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Latest Loss for the Kansas City Chiefs Hurts Playoff Chances

December 21st, 2014 at 3:46 PM
By Mike Norris

This was tough to swallow for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 29th-ranked rushing defense bottled up the hottest running back in the league, out-gained the Pittsburgh Steelers, and had a longer time of possession, but still came out on the losing end, 20-12, and fell to 8-7. The loss means it will take a win next week against San Diego — and a lot of help — to qualify for the post-season.

The Chiefs' head coach Andy Reid once again kept to a game plan of letting Alex Smith throw the ball much more than he should. Reid called for 47 passing plays, and only 14 rushes. The Chiefs fell to 2-6 when Smith throws 30-plus passes, and 3-7 when Charles plays, and rushes less than 20 times.

A lot however, came down to failed execution from the Chiefs' offense. While Smith led his team inside the 30-yard line six times, he failed to find the end zone even once, and only came away with 12 points. That's not going to beat many teams on the road, especially with a playoff berth on the line.

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Can the Kansas City Chiefs Slow Down Le’Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers?

December 19th, 2014 at 7:40 AM
By Mike Norris

Alex Smith hasn't thrown a touchdown to a wide receiver all season. Derrick Johnson didn't even finish one full game before tearing his ACL. Their team even lost to the two-win Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders.

But today, none of that matters.

The Kansas City Chiefs are 8-6, and with a victory Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, will be one home win away from securing a playoff spot.

"I've been around long enough," Smith said Wednesday, per the team's official web site. "Enjoy these situations and embrace them. This time of year, a December game, with a little weather involved, embrace the situation. These opportunities don't come around very often."

That doesn't sound like a quarterback who is moping around because of injuries to key teammates, or tired of the recurring questions from media about the wide receivers. Instead, those were words of a steady leader, something the Chiefs knew they were getting when they traded for him before last season. All he has done since then is go 18-11 as a starter. With two more wins, Smith would become the first Kansas City quarterback to lead his team to back-to-back playoff appearances since a guy named Joe Montana in 1993-94.

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ESPN NFL Mock Draft Expert: West Virginia’s Kevin White to the Kansas City Chiefs

December 18th, 2014 at 1:10 PM
By Mike Norris

The fact ESPN NFL Draft Analyst Todd McShay has the Kansas City Chiefs taking a wide receiver in his first NFL mock draft, comes as no surprise.

The Chiefs are severely lacking production at that position, (as noted earlier here), and there is plenty of talent in the wide receiver pool of this year's class. During McShay's mock draft analysis, he said White would be a good fit for the 8-6 Chiefs.

"It's Week 16, and the Chiefs still haven't had a wide receiver record a touchdown catch this season," McShay said. "White would upgrade the receiving corps with his excellent size-and-speed combo. He still needs to develop as a route runner, but is a natural when it comes to separating from coverage when the ball is in the air. White is also dangerous after the catch, which adds to his value for a team in need of perimeter play makers."

College statistics, especially in the spread offense of the Big XII Conference, can be deceiving, but White's monster line of 102 catches, 1,318 yards, and nine touchdowns should excite even the most pessimistic Chiefs' fan. Even if White doesn't fall to the Chiefs, ESPN's other NFL Draft expert, Mel Kiper, Jr., said there are plenty of wide receivers the Chiefs could end up with in the first round, outside of top-five pick Amari Cooper of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

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The Kansas City Chiefs’ Offensive Line Might not Be as Bad as You Think

December 17th, 2014 at 2:35 PM
By Mike Norris

While the 2014 Kansas City Chiefs' offensive line isn't conjuring up memories of the Washington Redskins' daunted, "Hogs," group from the '80s, this motley crew of starters that fans have been lashing out at all season, is performing better than many think, in at lest one category.

It's hard to grade offensive lineman outside of the "toughness" coaches and fans see on the field, but there are two key areas that can measure an offensive line's production: Is the quarterback staying on his feet, and are holes being opened up for the running backs?

The answer to those questions for the 2014 version of the Chiefs' offensive line is: yes and no. Despite different starters the past few weeks on the offensive line, Kansas City sits at 8-6, and squarely in the thick of the AFC playoff race. However, that doesn't mean there is no room for improvement. Take a look at the chart below (there is even an Elvis Grbac sighting) at the past 15 seasons, including this year, in regards to sacks given up, and yards per carry from the running backs. This year, the Chiefs' offensive line is allowing 2.8 sacks per game, which ranks tied for 12th in the past 15 seasons. However, the team's running backs are gaining 4.7 yards per carry (tied four 4th), while feature back Jamaal Charles is earning 5.2 yards per carry; also tied for third fourth for a feature back the past 15 years.

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It’s 17 Games and Counting for Kansas City Chiefs’ Wide Receivers

December 16th, 2014 at 2:29 PM
By Mike Norris

It was probably fitting that it was snowing on December 8th, 2013. Funny things tend to happen when the white powder is on the field; just ask Leon Lett.

For the Kansas City Chiefs, it was more of a rare occurrence that took place that December day — it was the last time a Chiefs' wide receiver caught a touchdown. The recipient was Dwayne Bowe, who finished with four catches for 70 yards and the one score in a 45-10 victory against the Washington Redskins. Little did anyone know at the time that a year would pass without a receiver finding paydirt.

As the Chiefs prepare to face the 9-5 Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, a team that has given up 15 touchdowns to wide receivers this year, the narrative continues to grow. Even so, Chiefs' Head Coach Andy Reid likes the talent of his wide receivers.

"As a coach, you try hard to play to the player's strength and then let him work on the thing that [he] need[s] to work on," Reid said during his Monday press conference. "When they have an opportunity to get in and play, the neat part is we've got a lot of them that can play right now that have strengths and enjoy playing the game."

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