View Full Version : Hail to the Chiefs: K.C. under the radar but over expec

12-06-2010, 03:57 PM
http://media.northjersey.com/images/1205S_S9_MattCassel.jpgName the wide receiver who has caught 32 passes for 465 yards and seven touchdowns in his last three games?

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel has thrown for 18 touchdowns with one interception in his last eight games.

Name the quarterback who has thrown for 18 touchdowns with just one interception in his last eight games?

Name the running back who gained 261 yards on 34 carries, an average of 7.1 yards per carry, in the last two games to improve his season’s average to 6.3 yards per try?
The answer to the first question is not Terrell Owens, not Andre Johnson, not Dez Bryant, not Brandon Marshall, certainly not Randy Moss nor any of the other media dandies who play that position. The wide receiver who has put up those gaudy numbers is Dwayne Bowe.
The answer to the second question is not Tom Brady, not Peyton Manning, not Brett Favre, not Michael Vick, not Phillip Rivers nor any of the other media dandies who play that position. The quarterback with that phenomenal TD/theft ratio is Matt Cassel.
The answer to the third question is not Adrian Peterson, not Stephen Jackson, not Maurice Jones-Drew, not Chris Johnson nor any of the other media dandies who play that position. The running back with the eye-popping rushing average is Jamaal Charles.
What do all three have in common? They play for the Kansas City Chiefs, which is one reason they do not pop to mind when you think about the most productive players in the NFL.
The Chiefs have made just one prime-time appearance this season, and that was way back in the opening week, when they beat San Diego in the second half of that Monday night doubleheader. That was an omen of things to come for the team that finished just 4-12 last year and therefore did not get a whole lot of consideration when the prime-time schedule was formulated.
Even upsetting the Chargers in the opener was considered more a product of San Diego getting off to its usual slow start than Kansas City actually improving. After K.C. got off to a 3-0 start, everyone figured the Chiefs had come back to earth with back-to-back losses to Indianapolis and Houston.
Yet with five games remaining, Kansas City finds itself a game ahead of the hard-charging Chargers with a rematch scheduled for San Diego next week. Charlie Weis on offense and Romeo Crennel on defense have reprised the success they had as lieutenants under Bill Belichick in New England. The Chiefs have the No. 1 rushing offense in the league thanks to the speedy Charles and veteran Thomas Jones. Overall they rank sixth offensively as Weis spins the magic that somehow escaped him during his stay at Notre Dame.
Crennel’s defense is in the top 10 stopping the run, as linebacker Derrick Johnson finally is playing up to his first-round draft status of 2005. Teaneck (http://www.chiefscrowd.com/teaneck)’s Tamba Hali leads the team with eight sacks, which ranks him sixth among AFC pass rushers.
Cassel earning AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors did bring a little extra notice to the prairie this week. Until that announcement, however, the No. 1 story line heading into today’s game with Denver was whether head coach Todd Haley would shake hands with Broncos counterpart Josh McDaniels.
Haley, a headstrong branch off the Bill Parcells coaching tree, not only passed up McDaniels’ outstretched hand but wagged a finger in his face after Denver whipped the Chiefs, 49-29, three weeks ago. He offered no explanation for rebuffing McDaniels’ traditional postgame offering, but did apologize the next day for his actions.
Speculation was, however, the rigid Haley did not like McDaniels chest-bumping his players on the sidelines during the game, nor did he appreciate the Broncos continuing to blitz Cassel well after the game was decided. At any rate, everyone will have their Belichick-Mangini binoculars focused on midfield when the action concludes today at the New Arrowhead Stadium.
Hopefully it will not overshadow what the latest edition of "The Triplets" might accomplish during the game. If the Chiefs continue to surprise, perhaps the anonymity of the best team — at least west of Atlanta — no one has seen finally will disappear.

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