The Chiefs’ 21-13 win over the Oakland Raiders will be remembered as the game that put Kansas City in the driver’s seat to win the AFC West. Both teams now hold 10-3 records but the Chiefs own all tiebreakers after having beaten the Raiders twice this season. What the contest also did was serve as a national coming-out party for one of the most dynamic rookies in the league. If Hill hadn’t been playing, the Chiefs probably don’t win this game.
Hill scored the game’s first touchdown by catching a 36-yard pass from quarterback Alex Smith in the second quarter. He also gave the Chiefs a 21-3 lead a few minutes later with a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown. None of this, by the way, is anything new to people who’ve followed this team or even a surprise to Hill. As he said after Thursdays game, “I put the work in during the offseason. I guess it’s all falling into place.”
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 cheap nfl jerseys and Chiefs are playoff, nay, Super Bowl contenders, boosted by gutsy play-calling, transcendent defenders, timely turnovers and breakout offensive weapons.
Oakland currently leads the AFC West and owns the tiebreaker for the AFC’s top seed, but a win by Kansas City at Arrowhead on Thursday night throws the entire playoff picture into a blender, spitting out a completely different arrangement that could change the trajectory of this confusing season — at least for a week.
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.
“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.
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.
Ron Parker, Jamell Fleming, Daniel Sorensen and Stevie Brown have all seen safety snaps during camp, but Johnson gives the club an extra body to use during practice and preseason games. He’s no sure bet to make the team once Berry returns, but the Pro Bowler’s absence has given Johnson another shot at making an NFL roster.
This wasn’t the same Kansas City offense that had been known for its inconsistency earlier this year. This was a unit that suddenly looked explosive and dangerous, especially because it lit up a defense known for stifling its opponents.
“You want to be playing your best football at this time of year and you want to be ascending,” Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said. “It’s a credit to two things. One is the type of talent we have … We have a lot of guys who can make plays. Then the coaches are doing a great job of putting game plans together to take advantage of all those different abilities. It’s hard in this league to be daring. But on a night like tonight, with everyone watching, you have to do things outside the box.”