history is against us this saturday, and much of our future as a team is in the balance. chiefs have had bad luck against the colts in the past, and coincidentially when we went 9-0 they came to our house and won... will we do the same to them? can we get pressure on manning or keep him off the field? if we win this weekend it may keep TG & LJ here in kc.
The Kansas City Star
Well, Chiefs fans finally got their you-play-to-win-the-game moment from Herm Edwards, who always preaches with a purpose.
Less than 24 hours after qualifying for the playoffs, Edwards opened his New YearÂ’s Day news conference ranting about how his Chiefs didnÂ’t luck into or back into the playoffs.
Â“LetÂ’s not get this thing twisted and think we backed into this deal,Â” Edwards preached with the necessary emotion to catch the eye of ESPN producers. Â“We didnÂ’t lose, we won. Every team that played this weekend played at home and had an opportunity to get into the playoffs just like us. We just happened to win. WhatÂ’s wrong with that? So, letÂ’s not get it twisted and say, Â‘Well, theyÂ’re lucky.Â’ We didnÂ’t get lucky. We won.Â”
Why the unprovoked rant? Edwards said he wanted to transfer his attitude to his players and he could sense that some people thought the Chiefs were lucky.
Â“IÂ’m not irritated,Â” Edwards said. Â“IÂ’m just making a point. ItÂ’s playoff time now. IÂ’m in a different mode, I think a real different mode all of a sudden. IÂ’m in a different frame of mind.Â”
Hmm. ThatÂ’s one way to look at it. ThereÂ’s also another way to view HermÂ’s tirade.
Maybe Herm thought it was important to convince his players, the local and national media and Kansas City football fans that the Chiefs werenÂ’t lucky because he knows Carl Peterson sent the clear message he didnÂ’t think the Chiefs would qualify for postseason play when he placed Jason Dunn and Kyle Turley on injured reserve before the Jacksonville game.
Marinate on that for a moment.
The Chiefs wonÂ’t have the services of one of the leagueÂ’s top run-blocking tight ends in a playoff game that likely will hinge on KCÂ’s ability to control the clock with Larry Johnson.
Peterson, in my opinion, made a gigantic tactical error.
He placed Dunn, Turley and Rich Scanlon on injured reserve so the Chiefs could elevate practice-squaders Casey Printers, Chris Hannon and William Kershaw to the 53-man roster. By placing Printers, Hannon and Kershaw on the final 53-man roster it protects the Chiefs from an opposing team poaching one of the three players from KCÂ’s practice squad this offseason.
Teams are justifiably paranoid about losing their practice-squad players. A couple of years ago, the Chiefs cut guard Ryan Lilja with the hopes they could place him on their practice squad. The Colts scooped up Lilja, and heÂ’s been a regular starter in Indy for two years.
The Chiefs said they placed Dunn on IR because doctors wonÂ’t clear him to play now that they miraculously discovered he has a herniated disk in his back in week 16.
Dunn told me Monday that heÂ’s played with the injury for six weeks. When he entered Arrowhead Stadium on Monday for a brief team meeting, Dunn told me he hoped the Chiefs could reverse the decision. When Dunn left Arrowhead, he told me that assistant general manager Denny Thum told him that the Chiefs regretted placing Dunn on IR and they wouldnÂ’t have done it if they thought they were going to qualify for the playoffs.
Dunn was visibly disappointed.
Â“I could play four more games,Â” said Dunn, who admitted heÂ’ll undergo surgery this offseason. Â“IÂ’ve been playing with it.Â”
DunnÂ’s absence Saturday will place more pressure on Tony Gonzalez and Kris Wilson. Gonzalez will have more blocking responsibility.
Wilson will pull double duty between fullback and tight end. Linemen John Welbourn and Chris Bober will get some time at tight end.
DunnÂ’s absence hamstrings the offensive coaching staff. Dunn has never been a big part of KCÂ’s passing game, but heÂ’s always been a threat in KCÂ’s pass offense. And blocking on the edge against outside linebackers and working up to safeties requires a combination of strength and athletic ability that few offensive linemen possess.
DunnÂ’s absence is big. But that probably wonÂ’t get talked about on ESPN this week because Herm created a nice little distraction. Herm is smart, and heÂ’s a team player. He fell on Carl PetersonÂ’s grenade."