Arrowhead Report: Chiefs look to keep playoff hopes alive

Posted Dec 23, 2011

Only four teams have made the playoffs entering Week 16 with a 6-8 record

Last week’s win over Green Bay revived playoff hopes for the 6-8 Kansas City Chiefs.

Through all of the craziness this season – one that’s seen the Chiefs use three starting quarterbacks, go through two losing streaks of three or more games and make an in-season coaching change – Kansas City enters Week 16 still alive for the postseason thanks to its 19-14 upset of the Packers last weekend.

It’s a second-life Chiefs players are appreciative of and hoping to capitalize upon.

“We know what’s at stake and we know that we have an opportunity in front of us,” safety Kendrick Lewis said. “Guys are hungry, but humble about the task we have at hand. We have a chance to make it to the playoffs if we can keep things going good on our end. Hopefully the rest will take care of itself.”

The rest includes Denver losing to Buffalo this weekend and San Diego dropping one of its remaining two games. Of course, the Chiefs must win-out as well.

If the Chiefs do end up making the playoffs, they’ll have achieved a rare feat. Only four teams that sat with a 6-8 record after 14 games have ever made the postseason.

2010 – Seattle Seahawks (Finished 7-9, won NFC West)

2008 – San Diego Chargers (Finished 8-8, won AFC West)

2004 – St. Louis Rams (Finished 8-8, NFC Wild Card)

1990 – New Orleans Saints (Finished 8-8, NFC Wild Card)

Raiders Chasing Chiefs Record

The 1998 Kansas City Chiefs own the NFL’s dubious records for most penalties (158) and penalty yardage (1,304) in a single season. No team has truly threatened either record since the Chiefs established the marks nearly 13 seasons ago.

Enter the 2011 Oakland Raiders.

Both records are in jeopardy of being broken by this year’s Raiders squad that currently leads the NFL in penalties (128) and penalty yardage (1,202).

Oakland has committed double-digit penalties in more than half its games and was penalized 14 times for 120 yards in a 28-0 loss to Kansas City earlier this season. The Raiders travel to Kansas
City on a three-game losing streak that’s included 31 penalties for 266 yards.

“We’ve had a number of issues from penalties, to injuries, to inconsistent play,” Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer said. “It’s never really just one thing, but it’s something that we’ve identified when things don’t go the way they’re supposed to.”

Though Palmer’s offense has committed a number of penalties, it’s the Raiders defense that’s leading the charge.

Oakland’s defensive unit leads the league with 71 penalties accepted for 696 yards.

Crennel/Orton Make History

After Todd Haley was dismissed as Chiefs head coach last week, one of the first orders of business for new head coach Romeo Crennel was naming Kyle Orton Kansas City’s starting quarterback. Doing so gave the Chiefs a better chance at victory, but also tested NFL history.

Until the Crennel/Orton combination upended Green Bay, no coaches making a midseason debut had won when pairing with a quarterback making his first start with the team.

It was a scenario that had occurred six tames prior to 1970.

11/21/71 – Jerry Smith/Steve Ramsey, DEN (Lost 28-10 to KC)

10/22/72 – John Sandusky/Marty Domres, BAL (Lost 24-20 to NYJ)

11/11/73 – Ron Waller/Wayne Clark, SD (Lost 30-19 to DEN)

12/18/77 – Dick Modzelski/Terry Luck, CLE (Lost 20-19 to SEA)

11/02/86 – Al Saunders/Tom Flick, SD (Lost 24-23 to KC)

12/05/04 – Terry Robiskie/Luke McCown, CLE (Lost 42-15 to NE)

12/18/11 – Romeo Crennel/Kyle Orton, KC (Won 19-14 vs. GB)

McGraw Ruled Out; Wiegmann’s Streak Safe

Chiefs veteran center Casey Wiegmann was limited throughout this week’s practices with a strained calf, but is expected to play Saturday against Oakland. Wiegmann has started 173 consecutive games at center dating back to September 23, 2001. He’s played in 11,036 straight snaps over that time period.

As expected, safety Jon McGraw will miss Saturday’s game with a high ankle sprain. Reshard Langford started in McGraw’s absence last weekend against Green Bay with Sabby Piscitelli also playing significant snaps.

Chiefs Injury Report

OUT – S Jon McGraw (Ankle)

PROBABLE – C Casey Wiegmann (Calf)

Raiders Injury Report

OUT: QB Jason Cambell (Collarbone), WR Jacoby Ford (Foot), DT John Henderson (Knee), S Michael Huff (Hamstring), RB Darren McFadden (Foot)

QUESTIONABLE:  RB Michael Bush (Shoulder), RB Taiwan Jones (Hamstring), WR Louis Murphy (Groin)

PROBABLE: RB Rock Cartright (Calf), S Matt Giordano (Shoulder), DT Tommy Kelly (Toe), CB Bryan McCann (Concussion), WR Denarius Moore (Foot), CB Stanford Routt (Knee), C Samson Satele (Shoulder), WR Chaz Schilens (Hip)

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