KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sunday night was an incredibly good time for the Kansas City Chiefs. They trounced their AFC West rival in front of a nationally televised audience on Christmas. They clinched a playoff berth before that 33-10 win over the Denver Broncos actually ever kicked off. They also unveiled something that will be critical to any success they hope to enjoy now that they’ve punched their ticket to the postseason: an offense that might have enough juice to get them where they hope to go.
This year’s Chiefs have excelled at finding different ways to win games. What they haven’t done often is what they did against a defense as elite as Denver’s. The Chiefs ran the ball for 238 yards. They threw it for another 246. The big plays were there as well, as rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill produced a 70-yard touchdown run and tight end Travis Kelce scored on an 80-yard pass play.
Johnson was on the team’s radar after visiting the Chiefs in March. The 28-year-old safety was released by the Redskins this offseason after playing just 195 snaps for Washington in 2015. He spent the previous four campaigns as a role player for the Seahawks.
With 60 appearances but just two starts as a pro, Johnson can’t mask the loss of Berry, who chose not to report to camp after failing to reach a long-term deal with the club prior to the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players.
“Eric’s one of our good players and he’s in the business side of it right now,” Reid said. “This is all part of the profession, so I get it. But I also know when he comes in he’s going to be in great shape, he’ll be able to get himself back before the first game and be ready to go because that’s the way he trains in the offseason and the kind of shape he keeps himself in.”
With the deadline for tagged players to receive a new contract passed (July 15), Berry can’t get a long-term deal until after the Chiefs’ season ends. He’ll play 2016 on the $10.806 million tag.
Sankey was signed off New England’s practice squad to bolster a backfield that saw lead runner Spencer Ware leave Sunday’s win over the Colts with a concussion. While Charcandrick West is the obvious next man up, Sankey serves as insurance after Charles suffered a setback with his knee in Week 7.
Sankey notched 762 yards rushing at 3.8 yards per carry over two seasons in Tennessee before the Titans released the former second-round pick prior to the opener.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There comes a time for every NFL team when potential no longer means much. It’s the point when the window of opportunity opens as wide as it ever will stretch and confidence soars with the arrival of fall.
The Kansas City Chiefs find themselves at this very juncture as they prepare to host the Denver Broncos on “Thursday Night Football.” If the Chiefs really are going to ascend to the level of championship contender, then this is the game when they better send a resounding message to the biggest bully in their division.
The Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, birthed by the forefathers of the American Football League, have been going at it since 1960, when the Chiefs were known as the Dallas Texans and the Silver and cheap jerseys and Black sported Black and Gold. The two franchises appeared in the first two Super Bowls and remained bitter rivals through the John Madden era, the Raiders’ move to Los Angeles (and back), Joe Montana’s move from the Bay to the K, the Rich Gannon resurgence and beyond.
The rivalry has stayed dormant on the national stage for some years now, ever since Oakland spiraled into irrelevance post-Jon Gruden. But now in 2016, both the Raiders and Chiefs are playoff, nay, Super Bowl contenders, boosted by gutsy play-calling, transcendent defenders, timely turnovers and breakout offensive weapons.