Hidden stats: Bowe leads in WR targets
There hasn't been much good news to report about the Chiefs' offense
these days. And with a unit that ranks 29th in average yards per game
it's easy to see why.
But there is some hope on the horizon with the possible return of QB Brodie Croyle after Kansas City's Week 6 bye. Plus, if you look at wide receiver targets (the number of times a player is thrown toward) you'll notice the Chiefs' Dwayne Bowe sits atop the list with 56.
The next-highest players are Denver's Brandon Marshall with 51 (in four games), Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, 50, and Cincinnati's T.J. Houshmandzadeh with 48. That's pretty good company that Bowe is keeping.
But the problem comes when you look at how many of those targets Bowe
has converted into receptions. That number is 27, which is lower than
each of the wide receivers just behind Bowe in targets. Marshall has 34
receptions, and Fitzgerald and Houshmandzadeh each have 31.
Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez sets tight ends career yardage record
Tony Gonzalez got his record, but not much else.
City Chiefs star broke the NFL's career mark for yards receiving by a
tight end Sunday, but finished with just three catches for 17 yards in
a 34-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
"This is a game that a lot of us probably (would) just as soon forget," Gonzalez said.
entered the game three yards shy of Shannon Sharpe's five-year-old
record of 10,060 yards. He surpassed the mark on Kansas City's second
offensive series by catching a six-yard pass from Damon Huard late in
the first quarter.
The 12th-year pro and nine-time Pro Bowler has at least one reception in 120 straight games.
But neither Gonzalez nor the Chiefs could get much else going offensively against the Panthers' physical defense.
Is Tony Gonzalez the best tight end ever?
The daydreamer is somewhere else now: a place where the cameras are off
and the coaches don’t bark and the only thing that hits him hard is
that last shot of tequila.
Tony Gonzalez sits in
front of his locker at the Chiefs’ practice facility, but his mind is
wandering toward retirement. Maybe in 10 years, one of the NFL’s
legendary tight ends will be pouring a drink for some weary vacationer
on a secret stretch of Mexican beach, winking as he pours himself one,
too. Maybe he’ll be flipping a lure into the Pacific, trying to hook a
big one. Gonzalez always has snagged the big catch.
“I think about it all the time,” he says.
be on the beach or on a boat that Gonzalez will have time to think.
Years have passed, and his football legacy, whatever that ends up
being, has been fulfilled. He’ll stand there, swirling a tumbler or
waiting for the lure to jump, and discuss how football remembers him.
might come up, and if all goes to plan, it’ll be the date when Gonzalez
stood at a historic crossroads and cemented his place in football’s
elite. He needs 3 yards to break Shannon Sharpe’s record for career
receiving yards for a tight end, and Gonzalez should get that on his
first or second reception today.
Gonzalez as one of the all-time greats. But it also moves him past one
more milestone and another step closer to a future without football.
The fewer achievements Gonzalez has to chase, the less motivation he
has to keep getting up early, lifting weights and running through the
same tired drills he’s run for a dozen years.
MVN: Chiefs Square Off vs. Panthers: Can the Chiefs Go on the Longest Winning Streak of the Season?
There are only a few times this year when I might actually have the
chance to say that the Chiefs are on a “winning streak” so you can bet
that I’m going to abuse the daylights out of that privilege. The Chiefs
have a chance to go on a winning streak Sunday against the Panthers. Is
that doable? Let’s go to the tale-of-the-tape.
Keys to the game:
While the Chiefs looked outstanding against Denver, there are some
red flags that make me a little nervous about this Sunday’s matchup
against Carolina. The Chiefs’ defense looked stout against Denver, but
I’m still not sold on the Chiefs’ run defense. I think Denver’s run
offense has really lost its luster and I expect to see a much more
disciplined running attack from Carolina. I have obviously not been shy
about my dislike for Gunther Cunningham’s defense and I just have a
sinking feeling we’ll see another defensive collapse on Sunday. I think
teams have gotten the hint that they shouldn’t attack the Killer B’s
(Brandon Flowers or Brandon Carr) and I can bet that John Fox has
preached to his team over and over and over again: “protect the
football at all costs!” The Chiefs were looking for turnovers and,
quite frankly, they saved the defense from a lot of jams on Sunday.
What happens when the defense doesn’t force turnovers? The one saving
grace is that the Panthers may play without Jordan Gross and Jeff Otah
on the defensive line. That should help the Chiefs’ run defense
tremendously. I’m still not convinced that this will do much for the
Chiefs’ completely non-existent pass rush.
D.J. finally makes impact for Chiefs
Three years after the Kansas
City Chiefs drafted Derrick Johnson as a playmaking linebacker, they’ve
finally decided to let him be one.
Told to forget about the details and techniques of his position and
fly to the ball as he had done as an All-American at Texas, Johnson
responded with perhaps his finest game as a pro. He had seven tackles
and half a sack, made an interception and forced a fumble that led to a
touchdown in Kansas City’s 33-19 victory over Denver last Sunday.
On Wednesday, he learned he had been named AFC defensive player of the week.
“He was always trying to read everything exactly right,” said coach
Herm Edwards. “You still have to read your keys, but he’s athletic
enough to where if he just sees the ball, he can make a lot of plays. I
think he started seeing the ball better, not worrying so much about
techniques. The technique’s going to come.”
The breakthrough game by the 6-foot-3, 242-pounder could not have
come at a better time. The Chiefs (1-3) had lost 12 straight games
going back to last Oct. 21.
“I knew it was a big game, a division game,” said Johnson. “I wasn’t
thinking a lot. I didn’t really care if I messed up. It wasn’t that I
wasn’t going to play within the scheme. It’s just that I was putting it
all on the line.”
CHIEFS TO BUILD ON TRIUMPH
Larry Johnson and the Kansas City Chiefs
finally put their franchise-worst losing streak to an end last Sunday
and now they will try to win on the road.
Fresh off their first win in nearly a year, the Chiefs visit the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Johnson rushed for 198 yards and two touchdowns last weekend as
Kansas City snapped a 12-game losing streak with a 33-19 victory over
the previously unbeaten Denver Broncos.
It was their first win since a 12-10 victory over the Oakland
Raiders on October 21, 2007 as they lost their final nine games last
season and their first three this year.
"Those kids deserve a win," Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said. "Our
fans deserve a win too. We haven't won a football game in quite some
time. I've never been in a drought like this before. Now we've got to
try and build on this win."
Kansas City rode the power running of Johnson, who carried 28 times
in collecting his 29th 100-yard game. It was his highest total since
rushing for 201 yards against Cincinnati in Week 17 of the 2005 season.
The Panthers also found a new dynamic to their offence last week as
the passing attack flourished in their second game with receiver Steve
ESPN: Under construction: Chiefs' 17 rookies learning the hard way
Kansas City Chiefs
head coach Herm Edwards spent most of last week imploring his players
to believe in the powerful combination of passion and energy. It was a
message he had to impart to a team that had lost its first three games,
but it was one that especially needed to be heard by his 17 rookies.
Edwards sensed that the abundance of second- and third-year players on
his roster would understand his orders. It was those first-year guys
whom he had to keep pushing in the right direction.
This is essentially how life works when you're the
head coach of a rebuilding franchise. Edwards knew this season would be
difficult when he encouraged general manager Carl Peterson and owner
Clark Hunt to blow up this veteran-dominated team during the offseason.
Now he's realizing just how much is involved in developing so many
rookies. "I always have a list of four or five guys to keep an eye on when I get
to work," Edwards said. "They need to feel like they're getting better
because sometimes they don't feel that way when they're making
Although it's far too early to know what the Chiefs
have in a rookie class that was highly touted on draft day -- Kansas
City had 12 selections, including two first-round picks that were used
on defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and left tackle Branden Albert -- there are indications that this group might have a bright future.
The case for hope: Kansas City Chiefs have hope, just not this season
Losing 12 games in a row is difficult to accomplish and even harder to
work through. Sports with dozens of games — baseball, basketball,
hockey — rarely see such losing streaks during a season. But the Kansas
City Chiefs achieved this marker in professional football, where losing
four in a row can cost a quarterback his starting spot and a coach his
In the early part of the 2007 NFL season, Kansas City was tied for
first in the AFC West division with a 4-4 record. However, the Chiefs
finished the season with a total of 12 losses and the same four wins.
The less-than-mediocre team limped into the off-season and began the
2008 season with three straight losses.
Losing for that long and that often caused many fans to blame general
manager Carl Peterson and head coach Herm Edwards. The coaching staff
and the front office are not blameless, but in truth, there is little
that could have prevented such a sorry performance.
In 2003, the Chiefs started 9-0 and seemed to have the best offense in
the league. Kansas City won 13 games as well as the division title that
season, but it was that team that showed just how lost the organization
would become. The team relied on an aging offensive line, inconsistent
veteran receivers and an elite but fading quarterback.
Eventually, the most important players in the locker room and on the
field started to retire and the window of Super Bowl opportunity closed.
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