Patriots dialed in for Chiefs, championship game
in 2014, the last time the Patriots traveled to Kansas City, apoplectic reaction went to parts unknown: speculation whether Tom Brady was finished and if his Lombardi-hoarding coach had lost his touch.Two Super Bowl victories later, New England is again on rarely traveled ground, packing for another AFC Championship game as the underdog at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday."They're a well balanced, disciplined team. We'll need our best game," Belichick said Wednesday in Foxborough, Mass.The Patriots need one win for their ninth Super Bowl appearance since 2000. Sunday will mark the eighth consecutive year New England has reached the conference title game. No other team has appeared in more than five in a row."I love to play in a championship game," Belichick said, shrugging off a question about preparing for gametime temperatures forecast to be at or below freezing. "Schedule it wherever you want. We'll be there."The most recent forecast calls for a daytime temperature of 19 degrees.Belichick has won a championship at the expense of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. New England won Super Bowl XXXIX over the Eagles, with Reid as Philadelphia's coach, following the 2004 season. The Patriots have 18 takeaways in eight games and a 6-2 record when Belichick opposes Reid.Overall, Reid is 1-4 in championship games. Kansas City hasn't won the Super Bowl since 1970.For all the playoff experience Brady and Belichick boast, not often has New England been asked to go on the road to earn a Super Bowl ticket. New England is 3-4 in postseason road games featuring Brady behind center."We're going to have to stop the whole offense, not just one player," Belichick said. "We're going to have to play good team defense."
Chiefs activate G Duvernay-Tardif, cut S Parker
The Kansas City Chiefs activated right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from injured reserve and waived safety Ron Parker on Tuesday, the team announced.Duvernay-Tardif, who turns 28 in February, landed on IR after he broke his fibula in Week 5. He was expected to return before the end of the regular season, but further examination found a spiral fracture that required surgery, extending his absence.He is expected to reclaim his starting spot from Andrew Wylie, who has started 11 straight games at right guard. Duvernay-Tardif has missed time due to injury in each of the last three seasons, but he has been a full-time starter when healthy, earning a five-year, $42.4 million extension two years ago.Parker, 31, fell behind Daniel Sorensen and Jordan Lucas on the depth chart in recent weeks, losing his starting spot in Week 17 and playing just eight snaps in Saturday's playoff win.
Chiefs-Patriots in for frigid AFC title game
Chiefs coach Andy Reid wore cargo shorts to his Monday press conference at Arrowhead Stadium, but he might be sporting pants and a parka this weekend.When the Chiefs host the AFC Championship game in Kansas City on Sunday against the New England Patriots, temperatures could be downright frigid. Weather.com has a forecast range for 6:40 p.m. ET (scheduled kickoff time) in the 5-below zero to 10 degrees above zero range as of Monday afternoon.Last week, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick prepared his team for all types of weather before New England beat up on the Chargers. Before the game, he said, "We're not playing the weather. Whatever it is, it is."Accuweather projects temperatures Sunday night between 2 and 14 degrees.Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been in big games with low temps before. In 2004, the Patriots beat the Steelers in the AFC title game with a starting temperature of 11 degrees.
Chiefs G Allen rewards good Samaritan with tickets
A Kansas City Chiefs fan named David Cochran is going to the AFC Championship Game next Sunday for doing a good deed.A snowstorm bombarded the Kansas City area on Saturday, and the vehicle of Chiefs guard Jeff Allen got stuck in approximately eight inches of snow as he was trying to make it to Arrowhead Stadium for his team's playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts.Allen encountered a man, who identified himself simply as Dave, who helped get him his car out. He asked for Dave's phone number and was entering it into his phone when his phone rang and he lost the number.So late Saturday night, Allen began a social-media search for Dave. He put out the word on his Twitter account and said he wanted to give the helpful man tickets to the AFC title game."My car got stuck in the snow before the game & a nice guy named Dave help pull me out without knowing I was a player," Allen wrote. "I want to give him tickets to the AFC championship game for helping but don't have a way to contact him. He drove a 97 or 98 Black Suburban. Pls RT #ChiefsKingdom"Allen had to sift through numerous impostors claiming to be the man before finally being contacted by the correct "Dave" on Twitter."Update: Despite the recent influx in people changing their name to Dave in the KC area lol, I was actually able to track down the Dave that helped me thanks to the power of social media and #ChiefsKindgom," Allen wrote. "Thanks for your kindness"The Kansas City Star met up with Cochran in the parking lot at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday and confirmed his identity. NBC affiliate KSHB-TV reported that Cochran is homeless and living in the truck with his girlfriend and his dog.
Chiefs, Mahomes control Colts, advance to AFC title game
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 278 yards and ran for a score Saturday as the Chiefs ended a six-game home losing streak in the postseason by stomping the Indianapolis Colts 31-13 at snowy Kansas City, Mo.The AFC playoff victory was the first in a quarter-century for the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium after they advanced as the No. 1 seed for the first time since 1997.More than a half-foot of snow socked Kansas City before kickoff. Light snow also fell during the game.Kansas City will play for the AFC championship next Sunday against the winner of Sunday's playoff game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers.Running back Damien Williams had career bests with 25 carries for 129 rushing yards. He scored one touchdown.Tight end Travis Kelce led the Chiefs with 108 receiving yards on seven catches, while wideout Tyreek Hill added eight catches for 72 yards and a rushing TD. Mahomes went 27-for-41 passing and didn't throw an interception.Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston had two sacks and recovered a fumble off a strip by Dee Ford.The turnover thwarted a huge opportunity for the Colts after they took over at the Chiefs 20-yard line late in the third quarter on a fumble that was forced and recovered by linebacker Darius Leonard.Colts quarterback Andrew Luck could never get into a rhythm, passing for 203 yards while going 19-for-36. The Colts, who had won 10 of their previous 11 games, including five straight, were dogged by 10 penalties for 70 yards.
Chiefs' Berry, Ware out; Colts without Hooker
Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry (heel) and running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) are both inactive for Saturday's AFC divisional playoff game against the visiting Indianapolis Colts.However, Chiefs wideout Sammy Watkins (foot) is active for the first time since Week 11. He had 40 catches for 519 yards and three touchdowns in 10 regular-season games, but has played only five snaps since Week 9. Late-season signee Kelvin Benjamin is inactive with Watkins ready to go.Berry has played just 99 snaps across two games this season while battling a lingering heel issue, while Ware missed the final three games of the regular season. Damien Williams is expected to start at running back for Kansas City.
Chiefs' Berry, Watkins, Ware all questionable
Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry (heel), wideout Sammy Watkins (foot) and running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) are all questionable for Saturday's playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts.Berry, who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, appears unlikely to play, as NFL Network reports the Chiefs adjusted their defensive packages in practice with the expectation they'll be without him.Head coach Andy Reid offered little on Berry's status, saying it's "day by day, same thing it's been throughout the year."The three-time All-Pro safety practiced on a limited basis Tuesday before sitting the last two days. He missed the first 13 games of the season with a nagging heel issue, then returned for 99 snaps between Weeks 15 and 16, but sat out the regular-season finale after being pulled out of practice that week.
Chiefs S Berry misses practice, status uncertain
Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry's status for Saturday's playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts is uncertain after he missed Wednesday's practice with a lingering heel issue.Berry had practiced on a limited basis Tuesday after missing the regular-season finale, but he sat out Wednesday. Head coach Andy Reid did not voice any concerns about Berry's status earlier this week, but defensive coordinator Bob Sutton indicated Wednesday that the situation is up in the air."It's just what it is," Sutton said. "There's not a lot you can do about it, and every week we've got our fingers crossed and hope that he can make it back and go. ...It really is a day-to-day-to-day thing here right now, the way it's playing out. You just got to stay in there and go and figure out how to get other guys ready in case he can't go."Berry missed the first 13 games of the season while battling a heel injury, after missing all but one game in 2017 to a torn Achilles. He played 99 snaps across games in Week 14 and 15 but apparently had a setback during practice in Week 17, as he went from full participation on Dec. 26 and 27 to a non-participant on Dec. 28 before missing the Dec. 30 game."It's difficult from the standpoint of he's a real critical part of our team," Sutton said of Berry. "He's an outstanding player. He's one of our true leaders, the guys rally around him, so I think that part is always hard."
Chiefs, Mahomes primed for shootout with Colts, Luck
The Kansas City Chiefs were not students of history this week.Reminders, however, were frequent and could not be silenced, no matter how hard the Chiefs tried while preparing for a divisional home game Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC playoffs."We definitely see how (fans) feel, what they're expecting and things like that,'' said Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller. "That's also something that we can't focus on. We can't get into all that.''The Chiefs seemingly earned a nice reward, home-field advantage, with the top seed they secured by going 12-4 and winning their third straight AFC West title.Yet the franchise has lost six straight playoff games in Arrowhead Stadium, 11 of its last 12 playoff games overall and won only twice at home in the postseason all-time despite appearing in two of the first four Super Bowls.By contrast, the Colts own two playoff wins in Kansas City and are 4-0 against the Chiefs in the postseason."Obviously there are a couple of us that played probably in the last one, but most of those (were) a long time ago,'' said Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri. "Obviously they are a great team and the number one seed. They have won a lot of games. They've got a very explosive offense. They've got probably the best returner in the National Football League with number 10 (Tyreek) Hill.''Hill also set a Chiefs receiving record with 1,479 yards and tight end Travis Kelce set a Chiefs record with 103 receptions. They did so largely because of a quarterback who gives Kansas City a different postseason outlook, Patrick Mahomes.In his debut season as a starter, Mahomes captivated the league by passing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns as the Chiefs led the NFL in yards per game (425.6), scoring (35.3) and yards per play (6.84).Enough that at the end of the final regular-season home game, a 35-3 win over Oakland, Chiefs fans were chanting, "MVP.''"I am pretty sure it won't be the last time with that guy,'' said linebacker Justin Houston.Yet Mahomes is aware of how the playoffs carry a different feel. He learned that a year ago, watching from the sideline when the Chiefs suffered another inexplicable home defeat, blowing an 18-point halftime lead and falling 22-21 to the Tennessee Titans.
Chiefs WR Watkins returns to practice
Kansas City Chiefs wideout Sammy Watkins practiced Tuesday for the first time since sustaining a setback in his recovery from a foot injury in early December.Watkins officially was limited in practice, but his participation represents progress. He has missed six straight games and played just five snaps in a seventh (Week 11), his only game since Nov. 4.In the first year of a three-year, $48 million free agent contract, Watkins had 40 catches for 519 yards and three touchdowns across 10 games.Also limited for Kansas City on Tuesday were running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) and safety Eric Berry (heel). Rookie linebacker Dorian O'Daniel (calf/ankle) did not participate.
Mahomes makes history, KC gets top seed with win
Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes on Sunday became the second quarterback in NFL history to pass for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a season as the Chiefs bashed the Oakland Raiders 35-3 at Kansas City, Mo.The victory gave the Chiefs home-field advantage as the top seed in the AFC playoffs after going 12-4 and claiming their third consecutive West Division title.An 89-yard scoring bomb to Demarcus Robinson with 8:33 left in the third quarter was Mahomes' 50th TD strike of the season and pushed the first-year starter past the 5,000-yard plateau. The only other quarterback to reach both milestones in the same season was Denver's Peyton Manning in 2013.Mahomes punctuated his MVP candidacy with 281 yards against the Raiders, going 14 of 24 with two touchdowns and one interception. Tyreek Hill led the Kansas City receivers with five receptions for 101 yards and scored touchdowns on a 67-yard reception and 15-yard rush.Oakland finished 4-12 in Jon Gruden's first season returning as coach. The Raiders were sidetracked by four turnovers on their first four possessions and fell to Kansas City for the eighth time in their last nine matchups.Quarterback Derek Carr passed for 185 yards, going 24 of 33 with two interceptions. He also lost a fumble and was sacked three times. Oakland running back Doug Martin topped all rushers with 100 yards on 21 carries.
Chiefs S Berry (heel) questionable after missing practice
Needing a win Sunday against the Oakland Raiders to cement home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs are suddenly unsure about the status of Eric Berry.After being a full participant at the team's practices on both Wednesday and Thursday this week, the five-time Pro Bowl safety was sidelined for all of Friday's workout because of soreness in his left foot.Because of the sudden issues, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid listed Berry as questionable for Sunday, explaining after practice that the veteran's foot and calf area were tender."We'll just see," said Reid, per the Kansas City Star. "We backed off and we'll see how he does."Berry, who turns 30 on Saturday, has missed nearly all of the past two seasons recovering from a torn left Achilles suffered in the 2017 season opener. But Berry returned to play in the Chiefs' last two games against the Los Angeles Chargers, when he played 30 snaps, and Seattle Seahawks, as he upped his snap total to 69.
Reports: Chiefs ink RB Williams to two-year extension
The Kansas City Chiefs have signed running back Damien Williams to a two-year contract worth a maximum of $8.1 million, according to multiple reports Thursday.Williams, 26, has seen his playing time increase in recent weeks, following the release of Kareem Hunt and an injury to Spencer Ware. He eclipsed 100 yards rushing for the first time in his career last weekend, totaling 103 in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.Williams, who only had three rushing attempts over the first 11 games of the season, has run for 204 yards on 36 carries in his last four games. He has also caught 19 passes for 134 yards in that time, totaling five touchdowns between the air and ground.
Chiefs host Raiders, cooking up vision of homefield
The Kansas City Chiefs were once in an envious position to obtain the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.After two consecutive defeats, Andy Reid finds it necessary to remind everyone his team is still in a favorable position."We aren't playing for the first pick in the draft, that's not what we are doing,'' said the Chiefs coach. "We are playing for the number one seed in the playoffs. We have had a couple rough weeks, but we are going to bounce back out of that and get ourselves right."Back-to-back losses to the Chargers and Seahawks leave the Chiefs 11-4 entering their last regular-season game, a home matchup Sunday against Oakland (4-11), a division rival Kansas City has defeated in seven of the last eight meetings.Concerns regarding the Chiefs defense escalated after Los Angeles rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit in Arrowhead Stadium and Seattle balanced big throws by Russell Wilson with a 116-yard rushing performance from Chris Carson.Wilson proved it is possible, especially when confronting a Chiefs defense ranked 31st in average yards allowed (413.1), to outperform Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City quarterback who is among the frontrunners for MVP honors in the NFL.While he acknowledged "it is special for anyone to get that award or even be mentioned for that award,'' Mahomes is also aware of what is at stake against the Raiders."We want to make sure we get to stay here (at home) the rest of the way out,'' Mahomes said. "We know that if we can come together and play like we know we can, then we can make a run at this thing."Kansas City won the first matchup with Oakland, 40-33, but allowed 171 yards rushing and 17 fourth-quarter points. Since then, the Raiders have won two of three, earning their first division win by beating Denver 27-14 on Monday.Mahomes ranks second in the NFL with 4,816 yards passing and first with 48 touchdown passes.
Chiefs QB Mahomes thankful for MVP support
Patrick Mahomes spent part of his holiday season breaking down film.Except this film was different. It was the Kansas City Chiefs' promotional video touting Mahomes as an NFL MVP candidate."My mom is in town, so she for sure showed me as quick as she could," Mahomes said to reporters Wednesday. "It's awesome. Those guys did a great job with the video. I thought it was really cool. For me, it's all about these next few games, play by play of this next game against the (Oakland) Raiders and then the chance to hopefully keep it going."It has been a dizzying season for Mahomes, the 23-year-old Texas Tech product who has ignited the Chiefs' offense in his first season as a full-time starter. In 15 games this year, Mahomes has completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 4,816 yards, a league-high 48 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has added 271 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground.Mahomes' 48 touchdown passes tie him with Dan Marino (1984) for fourth place on the NFL's single-season list. He needs one more touchdown pass to tie Peyton Manning (49, 2004) for third place and two more to tie Tom Brady (50, 2007) for second place. Manning is the all-time leader with 55 TD passes in 2013.Yet Mahomes insists that individual records and the possibility of winning MVP are not at the top of his priority list.
Seahawks clinch playoff spot with win over Chiefs
Russell Wilson passed for three touchdowns and Chris Carson rushed for two as the Seattle Seahawks clinched an NFC wild-card berth with a 38-31 victory against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.Wilson completed 18 of 29 passes for 271 yards and did not throw an interception. He also had 57 yards rushing on eight attempts, including a 26-yard scamper on a scoring drive in the fourth quarter that gave Seattle (9-6) a 31-20 lead. Wilson hit tight end Ed Dickson with a 2-yard touchdown pass to cap that drive.Carson rushed for 116 yards on 27 carries, becoming the first Seattle running back to reach 1,000 yards in a season since Marshawn Lynch in 2014.Patrick Mahomes completed 23 of 40 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns for the Chiefs (11-4), who lost their second in a row and remained tied atop the AFC West with the Los Angeles Chargers. Damien Williams rushed for 103 yards on 13 carries in the loss.The Seahawks' secondary limited the league's top passing offense, with Tyreek Hill catching only four passes for 74 yards and tight end Travis Kelce five for 54.Trailing by 11 with 7:36 remaining, Mahomes drove the Chiefs down the field and hit Demarcus Robinson with an 11-yard scoring strike to cap a nine-play, 72-yard drive. Mahomes ran for the two-point conversion to trim the deficit to 31-28 with 4:43 left.But Wilson responded with a 75-yard drive, capped by Carson's 1-yard touchdown run with 2:29 to go to make it 38-28.The Chiefs got a 32-yard field goal from Harrison Butker with 1:23 left to pull within seven, but the ensuing onside kick went out of bounds and the Seahawks were able to run out the clock.The Seahawks took a 24-17 lead into the fourth quarter, breaking a 17-17 tie on Wilson's 27-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin with 45 seconds left in the third.
Seahawks, Chiefs square off in test of resilience
The Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs added injury to insult last week.The teams, who will meet Sunday night at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, blew chances to ensure their playoff standing with late-game losses in Week 15. Each defeat included significant injuries.The Chiefs (11-3) could have clinched the AFC West title, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs last Thursday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Instead, they gave up a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter and suffered a 29-28 defeat, dropping into a tie with the Chargers for first place in the division."It's tough. Mentally, it's very tough," Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said. "We have to come back and bounce back. We have to prepare for Seattle at their place. Understand what you did wrong and watch film and let's make some corrections and bring it."Right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, a Pro Bowl alternate, suffered a knee injury in the loss and Kendall Fuller, the Chiefs' top cover cornerback, played through a fractured hand. Neither has practiced this week, with Fuller undergoing surgery, though coach Andy Reid said both could play Sunday. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins has missed the past three games with a heel injury and also remained out of practice."So what do we do? We get back on it," Reid said. "You have to be resilient. That's what you do, you learn from your mistakes. That's real. Then you become a better team and get yourself ready to go play Seattle and that's what we will do."The 10 days between games has helped the Chiefs somewhat, as running back Spencer Ware has been a limited participant in practice after suffering a hamstring injury a couple of weeks ago against Baltimore (he was inactive against the Chargers). And offensive lineman Cameron Erving has been a full participant coming off a knee injury.
Chiefs CB Fuller could play despite surgery
Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid confirmed Monday that cornerback Kendall Fuller had surgery to repair a wrist injury, but contrary to previous reports, Reid said Fuller may not miss any time at all.On Friday, NFL Network reported that Fuller, 23, was to undergo surgery and likely miss time with a fractured wrist, an injury he played with Thursday in a one-point loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.On Monday, Reid said the third-year player could play this Sunday despite the procedure."Kendall Fuller did have surgery on his hand," Reid said. "He's doing well. This is a short-term thing, so there's a good chance that he has an opportunity in the game coming up here."Reid added that the team will be prepared in the event Fuller could not play against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night, specifically noting that rookies Tremon Smith and Charvarius Ward are "making progress.""We'll be okay there if we have to play some other guys there, if (Fuller's) not there," Reid said.
Report: Chiefs S Berry will start, be on snap count
Eric Berry indeed will start Thursday night, making his season debut in his team's biggest game to date, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported.Citing a source informed of the situation, Rapoport reported that Berry will start and be on a snap count at home against the Los Angeles Chargers. He was officially listed as questionable after practicing on a limited basis all week.The Chiefs (11-2) and Chargers (10-3) have the two best records in the AFC. Having already beaten the Chargers in Los Angeles in the season opener, Kansas City can clinch the AFC West with a win Thursday night.
Chargers' gamble results in key win over Chiefs
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers fired a touchdown pass with four seconds remaining Thursday, connecting with Mike Williams, then the same duo added a decisive two-point conversion as visiting Los Angeles beat the Kansas City Chiefs 29-28.Rivers engineered two touchdowns in the final four minutes to rally the Chargers from a 28-14 deficit.The result leaves the Chargers and Chiefs tied atop the AFC West with 11-3 records, though the Chiefs hold a tiebreaker with a better division mark.Los Angeles snapped a nine-game losing streak to Kansas City and also snapped the Chiefs' nine-game home winning streak.Rivers threw for 313 yards, going 26 of 38 and overcoming two first-half interceptions. The Chargers were without their top two running backs, Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (concussion). Also, their top receiver, Keenan Allen, left in the first quarter with a hip injury and did not have a reception.Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 243 yards, going 24 of 34 with two touchdowns. Damien Williams also scored two rushing TDs in the second half.The victory was the fourth straight for Los Angeles and was just the second loss in 22 games for Kansas City against a division rival.