a cart after suffering a sprained ankle.


There were a lot of empty seats at Arrowhead Stadium, but those fans that were in the house made a lot of noise. The Cardinals were called for three false starts in the game and at least two of those were affected by crowd noise.

In a pre-game walk through the parking lots there were no visible Arizona jerseys, flags or hats. Usually there’s a sprinkling of fans of the visiting team and I’m sure there were some. But they were not very visible.

The weather turned out to be just right, although the fans on the north side of the stadium had the advantage, since they were in the sunshine all day. Those on the south side were in the shade and it got a little cool towards the end of the game.

The wind was a constant presence for both players and fans.


It was a fairly quiet afternoon in the kicking game. The only big play was a mistake by the Cardinals punt coverage team that allowed a punt that should have been downed at the one-yard line to roll into the end zone for a touchback. Ouch.

KICKOFFS – Ryan Succop kicked off six times and two went for touchbacks and five of the six were at the goal line or in the end zone. For most of the game, the Chiefs had to have Ricky Price hold the ball for kickoffs because of the wind.

KICK COVERAGE – The Chiefs allowed an average of 20-yards a return on four returns, with a 24-yard lone return.

KICK RETURNS – The Chiefs did not return a kickoff as all three of Jay Feely’s kicks went for touchbacks.

PUNTING – Dustin Colquitt kicked five times, with a 52.8-yard average and a net average of 42.6 yards. His long punt was 64 yards.

PUNT COVERAGE – Andre Roberts returned two punts for a total of 11 yards.

PUNT RETURNS – Arenas got off a 17-yard return, but averaged only eight yards on his three returns.

TACKLING – OLB Andy Studebaker was credited with three special teams tackles.


Todd Haley went two-for-two on his replay challenges on Sunday, making him three-of-four for the season to date. He threw the red flag first in the second quarter on a pass from Anderson to WR Early Doucet. On the field the play was ruled an 18-yard catch. After reviewing the play, the ruling was changed to an incompletion.

In the fourth quarter, Haley challenged a call that RB Jamaal Charles fumbled at the end of a run. One official ruled the ball down, but another said it was a fumble and it was his call that the referee Walt Coleman went with. Haley’s flag was thrown and after a review the fumble call was reversed. The Chiefs score on the next play.

Coleman’s crew handled the game and they were a busy group. They walked off 16 penalties for 119 yards, and that’s above their average for the year; that was nine flags a game for 108 yards. Five of those 16 penalties were against the Chiefs, but only for 23 yards.

Offensive holding was a big item for this crew, as five of the flags were for holding.

Penalties against the Chiefs were:

  1. Offense, holding, G Ryan Lilja, minus-10 yards, wiped out 3-yard gain.
  2. Offense, holding, G Brian Waters, minus-10 yards, erased a 16-yard gain.
  3. Offense, false start, TE Leonard Pope, no yardage.
  4. Punt, delay of game, no yardage.
  5. Defense, roughing the passer, DE Glenn Dorsey, minus-3 yards.


Head coach Todd Haley’s choice as sixth captain for the game was FB Tim Castille, a former member of the Cardinals.

The inactive players for the Chiefs were WR Dexter McCluster, CB Jackie Bates, FB Mike Cox, FS Jon McGraw, LB Charlie Anderson, LB Justin Cole, TE Tony Moeaki and DT Anthony Toribio. There were no surprises as McCluster (ankle), McGraw (knee/head) and Moeaki (head) were expected.

Inactive players for the Cardinals were CB Greg Tolar, RB Jason Wright, RB LaRod Stephens-Howling, LBs Cyril Obiozor, Clark Haggans and Reggie Walker and C Ben Claxton. Tolar was the starting left corner and he was replaced by Michael Adams. Haggans was the starting left outside linebacker and he was replaced in the starting lineup by Will Davis.

Rookie WR Verran Tucker made the start for the Chiefs, as they opened in two backs, two tight ends and one wide receiver. It was his first NFL start. Also on the field for that opening snap was TE Jake O’Connell.

On defense, Shaun Smith started at LDE and Kendrick Lewis opened at FS.

A couple defensive guys spent time on offense, as Arenas was part of a fake end-around at one point, and Smith was a fullback in goal line situations. He blocked twice. Also Ryan O’Callaghan was used as a third tight end in some short yardage situations.

So was OLB Mike Vrabel, who had another chance to make a touchdown catch in this game, but a fade pattern into the corner of the end zone was just out of his reach.

Chiefs Contain Arizona Weapons

From Arrowhead Stadium

“We went out there with something to prove.”

Those were the words of rookie FS Kendrick Lewis, who at this point of the season is anything but a rookie. But he was talking about the Chiefs defense and the pounding it took last Sunday in Denver, when they fell behind 21-0, thanks largely to the ability of the Broncos to throw the ball.

“This defense is capable of doing a lot of things,” said Lewis after the Chiefs 31-13 victory over Arizona. “We had a game where the defense didn’t play up to our standards. But we knew that was the case. We had full faith in this defense and this team to come out and prove that.”

It was a classic afternoon of bend-but-don’t break defense for the Chiefs. They gave up a lot of yards, but there was only one Arizona touchdown and that came on the final offensive play of the game.

“I don’t care about yards,” said head coach Todd Haley. “Defensively, we bent a little bit, but I could care less about yards and statistics. You can’t allow them to score points.”

The Cardinals are having a tough year, but that does not eliminate the presence of a couple of 1,000-yard receivers in their offensive attack. Few teams can put two receivers on the field that have put up more than 1,000 yards in a season at some point during their careers. The Cardinals have two – Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston. Both of them did it back in Arizona’s Super Bowl season of 2008. Fitzgerald has done it three other times.

These guys are big play receivers, who can turn a five-yard throw into a 70-yard touchdown. To beat the Cardinals, they must be contained. That’s just what the Chiefs somewhat beleaguered pass defense did.

“Big explosive plays, they can kill you,” said Lewis. “It gives those guys momentum and it allows them to open up their playbook. Keep those guys contained, don’t let them loose. As long as you keep everything in front of you, they aren’t going to kill you with the big play.”

Arizona QB Derek Anderson threw for 295 yards and his leading receivers were Fitzgerald and Breaston were the favorite targets. Breaston caught five passes for 92 yards and Fitzgerald grabbed six for 90, including the Cardinals only TD, coming on the last offensive play of the game.

Fitzgerald’s longest completion was 24 yards, which he did twice. For Breaston it was 27 yards. The Chiefs defense did not allow either man to get behind them. They were helped by a swirling wind on the field that blew all day and caused some real problems for Anderson.

“There were some throws that … had some gusts,” Anderson said. “The ball was moving around. For the most part, the balls that were on target guys would corral them. They were moving and that’s something we don’t see.”

The Chiefs defensive backs also provided a pounding, as Arizona WR Early Doucet left the game with a concussion and Breaston left the game at one point with what looked like a sore shoulder or possibly a stinger. He did return to the game.

But there were none of the killer plays that the Cardinals receivers are so capable of producing. Even down to the final offensive snap of the game, the Chiefs defense was intent on keeping Arizona out of the end zone.

“It was something we definitely were talking about out there on the field,” said Lewis. “We knew they were trying to get No. 11 (Fitzgerald) a touchdown.”

Fitzgerald got the touchdown, but the Chiefs got the victory and they are now back on top of the AFC West with the Raiders getting beat by Pittsburgh.

“There’s going to be an X on our chest again,” Lewis said. “People are going to be gunning for us again. We’ve just got to build on this performance and keep getting better.”

Chiefs Mushrooms Enjoy Sun

From Arrowhead Stadium

They often call themselves the mushrooms of the NFL – guys that are kept in the dark and are frequently covered with crap.

“That’s us, the offensive line, just a bunch of mushrooms,” Brian Waters said with a smile on Sunday.

Well on this afternoon, the mushrooms got a day in the sunshine. Any NFL team’s victory can be traced in some part to the offensive line. The ability of that group of five to control the line of scrimmage makes or breaks any team’s chances.

But there are days when they standout even more, and that was Sunday for the Chiefs offensive line, in the team’s 31-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Consider the following:

  • The Chiefs averaged 5.5 yards per carry, as the team ran for 159 yards on 29 carries. They did this despite the fact the Cardinals spent a lot of time trying to shutdown the K.C. running game with an extra man in the box.
  • The offense had 24 passing plays, and QB Matt Cassel wasn’t sacked and he did not have to take off running at any point in the game.

The Chiefs blocked threw a shutout. Considering the circumstances, they all deserve game balls. At LG Waters missed most of the week of practice with groin, ankle and shoulder injuries. Was there any doubt in Waters’ mind that he would play against the Cardinals?

“Not in my mind, no,” Waters said. “I can’t speak for anybody else, but I was going to play.”

At RG Ryan Lilja missed practice time because of a foot problem, along with the dislocated thumb he’s been dealing with for the last month. Was there any question that he was going to play against Arizona?

“Nothing major,” Lilja said after the game.

Then, during the game LT Branden Albert went down and left the field with what the Chiefs called a hip injury. That forced RT Barry Richardson to move over to the left side and Ryan O’Callaghan came in and took over on the right side.

Only the grizzled 15-year veteran Casey Wiegmann got through the week and the game in the same spot without a problem.

“We’ve got each other’s back,” Waters said. “We’ve got guys who can jump in and practice and they keep everything going. When we are watching, we aren’t just standing there, we are watching and learning.

“Plus, we’ve got guys that are versatile and can do more than one thing. That really makes a difference. It doesn’t feel like you are handicapped if something should happen.”

The Chiefs only have eight offensive linemen on their active roster, with two more on the practice squad that can help out during the week. Most game days, they only have seven blockers active, but in recent games they’ve been forced to keep all eight up because of injuries.

“Everybody is hurt right now,” said Waters. “I mean everybody. Some of the young guys don’t feel it so much, but they will.”

The mushrooms don’t get a lot of attention and they don’t want a lot of attention. The backs and receivers like the spotlight. The blockers would rather play in the shadows. Evidence comes from the post-game comments of head coach Todd Haley, Cassel and leading rusher Jamaal Charles. None mentioned the offensive line, although in fairness none were asked about the offensive line and its performance.

“It’s a real honor to play with those guys up front,” said Thomas Jones. “They are pros. They get things done.”

DBowe Catches & Talks

From Arrowhead Stadium

Dwayne Bowe broke his self-imposed silence Sunday, at least his silence with the media.

On the field, the Chiefs wide receiver continued to speak very loudly as he for the last six weeks.

Against the Arizona Cardinals, Bowe set a Chiefs record by extending his consecutive game streak of catching touchdown passes to six. In fact, he now has 11 touchdown catches on the season, or more than the five he had in his big rookie season, or the seven he scored in his even better second season or the four he put the end zone during his troubled 2009 performance.

Bowe caught six passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs victory over the Cardinals and afterwards talked to the media for the first time since the off-season program back in May.

“At this level you have to learn to keep your mouth closed, keep your head down and just work,” Bowe said. “That’s what I’ve been doing. Our team is building and right now we’re starting to do great things. I’m going to just keep my head down and keep going.”

There’s one thing that has been obvious about Bowe during the last year, even through his silence – he’s working harder and longer at the game of football than he’s ever done in his life. Whether he talks or not, what matters is that Bowe has wised up when it comes to the game of football.

Enough so that he’s impressed his toughest critic.

“Whether he’s had big numbers or small numbers or those in between this guy has changed,” said head coach Todd Haley. “Back last year sometime I could tell that this guy had a chance but he was going to have to work at it and that’s what he set his mind to doing. Now, we are both seeing some of the fruits of that labor.

“I’m proud of Dwayne. I know when you go up against one of the best, if not the best in the league, there’s some pride and ego and competition involved and I was happy to see Dwayne rise up to the competition and play a real good game for us.”

The competition Haley spoke about was the presence at Arrowhead on Sunday of Larry Fitzgerald, one of the NFL’s best receivers, and someone that Bowe has spent a lot of time speaking with over the last year. Fitzgerald spent two years with Haley in Arizona, and he eventually bought in to what he was being taught and by his assessment, it took him to a higher level in performance.

Fitzgerald caught six passes against the Chiefs for 90 yards and one touchdown, the only TD for Arizona and it came on the final offensive play of the game, with the outcome already decided.

“When I was working out with Fitzgerald in the off-season he told me to keep my head down and work,” said Bowe. “He was showing me how to do it and I’m just following his ways and it’s paying off.”

It’s certainly paid off for his quarterback.

“He continues to grow as a player and as a person, he continues to mature,” QB Matt Cassel said of Bowe. “You can even see it with some of the younger receivers on the team and him taking them under his wing and showing them and talking to them during practice.’

This season, Cassel and Bowe have taken to showing up at the Chiefs’ facility on Tuesday, their day off, to spend some time throwing and catching together.

“We come in and get a couple of throws in; I just want to get on the same page with him,” said Bowe. “That is what will win some games. It’s paying off, so I’m going to continue to do it.”

Bowe was not impressed by his record, which he no longer shares with Chris Burford (1962) and Otis Taylor (1966).

“Not yet, not until we win it all,” said Bowe. “Then I’ll look back on this game and say ‘Wow!’ But right now, my head is down and I’m going to keep moving.”

The Arrowhead Aura Returns

From Arrowhead Stadium

As crowds go, the group of people that made their way on this sun splashed Sunday to the altar of all things red and gold were loud and boisterous and got the attention of the guys wearing the red helmets.

“It was great, our crowd was great today,” said DE Glenn Dorsey. “That makes such a difference.”

Actually the difference is not one of those questions like what comes first, the chicken or the egg? A loud, nasty Arrowhead crowd does not make the Chiefs a good team. Rather, it’s a good Chiefs team that makes the home folks rattle the ear drums of visiting teams and sometimes plays a part in the outcome of the games.

The Arrowhead Aura had dulled quite a bit before the 2010 season. Over the 2007-08-09 seasons, the Chiefs won a grand total of four home games. That’s four of 24. That’s victories over Minnesota and Cincinnati in 2007, Denver in 2008 and Pittsburgh in 2009. That 4-20 record is a winning percentage of .200 and included only four games where the difference in score was three points or less. In six of those 20 defeats, the difference was more than 14 points.

 In the 1990s, the Chiefs record at Arrowhead was 63-17, or a winning percentage of .786. They never lost more than three home games in a season.

All that died at the turn of the century and got worse in the last few seasons. The team was bad on the field, and the fans reflected that in the stands. They did that mostly by disguising themselves as empty seats and provided little in the way of visible or audible support. …Read More!

Without Drama, Chiefs Dominate Arizona

From Arrowhead Stadium

There was no drama on this Sunday. For a team that has made many of its previous nine games a roller coaster at times, the Chiefs went out and put in a workman like effort against the Arizona Cardinals.

It was enough to get their sixth victory of the season, controlling the game’s tempo and beating the Cardinals 31-13 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score might indicate. It was a victory that coupled with an Oakland loss in Pittsburgh put them back in first place in the AFC West with a 6-4 record. It was their fifth winning effort of the season at Arrowhead, exceeding their total of the previous three seasons combined.

And while WR Dwayne Bowe had a game big enough that he broke his silence and talked with the media – six catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns – the rest of the day will have a tough time sticking in the memory banks.

“It was nice not having any drama for a change,” said LB Brian Waters. “We just went out there and did all the things we needed to do to win.”

Maybe it wasn’t memorable, but as victories go, it was sweet. The Chiefs came out and played a team that’s not as good as they are, and they dominated the action. That’s the way it supposed to be, but sometimes isn’t with a team still finding its way.

“It was a big victory for us, coming home today and being in front of our crowd, we knew we had to have a good performance and that’s what we did,” said QB Matt Cassel. “All three phases played well together.” …Read More!

Pre-Game Coverage Chiefs/Cardinals

From Arrowhead Stadium

Inactive from the Chiefs included WR Dexter McCluster, but starting Gs Brian Waters and Ryan Lilja are both active.

10:00 a.m. CST – Good morning from Arrowhead. Heavy clouds are moving across the sky, headed from south to north. It has the feel of rain, but there is no precipitation in the forecast. The National Weather Service says mostly cloudy, with a high near 65. South southwest wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

10:01 a.m. – OLB Andy Studebaker is out early working with Master Joe Kim, the taekwondo expert who has been working with the team since the off-season. By the time the pre-game is over, Kim will also work with OLB Tamba Hali and DE Shaun Smith.

10:03 a.m. - The quarterbacks and receivers have begun their pre-pre-game throwing session and while he’s on the field WR Dexter McCluster is not taking part, so it appears he will miss his fourth game with that sprained ankle.

10:06 a.m. – TE Tony Moeaki has been ruled out of this game because of the head injur he suffered last Sunday in Denver. But Moeaki is on the field, throwing the ball around, which is a good sign that he could be back next week.

10:10 a.m – The officiating crew for this game is headed by Walt Coleman. They’ve walked off 108 penalties for 967 yards so far this season, or an average of 12 penalties for 107 yards per game. Those numbers rank Coleman’s crew right in the middle of the league’s zebras. In the last two games they had two of the more active crews for penalties. Coleman is out of Arkansas and the fifth generation of his family to run the Coleman Dairy in Little Rock. It’s one of the oldest family owned businesses in the country.

10:19 a.m. – Looks like FS Kendrick Lewis is a go, a he’s on the field with his shoes taped like he’s going to play. Lewis has missed the last two games due to a hamstring injury. …Read More!

One Too Many … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

Eight Men Out was a baseball movie from 20+ years ago about the Black Sox scandal in the 1919 World Series.

Eight Men In is the live-action movie the Chiefs offense will see Sunday afternoon when they face the Arizona Cardinals. Kickoff is 12 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium. Television coverage is from Fox-TV, with Ron Pitts and John Lynch handling the duties in the booth.

Almost from the start of this 2010 season, the Chiefs have seen opposing defense pull a safety down to the line of scrimmage where he essentially becomes a linebacker. Whether the 3-4 or 4-3, one of the safeties is moving off the back line and joining the fray between the tackles.

Until the last two weeks, this was not a problem. The Chiefs have led the NFL in rushing yards since the sixth week of the season, pushing their average to as high as 190.4 yards per game after beating Buffalo. Over the last two weeks, that season average has dropped to 179.6 and now 176 yards.

In back-to-back division defeats to Oakland and Denver, the Chiefs could not get their running game moving. They had 34 carries for 104 yards against the Raiders in a game that was in doubt until overtime. They had just 51 yards on 22 carries against the Broncos in a game that was lopsided in the first quarter.   …Read More!

Tidbits Before Chiefs/Cardinals

A few extras from the week leading up to Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.


The trending numbers in the Chiefs kickoff coverage unit have not been good:

After beating Buffalo, they were No. 1 in the NFL allowing an average return of 18.1 yards a return, with a long return of 35 yards.

After losing to Oakland, they dropped to No. 5, with opponents posting an average return of 20.6 yards after the 94-yard TD return by Raiders WR Jacoby Ford.

After losing to Denver, they dropped to No. 8 in the NFL, giving up an average return of 21.3 yards.

This Sunday, they face one of the league’s best in LaRod Stephens-Howling (right). He’s ranked No. 6 in the league with an average return of 27.8 yards and two TD returns, including one for 102 yards.

“He is definitely one of the best returners we’ve seen,” said WR Terrance Copper, who leads the team in kicking game tackles with 11. “There’s obviously (Josh) Cribbs we saw last year and this guy. He is good.

“He has some speed, he runs hard, he has moves and he has very good vision. It’s definitely going to be a tough task for our special teams.” …Read More!

Another Milestone For Vrabel … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

It was August 31, 1997. It was the NFL’s opening weekend and at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, the Steelers were hosting the Dallas Cowboys.

The game turned into rout for the Cowboys, as they won 37-7.

Thirteen years, two months and three weeks later, Mike Vrabel remembered the afternoon of his first NFL regular-season game quite clearly.

“They beat the crap out of us,” Vrabel said Friday after final preparations had been completed for the Chiefs game on Sunday against Arizona. “I remember Daryl Johnston cracked me one time. He was at fullback and he went out and came back and crack (blocked) me and it was one of those ‘I’m in the NFL now.’”

On Sunday, Vrabel will play regular-season game No. 200 at Arrowhead Stadium.   …Read More!

Friday 11/19 Practice Report-Update2

From Arrowhead Stadium

For Sunday against Arizona, that’s a yes for Todd Haley and Brian Waters, a no for Tony Moeaki and Jon McGraw, a maybe for Dexter McCluster and a surprise unknown with Ryan Lilja.

That’s the availability/injury report after the Chiefs closed out their preparation week with a practice inside Arrowhead on Friday.

“The game is coming fast now and I’m really excited that we are at home and our fans get a chance to come back out and let it loose for us,” said Haley, who indicated he would be on the sidelines and there would be no restrictions on his movements because of his leg injury. “This is a dangerous Arizona Cardinals team. They have a number of players that can disrupt us. We have to be on our ‘A’ game.”

Moeaki was not on the Arrowhead field for the workout and he will not play on Sunday because of his head (concussion) injury.  Neither will McGraw (knee/head) was on the field, but he was not taking part in any of the practice work for the second consecutive day.

McCluster did some work running routes as the Chiefs offense worked the passing game, but he was not taking a full practice turn on that sprained ankle. There seems a slight chance that he may be dressed on Sunday but it doesn’t appear that he’s close to full speed. He’s listed as questionable. …Read More!

Admiration & Respect … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

There are those that see Todd Haley’s face all scrunched up in a scream at one of his coaches or players and figure this guy is some sort of maniac. Then they see him go the non-shake route last Sunday and they figure him to be rude and obnoxious.

Those flashes of Haley are things that Larry Fitzgerald has seen before. But the Pro Bowl receiver for the Arizona Cardinals has seen a lot more. Two years (2007-08) together with the Cardinals created a tight bond between them. If there’s a bigger Haley fan around the league they haven’t shown themselves yet.

“I would love to play for Coach Haley,” Fitzgerald said this week on a conference call with the Kansas City media. “I would go play for him in Canada. I would go play for him if he was coaching high school. I would go do whatever Coach Haley asks me to because that is the kind of respect and admiration that I have for him.”

The respect and admiration Fitzgerald has for Haley were hard earned. Over the last two years we’ve gotten a taste of it in Kansas City with the relationship between Haley and WR Dwayne Bowe. They are situations that are completely different, but share the same back story – Haley pushing a talented player to be great, not just good.

Fitzgerald says his strength is his ability to deal with players.

“My personality is different than Dwayne Bowe’s personality,” said Fitzgerald. “My personality is different from Brandon Flowers personality; it is different from Mike Vrabel’s personality. I think the thing coaches have to do is you can’t coach everyone the same way. We might have the same assignment but you might not be able to yell at this guy or you might have to coddle this guy. I think Todd does a fantastic job of understanding what motivates each man. …Read More!

Warts And All, Chiefs Should Win West

The AFC West is really a two-team race between the Chargers and Chiefs, and the odds favor the Chiefs.

Why pick Kansas City after the jolly-stomping the Chiefs received in Denver, particularly when San Diego appears to be the better team at this point? No, I’m not sitting in a bar wearing rose colored glasses reading month old media reports proclaiming that the Chiefs are the real deal. I’m just looking at the schedules and current standings.

A record of 10-6 or 9-7 will likely win the division.

No AFC West team has more than one win on the road and the Chiefs and Chargers have already played five road games, with only three more to play. Denver and Oakland have to play four more and both have difficult road games this week, which they are both likely to lose – the Broncos in San Diego and the Raiders in Pittsburgh.

Denver has lost six games and one more loss probably rules them out. They play San Diego on the road this week and even if they survive that game, they have three more road games, including Oakland and K.C.   …Read More!

Thursday 11/18 Practice Report-Update2

From the Truman Sports Complex 

The Chiefs had fun on Thursday. 

At least their head coach thought they did as they went through their second practice of the week in preparation for Sunday’s game against Arizona. 

“We had another spirited  practice and I felt like we got back to having a little more fun,” Haley said after practice. “I think that was one of the keys to what was going on early in the season. It’s just a feeling. We have a sign up here that says  don’t confuse routine for commitment. Sometimes I think you get into a routine a little too much. One of the things I know I felt all the way through training camp and the beginning of the year that guys were running around having fun, and felt pretty good about themselves. I felt that here this week.” 

ILB Derrick Johnson backed up his coach’s feeling. 

“It was exciting,” Johnson said of practice. “Just running around out there, it was cold, bodies aren’t fresh but it’s football. You don’t want to think too much. When you lose the last two games that we lost, you just have to get back to where we were before mentally. We can’t lag around and feel sorry for ourselves.” 

TE Tony Moeaki remained absent from the practice field. The rookie out of the University of Iowa is dealing with a head injury, most likely a concussion, he suffered in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s game in Denver. …Read More!

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

2010 record: 3-6, fourth place in NFC West. The Cardinals have beaten St. Louis by 4 points, Oakland by 1 and New Orleans by 10. They lost to Atlanta by 34, San Diego by 31, Seattle by 12, Tampa Bay by 3, Minnesota by 3 in OT and 18 by Seattle. Arizona has lost four in a row and five of the last six.

To the left is the Cardinals best player, WR Larry Fitzgerald who ranks among the league’s best pass catchers.

Last year’s record: 10-6, first place in the NFC West. They were 2-2 in the post-season, beating Green Bay 51-45 in OT and losing to New Orleans 45-14.

Record for the last five seasons: 37-43 and 4-2 in the post-season. They won the NFC West in 2008 and 2009, and finished second, third and fourth in the other seasons.

Last appearance in the playoffs: came last season, when they beat the Packers 51-45 on their home field and then lost in New Orleans to the Saints 45-14.

Owner: William V. Bidwill is the latest member of the Bidwell family to run the franchise. His father Charles bought the Chicago Cardinals in 1932 from Dr. David Jones for $50,000. The team has been under Bidwill Family control since. When Charles Bidwill passed away in 1947, his widow Violet ran the team for 15 years. She married St. Louis businessman Walter Wolfner and moved the franchise to St. Louis in 1960. When she passed away in 1962, she left the team to her sons Bill and Charles Jr. In 1972, Bill became sole owner and later engineered the move of the Cardinals to Arizona before the 1988 season. …Read More!

To Play Or To Sit? … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

Matt Cassel walked into the room wearing slippers.

These were not special football slip-ons. They were the kind of slippers your Dad might wear after he’s put on the pajamas and has settled down to watch a little TV before bed-time.

“They are cozy,” Cassel said when asked about his selection of footwear.

He didn’t explain why he was wearing the slippers, but it didn’t take much to deduce why? The Chiefs quarterback injured an ankle in Sunday’s game at Denver. He never came out of the game and in fact threw every pass through the game’s last minutes. But there’s no doubt he was hobbled.

Cassel was on the practice field Wednesday and was a full participant in the work, according to head coach Todd Haley. He did not even turn up on the team’s practice/injury report to the league. But puttering around the locker room, meetings and training room in slippers had to help a bit with the throbbing joint.

When asked about his ankle, Cassel said little, but spoke his piece.

It’s fine, I’m not limited at all,” Cassel said.

There’s no question that there should be a lot of questions about why an injured Cassel and several other players were still on the field in the fourth quarter of the blowout loss to Denver. When the fourth quarter started, the Chiefs were down 42-17. There was not going to be a huge comeback, with the Chiefs scoring four touchdowns to win the game. …Read More!


JoeBob says: I don’t understand what happened with the replay thing in Denver when they said they couldn’t use the replay and they never looked at that catch that went for a touchdown. How can that happen and why were they able to use it later in the game?

Bob says: I have to admit in all the years I’ve watched NFL games where replay was part of the rules, I’ve never heard the words that referee Mike Carey uttered on Sunday that the replay system was “inoperable.” That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard and like you JoeBob I can’t believe that it would happen.

This is something the NFL needs to take a very close look at in the coming off-season. Once that replay system didn’t work, then it should be shut down for the rest of the game. How could there be a problem with the NFL system, when those of us sitting in the press box could see the replay just fine. Now, based on the replay I saw, there’s no guarantee that the touchdown catch by WR Jabar Gaffney would have been overturned. But if a bunch of media yokels can sit in a booth and see the play, I don’t understand how they can’t get the same signal down to the viewer on the field.

Let’s be honest, in the end it was inconsequential to the outcome of the game. But that’s two weeks in a row where there have been serious problems with the officiating in a Chiefs game. On the field, in the heat of the action both in Oakland and Denver, Todd Haley held his temper. If this stuff keeps happening, I wonder how much longer that will last, and who would blame him? …Read More!

Wednesday 11/17 Practice Report-Update2

From the Truman Sports Complex

Todd Haley called the weekend in Denver a “wake-up call” for the Chiefs as they got back to work on Wednesday, starting the preparation week for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.

“If nothing else it was a wake-up call for us as a (coaching) staff that we have to get back in the mindset that was allowing us to compete and be in games, because we were in every game until last week,” Haley said. “It was really a wake-up call game that we can’t play games like that. We just can’t have them. They happen in the league and we saw it in other games over the weekend, but we can’t have them, they can’t happen to us.

“We can prevent those games from happening and that’s what going back to basics, that’s all it is. ”

The Chiefs were in full pads for Wednesday’s practice, something that’s not unusual for them, and it seems like they will be in pads for the full week given the fundamental things that Haley is talking about. …Read More!

Back To Basics … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

“Gentlemen, this oblong orb I hold in my hands is a football.”

The Chiefs are going back to basics on Wednesday when they step on the practice field to begin their week of preparation to play Arizona this Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

But I don’t think head coach Todd Haley will take it down to the most basic of basics like this is the ball, the field is 100 yards long, there are 11 guys on each side of the football, etc.

No, back to basics is coach-speak for “we’ve somehow strayed from old habits that worked so well, so we are going to crack down and kick butt and get those habits back.”

So what does back to basics really mean?

“That means we felt we had a pretty positive training camp, we played well at times in the pre-season and the start of the season, so it’s about getting back to doing now what we were doing then,” said OLB Mike Vrabel. “That means blocking, that means tackling, that means defeating blockers, being where you are supposed to be, trying to get back to good, solid winning football.”

Going back to the basics can be as simple as blocking and tackling. Certainly the later was something Haley did not like from his team’s performance against Denver. …Read More!

The Numbers Game/Post-Denver

As you have surmised by now, my fundamental belief in the numbers is that Super Bowl contending teams must do two things extremely well. They must run the ball.

More important, they must stop the run.

The Chiefs have failed miserably in both those areas the past two games, prompting head coach Todd Haley to say his teams must get back to the fundamentals – the things they were doing well coming out of training camp.

“On a baseline, it’s blocking and tackling,” Haley said Monday following his team’s trashing by the Denver Broncos. “But for us it’s playing the technique the way we are coaching it on all sides. We teach specific techniques on how we want to do things – whether it’s up front or the tight end position or the receiver position or the quarterback. This team has to do all those things at a high level. If we do, we should have a chance down in and down out.”

The Chiefs may have been the victim of some of their early success. They were good stopping the run early in the season. The past two games, they have lost that, perhaps intoxicated with their early success and not covering the basics.

The Broncos had winning run plays on nine of the 12 running plays they ran the first half. On the initial six running plays, they averaged more than 10 yards per carry. For the game, the Broncos averaged nearly five yards per carry, continuing a trend when the Chiefs defense allowed an average of one-yard per carry more the second four games than the first four. …Read More!

The Un-Apology … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

As the controversy of the Todd Haley non-hand shake from Sunday swirled around the Chiefs, it reminded me of an old story.

A man and one of his co-worker got into an argument in the company lunch room. Later that day, the boss called the man in and wanted to know why he had called his co-worker an “a—hole.”

“I didn’t call him an “a—hole,” the man said. “I said he was acting like an a—hole.”

I don’t know everything that was said between Haley and Denver head coach Josh McDaniels when they met up on the field after the Broncos 49-29 victory on Sunday. But I don’t think Haley called his counterpart an a—hole. I think he may have been trying to tell him he was acting like one.

After the game and even after his apology on Monday for his non-action action, Haley wouldn’t itemize his grievances with McDaniels and why he refused to shake hands. Instead, he pointed his finger at the Broncos coach and said a few choice words.

  …Read More!

Haley Apologizes For No Hand Shake

From the Truman Sports Complex

While it doesn’t sound like he plans to call Josh McDaniels anytime soon, Todd Haley apologized Monday afternoon for his actions in the post-game moments of the Chiefs-Broncos game on Sunday in Denver.

“I do want to apologize for me not shaking Josh’s hand after the game,” Haley said during his Monday meeting with the media. “I do believe in doing what’s right, and that was not right. I probably let the emotions of the situation get me too much and I apologize to the fans, to Denver and to Josh.”

Haley would not detail the circumstances that had him wagging his finger at the Broncos head coach and refusing his outstretched hand.

“I don’t think that’s necessary to get into it,” Haley said. “I think it’s necessary to let everybody know that I would do that over again at the end. It wasn’t the right thing to do.”

WDAF-TV has video and audio of the moment. “There’s a lot of (bleep) being talked about you,” Haley can be heard saying to McDaniels, before walking away from his outstretched hand.

When asked if he had communicated his apology directly to McDaniels or planned to, Haley said “No.”

“I felt like communicating to the majority (of people) and anybody that was watching it, to let them know how I felt,” Haley continued. “That’s what’s important.”

On Monday in Denver, McDaniels talked about the incident and indicated he had no idea what instigated the moment.

“I don’t know, I’m not sure about that,” McDaniels said. “I was proud of the way we played and I have a lot of respect for their entire organization. Obviously I know a lot of people over there.”

Mile High Leftovers

From Denver, Colorado

Derrick Johnson pondered the question of what happened to the Chiefs defense against the Denver Broncos in Sunday’s 49-29 loss at Invesco Field.

“It’s like we tried to stop the bleeding, but we could never get it to stop,” Johnson said. “It started early; it seemed like we were bleeding from the beginning of the game and it’s like it never stopped.”

No, the Chiefs tried to apply a tourniquet to their deepest wounds suffered early, but they couldn’t get the flow to stop. Not when you look at all the numbers that went against them in the 20-point loss:

  • - They allowed 452 yards, the most yardage they’ve given up this season.
  • - Denver threw for 299 passing yards, the most yards through the air the K.C. defense has allowed this year.
  • - The Broncos ran for 153 yards on 31 carries, a 4.9-yard per carry average. That’s the most yards they have given up in a game this season, and the second highest average per carry.

- By the time it was over, the defense had allowed six touchdowns, more than in any game during the ’10 season.

It did not help matters that the Chiefs were without their best free safeties in Jon McGraw (knee) and Kendrick Lewis (hamstring). That forced inexperienced Donald Washington into the starting lineup and Ricky Price was on the field after being activated on Saturday from the practice squad. …Read More!

Sunday’s Best Performances


  • 101 – Dallas S Bryan McCann interception return for TD vs. N.Y. Giants (W).
  • 87 – Chiefs S Eric Berry on missed field goal return vs. Denver (L).
  • 75 – Seattle LB Jason Hunter fumble return for TD vs. Chiefs (W).
  • 71 – Dallas RB Felix Jones catch for TD vs. N.Y. Giants (W).
  • 68 – Chicago WR Devin Hester kickoff return vs. Minnesota (W).
  • 65 – San Francisco WR Josh Morgan catch vs. St. Louis (W).
  • 63 – St. Louis P Donnie Jones punt vs. San Francisco (L).
  • 63 – Seattle WR D Butler catch for TD vs. Arizona (W).
  • 61 – San Francisco P Andy Lee punt vs. St. Louis (W).
  • 61 – Dallas P Mat McBriar punt vs. N.Y. Giants (W).
  • 60 – Houston WR Andre Johnson catch vs. Jacksonville (L). …Read More!

NOTES: Broncos Get Help From No. 7

From Invesco Field, Denver

During the bye week and through the past week of preparations for the playing the Chiefs on Sunday, the Broncos worked real hard at adjusting their attitudes on a 2-6 start to their season.

To provide help, head coach Josh McDaniels (right) sought the help of the legend – Hall of Fame QB John Elway. See, he wasn’t even on the field and he was killing the Chiefs.

Elway spoke to the team last week and his message was interpreted in different manners by different players. But they all paid attention to No. 7 and what he had to stay.

“John Elway came out and talked to us and said ‘Don’t be relieved with a win and don’t be satisfied with a win. Just go out and take the win’,” said Denver current QB Kyle Orton. “I think everybody took that mindset into the game.”

LB Mario Haggans said Elway told them to just loosen up.

“We followed that and hopefully we can continue to play that way and use it as motivation for the rest of the season,” Haggans said.

What helped a lot for the Broncos was having a bye week to rest up and get ready to play the Chiefs. Essentially, they worked on preparing for Kansas City since they got back from their game in London where they lost to San Francisco.

“I know they put in a lot of time and work, starting last Sunday and coming off the bye week and I think a lot of that showed,” said McDaniels. “We talked about fundamentals last week and not hurting ourselves and trying to eliminate some of the negative situations that we’ve put ourselves in throughout the course of the season.”

The Broncos are now 3-6 on the season and coming up they go to San Diego and then host St. Louis before meeting the Chiefs again on December 5th at Arrorwhead Stadium.

“Kansas City fought all game, so we had to go 60 minutes, toe-to-toe with this team,” said Haggan. “We’ve got them in three weeks and it will be very interesting.”


The Chiefs never provide post-game information on injured players, but there were several based on what happened during the game.

As he was chasing LB Jason Hunter who was returning a fumble 75 yards for a TD, LB Brian Waters suffered what the Chiefs called a groin injury. He did not return to the game. Neither did RT Barry Richardson, who also chased Hunter to the end zone. But Richardson’s appeared to be benched, rather than sitting because he was injured.

Then late in the game when the Chiefs had an onside kick attempt, it appeared that TE Tony Moeaki may have taken a blow to the head. As there was a scrum for the ball, Moeaki was on the outside of the pile and started staggering, eventually falling to the turf. He was helped off the field and did not return.

Three players did not play because of injury: WR/RB Dexter McCluster (ankle), FS Jon McGraw (knee) and FS Kendrick Lewis (hamstring).


There’s no doubt the Invesco Field crowd enjoyed their afternoon. The game was sold out, but there were plenty of empty seats, especially in the upper deck.

There were quite a few folks in the stadium wearing red and others were outside three hours before kickoff enjoying the tailgating.

The Broncos said paid attendance was 75,334.


For the second week in a row, the Chiefs had a crew of officials that did not turn in a very good effort. Referee Mike Carey and his crew came in to the game averaging 14 penalties walked off per game. On this afternoon, they were under their average with nine flags.

But the killer was when the Chiefs challenged a touchdown catch by WR Jabar Gaffney. Carey spent a great deal of time in the replay box on the sideline, only to come out and report that the system was not operable and thus the touchdown would stand.

Later, they called a penalty on the Chiefs involving an onside kick where they said the Chiefs did not have four men on one side of the formation. The fact is they did, which replay showed and which Haley showed them a Polaroid shot with the four players lined up correctly.

Haley spent a great deal of time in the ear of various officials during the game.

McDaniels threw the challenge flag twice and was one-for-two. He missed on a replay challenge of a Dwayne Bowe catch and fumble. That on-field ruling was upheld. But they reversed an incomplete pass call to WR Brandon Lloyd in the end zone when the replay showed he got both feet down.

Here were the six penalties that were walked off against the Chiefs:

  • Offense – Jamaal Charles illegal motion (wiped out 18-yard completion) – minus 5 yards.
  • Offense – Delay of game – minus 5 yards.
  • Kickoff team – illegal formation (wiped out recovered onside kick) – minus 5 yards.
  • Offense – Jake O’ Connell holding – minus 10 yards.
  • Offense – Branden Albert holding – minus 10 yards.
  • Offense – Leonard Pope false start – minus 5 yards.


S Ricky Price and LB Mark Simoneau were active for their first games of the 2010 season. They became the 53rd and 54th players to be on the field for the Chiefs this season. Right now the only players on the 53-man roster who have not been on the field are rookie LB Justin Cole and backup QB Brodie Croyle.

Price was added to the roster Saturday night and LB Charlie Anderson was released to make room for him.

The game-day inactive players for the Chiefs were WR/RB Dexter McCluster (ankle), FS Jon McGraw (knee), FS Kendrick Lewis (hamstring), Cole, FB Tim Castille, S Reshard Langford, LB Corey Mays and DT Anthony Toribio.

It was the first game that Mays has not played this season. It’s the seventh straight game that Langford has been a game-day inactive. It was the second game on the active roster for CB Jackie Bates.

Donald Washington started at free safety, his second start of the season.

Game-day inactive players for the Broncos were CB Andre Goodman (foot), LB Robert Ayers (hip), RB Laurence Maroney and rookies CB Cassius Vaughn, LB Kevin Alexander, OL Stanley Daniels and OL Eric Olsen. The inactive third QB was Brady Quinn.

Starting for Goodman was rookie CB Perrish Cox and stepping into Ayers spot at OLB was ILB Mario Haggan. Leading tackler & sacker LB D.J. Williams did not start the game, but he entered late in the first quarter as the club disciplined him for his Friday arrest for DUI.

REPORT CARD: Chiefs vs. Broncos

From Invesco Field, Denver

RUSHING OFFENSE: F – The way the game went the Chiefs were out of the running game pretty quickly. But they still ran it 22 times and were only able to manage 51 yards, or 2.3 yard per carry. Thomas Jones was awful, gaining three yards on four carries. Jackie Battle went in on some short yardage situations. There will be no more victories for the Chiefs if they average 2.3 yards per carry.

PASSING OFFENSE: B – Forced into a style of game that is not their strength, the Chiefs offense was able to throw the ball a bit. QB Matt Cassel ended up chucking it for 469 yards but again, 300 of those yards came in the second half when the game’s outcome was finalized. Dwayne Bowe had a big day and looked good catching 13 passes for 186 yards and beating CB Champ Bailey for most of those catches.

RUSH DEFENSE: F – The Broncos came into this game with the No. 31 rushing game in the NFL. They had averaged just 67.3 rushing yards per game and 2.9 yards per carry. Denver had 69 yards rushing against the Chiefs in the first quarter alone and finished with 153 yards on 31 carries. That’s the worst defensive performance against the run by the Chiefs this season.

PASS DEFENSE: F – There was little or nothing the Chiefs could do to stop Denver’s passing attack directed by QB Kyle Orton. They were not able to sack him and according to press box statistics, they weren’t able to hurry him. Four different receivers for the Broncos had 50 yards in receiving or more and four different guys caught TD passes.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D – The Chiefs need something from their kicking game each week and they did not get anything from the special teams against Denver. The coverage units did a pretty good job, but P Dustin Colquitt was average and the return game was hardly game breaking averaging 21.3 yards per kickoff return and 16 yards per punt return.

COACHING: F – There’s no way the team loses a game by 20 points and the coaching staff gets a passing grade. There seemed to be nothing the Chiefs could do on defense to even slow down the Broncos. Add Todd Haley’s silly actions at the end of the game by refusing to shake hands with Josh McDaniels and it wasn’t a good day for the coaches.

Who Is Mario Haggan?

From Invesco Field, Denver

For eight years, Mario Haggan has played in the NFL, and he’s done it in relative obscurity. He started back in 2003 when he was a seventh-round draft choice from Mississippi State selected by Buffalo.

Haggan, 6-3, 267 pounds, joined the Broncos in 2008 and coming into Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, he had played in 97 NFL games and 32 with the Broncos. In those nearly 100 games he had a career total of three sacks.

But against the Chiefs on Sunday, Haggan was able to equal that total in just the first half. It was his pass rush pressure, including the fumble he caused that led to a return TD for the Denver defense and took the Chiefs right out of any chance of coming back and winning the game.

In the first half, Haggan just seemed unstoppable, as he was constantly harassing Cassel. He was playing outside linebacker only because the starter on that left side Robert Ayers was out of the game with an injury. Haggan was moved into his spot and he had a career day, with six total tackles, three sacks, two tackles for loss, three quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.

“I’ve never had three sacks, so it was a career day for me,” said Haggan. “Right now, I just want to build on it and continue to help my teammates.”

In a game where the Chiefs never really had a chance, one of the key plays for Denver came when Haggan blew through RT Barry Richardson and got to Cassel, where he knocked the ball out. The fumble bounced around and was scooped up by LB Jason Hunter and he returned it 75 yards for a touchdown.

“At the very last second I saw him,” said Cassel. “He was coming free off the edge. He knocked the ball away from me. I have to do a better job of protecting it. I can’t let that happen in that situation.”

Haggan said he was in such a zone he doesn’t really remember the play.

“I don’t even remembering it happening,” he said. “I just looked up and heard the crowd going crazy so that told me to get up and I see Jason running and I got out of breath trying to run with him. That’s all I remember.”

That touchdown made the score 35-0, leading to that 49-29 butt kicking and it had folks in Denver wondering if Haggan is going to continue to rush the passer from outside linebacker.

“That’s a big value to our football team that he can go from the middle linebacker position most of the year and then all the sudden we bump him out there and he gets the job done,” said Denver head coach Josh McDaniels. “Give credit to Joe Mays, who was able to play inside at the middle linebacker spot is what allowed us to put Mario outside, so credit to both of those guys.”

Haggan last sack before this Sunday was in the 2009 season opener against Cincinnati on September 13. It was his only sack of the season.

“You’ve got to have opportunities and that wasn’t really my job last year or earlier this year,” said Haggan who has been a starter in the last 25 games for Denver.

It’s a good bet the 30-year old native of Mississippi will get another chance to get after the quarterback.

Chiefs Crash In Denver, 49-29

From Invesco Field, Denver

Back in the first days of January 2010, the Chiefs finished up their 2009 season with a rousing 20-point victory over the Broncos at Invesco Field.

In the middle of November, the Chiefs returned to Denver and quite possibly took the worst kicking of the Todd Haley Era, losing 49-20 to the Broncos in a game they never had a shot to win.

Before the first quarter was over, Denver had 21 points. The Chiefs at one time in the first half trailed 35-0. There was never a point where they had a chance to compete.

Broncos QB Kyle Orton threw for four touchdown passes, while Blue Springs High product WR Brandon Lloyd caught two touchdown passes and RB Knowshon Moreno ran for 106 yards and caught a touchdown pass.

On the Chiefs side, QB Matt Cassel threw for 469 yards, but most of that was in the second half (300 yards and four touchdown passes of his won. WR Dwayne Bowe caught 13 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns.

There were plenty of story lines around the game and we’ve got it all covered here:

  • GAME STORY – Defense gets blasted by the Broncos.
  • COLUMN – It’s a lack of talent that’s causing problems.
  • SIDEBAR #1 – Haley not happy with McDaniels.
  • SIDEBAR #2 – Bowe has huge game against Champ Bailey.
  • SIDEBAR #3 – Brothers Colquitt don’t get much action in historic meeting.
  • SIDEBAR #4 – Who is Mario Haggan and why couldn’t the Chiefs stop him?
  • GAME NOTES – Broncos use their bye week wisely.
  • REPORT CARD – Chiefs might need summer school with these grades.

Britton Colquitt Gets Edge over Dustin

From Invesco Field, Denver

It took awhile for the Colquitt Brothers to make NFL history. Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt did all he could, punting twice in the first quarter.

But baby brother Britton took a little bit longer to get off a punt and make the Colquitts the first brothers to punt against each other in league annals. That’s because Denver’s offense was cooking Sunday afternoon and didn’t bother getting around to a punt until there was five minutes, 27 seconds to play in the third quarter.

“I was getting a little tired of watching him run out there and hold for PATs,” Dustin said after the game. “I guess five punts total isn’t a real busy night, but he got the edge, he got the win.”

With their parents in the stands and a host of relatives and friends, the Brothers Colquitt enjoyed some family time. Saturday night, they got together out near the Chiefs hotel in south Denver. “It was nice, but I didn’t want to break my normal routine on the road, so it was a short time,” Dustin said.

Both brothers were out early on the field before the game. They posed for pictures for various photographers, including one standing with current Broncos and former Chiefs special teams coach Mike Priefer.

Then came the game, and while Dustin was busy in the first half, Britton didn’t get off punt because the Denver offense was rolling over the Chiefs. He had a great time holding for PAT kicks and Dustin tried to contribute what he could to make the madness stop for the Chiefs in what turned into a 49-29 defeat.

“It was good to see him out there in an NFL uniform,” Dustin Colquitt said of his brother. “It was cool to hang out in pre-game. I know it was special for my family and my Dad.”

Anne and Craig Colquitt were in the building. After the game, they were beaming as they watched their friends and family greet the brothers as they came out of their respective locker rooms.

“It was great day for our family,” said Craig, who punted for six seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning two Super Bowl rings (1978-79). “It’s just tough when one of them has to go home with a loss.”

When it was all said and done, the brothers had combined for just five punts on the day, three for Dustin, two for Britton. Here’s how they went:

  • Dustin – 42-yard punt that had Broncos returner Eddie Royal calling for a fair catch. Net 42 yards.
  • Dustin – 44-yard punt that Royal returned 18 yards. Net 26 yards.
  • Dustin – 44-yard punt and Royal returned it nine yards. Net 35 yards.
  • Britton – 46-yard punt and Javier Arenas returned it 16 yards. Net 30 yards.
  • Britton – 36-yard punt that went for a touchback. Net 16 yards.

So the statistical edge went to the older brother, as Dustin averaged 43.3 yards a punt with a net average of 34.3 yards. Britton averaged 41 yards a punt, with a net average of 23 yards.

“Hopefully this is the first of a whole run of these games,” said Dustin Colquitt. “It was great to see him. I’m very proud of him. He’s overcome a lot and now he’s in the NFL and if he keeps working at it, there’s no reason he’ll be out of the league any time soon.”

Bowe Burns Bailey In Loss

From Invesco Field, Denver

It was the best game of Dwayne Bowe’s career, but the Chiefs WR continued his habit of not speaking with the media.

That’s the best for Bowe and nobody feels much like talking when you get blown out by 20 points as the Chiefs did Sunday against the Broncos, losing 49-29.

Bowe did his part – in fact, he was one of the few players on the Chiefs active roster for Sunday’s game that performed to the level expected of him. He caught 13 passes for 186 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

And he did it by beating supposedly All-World CB Champ Bailey. In the Broncos defensive scheme for Sunday’s game, Bailey pretty much followed Bowe all over the field. Left side, right side, it didn’t make much difference; when No. 82 lined up in the Chiefs play, No. 24 in orange lined up across from him.

Make no mistake, Bailey still remains one of the best corners in the business, but he’s not the so called “shutdown” cover man that he used to be. He certainly didn’t come close to stopping Bowe.

“Dwayne had a heck of a game,” teammate Chris Chambers said after the game. “He had one of the best over him and he was up to the challenge.”

When the Chiefs were forced into throwing the football that made things much more interesting for Bowe. He seldom left the field, as the Chiefs went with a one-back, one tight end and three wide receiver grouping.

At half-time, Bowe had five catches for 66 yards. But with the ball in the air in the second half for 37 of the 47 plays. That’s when Bowe stepped up and caught eight passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

Almost all of those came against Bailey, with at least nine catches coming with the Denver CB in coverage on him. It wasn’t like Bowe was running free and easy through the Broncos defense. He caught one short pass underneath and got rocked on a hit by LB Joe Mays. Bowe bounced right off the turf and showed no problem.

Then Bailey got him with a big hit from behind at the Denver one-yard line. The hit jarred the ball loose, but Bowe was able to recover the fumble and the Chiefs retained possession.

Bowe’s two touchdowns gave him scoring catches in five consecutive games. That tied the team record for the longest streak in franchise history, held by Chris Burford (in 1962) and Otis Taylor (1966).

Plus, his 13 catches was the second best day in franchise history, topped only by a 14-catch day by TE Tony Gonzalez on January 2, 2005.

Bowe now has nine TDs on the season and 25 for his career. He’s also caught passes now in 44 consecutive games. Plus, his career receiving yardage total climbed to 3,212 and that moves him into ninth place in franchise history, ahead of TE Fred Arbanas (3,101).

Column: Reason Why? It’s The Talent

From Invesco Field, Denver

From the start, everybody associated with the Chiefs, or at least those that were not wearing rose-colored glasses, knew that the margin of error for this 2010 squad was very thin.

In the last two weeks, the Chiefs have shown just how thin. Last Sunday in Oakland they made so many mistakes that they could not overcome them in losing in overtime to the Raiders. It was a performance that was at the other end of the spectrum to where they had played the first seven games of the season.

A week later in Denver, they did not beat themselves. They got their ass kicked by a Broncos team that was well-prepared, well-coached and with fresh legs coming off their bye week. They grabbed the neck of this game and never let go. They dug the grave, they put the Chiefs in a football casket, they lowered it in the ground and they shoveled dirt on top. So much did they dominate this game that they had time to plant flowers as well.

The Chiefs had no shot once it got to be 21-0 and there was still time to play in the first quarter. Reason? I know you are tired of hearing this, but it’s another reason why the team’s margin of error is so, so thin – they do not have enough talent.   …Read More!

Haley Blows Off McDaniels

From Invesco Field, Denver

There was no post-game hand shake between the head coaches after Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and Broncos. It wasn’t like Josh McDaniels wasn’t offering after his team’s 49-29 victory.

It was Todd Haley wasn’t accepting. In fact, as can be seen in the picture above, he definitely had something to say and a finger to point at his counterpart.

But afterwards, Haley wasn’t in much of a mood to explain why he walked away from McDaniels without the customary “good game, good luck in the future” hand gripping.

“That’s a private time between head coaches that has become not so private,” Haley said.

Haley then launched into an explanation that defies translation into an understandable moment. Here’s what he said: …Read More!

Broncos Avalanche Rolls Over Chiefs

From Invesco Field, Denver

Now, about those January plans and maybe using tickets for post-season games as presents at Christmas time … well those plans need to be rethought.

The Chiefs once powerful lead in the AFC West disappeared under the avalanche of the Denver Broncos offense on Sunday. Behind QB Kyle Orton’s four touchdown passes the Broncos got out to a big lead and rolled to a 49-29 butt kicking victory over the Chiefs.

The loss dropped the Chiefs record to 5-4 and they now share a record and first-place in the AFC West with Oakland. In fact, the Raiders actually have a half-game edge because they own a victory over the Chiefs. Right now, Todd Haley’s team is just 1-2 in the division and they’ve lost two straight and four of their last six games.

“We got it handed to us in all three phases pretty good today,” said Haley. “A different loss than what we’ve overcome this year. Games like this will test your mettle and test your character.”

Before the day was done for the Broncos, they had scored seven touchdowns and racked up more than 450 yards. Orton threw 34 passes and wasn’t sacked. RB Knowshon Moreno ran for 106 yards, while the Chiefs offense produced just 51 rushing yards on 22 carries. Broncos LB Mario Haggan had three sacks.   …Read More!

Chiefs-Broncos Pre-Game In Denver

From Invesco Field, Denver

Inactive for the Chiefs today include both FS Jon McGraw and FS Kendrick Lewis. Check below for the complete list.

12:45 p.m. CST – Good afternoon from the mile high city. It’s a crisp, clear day in the foothills of the Rockies for the Chiefs and Broncos. We’ll try to keep you up to date on what goes on right through the warm-up sessions for both teams.

12:46 p.m. – The Colquitt brothers are standing at the 15-yard line with Denver and former Chiefs special teams coach Mike Priefer for a picture. Dustin and Britton Colquitt will become the first brothers in NFL history to punt against each other.

12:52 p.m. – The Colquitt Brothers are standing on the 30-yard line sharing a conversation and reviewing each other’s drops of the ball. The Colquitt family enjoyed a dinner together Saturday night in south Denver before both punters had to head in for curfew. Anne and Craig Colquitt will be in the stands along with cousin Jimmy Colquitt who also kicked in the NFL with Seattle.

12:54 p.m. – The Chiefs made a roster move last night when they promoted S Ricky Price from their practice squad and released LB Charlie Anderson to make room for him. That move doesn’t bode well for the availability of FS Jon McGraw (knee), FS Kendrick Lewis (hamstring), or both. Price will wear No. 35.

1:10 p.m. – No surprise but WR/RB Dexter McCluster is on the field in a sweatsuit and indication he will be inactive again.

1:15 p.m. – Chiefs QBs and receivers going through their normal pre-pre-game throwing routine. RB Jamaal Charles is doing a lot of catching the ball out of wide receiver positions. …Read More!

Dealing With Change … GAME-DAY CUP O’CHIEFS

From Denver, Colorado

Patrick Bowlen owns the Denver Broncos with his siblings. Clark Hunt is chairman of the Chiefs and owns the team with his mother and siblings.

Despite the fact they are of two different generations and Bowlen is 21 years older than Hunt, some 23 months ago they shared similar thoughts about the direction of their football teams. They didn’t like the landscape of their franchises and both felt too far removed from the decision making process.

So Bowlen decided to fire the man who had led the organization for 14 years, head coach Mike Shanahan. Hunt asked Carl Peterson, the man who had run the Chiefs for 20 years to step aside a year earlier than his planned retirement. Both set about remaking their operations, from the locker room, to the coaching suite, to the front office.

On Sunday afternoon, the 5-3 Chiefs of Clark Hunt are visiting Invesco Field to play the 2-6 Broncos of Pat Bowlen. Kickoff is set for 3:05 CST, with television coverage on CBS-TV with Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots.

Since the owners put into motion their changes neither team has enjoyed much success on the field. Hunt’s Chiefs are 9-15 and on the upward swing through the first half of the 2010 season. Bowlen’s Broncos are one game better at 10-14, but only 4-14 in their last 18 games. …Read More!

½ Derrick Thomas Award Winner

It was one of the voters for the mid-season Chiefs MVP that said it best for a lot of long-time Chiefs fans.

“It’s actually nice to have many players that deserve these awards,” wrote gorillafan. “The last few years it would have been only 1 or 2 players to battle over who should get it. This is awesome!”

When the voting was done nine different players on the 2010 Chiefs received votes for the ½ Derrick Thomas MVP Award. It was a close vote through most of the tabulation of posts and e-mails. But in the end the honor goes to OLB Tamba Hali. He finished a half-dozen votes ahead of the silver medalist RB Jamaal Charles. The bronze went to ILB Derrick Johnson.

Here’s how the voting broke down on posts and e-mails:

  • OLB Tamba Hali – 30 votes.
  • RG Jamaal Charles – 24.
  • ILB Derrick Johnson – 12.
  • CB Brandon Flowers – 11.
  • RB Thomas Jones – 6.
  • QB Matt Cassel – 2.
  • DE Glenn Dorsey – 2.
  • OLB Mike Vrabel – 1.
  • C Casey Wiegmann – 1.

And here are some of the posts and comments about these MVP candidates: …Read More!

½ Mack Lee Hill Award Winner

Four different members of the Chiefs 2010 rookie class were involved in the voting for the half-season Mack Lee Hill Award for performance by a rookie player.

But third-round draft choice TE Tony Moeaki was the runaway winner. He finished well ahead of first-round draft choice SS Eric Berry who finished second in the voting of readers and posters.

The bronze medal goes to WR/RB Dexter McCluster. FS Kendrick Lewis also received a vote.

Here’s how the voting broke down:

  • Tony Moeaki – 48.5 votes.
  • Eric Berry – 29.
  • Dexter McCluster – 16.5.
  • Kendrick Lewis – 1.

And here are some of the better comments from the posts and e-mails about the top rookies at the halfway point of the season. Thanks to everyone for voting. …Read More!

Mile High Tidbits From Denver

From Denver, Colorado

Now here’s the obscure historical tidbit of the week when it comes to the Chiefs and Broncos.

The last time the Chiefs won a November game in Denver their starting quarterback was … Len Dawson.

That’s right, the Chiefs haven’t taken a November victory out of the mile high city since November 18, 1974 when they won 42-34 in a Monday night game at old Mile High Stadium.

The truth is that in 51 seasons of playing against each other, this Sunday’s game is only the fourth time they have met in Denver during the month of November. They only played a November game in Denver twice after ’74, in 1986 and 1988, losing both games.


WR/RB Dexter McCluster figures to be absent again from the Chiefs offense on Sunday against the Broncos. He did not participate in practice this week, although he did do some footwork and movement drills. It looked like there was improvement made with that ankle sprain of he suffered back on October 24.

McCluster’s absence is a big one for the Chiefs offense. Since he’s been out, the Chiefs have had trouble scoring. In the two games before McCluster was inactive they scored 31 and 42 points, an average of 36.5 points per game. In the two games he missed, they scored 13 and 20 points, an average of 16.5 points per game. …Read More!

Cassel Needs A Big One … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

One wonders what might have happened had the Denver Broncos been a little bit more “on the ball” or pro-active back in February 2009.

The new head coach in the mile high city was Josh McDaniels, who came over from the New England Patriots where he had been offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Right about the same time McDaniels was hired in Denver, the Chiefs hired Scott Pioli away from the Patriots to become the team’s new general manager.

Both McDaniels and Pioli had an eye for one of the Patriots players that was going to be available – QB Matt Cassel.

On February 29, the deal came down between Pioli and the Patriots, not McDaniels and the Patriots.

The whole escapade was the first of a string of dominoes that would fall, so much so that for years to come the names McDaniels-Cassel-Jay Cutler-Kyle Orton-Tim Tebow will be linked. When he could not get Cassel, McDaniels dealt the returning starter with the Broncos in Cutler to the Chicago Bears for Orton and draft picks, and then used one of those picks to grab Tebow.

For the third time since the soap opera went down, Cassel will face McDaniels and the Broncos on Sunday at Invesco Field. Here are the numbers for Cassel and Orton for the first two games: …Read More!

NFL Midseason Almanac – Special Teams

We are breaking down the NFL at the halfway point of the season. All the statistics do not include Thursday night’s game between Baltimore and Atlanta

It’s been a big season so far for the kicking game reaching the end zone. There have been 19 punt and kickoff returns taken back for touchdowns this season. That’s an average of more than two per week over the nine weeks played so far.

Plus, Arizona RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (right) has already gone over 1,000 yards in kickoff returns, and that includes two touchdown runs.

There’s been the downside of the special teams as well, with San Diego having four punts blocked and another one deflected in nine games. They’ve also given up five return touchdowns.

Here’s the best and in some cases worst from the kicking game through the first half of the 2010 season.


  • Most field goals made – 22, Oakland K Sebastian Janikowski.
  • Best field goal percentage – 100 %, Jacksonville K Josh Scobee, 13 of 13.
  • Longest field goal – 59 yards, Jacksonville K Josh Scobee; Denver K Matt Prater.
  • Field goals of 50+ yards – 38 FGs total, Miami K Dan Carpenter, 3 FGs at 50+ yards.

…Read More!

Mid-season Almanac – Defense

We are breaking down the NFL at the halfway point of the season. All the statistics do not include Thursday night’s game between Baltimore and Atlanta

It’s interesting that most of the names that are part of the mid-season defensive numbers come from the NFC. Even though the AFC is considered the stronger conference in this 2010 season, some of the best defensive performers are in the other conference, players like Green Bay LB Clay Matthews (above), New York Giants DE Osi Umenyiora and Washington CB DeAngelo Hall.


  • Most tackles – 95, New England LB Jerod Mayo.
  • Most forced fumbles – 7, New York Giants DE Osi Umenyiora.
  • Most recovered fumbles – 4, New York Giants DE Justin Tuck.
  • Most individual takeaways – 7, Washington CB DeAngelo Hall (6 interceptions, 1 fumble recovered.)
  • Most sacks – 10.5, Packers LB Clay Matthews.
  • Most QB knockdowns & hurries – 27, Chiefs OLB Tamba Hali.
    …Read More!

Friday 11/12 Practice Report-Update2

From the Truman Sports Complex

For the second time in three games, the Chiefs are facing an opponent that’s in the midst of changing its base defense. Like the Buffalo Bills a few weeks ago, the Denver Broncos are moving from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense and doing it on the run.

At any point during Sunday’s game at Invesco Field, the Chiefs could see varying defensive alignments.

“This team you will see the 4-3, the 3-4, then the 3-4 with 4-3 principles and vice-a-versa,” said head coach Todd Haley. “You’ve got to do your study. We’ve had to allot a certain amount of time in our defensive-look team so we are aware.”

It’s the type of thing that forces coaches and players to spend more time watching tape in the days of preparation.

“It causes a little bit of guessing because they are going back and forth between a 3-4 and a 4-3 within the last month,” said offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. “One week they are a 3-4, the next week they are a 4-3. They are interchanging inside of the game. It requires your players to do extra mental preparation; you have to be ready to face multiple fronts.”

Said Haley: …Read More!

NFL Mid-Season Almanac – Offense

We are breaking down the NFL at the halfway point of the season. All the statistics do not include Thursday night’s game between Baltimore and Atlanta.

In a season that has not had much in the way of outstanding offensive performances, San Diego QB Philip Rivers (right) stands out at mid-season.

The Chargers are on their bye week, so Rivers won’t be able to scorch another NFL defense as he has through his first nine games. So far this season, Rivers has thrown for 2,944 yards. That’s an average of 327.1 yards per game. The NFL record for passing yards in a season was set by Miami’s Dan Marino in 1984, when he threw for 5,084 yards. At his current pace, Rivers will exceed that number and then some, with 5,234 passing yards.

Here are the numbers for the best and in some cases worst offensive performances of the season’s first half.


  • Most yards – 864 yards, Texans RB Arian Foster. That’s a pace to reach 1,728 yards on the season.
  • Most carries – 180, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson. That’s a pace for 360 carries by the end of the year.
  • Best average per carry – (at least 75 carries) 6.4 yards, Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles.
  • Longest run – 80 yards, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson and Cardinals RB Tim Hightower.
  • Most rushing TDs – 4, by six RBS – Arian Foster of Texans, Rashard Mendenhall of Steelers, Chris Johnson of Titans, Peyton Hillis of Browns, LeSean McCoy of Eagles and Jahvid Best of Lions.
  • Best rushing performance – 231 yards, Texans RB Arian Foster vs. Colts on September 12.
  • 100-yard performances – 59, by 30 running backs and one quarterback. Foster has five 100+ games. There are only six teams left that have not had at least one game where a RB has gained 100+.
  • Best rushing duo – 1,289 yards by Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones of the Chiefs.
  • Most rushing yards by rookie – 382 yards by San Diego’s Ryan Mathews and Chris Ivory of New Orleans.
  • Leading quarterback rusher – 261 yards by Philadelphia’s Michael Vick.
  • Record of teams with RB at 100 yards or more – 37-19.
  • Best rushing team – 179.6 yards per game, by the Chiefs.
  • Worst rushing team – 67.3 yards per game, Denver.
  • Most carries by team – 301, Oakland.
  • Team that runs the least – 162, Arizona.
  • Best average per carry/team – 5.1 yards per carry, Houston and Philadelphia.
  • Most rushing touchdowns – 12, Houston. …Read More!

Colquitts Put Punting in Spotlight … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

The First Family of Fourth Down will make NFL history on Sunday at Invesco Field in Denver.

For the first time in league annals brothers will be punting for both teams when the Chiefs and Broncos take the field. It’s Dustin Colquitt for the Chiefs and his younger brother Britton Colquitt for the Broncos.

In the stands will be their father, former NFL punter Craig Colquitt.

And, just to add another level of six degrees of football separation, the ball boy who used to chase down Craig Colquitt’s punts during training camp and in pre-game warm-up will be on the field as well. That would be Todd Haley.

Plus, the guy coaching Britton out in Denver, used to coach Dustin with the Chiefs – Broncos special teams coach Mike Priefer.

It’s one of the biggest back stories involved in Sunday’s AFC West match up.

“The whole thing has a little Manning feel to it,” Dustin Colquitt said, referencing Peyton and Eli Manning and their father Archie. “I’m sure Archie has trouble watching when they are playing each other.

“I talked to my Dad last night and he’s excited. He just wants us to both punt well.”   …Read More!

NFL Mid-Season Almanac – The League

Over the next few days, we’ll break down the NFL over the first half of the season.

There’s no question that the first half of the 2010 NFL season has not seen any of the 32 teams elevate themselves above the field. Before Thursday night’s game, 25 percent of the league had at least six victories and 15 teams have winning records.

Maybe the hottest team in the league is the New York Giants and QB Eli Manning (above) who are currently on a five-game winning streak.

As these overall numbers show that other than scoring more points, the fastest way to win in the NFL is not giving the ball away. Teams that had no turnovers in a game won 85 percent of the time over the first half of the ’10 season. That’s really the only place where the Chiefs show up in these half-season numbers, and that’s for the fewest giveaways. Without those league leading number, there’s no way they are 5-3.


  • Most victories – 6, Atlanta, Baltimore, Green Bay, New York Giants, New York Jets, New England, New Orleans, Pittsburgh.
  • Fewest victories – 0, Buffalo.
  • Most losses – 8, Buffalo.
  • Fewest losses – 2, Atlanta, Baltimore, New York Giants, New York Jets, Pittsburgh.
  • Most successful division – AFC South, with an 18-14 record.
  • Worst division – NFL West, with a 13-19 record.
  • AFC vs. NFC – The AFC leads the head-to-head competition 21-15.
  • Home teams are – 75-54, .586 winning percentage.
  • Longest ’10 winning streak – 5, by New England, New York Giants, New York Jets.
  • Longest ’10 losing streak – 8, Buffalo. …Read More!

Thursday 11/11 Practice Report-Update2

From the Truman Sports Complex

Todd Haley was determined to make a coaching point during Thursday’s practice.

The defensive backs were going through a drill that coaches use with wide receivers, where they try to improve their concentration by distracting them as they are catching the ball. The Chiefs defense has been working hard in practice on ways to create more turnovers, and sometimes it comes down to simply holding on to an interception.

Well, the defensive backs on Thursday were showing why they ended up as defensive backs and not wide receivers. They were having a hard time holding onto the football. Haley was watching and saw enough.

The head coach put himself into the drill and assistant coach Otis Smith fired a pass about five-feet in front of Haley. But the head coach went horizontal and made the play.

“I caught the ball, which is more than most of them did,” Haley said. “The DBs got exposed as to why they are DBs. They were struggling and I heard a little chirping from them; nobody was concentrating on the ball the way they should.

…Read More!

Half-Time Comparisons …Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

The overtime loss in Oakland took the wind out of the sails of Chiefs players, coaches and their followers.

But 5-3 record at the halfway point of the season exceeds what anyone expected from this group in the second year of the Pioli/Haley regime.

They still lead the AFC West, they still control their own destiny, they still have four division games left, including Sunday’s visit to Denver to play the Broncos.

It’s time to look at the Chiefs and their production at the halfway point of the season. Just as we did after the season’s first quarter was completed, we are comparing the basic numbers for the ’10 Chiefs against the last four Kansas City teams to make the playoffs: 1995, 1997, 2003 and 2006.

The numbers indicate that the ’10 Chiefs are just a step behind those post-season teams. That’s at the halfway point, so it will be the numbers from here that will separate the Chiefs further from those teams, or put them back in good comparison to teams that made the NFL tournament.

Here are the numbers: …Read More!


CarlosinKC says – Bob, I can’t believe there hasn’t been more made in K.C. about the horrible officiating in from the game in Oakland. I don’t want to whine, but it was just #*&@% bad. How can the NFL allow that kind of work by the referees?

Bob says – Carlos, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been covering NFL games for the last 35 seasons, watching them with interest for another 10 on top of that and that may have been the worst officiated game I’ve seen. There were three different occasions in that game where Jeff Triplette and his crew lost control of the game. It happened when they didn’t know what down it was. It happened again on a fumbled punt. For a third time it happened on a replay booth review in the final moments of the game.

Forget the fact that the officials just destroyed any flow to the game with the 27 penalties that were walked off against both teams. There were a handful of other flags called but were declined. I don’t think the way the Raiders normally play pulled the Chiefs into the gutter with them. I think the way they play changes the perspective of the officials and the striped shirts are more prone to chuck the yellow hanky.

So a replay challenge by Raiders coach Tom Cable takes a TD pass to TE Tony Moeaki off the scoreboard as it was ruled on the field. The replay shows Moeaki down at the one-yard line, making it 1st-and-goal at the one. But Triplette and his crew had no idea what down it really was. They thought it was fourth down. Why? Who knows? Those types of explanations are not made public.

But none should be necessary. What’s more basic for the guys in control of the game than keeping track of the downs? The sideline markers showed the No. 4, but those people are not with the officials; they are hired by the home team. It’s not their job to correct mistakes. It’s their job to show the down and location as ordered by the zebras. …Read More!

The Numbers Game At Mid-Season

It’s late August. You have been courted through the Chiefs first training camp near Kansas City in nearly two decades.

Right then, would you have taken a 5-3 record at the midway point of the season? Remember at that time you had been courted by expectations, but not yet seduced by a 3-0 start. There were many who would have put the over-under for the season at five wins – let alone at the halfway point.

Two of Chiefs coach Todd Haley’s quarters are gone if you want to break the season down the way he does. The Chiefs won the first 3-1 and tied the second 2-2. The numbers show the offensive production improved appreciably in the second quarter from the first. The defense has tailed off after an outstanding start.

We’ll break down the numbers the same way Haley does, first quarter and second quarter. You can make up your own mind about whether the offense, defense or special teams are on the rise. …Read More!

Wednesday 11/10 Practice Report-Update

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Denver Broncos are coming off their week as they prepare to play the Chiefs on Sunday at Invesco Field and Todd Haley thinks that provides them with an edge.

“They’ve had two weeks to prepare and they have a very good coaching staff,” the Chiefs head coach said after practice on Wednesday. “I’m sure they’ll be ready to go. They are a game-plan group so they’ve have something to attack our weaknesses.”

The emphasis in Wednesday’s practice was the fundamentals that allowed the Chiefs to win five of their first seven games.

“Today we worked really hard at getting back to the basics of the things we need to do to have a chance to be a good football team,” he said. …Read More!

Opponent: Denver Broncos

2010 record: 2-6, fourth place in the AFC West. The Broncos have beaten Seattle by 17 points and won at Tennessee by six points. They have dropped games to Jacksonville by 7, Indianapolis by 14, Baltimore by 14, the New York Jets by 4, Oakland by 45 points and San Francisco by 8 points. They are 1-3 at home this season.

Last year’s record: 8-8, second in the AFC West.

QB Kyle Orton (right) has been the only consistent player on the roster for the Broncos in the 2010 season.

Record for the last five seasons: 45-35, with one division title (2005), three second-place finishes and one year in third place.

Last appearance in the playoffs: 2005, when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-17 in the AFC Championship Game. They won the first game in those playoffs, beating New England 27-13.

Owner: Patrick Bowlen and his family (two brothers and a sister) purchased the team from Edgar Kaiser in 1984 as Kaiser was headed for bankruptcy. Several times in the last 26 years, Bowlen and Kaiser have battled in court over terms of the sales agreement. When Bowlen tried to sell 10 percent of the team to John Elway in 2004, Kaiser sued saying the contract to sale gave him the right of first refusal to purchase any part of the Broncos that might become available. A lower court ruled in his favor, but an appellate court rules in Bowlen’s favor. At this point, there’s no public indication that the sale ever took place. Bowlen is a native of Wisconsin, who went to his father’s alma mater, the University of Oklahoma where he earned degrees in business and law. He was a successful lawyer in Canada and also helped run his father’s company Regent Drilling, which remains one of the largest oil drilling companies in the north country. There have been recent stories that Bowlen is dealing with medical issues that have affected his memory and he’s not part of the decision making process within the franchise any more. The Broncos organization has denied these stories, saying only that Bowlen has chosen to take a lower profile in the organization. Bowlen is 66 years old and in the past has participated in the Ironman Triathlon. …Read More!

D.J. Gets What He Deserves … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Just about everybody that climbs the football ladder and makes it all the way to the NFL has skill. Webster defines the word “skill” as having a particular ability.

But not everybody in pro football has talent. Webby defines the word “talent” as having special aptitude or ability.

In the mind of the current Chiefs regime, Derrick Johnson has always had ability. But it’s only in the last year that he’s shown a special aptitude for playing linebacker. That’s the major reason they’ve agreed to a five-year contract extension with Johnson, signing him to a deal that with all the incentives and bonuses could pay him as much as $34 million and includes $15 million in guaranteed money.

That the relationship between Johnson and the Chiefs would take this turn has to be one of the major upsets of the 2010 season. A year ago, Johnson couldn’t get on the field in the team’s regular defense. He was relegated to working strictly in the nickel defense and occasional snaps on special teams. After four seasons as a starter for the Chiefs defense, he was off the No. 1 unit.

“Last year was not a negative year for Derrick Johnson in my opinion,” said head coach Todd Haley.

That’s easy for Haley to say, because he was the guy dealing the heat to Johnson. But as we continue to discover, there was a method to the head coach’s approach, and the way he handled D.J. was not without merit or reason.

  …Read More!

Still Growing Up … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

For the better part of the last month or so, the media horde has been trying to get Todd Haley to say the 2010 Chiefs are a good football team.

Sunday in Oakland we found out why he would not use those words.

A good football team does not lose its personality as the Chiefs did in falling in overtime to the Raiders. A good team doesn’t suddenly start having results on the field that are different than what they’ve done successfully in previous games.

As much progress as the Chiefs have made this year, the personality of this team remains putty in their hands. It hasn’t been hardened to create an attitude and performance level that seldom changes. On Sunday in Oakland, the Chiefs got on that roller coaster that Haley hates to see.

That’s why they lost and that’s why it’s too early to call them a good team. …Read More!

Leftovers From Oakland

From Oakland, California

The Chiefs spend a lot of time practicing “situations.”

They send the offense or defense on the practice field, and give them the factors: time, score, timeouts remaining, where the ball is placed and what the Chiefs have to do to win the situation.

One of the most practiced situations with the Chiefs and around the NFL is this one:

Four minutes to play, your team has the lead and you want the offense to milk the clock and walk off the field with the ball.

It’s not always an easy thing to do the four-minute drill, but it’s vital for teams to be able to close the door on any comebacks.

The Chiefs did not get that done on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. They were set up exactly as they’ve drilled many times in the off-season, training camp and regular season practices.

“We just couldn’t get it done in that situation,” said QB Matt Cassel. “We do practice that and we didn’t get it done. That’s why the outcome of this game hurts so much.” …Read More!

Sunday’s Best Performances – 11/7


  • 94 – Arizona RB La Rod Stephens-Howling kickoff return for TD vs. Minnesota (L).
  • 94 – Oakland WR Jacoby Ford kickoff return for TD vs. Chiefs (W).
  • 89 – Tampa Bay WR Michael Spurlock kickoff return for TD vs. Atlanta (L).
  • 74 – N.Y. Jets WR Braylon Edwards TD catch vs. Detroit (W).
  • 66 – Arizona S Kerry Rhodes interception return vs. Minnesota (L).
  • 66 – Carolina Richard Marshall interception return vs. New Orleans (L).
  • 65 – Dallas P Mat McBriar punt vs. Green Bay (L).
  • 63 – New Orleans P Thomas Morestead punt vs. Carolina (W).
  • 62 – Green Bay LB Clay Matthews (right) interception return for TD vs. Dallas (W).
  • 58 – Tampa Bay WR Mike Williams TD catch vs. Atlanta (L).
  • 58 – Philadelphia WR DeSean Jackson catch vs. Indianapolis (W).


  • 184 – Cleveland RB Peyton Hillis on 29 carries with 1 TD vs. New England (W).
  • 127 – Houston RB Arian Foster on 27 carries with 2 TDs vs. San Diego (L).
  • 107 – Atlanta RB Michael Turner on 24 carries, 2 TDs vs. Tampa Bay (W). …Read More!


The Chiefs and Raiders highlighted the AFC West action on Sunday.

But the San Diego Chargers picked up a big victory, and the Denver Broncos had a bye week to lick their wounds and get ready for a visit from the Chiefs this coming Sunday.

After the smoke cleared on the Raiders 23-20 overtime victory against the Chiefs and the Chargers 29-23 decision over the Houston Texans, the Chiefs still lead the west with their 5-3 record. The Raiders are now 5-4 and in second place. San Diego is 4-5 and then Denver is at 2-6.

The Broncos host the Chiefs coming up next, while the Raiders and Chargers are both on their bye week.


Philip Rivers continues to be the hottest quarterback in the game, as he threw for four touchdown passes even though he was without TE Antonio Gates, WR Malcom Floyd and WR Vincent Jackson hasn’t returned to the lineup yet.

But that did not slow down Rivers. He completed 17 passes to eight different receivers and threw TD passes to rookie WR Seyi Ajirotutu and backup TE Randy McMichael. An undrafted rookie out of Fresno State who was the roommate of first-round draft choice Ryan Mathews, Ajirotutu caught four passes for 111 yards.

The Chargers won despite giving up 127 yards on the ground and two touchdowns to RB Arian Foster. And they won despite allowing their fifth punt block of the season.

But the star was again Rivers, who has now thrown for 2,944 yards in nine games. That’s a pace that would give him 5,234 yards for the season, an NFL record.

“He can make any throw,” said Chargers head coach Norv Turner. “He understands what we’re doing and he makes a lot of guys look like real good players.”

Raiders Are Winners In Overtime, 23-20

From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

There wasn’t quite the flavor of those great Chiefs-Raiders battles from the American Football League days. And, it was not the kind of afternoon where the game tape will be sent immediately to Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

It was however, very much a Chiefs-Raiders game and Oakland 23-20 victory in overtime was interesting until the very end.

This game had twists and turns everywhere for both teams before Sebastian Janikowski ended things with a 33-yard field goal.

All the angles are touched in our coverage:

  • GAME STORY: Raiders end losing streak at home vs. Chiefs.
  • COLUMN: Out of character Chiefs out of luck.
  • SIDEBAR: Rookie burns Flowers.
  • SIDEBAR: Oakland controls Chiefs run game.
  • SIDEBAR: Special teams not so special.
  • NOTES: Cable & Raiders turn corner.
  • REPORT CARD: Chiefs take a D on this test.
  • AROUND THE AFC WEST: Rivers leads Chargers over Texans.

The Raiders Are Different & Other Notes

From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

At times, they were the same old Raiders. Silly plays, dumb decisions and stupid penalties – they’ve been part of the Oakland landscape for the better part of the last seven years.

And they were all there on Sunday against the Chiefs. But give credit to head coach Tom Cable (right) because he’s made a difference with Al Davis’ team. He hasn’t eliminated all the dumb stuff, but the Raiders did not give up and more than a few guys in the silver and black locker room say that’s what makes the 2010 Raiders different.

“We would have went in the tank in the first quarter, probably be down 24-0 first quarter, crowd getting ready to leave,” said DT Tommy Kelly of the Raiders early troubles and how they would have reacted in previous years. “But we didn’t.”

S Mike Mitchell hasn’t been around long, but he sees the difference.

“I don’t know what it was like a few years ago, but I can tell you last year we don’t win this game,” Mitchell said. “I can say that with 100 percent assurance. You can see the change. When we got down (last year), it was almost like, ‘Here we go. It’s over.’ But this year, we don’t care. We’re going to play you until there’s no time on the clock.”

It was a roller coaster for the Raiders all day, before Sebastian Janikowski’s 33-yard field goal won the game.

“We were not very good offensively for about 2½ quarters and then kind of seemed to settle in and make some plays,” said Cable. “But we really never got in rhythm. Our defense did a tremendous job of keeping us in the game. In the first half, I wasn’t very pleased with the special teams and then they showed up big there in the second half, to get it started, obviously, with the return and the fumble.

“They got us going with some energy. We were a little bit unsettled early. Some of that, maybe, it’s just our first time being in this, but we’ll be better next time.”

So how much will a victory like this one lift the Raiders, who are going into their bye week at 5-4 and just a shade behind the Chiefs in the AFC West.

“A new building block showed up today,” said Cable. “And that is, no matter what, no matter how long it takes, we just keep grinding and find a way. And that’s what we did. The thing I’m so, so pleased about was to see us on the sideline and to just feel it, like nobody was backing down, nobody was giving in, and we were just going to keep finding a way. I kept seeing the offensive guys pull for the defensive guys, and vice versa. And it really mattered down there at the end.”


The Raiders reported paid attendance of 61,075, but there were many empty seats around the Coliseum, especially in the upper deck. Since the game was declared a sellout, more than a few ticket holders likely skipped the rain that fell all morning and through the first half of the game.

But those that were in the house, made a lot of noise. The Chiefs didn’t really show much of a problem dealing with the crowd. They were called for a pair of false start penalties, but neither was because of the noise.

Considering the weather, it was quite a crowd for a team that barely drew over 30,000 last Sunday for a home game against Seattle.

“That’s what it’s about when a team connects back with its fan base,” Cable said. “We’ve done that. We can move forward now and some good things will happen. But the emotion of the game was very good for us. We needed to be in that.”


There were moments on the afternoon where it felt like referee Jeff Triplette and his crew lost control of the game. It was definitely not the best officiated affair of the season and 27 penalties were walked off. There were also a handful of replay challenges, none from Haley. In the first half, Cable challenged two calls, winning the first and then losing the second. That left him without any more challenges and he could have used one of those in the second half.

First, Cable challenged a TD pass from QB Matt Cassel to TE Tony Moeaki. The review went in his favor, giving the Chiefs the ball at the one-yard line. When Cassel hooked up with WR Verran Tucker for an 11-yard TD, Cable challenged the call that the catch was good. This time the review upheld the call. That wiped out any challenge Cable would have the rest of the game. A coach only gets a third challenge if he scores on the first two challenges.

The replay official stepped in at the end of the first half, when Jon McGraw intercepted a Jason Campbell pass and returned the ball 21 yards. The review showed that the Raiders WR Johnnie Lee Higgins touched him down after he caught the ball.

Late in the fourth quarter there was a review of a seven-yard completion from Campbell to WR Jacoby Ford. The call was upheld.

Here are the dozen penalties walked off against the Chiefs:

  1. Punt return – Jake O’Connell/illegal block above the waist, minus-10 yards.
  2. Offense – Ryan Lilja/false start, minus-5 yards.
  3. Offense – Leonard Pope/holding, minus-10 yards and TD nullified.
  4. Punt return – Eric Berry/illegal block above the waist, minus-10 yards and TD nullified.
  5. Offense – Leonard Pope/holding, minus-10 yards, wiping out 9-yard gain.
  6. Field goal – Andy Studebaker/holding, minus-10 yards, nullifying successful FG.
  7. Offense – Branden Albert/false start, minus-5 yards.
  8. Offense – Delay of game, minus-5 yards.
  9. Kick return – Terrance Copper/low block, minus 15-yards, nullified 40-yard return.
  10. Offense – Tim Castille/holding, minus-10 yards, nullifying 6-yard gain.
  11. Defense – Donald Washington/defensive holding, minus-5 yards.
  12. Punt – Demorrio Williams/false start, minus-5 yards.


Kickoffs – Ryan Succop had five kickoffs and put two in the end zone. He kicked to the minus-1, 15, 6, 5 and minus-2. On average that’s the 4.6-yard line.

Kick coverage – was not good for the Chiefs as Jacoby Ford had four returns for 158 yards, a 39.5-yard average and the 94-yard return for a TD. His other three returns were for 27, 21 and 16 yards. Rock Cartwright had one return for 14 yards.

Kick returns – Javier Arenas had five returns for 98 yards, a 19.6-yard average. His longest return was 26 yards. Terrance Copper had a nine-yard return.

Punts – Dustin Colquitt punted eight times for a gross average of 43.9 yards, with a net average of 37.6 yards. He had one touchback and one inside the 20-yard line.

Punt coverage – The Chiefs picked up a turnover, when the Raiders returner Nick Miller fumbled and after a huge scrum was recovered by Williams. Miller had a total of six returns for 30 yards, an average of five yards.

Punt returns – Arenas returned three punts for a 5.7-yard average, with a long return of nine yards.

Tackles – LB Cory Greenwood and LS Thomas Gafford each had two tackles, while Donald Washington, Terrance Copper, Arenas, Williams, Verran Tucker and Andy Studebaker had the others.


There were no surprises among the Chiefs inactive players for the game: WR/RB Dexter McCluster, FS Kendrick Lewis, CB Jackie Bates, FB Mike Cox, S Reshard Langford and LBs Charlie Anderson, Justin Cole and Mark Simoneau.

DE Glenn Dorsey was chosen as the sixth captain for the game, picked by head coach Todd Haley to join the permanent five captains.

The Raiders were without starters CB Nnamdi Asomugha and TE Zach Miller. Joining them on the inactive list were WR Louis Murphy, RB Michael Bennett, LB Bruce Davis, DT John Henderson, and WR Chaz Schilens. The third inactive QB was Bruce Gradkowski.

With Asomugha (ankle) out, Chris Johnson started at one CB spot. With Miller (foot) out, the starting TE was Brandon Myers. Murphy’s absence (bruised lung) put Jacoby Ford in the starting lineup at WR.

For the Chiefs, Tyson Jackson started at LDE for the first time since the season opener against San Diego.

REPORT CARD – Chiefs vs. Raiders

From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

RUSHING OFFENSE: D – For the first time this season the Chiefs were unable to get the running game going in any consistent fashion against the Raiders. They finished with a season low 104 yards and a meager 3.1-yard per carry average. For a team that relies so much on the run, having just one carry that went for more than 10 yards, and having 10 of 34 carries that produced negative or no yardage, that’s an ugly day.

PASSING OFFENSE: D – Yes, QB Matt Cassel threw a pair of interceptions, but he averaged just 6.2 yards per attempt on the day, while also throwing an interception, his first since September 26 and ending a string of 135 consecutive passes without a pick. There were at least three drops, including a big one by Dwayne Bowe in the fourth quarter that killed the Chiefs attempts to win with the four-minute drill.

RUSH DEFENSE: C – The Raiders had been running the ball quite well this season, but the Chiefs defense allowed 112 yards and gave up only one long run, a 34-yard scamper by RB Darren McFadden. Otherwise, on the 25 other carries they averaged just 3.2 yards. Run defense was probably the best thing the Chiefs did in this game.

PASS DEFENSE: D – When an untested rookie WR has his breakout game against your secondary, that’s not going to make for an afternoon with a passing grade. Jacoby Ford caught six passes for 148 yards, even though he came into the game with just four catches for 37 yards. CB Brandon Flowers got burned for most of those catches and that’s surprising given the type of season the Chiefs corner has had. Nobody else hurt the Chiefs in the passing game, and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey was held to no catches.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D – Give up a kickoff return for a TD and that’s bad. Have a punt return TD of your own wiped out by a penalty, and that’s worse. Finish with five penalties in all in the kicking game and that’s awful. Bad, worse, awful, that was the Chiefs special teams afternoon. They entered the game as the NFL’s best kickoff coverage unit, but they exited with a 94-yard TD return on their record. They had been No. 4 in the league in punt returns, and had one in the end zone from 72 yards with Javier Arenas only to have it wiped out by a penalty. They also had a 41-yard FG nullified by a penalty. There was nothing special here.

COACHING: D – Lose a game like this one when it comes in division and the defeat is because your team beat itself and the coaches don’t get passing grades either. Todd Haley again went for a fourth down, first with a play on offense that was wiped out by a penalty, and then on a fake punt that came up one-yard short. At least he didn’t walk away from a potential field goal on this one.

Special Teams? Not So Much

From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Todd Haley says it every week. One of the conditions for his team being able to win games in this 2010 season is they must win the special teams battle each and every week.

They lost Sunday to the Raiders in overtime 23-20, and one of the biggest culprits was the kicking game. It wasn’t good enough for the Chiefs to tie, let alone win the game with what got done.

It started with allowing a kickoff return touchdown on the opening play of the second half, as Oakland’s Jacoby Ford took it in for a score of 94 yards. It continues when a return touchdown for the Chiefs was wiped out by one of five penalties called against them on special teams.

“That was not a good performance for us,” said special teams captain Jon McGraw. “We can’t give one up and we can’t give one back. That makes it very tough to win.”

The one that got away came on the opening play of the second half. The Raiders had won the pre-game coin toss and deferred their choice. That turned out to be a prescient move by Oakland coach Tom Cable.

Down 10-0 at half-time, the Raiders needed a spark. Ford provided one. He took Ryan Succop’s kickoff at the six-yard line and then headed left. The former NCAA champion in the indoors 60-meeter dash took off like a shot towards the left side of the field. Nobody in a white jersey laid a hand on him and the last man with a shot at slowing him down was CB Travis Daniels, but he got completely spun out of position and Ford rolled right through the gap for the score.

“ It was set up really well,” Ford said. “We just schemed it up and they just kind did exactly what we wanted to do and I just had to read one block. And I just took off from there.”

Suddenly a 10-0 score was 10-7 after just 12 seconds rolled off the second-half clock.

Actually, it should have been 17-0 at half-time, but a 72-yard punt return TD by Javier Arenas was wiped out by an illegal block above the waist call against SS Eric Berry. Instead of kicking a PAT, the Chiefs took possession of the ball at their 21-yard line.

Joining Berry in the special teams sin bin during the afternoon were TE Jake O’Connell, OLB Andy Studebaker, LB Demorrio Williams and WR Terrance Copper. It was Studebaker’s holding call that wiped out a 41-yard field goal by Succop in the second quarter. Moved back to 51 yards, Succop pooch punted the ball, but it rolled into the end zone for a touchback.

Plus, the Chiefs ran a fake punt that did  not produce a first down, as Arenas ran five yards with the direct snap. He needed six for a first down.

Raiders Rookie Burns Flowers

From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

The media horde surrounded RB Thomas Jones in the Chiefs locker room. Just two lockers away from the scrum Brandon Flowers sat half undressed, with his head in his hands.

The Chiefs cornerback was not a happy man. After playing so well for seven games, a stretch where he was getting some national recognition for his play, Flowers had a tough day against the Raiders. And it was one person who made it tougher for him – Oakland’s rookie WR Jacoby Ford.

Physically, Ford is an almost exact duplicate of Flowers. Both are 5-9. Ford is listed as 185 pounds, while Flowers is down for 187 pounds. Both are fast, shifty and athletic.

On this Sunday, Ford got the edge on Flowers, especially at the end of the game when the Raiders needed him most. Through the first eight games of the season, the fourth-round choice out of Clemson had four catches for 37 yards. In the first half against the Chiefs, he did not catch a pass.

But when he took back the second half kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown, Ford opened up the flood gates for his second half. He ended up catching six passes for 148 yards. One of those receptions was a 37-yard play that came against CB Brandon Carr. The other five catches for 111 yards were against Flowers.

Ford beat him for 16 yards, then 12, seven, 29 and the killer, a 47-yard completion in overtime that set up the winning field goal by Sebastian Janikowski.

“You know, it’s something I’ve dreamed of, going out there and making plays,” Ford said. “It’s been something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I was little.”

When Flowers finally came out after his shower, he stood and faced about a half-dozen media types. His internal temperature was down only a few degrees in the half-hour after the game’s dramatic conclusion.

He was asked about the 29-yard pass that Ford caught that set up the game tying FG.

“I thought I had the ball,” Flowers said. “I should have come down with it. He made a great catch. It went to overtime.”

Then, Flowers was asked how the Chiefs allowed a second-string rookie wide receiver to beat them? (That’s how the question was phrased.)

“He made a play,” Flowers muttered. “I don’t know. He made a play.”

Raiders coach Tom Cable said after the game that they had the perfect play called for the coverage the Chiefs were using.

“It really was quarters coverage, so we just high-lowed the safety and threw the post over the top,” Cable said. “It was a great route by (Ford). It was a great job by Brandon Myers (tight end). He’s in there for Zach (Miller) and he runs a great curl route up on the safety and held him. Jason took a shot, and it worked out.”

What worked out was Ford. With starter Louis Murphy out with a bruised lung, Ford got the chance to get into the starting lineup against the Chiefs. While Darrius Heyward-Bey was held without a catch in the game, Ford had his big day.

That it would come at the expense of Flowers was a surprise. These guys know each other and competed over the years at Clemson and Virginia Tech.

“There’s definitely a level of respect between me and him,” said Ford. “He respects speed and I respect him, too. We go back from college days when he was at Virginia Tech and I was at Clemson. So we know each other really well.”

In those college days he played football and ran track, so he’s the perfect Raiders wide receiver considering the organization’s history of taking spritners and making them receivers.

“He’s a track guy, he can run fast, he can accelerate,” said Raiders QB Jason Campbell. ” I was excited to see Jacoby go get that ball. It meant a lot from quarterback standpoint. You see a guy, you put it out there for him and see him burst into another speed and go get that ball, it’s just exciting, not just me but for the whole team.”

Along with his 148 receiving yards, Ford had 158 yards in kickoff returns. That made him the first NFL player in 48 seasons to top 140 receiving yards and 150 return yards in the same game. Pittsburgh’s Gary Ballman did in November 1963 when he totaled 161 receiving yards and 159 return yards.

Raiders Stop Chiefs Run Game

From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

All season the Chiefs have been able to run the ball. In four of their first seven games, they had over 200 rushing yards. It’s what led them to the No. 1 position in the NFL in rushing yardage last week with an average of 190 yards per game.

Things were not so successful on Sunday in Oakland. The Raiders did the best job of any opponent this year in keeping the Chiefs running game contained and it helped them grab a 23-20 overtime victory.

“We can’t just run the ball to win,” said Thomas Jones after the Chiefs ran for 104 yards on 34 carries against Oakland. “We have to make plays in the passing game as well. It’s a total team effort. I think a lot of people build up a certain part of your team and are disappointed when it doesn’t work. We are the Chiefs offense, not the Chiefs running game. It’s a team effort. That’s how we look at it.”

The offensive team effort wasn’t very good and it started with the running game, because that’s where all things start with the Chiefs offense. They had 34 carries, and only one went for more than 10 yards. That was a 13-yard run by Jamaal Charles in the third quarter.

Of those 34 carries:

  • Three went for negative yardage, a total of minus-11 yards.
  • Seven went for no yards.
  • Three more carries went for just one yard each.

That’s 13 carries that produced a total of minus-8 yards. There was more given the three holding calls the offense added as well.

“They were loading up the box and they were in zero situations where they didn’t have anyone in the deep middle of the field and there’s just an extra body you cannot block,” said head coach Todd Haley.

With the middle of the field open, the Chiefs should have been able to take advantage of that, but that didn’t happen much either. QB Matt Cassel averaged just 6.2 yards per passing attempt in the game, and the longest pass play was just 23 yards.

And the running game just kept spinning its wheels.

“Without guessing, when you have penalties it puts you in situations a little more difficult to run,” said Haley. “The field didn’t seem to be helping us too much. We had too many guys on the ground and allowing penetration at times. I’ll have to look at the tape to give a really good answer. I don’t want to guess. At times it felt like we could make a little progress and at times we couldn’t.”

The Rush Brothers of Jones and Charles combined for 85 yards on 29 carries, a average of just 2.9 yards per carry. That’s so unlike what they’ve been able to do all season.

“We just couldn’t get going,” said Jones. “They played a great game. It was a defensive struggle. We played pretty well against their run early on and they played pretty good against our run.

“It was just one of those games. There were a lot of penalties. The weather the ball is wet. It was just one of those games. The Raiders came ready to play and we came ready to play, they just made a few more plays than we did.”

Column: Chiefs Shoot Themselves in Loss

From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

It was an hour or after the Chiefs had fallen in overtime when they were getting on their buses and getting ready to head to the nearby Oakland Airport. Raiders fans were still celebrating their team’s 23-20 victory in the only way Raiders fans would – they were having more beers and a few other things in the parking lots.

Soaring over the scene were a flock of sea gulls that almost looked like buzzards, as they dipped and dived and circled that day’s carcass, waiting for a chance to strike.

Losing on Sunday to the Raiders does not leave the Chiefs dead. Far from it – they are still the No. 1 team in the AFC West at 5-3. But as they got on their charter flight and headed home into the sky with those same circling gulls the Chiefs were definitely wounded.

And those wounds were self-inflicted. That’s what will hurt the most when they break down this film on Monday – they did it to themselves. They did things in this game that they’ve haven’t done all year.

If you want to know why the Chiefs lost for the first time in eight years in Oakland the answer is pretty simple – they squandered a potential 17 points in the first half. They still led the game 10-0 when the teams went to the locker rooms.

But it should have been 27-0 or at the least 23-0 and the game should have for all intent been over. …Read More!

Chiefs Fail To Make Enough Plays

From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

It was a Sunday afternoon filled with aggressive football, sometimes too aggressive football. There were controversial decisions by the officials, penalties and really stupid penalties. There were irate coaches, anger, pushing, shoving and several players were knocked woozy. As it turned out 60 minutes wasn’t enough to decide the game.

In other words, it was a fairly typical game between the Chiefs and Raiders. The only thing different about this one that other recent meetings between these divisional rivals is that the Raiders won.

Oakland K Sebastian Janikowski (right) nailed a 33-yard field goal with just over 12 minutes to play in overtime to give the Raiders a 23-20 victory over the Chiefs and ending Kansas City’s seven-game winning streak in the East Bay.

The game started in a light rain, moved to a monsoon and before half-time the sun came out and blue skies were visible. The Raiders announced paid attendance of 61,075 and while there were not that many people in the building, they place was rocking and loud.

And the Raiders found a way to win. They are now 5-4 on the season, winners of three straight and headed for their bye weekend. The Chiefs fell to 5-3, and still lead the AFC West, but their margin has fallen to just one game in the loss column.

“We put ourselves in a position to win and we had multiple opportunities there, before overtime and even in overtime to make a play that would have sealed the game for us and we didn’t do it,” said Chiefs head coach Todd Haley.   …Read More!


From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

1:10 p.m. CST – Good afternoon from rainy Oakland. It rained all morning and continues to rain as we near the lunch hour here in California. It’s not a heavy rain, but at times it comes down pretty good. Plus, as leaden as the skies look it figures to be “an all day sucker” of rain.

1:11 p.m. – The grounds crew at the Coliseum has completed taking off the tarp that covered the field over night and this morning. With two exceptions, the playing surface looks like it’s in good condition. Let’s see what exposure to two hours of rain will bring.

1:20 p.m. – The rain hasn’t kept the Chiefs QBs and receivers from having their pre-pre-game passing drills.

1:22 p.m. – WR/RB Dexter McCluster is on the field, but he’s wearing a rain suit and not taking part in the throwing, just watching and chasing down an errant pass or two.

1:23 p.m. – The rain is stronger now than at any point in the last few hours. It’s coming down pretty good.

1:25 p.m. – Raiders starting QB Jason Campbell is on the field as well, throwing to a large group of receivers.

1:27 p.m. – CB Javier Arenas is out early working on his footwork on press coverage.

1:30 p.m. – Among the Chiefs receivers it looks like WRs Dwayne Bowe and Verrand Tucker are having the most trouble hanging onto the ball in the weather conditions. Both have dropped several throws, and one that Bowe caught almost popped out of his hands before he reeled it back in. …Read More!

Enrique’s Magic Number – Oakland

(This year’s record: 3-1)

With Nnamdi Asomugha all but ruled out from the Silver and Black lineup, you can make a case that things could very well open up for Matt Cassel and the rest of the Chiefs’ passing attack this afternoon. But if the Arrowhead Ones aspire to extend their current winning streak in Oaktown to eight games, they’re gonna have to stick with the game plan that enabled them to get seven straight in the first place.

And one that Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones should relish.

Given the recollections of past confrontations, it’s easy to notice that the constant behind the Chiefs’ recent success in Oakland has been the commitment to the running game. Ever since ’03, the Chiefs have pounded the rock at least 31 times in every instance that they paid a visit to the Raiders, achieving totals of 31 (in ’03), 36 (in ’04), 36 (in ’05), 38 (in ’06), 32 (in ’07), 37 (in ’08) and 31 (in ’09) that have permitted them to control the tempo of those games. And by turning the tables on the pride of Al Davis, the Chiefs have been able to avenge the 60 carries that the Raiders rammed down their throats in the ’02 season finale – coincidentally, the last time that the Raiders beat the Chiefs in Oakland.

So, in conclusion, the Chiefs’ Magic Number to escape with a victory is 31, which would be the number of rushing attempts registered by the Red and Gold squad on Sunday. If Todd Haley and Charlie Weis approach the contest with a Baskin-Robbins mentality, they will win the game.

Getting Ready To Fight … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

From Oakland, California

Before the Chiefs and Raiders ever faced off on the field they were fighting. They’ve never really stopped.

Back then it was procedural arguments in the run up to the inaugural season of the American Football League. The Raiders were the last team in. Actually, they were not yet the Raiders; they were called the Senors and their first logo featured a man wearing a sombrero and serape.

They fought over the rights to Stanford WR Chris Burford, who had signed with Lamar Hunt and the Dallas Texans before Oakland had a franchise. They fought over the rights to RB Abner Haynes, whose right’s originally belonged to the Minnesota franchise that pulled out of the AFL. Those players were given to the Oakland team when it came in.

Through the rest of the AFL years and into merger with the NFL, the Chiefs and Raiders just never quite got along. Fed by Al Davis on one side and Hank Stram on the other, they took the rivalry to the edge of the rules and sometimes beyond.

Here they are on this Sunday in November, more than 50 years after their first disagreement, getting ready to play for the 100th time in the regular season. It’s the 5-2 Chiefs and the 4-4 Raiders from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum at 3:15 p.m. CST. (Television broadcast is on CBS with Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots.)

Much has been said in the past week about this being the first time in many years the Chiefs and Raiders have met where the outcome mattered to both teams. That’s not true. It’s mid-season and whatever team happens to win will not have wrapped up a division title or a spot in the playoffs. And, whatever team loses will not be out of the hunt for a spot in the NFL tournament or finished for the season. …Read More!

Enrique’s Video Vault: One Defining Moment

As a Red and Gold fan in the 90′s, I could give you a list of favorite moments involving the Chiefs and the Raiders.

But even with supreme options like the ’94 finale that got us in the playoffs, James Hasty’s OT-ending pick-six in ’95, and the unforgettable Grbac-Rison connection at the end of the ’97 Monday Night game, no other memory stands out more than the one you’re about to see — if only, because the game celebrated on November 28, 1999 would provide the most enlightening explanation behind the Chiefs’ decade-long mastery of the Raiders.

Indeed, Chris Berman’s mention of the magic words “The Raiders …just…succumb to the Chiefs” would not only explain why — at least for one game — picking Grbac over Gannon made sense; or why the Chiefs would always seem to make the important plays (Cris Dishman); or even why the Chiefs came back from a 14-point, 4th quarter deficit to win the game at the gun.

But it would also explain an 18-2 record from ’90-’99, as well. Enjoy!

You can reach Enrique directly

Tidbits On The Way To Oakland

From Oakland, California

The sun was out and it appeared to have been a very beautiful day in the Bay Area on Saturday.

Weather predictions for Sunday are not so nice.

The National Weather Service says there’s 100 percent chance of rain throughout the day on Sunday. Wind could be a factor as well, as gusts will reach as high as 20 mph

With the baseball season over at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the infield should be covered with sod by now. Still, this is a playing field that was built on a landfill some 45 years ago and when it’s wet, the playing surface becomes a bog.

But with both teams looking to run the ball, possible rain and wet turf shouldn’t matter as much.


CBS-TV asked some of their analysts for comments on the 2010 season as it reaches the midway point of the schedule. Not surprisingly, there were was plenty of talk about the Chiefs with their 5-2 record.

Phil Simms said that OLB Tamba Hali (left) and ILB Derrick Johnson were the defensive players of the first half in the NFL.

“It’s hard to designate those guys because we want stats – sacks, interceptions,” Simms said. “These two guys have jumped out for doing a little bit of everything. Johnson has had a special year and if it continues, someone like him might win the most valuable defensive player in the league.” …Read More!

Rush Brothers & History … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

Come Thanksgiving evening when they flip the switch that turns on the Country Club Plaza Christmas lights, we should have a very clear picture of whether Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones are rushing into NFL history.

Charles and Jones – Kansas City’s Rush Brothers – have been selected to be part of one of the city’s most endearing traditions on Thursday night, November 25th between 6 and 7 o’clock at the intersection of Nichols Road and Wyandotte. They join a big group of former Chiefs players who have had the honor of turning on the Plaza lights over the years: Marcus Allen, Bobby Bell, Trent Green, Willie Lanier and the late Derrick Thomas.

As they head to Oakland for Sunday’s AFC West showdown with the Raiders, Charles and Jones are on a pace to become the most prolific running duo ever in pro football. There have been six teams that had two players rush for more than 1,000 yards in the same season. If Charles and Jones keep up the rate at which they are currently piling up the yards, they will combine for 2,750 yards, or 500 yards more than any other duo.

Charles has run for 666 yards, a 95.14-yard average per game. For 16 games, that would be 1,522 yards. Jones has 538 yards, a 76.36-yard average per game. Over a full regular season, that would be 1,230 yards.

“If we keep winning and make the playoffs – that is all that matters,” Jones said. “The other stuff isn’t that important. We are running to win, not running for records.” …Read More!

Heading For The Black Hole

The walk from my parking spot to the media entrance to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was a long one. I could barely make out the stadium in the distance and between me and the press box was a gauntlet of tailgating Raiders fans.

I survived unscathed. In fact, it was one of the more enjoyable strolls into a stadium that I’ve taken over the last few seasons. Even though their team was terrible and they were playing a terrible team in the 2009 Chiefs, these fans were having a good time. They enjoyed the morning California sunshine, with music and pre-game shows playing over radios. Kids were everywhere, chasing after each other or a thrown football. I’m not talking about teenagers, but kids around 10 years old.

This parking lot could have been at the Truman Sports Complex, or in Green Bay, or Pittsburgh, or Denver. This is not what anybody from those cities would have expected from stereotypical Raiders fans. Don’t get me wrong – there are those who call the Black Hole home who are complete, blithering idiots. Whether they are in costume or not, they are there to cause mischief in any manner possible.

But those types of people inhabit every NFL stadium, and yes, even Arrowhead. It was just a few years ago that the mother of an NFL superstar filed a complaint with the NFL league office over how she was treated by some fans in the stands at Arrowhead. Stuff happens and it goes down everywhere.

Still, nobody has the reputation of Raiders fans. It’s not all a media creation, believe me. The first time I saw the Oakland Coliseum was 1981, when the Chiefs won a remarkable game with a defensive touchdown when LB Gary Spani returned a fumble 94 yards for a score. The Chiefs took that game 28-17 to go 6-2 on the season and in first place in the AFC West.   …Read More!

No Blackout For Chiefs-Raiders

For the first time in 12 home games, dating back to the 2009 season opener, a Raiders game will not be blacked out on television in the Bay Area.

The Oakland Tribune reported Friday evening that thanks to a 24-hour extension from the NFL, the Raiders have sold enough tickets to allow Sunday’s Chiefs-Raiders game to be viewed throughout northern California.

The last time a Raiders home game was on local television was a 24-20 los to San Diego in a Monday night doubleheader gametime the Raiders will be on local television for a home game since the 2009 season opener, a 24-20 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Monday night. The last 11 games have been blacked out.

Tickets must be sold out 72 hours in advance for a game to be shown in its home market, but the Raiders received an extension from the NFL Thursday.

Friday 11/5 Practice Report-Update-2

From the Truman Sports Complex

“Their skill position guys are all really fast.”

Those words were spoken Friday by Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. But there hasn’t been a season in the last 40 years or so when that comment couldn’t have been made about the Raiders wide receivers and sometimes running backs. Speed has always seemed to be a condition for being part of the silver and black offense.

What’s different from recent vintages of the Raiders is their willingness to rely on the running game when they have the ball. Oakland is No. 2 in rushing yards, trailing only the Chiefs.

“They are running the ball really well; their backs, even their fullback runs the ball well,” said Crennel. “They’ve been able to create seams to get those runners started and once they get started, they gain yards. It looks like they’ve made a commitment to run. They are trying to eliminate negative plays and not turn the ball over.

“If can run the ball and not turn it over, you give yourself a chance to be in the games.”

The Raiders said Thursday evening that Jason Campbell would start at quarterback against the Chiefs.  Campbell has been the quarterback in this two-game stretch where Oakland has outscored opponents 92-17.

“He  has done a nice job of operating their offense and getting the ball in the hands of those speed guys and then he has enough ability that if you put pressure on him, he’s able to move in the pocket and he’s able to make a throw if he has to,” said Crennel. …Read More!

Draft Prospects – Southeastern Conference


(1st-Round) #57 DE-DT Marcell Dareus, 6-2¾, 309 pounds, 4.95 seconds, Junior.

Multi-talented performer on the line of scrimmage, Dareus can move inside or outside, and has shown the ability to rush the passer from both spots. He began the 2010 season on the suspended list for his involvement with an agent party in Miami. Dareus also missed a game with an ankle injury. But he’s played the last six games and has 19 total tackles and 2.5 sacks. Over his 28-game career, he has 56 total tackles, 9 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, 13 QB hurries and one INT.

Other Tide prospects: (1st-Round) #4 SS Mark Barron, 6-1½, 210 pounds, 4.56 seconds, Junior. (1st-Round) #30 ILB Don’ta Hightower, 6-3¼, 258 pounds, 4.74 seconds, Junior. (1st-Round) #22 RB Mark Ingram, 5-9½, 215 pounds, 4.48 seconds, Junior. (1st-Round) #8 WR Julio Jones, 6-4, 220 pounds, 4.49 seconds, Junior. (4th-Round) #77 OT James Carpenter, 6-4½, 300 pounds, 5.36 seconds, Senior. (5th-Round) #12 QB Greg McElroy, 6-2, 225 pounds, 4.96 seconds, Redshirt-Senior. …Read More!

This Flower(s) Hits … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

From the time he was eight years old and was first introduced to organized football Brandon Flowers has played cornerback.

Through PeeWee ball, Pop Warner, junior high, high school, college and the NFL, all the Florida native knows is life on the corner, it’s ups and downs, the feeling of living on a football island and knowing he can do everything right and still be beaten for the winning touchdown pass.

It’s what he does and he’s doing it very well. Among the 53 players on the Chiefs roster for the first seven games of the 2010 season, Flowers has turned in the best performance. In his third year in the league, he’s elevated himself to a spot among the top cornerbacks in the league. When Sports Illustrated writer Peter King selected his mid-season All-Pro team in the current issue of the magazine, he picked Flowers as one of the two cornerbacks.

But understand this about Flowers – he’s not just a cornerback, he’s a football player. Yes, he’s one of the best cover corners in the league, who loves the challenge of dealing with the best receivers on the opposing team. That’s only part of what makes him among the NFL’s best players.

The willingness of Flowers to provide run support elevates him above others at his position. He’s the fourth leading tackler on the team with 37 total tackles. That’s remarkable when it’s remembered that he plays away from the snap and only on one side of the field. He has a pair of interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown against Cleveland. Flowers also forced a fumble.

But it’s his ability to throw his body around against the running game that makes him special.   …Read More!

Answer Bob: November 4

Ronnie says: Bob, I can’t believe the Chiefs did not go after Randy Moss. I’m so disappointed!!!!! He would have made a difference for our team and would have given Matt Cassel someone who can get open. I don’t understand where the Hunts and Pioli are coming from sometimes. Why wouldn’t they want one of the best receivers in history?

Bob says: Ronnie, your analysis of Moss obviously exceeds that of the Chiefs. We’ve heard Todd Haley speak many times out fits, and there’s no way Moss was a good fit for this team at the time. Bringing in a player like Moss is one thing, bringing in a personality like Moss is something else. Understand this: Moss wasn’t the final piece of the puzzle to winning a championship. Here’s a note that’s seldom mentioned when the subject of Moss comes up – how many Super Bowl rings does he own? Yes, he’s been a great receiver, but he’s never been on a championship team. …Read More!

Production of ’10 Second-Round Picks

As the season progresses, we are taking a look at the 2010 NFL Draft and what those players are contributing in this rookie season

A couple weeks ago, we checked out the first round and we’ll update that in a few weeks.

Here’s a look at the 32 second-round choices, including two guys that are wearing a Chiefs uniform: WR/RB Dexter McCluster and CB Javier Arenas (left). While neither one is among the seven full-time starters from the round, their contributions have been big on the season for the Chiefs.

Three of the 32 picks never got on the field for regular season games this year, topped by the 43rd selection in LB Sergio Kindle in Baltimore. The University of Texas product fell down some stairs during the summer and suffered a hairline skull fracture. He will not get a chance to return to play until next season. Also RBs Montario Hardesty (Cleveland) and Ben Tate (Houston) went down in the pre-season to injury. Two others have gone to the IR list during the season: DTs Brian Price (Tampa Bay) and Mike Neal (Green Bay).

The seven starters out of the round have been LT Roger Saffold in St. Louis, FS Nate Allen with the Eagles, S T.J. Ward in Cleveland, DE Lamarr Houston with the Raiders, G Zane Beadles in Denver, ILB Daryl Washington with the Cardinals and ILB Brandon Spikes in New England.   …Read More!

Thursday 11/4 Practice Report-Update2

From the Truman Sports Complex

Todd Haley has been head coach of the Chiefs for 23 games and just two of those were against the Oakland Raiders. Coming up on Sunday is Game No. 24 for Haley and his third chance to face the silver and black.

He’s quickly caught on to the fact that Chiefs fans don’t care for the Raiders. That’s just fine with him because he’s also not a fan of Al Davis’ team. He’s  Raider Hater from way back, although he would not use the word hate.

“Growing up a Steelers fan and all the games that the Raiders took away from some of my boyhood dreams and my father’s dreams, it was easy to dislike them,” Haley said.

Those dreams would have been in the 1970s when the Raiders were facing off against the Pitsburgh Steelers teams that Dick Haley helped build as the team’s player personnel director.  The Steelers and Raiders played in the AFC playoffs in 1972-74-75-76. …Read More!

What To Worry About … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

I hear from a lot of Chiefs fans. Whether e-mail, voice-mail, text or just old-fashioned snail mail, the emotions, questions and analysis never stop.

I think that allows me to paint a pretty good picture of the outward happiness and inner torment those in the Chiefs Nation are dealing with right now at 5-2 and in first place in the AFC West. Its happiness over the surprising start, but there remains a nagging suspicion that it all could still be a mirage and will suddenly be ripped away and the 10-38 football of the last three years will return.

There is also the realization that there’s a lot of football left to play and there have been too many disappointments in the past to let loose with unqualified glee for a veteran of the red and gold wars.

So what’s there to worry about if you are a Chiefs fan? Let’s crystallize it down to four factors that are a concern. That we can narrow it down to four tells you how improved this team is after seven games. At this time last year there were at minimum a dozen things for Chiefs Nation to worry about, including whether the head coach would survive the season.

Progress has been made, but worries still exist. Here they are:   …Read More!

Updating The Numbers

The Chiefs 13-10 overtime win over the Buffalo Bills illustrated again that QB Matt Cassel may be more than just a manager of the offense. The win would not have been possible had he not taken the Chiefs from their 31-yard line to the Buffalo 16 in the final 1-minute, 13 seconds of overtime last Sunday afternoon.

Yet conventional wisdom continues to be that he is limited as a quarterback – and certainly one game-winning drive against a winless team doesn’t make him the second coming of John Elway or Joe Montana.

But on a team that runs the ball as well as the Chiefs with the triple-threat Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster, Cassel isn’t asked to step outside his comfort range much.

That reminds us of a similar situation in 1990 in coach Marty Schottenheimer’s second year of a rebuilding program. Journeyman Steve DeBerg was the quarterback with runners Christian Okoye, Barry Word and Todd McNair as the leading rushers.

After the 1989 season in which DeBerg lost the starting job to Ron Jaworski after tossing five interceptions against San Diego and to Steve Pelluer later in the year after a meltdown at Pittsburgh, the message got through to DeBerg. Take care of the ball or take care of your plane reservations out of town. He threw just four interceptions that entire ’90 season.   …Read More!

Wednesday 11/3 Practice Report-Moss Update2

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs did not claim WR Randy Moss on waivers and should he become available as a free agent, it doesn’t sound like they have any interest in signing him.

“At this time, I’d say no,” said head coach Todd Haley when asked if he Moss was the type of guy he would be interested in working with. “All personnel decisions that we make around here, there are a lot of different factors that go into them. Whenever there are names on the wire, we have good discussion, but it’s how we think different guys can help us. I’ll leave it at that.”

Moss was claimed by the Tennessee Titans. Former San Diego LB Shawne Merriman was claimed by the Buffalo Bills, so the Chiefs never got a shot at him.

QB Matt Cassel spent two years with Moss as his teammate with the New England Patriots (2007-08) and had nothing but good things to say about the man and the player.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Randy,” said Cassel. “A guy that I really enjoyed being around, a guy that was a professional  who works extremely hard and did nothing but good things for us. I have nothing but positive things to say about Randy Moss. I wish him nothing but the best.”

Did Cassel lobby Haley and GM Scott Pioli to claim Moss? …Read More!

Opponent: Oakland Raiders

2010 record: 4-4, second in the AFC West, two games in the loss column behind the Chiefs. They have victories by two points over St. Louis, eight over San Diego, 45 over Denver and 30 points better than Seattle. In their four defeats, they fell by 25 points to Tennessee, one point to Arizona, seven points to Houston and eight points to San Francisco.

Last year’s record: 5-11, third in the division, eight games behind AFC West champ San Diego.

Record for the last five seasons: 20-60, finishing third, third, fourth, fourth and fourth in the division.

Last appearance in the playoffs: Super Bowl XXVII, lost to Tampa Bay 48-21 in San Diego. Last victory in the post-season was 41-24 decision in AFC Championship Game over Tennessee. There are only two players left from that team – K Sebastian Janikowski and P Shane Lechler.

Owner: Al Davis is the team’s managing general partner, but how much the Hall of Famer actually owns is something that is not publicly known for sure. It’s believed to be 47 percent of the franchise. The Raiders list six people as “interest holders”, an unusual use of words to describe partners. However, two of the people listed have passed away. There are also three Wall Street investors who purchased 20 percent of the team in 2007. They remain nameless. The team is owned by A.D. Football, Inc. and when the day comes that Davis dies, the team will fall to his wife Carol and son Mark. There’s no information if the team has been set up so that the Davis family can keep the team despite estate taxes.

General Manager: No one in the organization holds that title with the Raiders. In essence, the GM is Davis. There is a three-person group that runs the franchise, Chief Executive Amy Trask, General Counsel Jeff Birren and Senior Executive John Herrera. …Read More!

Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Forget Randy Moss, but how about Shawne Merriman?

Two of the league’s biggest names over the last half-decade are now available on the NFL waiver wire. Moss was officially released on Tuesday by the Vikings, while Merriman was sent packing off the injured-reserve list by the Chargers.

Which one would most help the 5-2 Chiefs as they head into what may be the toughest part of their schedule with five of the next seven games on the road?

There’s a better than even chance that neither one of them will soon wear the red and gold. The Chiefs might not get a chance at either since both players must pass through the NFL waiver system. With their 5-2 record the Chiefs slot is in the bottom third of the 32 teams.

But if both players pass through waivers unclaimed by any team, should Scott Pioli and Todd Haley immediately begin a full-court press to bring either, or how about both to Arrowhead Stadium?

Let’s look at the facts as we know them:

  • Moss is now 33 years old and in his 13th NFL season. Last year, he caught 83 passes for 1,264 yards and 13 TDs for the Patriots. It was three years ago that he caught 23 scoring passes for the Patriots, setting an NFL one-season record. This year with the Patriots and Vikings, he caught 22 passes for 303 yards and five touchdowns in seven games. He was traded by New England to Minnesota on for a third-round choice in the 2011 NFL Draft.
  • Merriman is 26 years old and this is his sixth NFL season. Throughout his career with the Chargers, he’s been hampered by injury, especially in two of the last three years. He played only one game in 2008 because of a major knee injury that required surgery and so far in the current season he played in three games, with one start. He missed time this year with an Achilles injury and a calf injury that sent him to the injured-reserve list last month. Merriman had five tackles in three games this year. After putting up 39.5 sacks in his first three seasons, he has just four sacks in the last three and none this year.

Both play positions where the Chiefs need a lot of help, with Moss at wide receiver and Merriman as a pass rusher. Both carry baggage of off-field incidents over their careers that have involved law enforcement. Moss and Merriman are seeking their next NFL contracts as well. …Read More!

Chiefs Bottom Line: What We Learned From Game #7


If you somehow believe that the Red and Gold accomplished very little after squeaking past a 0-6 team, well, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Even though their overall performance on Sunday was not the best of the ’10 season by any means, the Arrowhead Ones DID achieve something extremely valuable beyond the customary “W”. Just take a look at the following:

  • Week 2 vs. Cleveland (0-1 at the time.) Result – W 16-14.
  • Week 3 vs. San Francisco (0-2 at the time.) Result – W 31-10.
  • Week 8 vs. Buffalo (0-6 coming in.) Result – W 13-10 (OT).

Yes, with the victory earned at the expense of the Bills, the Chiefs kept yet another losing team losing. An occurrence that has now happened three (consecutive) times this season, and that constitutes the stat that is the most helpful when trying to explain the quality of a particular team – of course, because it properly separates the good teams from the rest of the pack.

And while the modest 3-0 mark in 2010 is still miles away from the 50-1 record that the Steelers attained against losing teams in the heart of the Steel Curtain Era (1972-79), here’s guessing that if the Chiefs keep this trend alive and well, the big-picture outcome could be the same even faster than we think.

Second Guessing Haley … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

“There were some things from that game weighing on me that I know we have to learn from and fortunately we were able to get a huge win for our team, just a huge building-block win that I think we will reflect on later on.”

Sunday night, after the Chiefs beat the Bills in overtime, Todd Haley became an outlaw. It was the costume his daughters wanted him to wear for Halloween, so the head coach dressed up and along with his wife went with their five children as they did the trick-’r-treat thing through their Johnson County neighborhood.

“I mean did it feel like Halloween last night or what?” Haley said on Monday. “It was the perfect Halloween night. We had the wagon going, a couple beverages and the kids were fired up. I dressed up; they liked that. It was a great night.”

But there were items from the victory weighing on the coach’s mind. And surprise, surprise one of those was fourth down.

No, not that fourth down, the one where he passed up the 37-yard field goal on 4th-and-2, the one decision that everyone was talking about and second guessing after the game and into Monday morning quarterbacking sessions.   …Read More!

An Outside View

It’s always fun to get an outside view of what’s happening with the Chiefs. The 5-2 start is drawing attention, especially with a game coming up this coming Sunday against a resurgent Oakland Raiders.

Our man Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News wrote a piece on the Chiefs and their turnaround over the weekend. He gives credit to Scott Pioli and Todd Haley, and he also gives credit to Carl Peterson/Herm Edwards/Bill Kuharich. Here’s just part of what he wrote:

“Most NFL coaching staffs dread playing youth because young players make mistakes – and mistakes translate into defeats on Sundays. The 2008 Chiefs suffered those growing pains, losing a franchise-record 14 games, and it wound up costing Peterson, Kuharich and Edwards their jobs.

But the Chiefs are better off today as a result of that decision to accelerate the development of a handful of young players. Six of those 2008 draft picks now start on a 5-2 Kansas City team that leads the AFC West by two games in the loss column.”

Here’s the link to Rick Gosselin’s entire story.

Bowling With Branden

Chiefs fans have an opportunity to join OT Branden Albert and some his teammates for a night of bowling that will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Albert will be joined by TE Leonard Pope, CB Brandon Flowers, CB Travis Daniels, LB Derrick Johnson and others will be at the Lucky Strike Lanes this Tuesday evening, starting at 6 o’clock.

There’s a $20 cover charge that includes unlimited bowling on Lucky Strike’s 12 lanes and shoe rental. Got to have those cool shoes!

A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to Make-A-Wish, one of the world’s most well-know charities that is celebrating its 30th year of helping enrich the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Join Branden Albert and the Chiefs in celebrating being 5-2 and preparing for the trip to Oakland this coming weekend.

The Lucky Strike Lanes are at 1370 Grand Boulevard in the Power & Light District.

Leftovers with Buffalo Sauce

From Arrowhead Stadium

Icing the kicker has become the thing to do in the NFL. As it goes, the guy with the leg lines up to boot an important field goal and the coach from the other team tries to disrupt him by calling a timeout before the ball is snapped.

It’s a matter of timing and getting the play stopped before it counts. Chiefs head coach Todd Haley tried to ice Buffalo kicker Rian Lindell in overtime with a timeout.

And Haley was honest enough after getting a 13-10 victory over the Bills that he had no idea what he was doing.

“I’ll openly, honestly say I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to icing the kicker,” Haley said after the game. I guess it must be one of those things you have to have a lot of experience to get good at.

“I will be right up front and say I’m a work in progress in a lot of areas and icing the kicker is definitely one of them.”

Haley’s timing was good with his ice since he got the timeout in and even though Lindell kicked the 53-yarder through the uprights, it didn’t count. He had to line up and do it again, not that it bothered him. Did the timeout affect him?

“Not really,” Lindell said. “You just go back to the sideline and then come back and do it again. It’s not that big of a deal.”

Maybe not, but having to kick it a second time, Lindell had the distance but the ball hit the right upright and bounced out; it was the last chance for the Bills to win.

“I just didn’t hit it very well at all,” said Lindell. “I just got a whole bunch of turf. That grass field was a little chewed up at the time. I just got too much under it and didn’t hit it very well.”

When Ryan Succop got his first chance in overtime, Buffalo coach Chan Gailey called a time out for his attempt to ice the kicker. Succop said it didn’t bother him; it was the wind that took his kick and blew it outside the left upright.

On Succop’s second try, Gailey ran down the sidelines like he was going to call the timeout. …Read More!

Sunday’s Best – Halloween Edition


  • 96 – Washington WR Brandon Banks (right) kickoff return for TD vs. Detroit.
  • 71 – Tennessee WR Nate Washington TD catch vs. San Diego.
  • 71 – Denver WR Brandon Lloyd catch vs. San Francisco.
  • 71 – Detroit WR Stefan Logan punt return vs. Washington.
  • 69 – Oakland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey TD pass vs. Seattle.
  • 65 – New England WR Brandon Tate TD catch vs. Minnesota.
  • 63 – Dallas P Mat McBriar punt vs. Jacksonville.
  • 63 – San Diego P Mike Scifres punt vs. Tennessee.
  • 63 – Tennessee P Brett Kern punt vs. San Diego.
  • 63 – Seattle P Jon Ryan punt vs. Oakland.


  • 177 – Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles on 22 carries vs. Buffalo.
  • 135 – Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew on 27 carries vs. Dallas.
  • 120 – Tampa Bay RB LeGarrette Blount on 22 carries, 2 TDs vs. Arizona.
  • 118 – San Francisco RB Frank Gore on 29 carries and 1 TD vs. Denver.
  • 112 – New England RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis on 17 carries, 2 TDs vs. Minnesota.
  • 111 – Oakland RB Darren McFadden on 21 carries vs. Seattle. …Read More!


Well, maybe there will be some competition for the Chiefs in the AFC West after all.

At the end of business on Halloween afternoon, the Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders were all winners in the division, while the Broncos went halfway around the world to get handed another loss.

The Chiefs had their 13-10 overtime victory against Buffalo. San Diego beat Tennessee 33-25 at Qualcomm Stadium. Oakland earned a 33-3 pasting of Seattle and in London, San Francisco beat Denver 24-16.

So the Chiefs are now 5-2, with the Raiders 4-4, the Chargers are 3-5 and the Broncos are 2-6.

Coming up: the Chiefs travel to the Bay Area to play the Raiders next Sunday, while the Chargers are in Houston to face the Texans and Denver has a needed bye week.

RAIDERS 33, SEAHAWKS 3 @ Oakland Coliseum

Everybody in the NFL is talking about the 92 points the Raiders have scored in the last two games in victories over the Broncos and Seahawks.

But the real news is that in those two games, they gave up just 17 total points. It’s the Raiders defense that is making things happen. Against Seattle, Oakland didn’t allow a first down until more than 27 minutes into the game. They had eight sacks, with Richard Seymour and Kamerion Wimbley had two sacks each. The Seahawks gained just 162 yards of offense, including 47 on the ground. It was the fewest yards allowed by the Raiders since 2006 and the fewest points allowed since shutting out the Chiefs in the 2002 regular-season finale.

It was the seventh time they tried to follow up a victory with another one, but the first time it got done. The offense was big, gaining 545 yards, running for 239 yards with 111 coming from RB Darren McFadden. QB Jason Campbell threw for 310 yards and two TDs.

“It just continues to build confidence,” McFadden said. “You win one then come back the next week and flop, you’re back to like zero. You win two in a row and it builds your confidence even more.”

Said head coach Tom Cable: “It means we are growing, we are getting better and we got some things going in the right direction and there’s some consistency with that for the first time in quite some time.”

CHARGERS 33, TITANS 25 @ Qualcomm Stadium

The Bolts ended their three-game losing streak with a come-from-behind victory led by QB Philip Rivers. He threw for 305 yards and the winning touchdown when he hooked up with TE Antonio Gates for a 48-yard score.

San Diego was down five points at half-time, which led to an emotional locker room speech by head coach Norv Turner.

“I think that was the turning point of the game, not what we did on the field,” said Gates. “He came out and expressed how he feels about this team, expressed how he believes in this team. We took that as a challenge. It meant something to him.”

The Chargers ran for 156 yards against Tennessee and the defense held the Titans Chris Johnson to 59 yards on 15 carries.

Gates finished with five catches for 123 yards.

49ERS 24, BRONCOS 16 @ Wembley Stadium, London, England

This is the kind of season it has become for the Broncos. They had two touchdowns wiped off the board by penalties in their loss to the 49ers. The second one was the worst, because it came with less than two minutes to play when an illegal block wiped out a 78-yard punt return by WR Eddie Royals.

Earlier, Denver’s offense had some razzle dazzle as QB Kyle Orton handed off to RB Knowshon Moreno, who then pitched back to Orton. The QB found WR Jabar Gaffney for a 38-yard TD pass. But the play was no play because of a chop block penalty against Moreno.

“You can’t blame the officials, because we put ourselves in those positions,” said WR Brandon Lloyd, who caught seven passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. “It’s really tough to point the finger when we have so many opportunities to do well.”

Orton threw for 369 yards, but lost a fumble and threw an interception. He was sacked four times. The other Denver score came on a one-yard run by QB Tim Tebow.

Denver’s defense gave up 339 yards to the Niners, and three touchdowns.


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         Copyright 2010 Bob Gretz. May not be used or reprinted without the expressed written consent of Bob Gretz.