Morning Huddle: Chiefs sweep of Raiders all but locks up division title

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Welcome to #VictoryMonday and no victory Monday is sweeter than a dismantling of the Raiders. Better luck next year, Gruden/Carr. This is your #MorningHuddle

Chiefs news for 2 December 2019

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Defense, Special Teams Fuel Chiefs in 40-9 Rout Over Raiders | Chiefs Digest

The Chiefs (8-4) have won five-straight games against the Raiders (6-6) and 10 of the last 11 between the two teams. The Chiefs have won 25 of their last 27 games against AFC West opponents.

Usually when the Chiefs bury opponents, they do it behind a high-octane offense. But this time the defense and special teams provided the jump start. On Oakland’s opening drive, safety Tyrann Mathieu picked off a Derek Carr pass to set the Chiefs up at the Oakland 47-yard line. 

That was the first of three Oakland turnovers on the day leading directly to 14 Kansas City points. The Chiefs defense generated just 12 turnovers in the team’s first 10 games of the season. In the last two games against the Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers, the Chiefs have produced seven turnovers. 

Chiefs sweep of Raiders all but locks up division title | ESPN

The 8-4 Chiefs are two games ahead of the 6-6 and second-place Raiders in the AFC West. They swept the season series, having also won in September when the teams played in Oakland.

That means the Chiefs have the tiebreaker, so they need just two wins in their final four games to clinch their fourth straight AFC West championship. Just one of the Chiefs’ remaining four regular-season opponents has a winning record as of today.

That opponent is defending Super Bowl champion New England. The Chiefs are at the Patriots next Sunday, and beating the Raiders gives the Chiefs some room for error heading into that most challenging assignment.

Chiefs dominate Raiders as revamped defense shines | NFL

The difference is that more players are becoming more familiar with Spagnuolo’s schemes as well as each other. “Everything is starting to come together because we know we have guys who can make plays,” said linebacker Reggie Ragland. “(Safety) Tyrann Mathieu has been making plays since he was at LSU. (Safety) Juan Thornhill has been making plays since he was at Virginia. We have a lot of guys who know how to make things happen and we’re playing loose. At the end of the day, it’s our job but we also still need to have fun with it.”

The 
Chiefs set the tone on defense from the moment this game started. Mathieu intercepted Carr in the first quarter and set up Kansas City’s first score, a 3-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes to running back Darrel Williams. The Raiders later tried to convert a fourth-and-1 on the Chiefs 40-yard line in the second quarter. Thornhill sniffed out a jet sweep by Oakland wide receiver Trevor Davis, stuffed the play and the Chiefs eventually turned that into a 13-yard touchdown run by Mahomes.

The 
Raiders were already reeling by that point and then Thornhill added to their misery with a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown. Just like that, the Chiefs had a 21-0 lead and all hopes of a decent division battle vanished. “You’ve got to give them credit,” said Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. “That is a good defensive team. They do a lot and they came in with a very unorthodox package. They mixed their coverages and mixed their looks. We had some opportunities (but) we just didn’t cash in on them and they did. That is a big part of this game.”

From an old rivalry to a new one: Chiefs’ dominance over Raiders shows they’re ready for Week 14 battle with Patriots | The Athletic

During his conversation with reporters after Sunday’s game, Kelce was asked about the same number of questions about the upcoming Patriots matchup as the game just played vs. the hated Raiders. Kelce understands most NFL fans want to see the two teams play one another — featuring the marquee matchup of Mahomes vs. Brady — after the dramatic AFC Championship Game.

A reporter used the phrase “unfinished business” in the exchange. Kelce didn’t fully agree. He acknowledged, though, that the Patriots are the rival the Chiefs want to conquer next.

“We have a lot of business going up there and coming away with a win,” he said. “I’ll take this group against anybody in the league.”

What we learned from Sunday’s Week 13 games | NFL

2. If someone told you that Patrick Mahomes would be held below the 200-yard passing mark, and the Chiefs would have one offensive play that went more than 20 yards, you’d probably think the game was at least close. Nope. Despite getting relatively healthy for the first time in weeks, the K.C. offense, playing in gusty elements that occasionally sent even Mahomes’ normal bullets flying wayward, wasn’t crisp. It mattered naught, with the Chiefs offense taking advantage of short fields and Raiders penalties to blow out the division rival. Rookie running back Darwin Thompson entered late after Darrell Williams left with a hamstring injury. The sixth-round pick looked good, generating 44 yards and a TD late in the fourth quarter as the Chiefs salted away the game. It will be interesting to see if Andy Reid gives the rookie more run down the stretch after the optimistic performance.

3. The victory, in which the 
Chiefs were flagged for zero accepted penalties for the first time since 1974, per CBS, puts K.C. in position to win the AFC West for the fourth straight season. At 8-4, Reid’s team has a two-game edge on Oakland (6-6) in the win column. After beating the Raiders twice to earn the tiebreaker, the advantage is three games with four to play. Jon Gruden won’t be happy with how his team came out in a rivalry game, which included 12 penalties for 99 yards (one DPI called on a booth review that wiped out an end-zone INT), that essentially handed the Chiefs the division. Oakland has had positive moments this season, but back-to-back losses by 31 points take some shine off the Raiders‘ good games.

The Rest of the West:

Denver Broncos 23 – 20 Los Angeles Chargers

Destined for an overtime showdown with their AFC West rivals, the Chargers (4-8) somehow wrested defeat from the jaws of victory. On the Broncos‘ ensuing possession, Drew Lock launched a prayer along the right sideline in the direction of Courtland Sutton, but the receiver was interfered with by Casey Hayward at the Chargers‘ 35-yard line. The refs threw the flag, and “New York” didn’t call for the PI call to be reviewed. All of this set up a game-winning try from McManus from 53 yards out with three seconds left. The kicker, who had been seen throwing a tantrum in the first half after being denied a crack at a long field goal try, nailed it, his second successful 50-plus-yard try in less than five minutes. As the ball flew through the uprights, so flew Los Angeles’ chances at making the postseason. All eight of the Chargers‘ losses this season have come by one score. So close, so far, so long, L.A.

2. Activated off injured reserve this week after missing Denver’s first 11 games with a thumb injury, Lock finally made his regular-season 
Broncos debut. The second-round rookie’s first game was mostly a tale of two halves. Lock led touchdown drives on two of his first three drives, including a 12-play, 80-yard march that featured five first downs and a beautiful 26-yard TD pass to a diving Courtland Sutton. The rook found Sutton (four catches, 74 yards) for another score on Denver’s next drive. Lock was 12-of-19 for 123 yards and the two scores at halftime, but he didn’t have nearly as much success coming out of the break. In the second half, Lock threw a bad pick over the middle to Denzel Perryman, completing six of nine passes for just 13 yards, none of them to wide receivers. With the downfield element mostly eliminated, Lock still showcased smart play on Denver’s go-ahead drive midway through the fourth quarter, especially on a third-down conversion to Jeff Heuerman that extended the march. But the Broncos relied mostly on Lock’s stellar first half and second-half dump-offs to running backs to hold on for the victory. Denver (4-8) compiled just 218 net yards in the win, which was an improvement on the 134 Brandon Allen‘s Broncos offense mustered last week against Buffalo but left Lock room for improvement in the season’s dying weeks.

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Morning Bowl of (T)Weeties:

Arrowhead Guys Twitter:

There is a 100% chance of snow Sunday, and now the second wave is also targeting our area for Monday. So, additional amounts are likely with that second wave. This shows the potential snowfall during the @Chiefs game tomorrow!

@Lenardcadyjr Outside of @ArrowheadGuys no media outlets have been interested even though I’ve done this for waaaay longer than some who have at least been noticed by TV or news platforms, I’ve given away lots of prints an several paintings (to players) to try (cont)

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Local Chiefs Reporters:

ICYMI: The latest "In the Trenches" is now available.

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@ChiefsReporter @stonecoldjones_ @JamesPalmerTV Keep it up. Absolutely one of my favorite podcasts. As a data need I love all of the stats and data.

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National Talking Heads:

START: Tyler Higbee
SIT: Kyle Rudolph

Week 15 @NFLFantasy Start 'Em, Sit 'Em (TEs): http://bit.ly/2Pjuyh2 (via @Michael_Fabiano)

The @Titans have been rollin' since @ryantannehill1 took over. 💪

📺: #HOUvsTEN-- TOMORROW 1pm ET on CBS
📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app

Gronk was in the league almost a decade, one of the most covered athletes ever, and I have never heard this story https://twitter.com/nfl/status/1205669711746236417

Twitter feed video.Gronk was in the league almost a decade, one of the most covered athletes ever, and I have never heard this story https://t.co/112KUDIYEJ
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Bill Belichick tells the story of how the @Patriots drafted @RobGronkowski, with an interesting pre-draft visit 😂

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Berserker

The Chiefs have won 25 of their last 27 games against AFC West opponents.

Thanks, Andy.

probablyamistake
probablyamistake

Anyone catch belichick’s hand shake after getting beat last night. What a sore losing, low life piece of s… Man I hope we kick their collective asses this week.

ArrowFan
ArrowFan

So if we come away with a win this weekend do we have the tie break over NE? Also how obtainable would a 2nd seed be with a win? I guess we would need Buffalo to beat NE?

Tarkus

SCKSChief
SCKSChief

I wonder who the talking heads will predict to win the West next year. Probably the Chargers again. LOL

Tony Sommer

2 weeks ago it was going to be the Raiders.

Slayer0810
Slayer0810

And now there’s a full-blown “Carrwars” going on over at S&B. Makes me remember to be thankful for Mahomes.

Tony Sommer

Ironically this is one of the best seasons of his career. It’s only slightly behind his 2016 season by ANY/A+.

Leaf
Leaf

I wonder if that guy on Twitter is still claiming that Carr > Mahomes

Z00keeper
Z00keeper

The guy is paid to say stupid things so fans get worked up about it. As soon as he said the Chiefs D was 26th in “total defense” (he’s referring to yards apparently), you know he’s just farting out worthless hot taeks.

probablyamistake
probablyamistake

Uh oh, cowturd’s on the loose again

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probablyamistake
probablyamistake

Yesterday was a perfect ending to the Thanksgiving weekend. Ate, drank and laughed all afternoon at the faiders. Now is when the season really kicks in for teams heading for the playoffs. Our D played well yesterday against a team that was never a threat in the AFCW. Now we go to foxboro and play the team that knocked us out last season. It would be really nice for the D to continue growing, go into foxboro and kick B & B in the mouth. I’m sick of this f…… team and their ahole fans. Sorry, needed to vent 😏

Druful
Druful

I’ve always liked the term ‘massholes’ to describe all things NE.

KC Dude (A.K.A Zif)

Better luck next year, Gruden/Carr.

Sarcasm font needed here.

vvet818

Local news outlets up here in Rhode Island have virtually no Patriots coverage this morning, I wonder why that is??
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Leaf
Leaf

They are all grumpy because they aren’t use to having to pay for their Dunkin coffee.

Warpath
Warpath

Fuck the Raiders!

QuackTastic
QuackTastic

Darwin Thompson is our best RB.

Leaf
Leaf

possibly. It’s probably too early to tell IMO. Players can play good against one team and look like shit against every other. I mean that’s been what our RBs have done all year. Inconsistent. Thompson has a very small sample size and he did look like he needed more work in his other touches prior to yesterday. With that said I was impressed with him yesterday and think he definitely needs more touches going forward. I also think he’ll eventually be very good for us. I just don’t know if he’s quite there yet. I’d like to see more first.

Slayer0810
Slayer0810

IMO, our offensive line is the biggest issue with our running game. The difference that I saw with Thompson yesterday is that he was making yards even when the line wasn’t blocking well. McCoy and Williams probably are good enough backs, but they need at least an average line to open up some holes in the run game (see: Hyde, Carlos).

Leaf
Leaf

Oh a agree there. The line is the biggest culprit in our lack of running game. But even Williams and shady have looked good at times build that crappy line. That’s part of why I think it’s hard to tell for sure exactly how good Thompson is at this point. I’m encouraged, but it wouldn’t be the first time someone flashed something only to rarely flash that something again.

Tony Sommer

Every time I see him play I’m mystified that he doesn’t get featured more. He looks so much better than everybody else on the roster.

Leaf
Leaf

He flashed, but he looked rough at times earlier in the year. So why he hasn’t played more until now isn’t really much of a shock. He needed some polish, we had capable guys in the roster. There was no need to rush him along. Yesterday was the first time he truly looked ready.

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater

What other times of the year? Hes had like 10 chances. The only chance I really remember was at the end of the Ravens where he hurdled a dude and stupidly went out of bounds.

Leaf
Leaf

His low number of touches is part of the problem with saying he’s the real deal. Before yesterday he’s rushed only 5 other times in 3 other games. His total yards before yesterday was 8, and that came from one run. The other 4, when added together, netted 0 yards. That’s nothing to write home about. He was getting swallowed up at the line. I fully admit that is an extremely small sample size, but I’m not calling him a bust. I’m arguing that is too early to really tell. adding in yesterday’s 11 carries only brings his total to 15 carries. That’s still not a lot to go on. The coaches in the other hand, have practice that they can use for evaluation. So if they send him not quite ready, given his limited productivity early, they were probably right in holding him back. Going forward, now that he’s shown some productivity, is a different story.

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater

I doubt the coaches are getting a good look at him in practice. Very little full contact at practices in the NFL, especially during the season, and even then he’s number 4 so he’s probably not seeing many touches if any there either.

IMO, he’s a complete unknown at this point and considering what we’ve seen from the rest of the RBs why the hell not give him a chance.

CHIEFSandSABRES

and “New York” didn’t call for the PI call to be reviewed.

“New York” is right, what a joke it is that they are determining these games. I don’t trust anyone from New York, good food, some cool sites but they can keep that place.

Tony Sommer

It’s a fun place to visit, but after about a week I’m always ready to go home.

CHIEFSandSABRES

My ex-wife is from there. I’ll never go back.