Kansas City looks to lock up a playoff spot this weekend
The Chiefs went to 10-4 after being defeated by Tennessee on Sunday. Andy Reid spoke on Monday and talked about how they need to work on finishing and executing. That makes sense since the Chiefs came away with zero points in the red zone twice. He also talked about how he needs to get better at calling plays and giving guys opportunities. The defense played strong against a Tennessee team that has been putting up points and Kansas City had chances to win the game. It’s a competitive league and plays happen that make the game go one way or the other. Succop said with ten tries he probably couldn’t make that kick.
It’s time to move on. The Chiefs prepare this week to take on Denver at home and need this game to have a chance at winning the AFC West. Denver has lost three out of their last four games (one of those came against Kansas City). Offensively, it’s been a struggle for them and things won’t get any easier against the Chiefs defense.
A Chiefs win would give Kansas City a playoff spot, but the Chiefs may already be in the playoffs before kickoff Sunday night if the Steelers beat the Ravens, or they tie. Either way, Kansas City wants to win the AFC West and if KC finishes with the same record as the Raiders who are one game ahead at 11-3, the tiebreaker goes to the Chiefs.
Chiefs continue to roll
I’m still amped up from our Sunday night win over Denver to get to 8-3, but I want to reflect on the great run the Chiefs are having.
In watching media coverage and reading about the Chiefs, you see the same question over and over. How do they do it and keep winning game after game? This season, Kansas City is ranked 16th in points scored and 7th in points given up. They are an incredible +14 turnovers in takeaways versus giveaways this year, which leads the league. That’s a huge differential when you consider the fact that the fourth best team in the NFL is +5. Our defense leads the league in interceptions with 13 and is tied for the lead in fumbles with 11. That’s without Justin Houston and we saw how he impacted the game in Denver. The offense has only given the ball away 10 times, good for 9th in the league. Our dominant defense coupled with a better than average offense that doesn’t turn the ball over is what gets the job done in week in week out. Life is all about balance, and so is football.
This is how we won so many games, not only this year, but also the previous three years. Marcus Peters has been a big part of the +14, but so has Alex Smith by not throwing picks left and right. At the end of the day, it’s a team game. Teams with great defenses and good offenses win Super Bowls. Since 2012 these are the five teams that have won the Super Bowl: Giants, Ravens, Seahawks, Patriots, and Broncos. Besides the Patriots, the other four were defensive football teams.
The Chiefs face an offensive team on Sunday when they play the Falcons who are leading the league in points scored. This would be another huge win if they could come away with the victory in Atlanta.
Chiefs ready for Pittsburgh on SNF
Big game for the Chiefs on Sunday night in Pittsburgh. Some people have said we don’t know who the Chiefs are, but we will find out Sunday night. I tend to agree and don’t have a crystal ball, but let me map this out for you.
The Chiefs had an incredible six interceptions against Ryan Fitzpatrick last week along with two fumble recoveries for a total of eight takeaways. Yeah, I know, it’s ridiculous, along with Marcus Peters’ stats. The Chiefs were second in points given up two years ago and third in points given up last year. This is a team that feeds off their defense with an offense that showed tremendous improvement last year but has struggled much of the time this year. It would be a huge help to have Justin Houston back before November, but this team can still be a great defensive unit and the overall team success, number of wins, will depend on what the offense can do.
Having scored only one offensive touchdown in their last two games, the most important thing for the Chiefs to do against Pittsburgh is to get someone in the end zone from the offense early and keep it going. That’s going to be tough in a hostile Pittsburgh environment against one of the five teams pegged to win ten and a half games by Vegas this year, but Andy Reid and the Chiefs are up to the challenge.
2-1 is a solid position to be in and I have confidence the defense can keep playing good ball and the Chiefs can turn those Cairo Santos field goals into touchdowns. I’ve been saying this all week, field goals win games at the end of games, touchdowns win games.
Here we go
It’s time to start making predictions for the upcoming Chiefs season. Vegas has total wins for the season at 9 and a half, which may sound as if we were slighted considering we won eleven games in a row before falling to the Patriots in the playoffs. When you look at the fact that Vegas has only 5 teams above us at 10 and half wins, it actually feels pretty good. Those teams are the Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
There’s many reasons why many believe the Chiefs will do well this year. Here are 4:
1. Great defense: The Chiefs D finished tied for second in fewest points given up two years ago and third in fewest points given up last year. If Justin Houston can come back early in the year and be as effective as his usual self, this defense will continue to terrorize opposing offenses.
2. Improved offensive line: Mitchell Schwartz was signed, Eric Fisher is getting better, Mitch Morse is a solid NFL center, Parker Ehinger and Laurent Duvarnay-Tardif have both looked good in training camp.
3. Big time offensive potential: Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles and the rest of the three headed monster, Travis Kelce, and Jeremy Maclin are the core of an offense that has shown they can be big producers. Tyreek Hill, Ross Travis, Chris Conley, Albert Wilson, and Demetrius Harris can all make plays as well.
4. Talent: Nine Chiefs were selected to the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016 (Justin Houston, Eric Berry, Marcus Peters, Jamaal Charles, Derrick Johnson, Alex Smith, Tamba Hali, Travis Kelce, and Jeremy Maclin), the most of out any team.
The biggest question I have is when will Justin Houston be back. I’m most excited to see what Marcus Peters can do in his sophomore year after tying an NFL high for interceptions with 8 last year. That’s nothing short of incredible if you look at his season, most famously recognized when he tweeted “lies” in response to a tweet surrounding Josh Norman’s season, and realize that Marcus Peters had one of the best seasons for any defensive back in the past fifteen years as a rookie.
Combine all of that with the fact that Andy Reid has been to the playoffs eleven out the past seventeen seasons, and I've decided to go with the over. Winning ten games in the NFL isn't easy, but I think this team can do it.
Ron Parker, Mike DeVito, and Mitch Morse after beating Cleveland and clinching a playoff spot
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Here's how I feel about the Royals winning the 2015 World Series
I’ve had close to two months to reflect on the Royals World Series victory and it still seems unreal. The way we came back from being down late in eight of the games has been well documented, but it’s always worth mentioning when discussing the 2015 World Series champs. The best game, in my opinion, was the game against Houston where we, once again if you remember back to the Wild Card game in 2014, came back from four down going into the eighth. As one fan said to me at the bar a few nights ago, lightning struck twice. That game and the game the season before defined our team and the magic associated with the Royals.
When you look at what the Royals accomplished with the way baseball is set up, you look to the owner, gm, and coach and have to tip your hat. It wasn’t long ago that a disgruntled fan, in Joseph Accurso published a letter in the Kansas City Star to David Glass imploring him to make some moves to help the Royals or sell the team. When we advanced in the playoffs last year, Ned Yost said in a postgame interview they have been planning this for five years. With all due respect, it almost sounded like a joke when he made that statement, but it was true. This is what David Glass and co. had set out to do. Build a team for the most part from within, bringing up players through their minor league system they had drafted or through their baseball academy, and occasionally signing key free agents. Props to ownership and management.
As for the players, you guys are the ones that are most responsible for this epic World Series win. Guys not only played as well as they did last year when we went to the World Series, but actually improved. Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar and others lifted themselves to a new level. It would have been easy to get complacent after the run we had last year. Thank you for never giving up, sticking together, and playing your hardest all the time. It’s special that most of these guys have been with each other for a while, so there are relationships that go beyond the club house. When it came time to name the MVP of the World Series, it was tough to pick who deserved it most. Salvadore Perez came away with the award after batting .364 in the series, controlling the game, and playing incredible defense. My only hope is that we can keep you all together for as long as possible. I’m so proud of Edison Volquez for pitching two great games with his dad passing right before his first start of the series. Both of those performances where he gave up just three runs and two runs were special outings and played a huge part in helping us win the World Series. I’m also proud of Mike Moustakas who lost his mom earlier in the year. He played great for us through a tough time in his life. Chris Young played through losing his dad recently as well. That was a guy who kind of came out of nowhere to play an important role in the postseason. I’m proud of you Chris and I’m proud of all the other players on the Royals. No matter what happens for the rest of your lives, no one can take this away and the fact that you all are the 2015 World Series Champions.
And then you have the fans. Wow. The people in Kansas City put us on the map and supported the Royals in a big way, but it’s not just what the fans did this year. It’s also the way they stuck with the team in previous years when the Royal’s weren’t rolling. Thank you to the fans for supporting the Royals and stepping up in a big way when they needed you most. My dad, a big baseball fan, put it best when we first talked after the Royals won the World Series when he said “I’m glad we won, but I don’t want this to stop, I want to keep having fun watching the Royals play great baseball.” I think that’s the way a lot of people feel and why everyone is looking forward to 2016. The support the fans have given this team really is unbelievable. You saw it at the parade. It was incredible to see the amount of people that converged upon downtown Kansas City for the day. That’s what people do in Kansas City. We are all friends and support our teams to the max and I honestly think and know that support and spirit helped this team battle and win the 2015 World Series. Thank you Royals fans.
Chris Conley, Dontari Poe, and Ron Parker after setting a franchise record with ten wins in a row