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Arrowhead Report: Forte in focus

Posted Dec 1, 2011

Chiefs look to bottle-up Bears RB Matt Forte, a quarterback update, Amon Gordon's sack celebration and more...

Two weeks ago, the Chiefs defense laid out a game plan to slow the unreal pace of Patriots QB Tom Brady and WR Wes Welker.

Brady was good in the game, but he wasn’t “Brady.” His 15 completions were a season low, his two touchdowns passes near a single-game floor and his 3.0 sacks just below a single-game high.

Welker was invisible. Just two catches for 22 yards and his first reception not coming until the fourth quarter.

Last week, the Chiefs defense laid out a game plan to defend Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger’s deep ball to speedy wide receivers Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown.

Roethlisberger was efficient, but not great. His 193 passing yards were a single-game season low and his longest pass, which went to Brown, only 34 yards. Brown finished with a respectable four catches for 81 yards while Wallace struggled to catch just two passes for 17 yards.

In both games, Kansas City’s defense accomplished its primary goal and played at a winning level. Unfortunately, both New England and Pittsburgh found other ways to beat the Chiefs.

This week, Kansas City’s defense has another tall task in front of it: contain Bears RB Matt Forte.

Forte’s 985 rushing yards make him the NFL’s third-leading rusher and his 490 receiving yards are the second-most of any NFL running back.

Add Forte’s yardage totals together and he leads the NFL with 1,475 yards from scrimmage.

“They’ve thrown it to him 70-some times or tried to get it in his direction 70-some times,” Chiefs head coach Todd Haley said. “They put him in a number of positions, so that tells me he’s probably pretty smart.

“He’s the complete package with top-end speed to turn the corner, to finish runs and 30-yarders become 70-yards and he does that pretty regularly.”

With backup quarterback Caleb Hanie making just his second career start, the Bears may be inclined to increase Forte’s workload this weekend.

Forte rushed only 10 times in last Sunday’s loss to Oakland, but he was targeted a team-high 10 times in the passing game and led the Bears with six receptions.

“He’s one of the smoothest runners I’ve seen,” said DE Wallace Gilberry. “His jump cut is amazing. He can go from one gap to around the edge in a matter of a split second. He’s definitely going to be hard to contain, but we have a game plan we’re putting together that will hopefully bottle him up a little bit.”

The Chiefs haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since Buffalo’s Fred Jackson gained 112 yards on 20 carries in the season opener.

Kansas City’s hasn’t allowed a running back to register a 100-yard receiving game since San Francisco’s Frank Gore caught nine passes for 102 yards in a 31-10 loss to the Chiefs on September 26, 2010.

60/40 Status Quo

The split in first-team practice reps between quarterbacks Tyler Palko and Kyle Orton remained the same Thursday afternoon at the Chiefs Training Facility.

Palko opened drills as the first quarterback in the portion of practice open to the media with Orton and rookie Ricky Stanzi working in behind. Palko continues to receive approximately 60% of the starters’ reps while Orton handles the remaining snaps.

“It’s status quo,” Haley said. “Tyler is the starter; Kyle is getting ready to play. Like I said yesterday, he might have to, he might not. That’s where we are. He did a good job today. They both did a good job today.”

“Mopping The Floor”

Amon Gordon had seen a little bit of everything before arriving in Kansas City as an unrestricted free agent on August 6th. Gordon had been rostered by nearly one-third of the league’s 32 teams (nine if you’re counting, plus multiple stints with Tennessee and Seattle) since entering the NFL as a fifth-round pick of the Browns in 2004.

The well-traveled veteran had seen injury, excitement, starting roles, inactive statuses and disappointment. But one thing he hadn’t seen was a sack.

Gordon waited seven years to record his first career sack, which occurred on Monday Night Football against the Patriots. His encore included a sack on Sunday night against the Steelers.

After a seven-year wait Gordon has sacks in back-to-back games, but what was behind that celebration? Gordon says his post-sack dance last Sunday was a tribute to his blue-collar NFL career.

“That’s just mopping the floor,” Gordon laughed. “Its blue collar in a blue collar city where I think everyone will be able to appreciate that. It’s just about having some fun and being out there able to play after quite some time. It’s just a great feeling.”

Gordon’s breakout is coming at a time when the Chiefs defense desperately needed someone to spark its pass rush.

 Kansas City had just 9.0 sacks through the first nine games of the season, but has recorded 4.0 sacks over the past two games and is pressuring the quarterback much more frequently.

“He’s been a pleasant surprise,” said Haley. “He’s been a consistent gameday, active guy for us and his reps are starting to add up. The biggest thing with Amon is that he’s got position flexibility, so he can play nose, so he can backup nose, he can backup Kelly [Gregg], but at the same time he can play the five-technique also. In the sub, he can play three-technique inside.”

Hear more from Gordon Friday morning in an uncut interview from this week’s Hy-Vee Chiefs Insider Pre-Game Show.

Injury Report

Kansas City added C Casey Wiegmann to the injury report Thursday afternoon with a finger injury. He was a limited practice participant.

Wiegmann has started 170 consecutive games at center and played 10,838 straight snaps dating back to September 23, 2001.

Chiefs Injury Report

G Ryan Lilja – Limited Practice (Head)

C Casey Wiegmann – Limited Practice (Finger)

LB Demorrio Williams – Full Practice (Groin)

Bears Injury Report

Chicago added WR Devin Hester and DT Anthony Adams to its injury report Thursday afternoon. The Bears also upgraded the status of starting right cornerback Charles Tillman, who didn’t practice on Wednesday.

QB Jay Cutler – OUT (Right Thumb)

DT Anthony Adams – Did Not Practice (Back)

WR Devin Hester – Limited Practice (Not Injury Related)

CB D.J. Moore – Limited Practice (Ankle)

CB Zackary Bowman – Full Practice (Groin)

CB Charles Tillman – Full Practice (Knee)

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