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Joseph Addai went down during the Indianapolis Colts’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and the long-term prognosis is not good. Addai suffered a hamstring strain and this is par for the course in Addai’s injury-laden career that has never featured a year that he’s started all 16 games.
This time, ESPN’s John Clayton says he could miss 1-3 weeks total, which would further hamper the Colts offense and keep the team out of the playoffs if they’re not already certain of that already. That’s bad news for a running back who has enough ability to make a mark and yet has never been healthy enough to establish himself as a workhorse back.
In his absence, the Colts recent draft pick Delone Carter now becomes even more important as they also face life with their third string quarterback. The Colts face the Bengals this Sunday who are a surprising 3-2 in the AFC North.
The Kansas City Chiefs knew that Jackie Battle had a good day yesterday. That much was obvious. But when Football Outsiders’ Vince Verhel crunched the numbers and analyzed the metrics for Sunday’s games, Battle’s performance made him took note. In fact, he called it one of his three big surprises of the day.
Verhel writes, “Battle had 118 rushing yards in his first four seasons in Kansas City; he had 119 rushing yards against Indianapolis. In pure rushing value, he was actually the top running back in all of football. Twelve of his 19 runs gained 4 yards or more, including seven first downs and four runs of at least 10 yards. He had five runs with fewer than 10 yards needed for a first down and converted four of those opportunities. The fifth was a 2-yard gain on second-and-5.”
The Chiefs could definitely use an encore performance coming up in the schedule with so many significant divisional competitions coming up and other games against the Patriots, Packers, Steelers and more. It’s going to be a long stretch coming up for KC, but hopefully Battle has shown that the Chiefs are better off in their backfield than they realized.
With five of their six division games yet to be played, Kansas City is still very much alive despite sitting in third place.
It's clear that the coaching staff and front office of the Kansas City Chiefs believe in what they are putting together, Even after a disastrous preseason and first three games of this year, head coach Todd Haley continued to espouse the idea that they were satisfied with the players already on the roster and that they had a plan. Apparently that plan is coming to fruition after consecutive wins against the Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts.
The Chiefs are now riding a two game winning streak and another strong second half in the Chargers loss that should have Chiefs fans believing in contending again for the AFC West title. The Chargers certainly look strong and the Raiders are playing inspired football this season, but the Chiefs won the division last year and are waking up with a possible better passing game than last year's 10 win team. More than anything, however, Haley says it's a matter of doing what they do well and never wavering in the belief of that plan.
"We've learned some lessons this year especially and the time together over the last three years," said Haley. "The key with us is to stick with it and avoid the desire to hit the panic button, even though that's human nature that you think you need to do a little more. But we've learned a lot about our team and we're getting better. The second half was really good for us. I think you're seeing three weeks in a row that our conditioning and our work that we've done is starting to pay off in our favor. I really believe as that game went on that we did a real good job of wearing their team out. That's something we're going to count on and continue to count on."
"It's sticking with the plan that you put a lot of work into and not feeling like you've gotta come up with something new or do something that all week you didn't think was the way that you'd have a chance to win the game," he continues. "Sometimes when you get down in a game, the tendency or reaction is to do some of that. It's all phases. But I'm proud of our guys. I'm proud of our coaches. The coaches did a terrific job of continuing to sell that and just keep reassuring the guys, 'Listen, if we just do it a little better, use a better technique, good things will start happening.' That's what occurred."
Now it's not only the players who are believing but the fans as well. Todd Haley has went from the hot seat to a hot team in a matter of two weeks and it's clear that some people spoke too soon about the Chiefs demise and direction. Here's hoping the momentum continues as the Chiefs move into divisional play in the next few weeks.
The Kansas City Chiefs offense truly had an incredible day yesterday. Jackie Battle came from nowhere to rush for 119 yards. Matt Cassel matched a career high with four touchdowns. But it was the performance of wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston that caught the attention of Todd Haley after the game and had the Kansas City Chiefs head coach commenting on what he saw.
The former offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals is known for his work with wideouts, so it's not surprising to hear him focused on their play. And given how great both Breaston and Bowe looked yesterday, there's no denying their impact.
"We really offensively tried to stick to doing the things we know we can do well, and those are things you learn as the season goes on," said Haley in the post-game press conference. "We'll fight ourselves even in game plan situations where you see some good ideas on tape and you say, 'Let's do this.' And we'll resist the urge and just do the things that our guys do well. Dwayne here the last couple of years has really developed as a player. He was able to make a couple of really good plays. To me it didn't matter as much who it was against, it was that he was doing things the way he can do them and the way we were coaching him. We were able to execute."
When it came to Breaston, it was clear that Haley was excited about a development in the receiver's game that he'd specifically coached him about.
"Then you saw some of the same things across the way. Then you saw Steve... I was so excited about that touchdown because I coached him for a long time in Arizona and it was one of his best releases. It's a little thing, but he did a great job on something we talked about for years. It got him open and Matt made a great throw. That was just a big play for us."
Haley is apparently continuing his intensive work with the receivers, and with the loss of Jamaal Charles for the season, the Chiefs will need to focus more and more on the passing game. Jon Baldwin would do well to pay attention that he's playing for arguably the best coach in the league who can develop his game.
Todd Haley was on the hot seat. Matt Cassel was being run out of town for the chance to draft Andrew Luck. The Chiefs were sliding into the AFC West basement faster than anyone could even understand. And then, just like that, the Kansas City Chiefs are back. And with it comes the recognition that Matt Cassel deserves after a four touchdown performance against the Indianapolis Colts to help the Chiefs keep pace with the Chargers and Raiders.
Peter King recognized Cassel today in his famous Monday Morning Quarterback column for Sports Illustrated as the top offensive player in Week Five in the NFL. He writes, “Kansas City QB Matt Cassel, the embattled one, completed 21 of 29 for 257 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions, and he brought the Chiefs back from a 24-7 deficit at Indianapolis. It’s hard to feel more pressure than the Chiefs were feeling at 0-3, with questions about whether the coach AND quarterback would be back next year. Cassel aced this test.”
The Chiefs have an incredibly tough schedule the rest of the way so it’s a perfect time for Matt Cassel to find his stride. With the addition of Jonathan Baldwin to the line-up soon enough, it’s possible that Cassel gets even better.
The Kansas City Chiefs return from being shutout was spectacular enough in itself to match a franchise-high 17 point comeback against the Indianapolis Colts yesterday. But it was Dwayne Bowe in particular who really made his individual presence felt on a day when several others were stepping up. While the story could be about Jackie Battle's career high of 119 rushing yards or Matt Cassel's four touchdown passes, nothing matches the incredible touchdown catch by Dwayne Bowe.
For those of you who missed it, here's the video:
Jackie Battle wasn't just personally ready for his moment to shine. Apparently, greater forces were at work on a Sunday that the veteran special teams player broke out for an incredible 119 rushing yards on 19 carries in Sunday's 28-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Before the game, the Kansas City Chiefs head coach read Battle a letter than an anonymous fan sent to the coach praising his hat, his passionate leadership and one Chiefs player in particular: Battle himself. The instructions from the fan were to trust Battle with the ball because he believed he could be next Arian Foster. He told the story in his press conference after the game:
He's a guy who's been through a lot since he's been here. He's one of those guys who's able to hang on. He's a special teams player, but you can tell with Jackie that he's always believed that he's a runner and that he didn't like it too much when we relegated him in our minds to just a special teams player. I actually got a note from a fan that didn't even leave a return address talking about, number one, he liked my hat. He's a marine and he liked that I yell a lot. He said, 'Yelling is what got his life in shape.' Then he spoke about Jackie.
I read Jackie the letter before the game and this guy for whatever reason believes in Jackie Battle. He said, 'You need to give Jackie Battle the ball.' He said, 'I think he's another Arian Foster.' I don't know all the words, but I've been really impressed with Jackie. He's getting better. He's another player on our team who's continuing to develop here through the last couple of years and that's so key and critical to developing a successful team is to develop the players on your own team. He's one of those guys and there's a bunch of them. But I was glad for Jackie today.
Battle brings more of a bruising style, but it was clear that it worked well in the fourth quarter as the Colts defense wore down in the second half. He is quickly becoming a bright spot on a team that needed a spark in the running game, and he's certainly not just another special teams player anymore.
Matt Cassel just had the game of his career this past Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. He finished the game going 21/29 for 257 yards and four touchdowns. He may have had better statistical games in the past, but he looked better in this game than his entire time as a member of the Chiefs. Not even two weeks removed from the "Suck For Luck" media firestorm that swept its' way through Kansas City, Matt Cassel goes out there for the second week in a row and shows Chiefs fans that he still gives them the best chance at winning on Sundays. He might not have won back every Chiefs fan with this performance. But if nothing else this should slow down the "Start Ricky Stanzi right now" movement that has invaded some Chiefs circles.
Cassel struggled in the two blowout losses to Buffalo and Detroit to open up the season. Throw in a game-ending interception against San Diego and a lot of fans were ready to run him out of town. Now, coming off consecutive good games for the first time since weeks 11 and 12 last year, it seems as if Cassel may have figured something out and given Chiefs fans a reason to put the pitchforks down. At least for a little while.
Some credit needs to go to the coaching staff for adding some down-the-field passing plays to the game plan against the Colts. Whether it was Haley, Muir, Zorn or some combination, there’s been a difference in Cassel over the last two weeks and that’s due in part to his ability to get the ball down field against the Vikings last week, and the Colts on Sunday. Cassel’s YPA against the Colts was 8.9, a far cry from the 3.31 (Buffalo) and 6.05 (Detroit).
Cassel is in his third year in Kansas City and he has a 9-3 record when his YPA is over 7 for the game. So when the Chiefs are attempting to push the ball down field, they are having success. I don’t know whether or not the plays being called now are the same ones that were being called earlier in the season and Cassel is just attempting these longer passes now, rather than constantly checking down. But the Chiefs are having success through the air right now and it'll need to continue for them to be successful the rest of the season.
It should be noted that Cassel’s two ‘good’ games in a row are against teams that are a combined 0-8 on the season. But he still played well against those teams and that’s what he’s expected to do right? He’s gone a combined 39/58 with five touchdowns and no interceptions over the last two weeks. That’s a 67% completion percentage. These two games don’t mean that Cassel is going to turn into Tom Brady for the rest of the season, but he’s looked more Tom Brady than Brady Quinn recently and that's a good thing. .
It wasn't just that he had a good game and that the Chiefs won. Although this was a crucial game for the Chiefs in this young season and it came on the road against a defense with two very good pass rushers. It's that he brought the team back from a 17-point deficit late in the second quarter to win the game. The Chiefs were trailing 17-0 when a 41-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe got the Chiefs on the board at 17-7 with five minutes remaining in the first half. Three touchdowns later and the Chiefs had the victory and Cassel had a lot to be excited about. via usatoday.com
"This is a big win, a step in the right direction," Cassel said. "We kept our focus, and you could see the end result was very positive for us."
It’s true that the bad games are far more memorable for Chiefs fans recently in regards to Cassel than the good ones. But we do need to try and remember these good games as well. Because after every bad game it’s popular to say that Cassel needs to be on the next bus out of town but for some reason after a good game it’s never that Cassel needs to stay. I don’t think this type of thinking is strictly related to Matt Cassel and the Chiefs. The grass is always greener and yada, yada, yada. But Cassel just played the game of his career in Kansas City and that shouldn't go unnoticed.
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The Kansas City Chiefs had the best rushing attack in football last year. The expectations were even higher one season later with the addition of fullback Le’Ron McClain and a vaunted passing attack. Unfortunately, injuries have taken their toll on all aspects of the Chiefs team. But some guys are stepping forward to make the running game a vital aspect of the offense once again.
In today’s win over the Indianapolis Colts, the team clearly found a new runner in Jackie Battle to go with veteran Thomas Jones. Todd Haley said he was proud of both after the game, especially as the Chiefs ran for 194 yards today. Battle had 119 yards and Jones had another 55 and both had runs over 20 yards. In other words, it was a potent day for the Chiefs offense on the ground.
“First off, I’m just really proud of the guys again,” said Haley to open his post-game press conference. “Their character, their resilience, their toughness. They’re just a really fun group of guys to be around for a lot of those attributes. They’re attributes that I really like and appreciate, especially the mental toughness side of not really worrying about a lot else other than sticking together as a team and trying to get better.”
He continued to speak specifically about the game and brought up individual players like Battle and Jones to illustrate how excited and proud he was after the win.
“We had our ups and downs today, but the keys to our game were very clear to us and they were to keep playing defense the way we’ve been playing. We like to not give up the big plays, but we had to stop the run. That was one of our number one keys. Offensively, we wanted to run the ball more efficiently which I think we certainly did with a lot of different guys doing it. Jackie Battle and Thomas [Jones] did a terrific job, because we lost a fullback [Le’Ron McClain] midway through, so we had tight ends blocking.
“It was really a great job of adjustment,” he continued. “We said no turnovers here and we were able to get through that game without any. That’s really one of the keys. Then special teams, they did a good job on special teams — I thought both teams really did — and we were able to gain much of an edge there.”
In the end, Haley repeated that it was necessary for the team to simply believe in the hard work it had put in throughout the week and stick with the plan before them.
“But again, it was sticking to our plan and not losing focus on that plan served us well. We were able to come out on top and overcome a pretty big deficit early. Again, I think you know now why a couple weeks ago I was feeling pretty good about these guys. When you have guys like this, you feel good and it makes it fun and you know they’re going to keep bouncing back. That again is an attribute I really appreciate and it was a good win for the Chiefs today.”
The Kansas City Chiefs matched a franchise best comeback in a 28-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts. But what’s most impressive is the efficient, clean, commanding manner in which they handled themselves. The stats don’t lie and it’s clear the Chiefs played the way that their coaching staff hoped they would. Todd Haley must be proud.
In the win, the Chiefs didn’t turn the ball over once and controlled the clock for 33-plus minutes. Even though they fell behind by 17-0 at one point, the Chiefs never panicked and simply made sure to keep their heads in the game and play the way they’ve practiced all week. And the adjustments at halftime made all of the difference.
The Chiefs ended up with a well-rounded game, whether it was a career-high for touchdowns for Matt Cassel with four or a career game for Jackie Battle with 119 rushing yards. The Chiefs in total only committed five penalties for 39 yards and had 26 first downs in the game — a dominant performance that shows just how complete their game was versus the Colts.
Whether or not this level of play can continue is yet to be seen. Obviously, the Chiefs have played subpar opponents in each of the last two weeks, so fans should hold their breath before getting their hopes too high. Then again, it’s clear this is a team finding its groove after some early injuries and drama.
Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel threw four touchdowns, including two second half strikes to Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston, to lead Kansas City to a 28-24 comeback win over the Indianapolis Colts, tying a record for the biggest comeback in team history.
After the Colts jumped to an early 17-0 lead, the Chiefs would finally answer with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Cassel to Bowe, who stole the afternoon with seven receptions for 128 yards and two scores against a seemingly confused Indianapolis secondary.
After getting torched early by Colts quarterback Curtis Painter for 237 yards in the first half, the Kansas City defense allowed only two Indianapolis first downs and 58 total yards in the second half, assisted by three long Chief drives that resulted in 14 points.
Chiefs running back Jackie Battle rushed for a career high 121 yards on 19 carries. Colts running back Joseph Addai left the game in the first quarter with a right hamstring injury and did not return.
Joseph Addai left the Colts-Chiefs game earlier with an injury and apparently it’s a hamstring injury that is likely to keep him out for the rest of the game. That places the pressure on the Colts’ Delone Carter to replace him and become the focus of an offense that’s resting on some back-up parts for its core.
ESPN’s Stephania Bell says that Addai is likely done for the day via Twitter and hamstring injuries often hamper a player’s ability for a few weeks. Addai finishes the day with 6 carries for 19 yards and 0 touchdowns. In his absence, Carter and Domonic Brown will carry the load.
Now the teams are in the fourth quarter, so the running game is going to be key moving forward to controlling the line of scrimmage, keeping the pass rush at bay and running out the clock if needed.
With another touchdown reception, Dwayne Bowe now has two on the day against the Indianapolis Colts and the Chiefs are now within three points after being down by 17. For Bowe, it’s been a personal clinic all day as Matt Cassel has largely depended upon his Pro Bowl receiver’s ability.
Bowe now has five catches for 102 yards and two touchdown catches after his latest five-yard TD catch that was as amazing of a catch as you’ll see in the NFL. He already had another one that went for 41 yards that broke several tackles. If not for the Pro Bowler from last year, the Chiefs would be hurting once again.
Not only this but the Chiefs now has the momentum and the Chiefs’ defense has really locked down in the second half. The full fourth quarter is set to play, so we’ll see which team comes out on top.
Painter's passing exploits won't make anyone forget about the great Peyton Manning, but its clear that the young quarterback out of Purdue has formed a friendly relationship with Pierre Garcon as his two touchdown receptions have been daggers in the Chiefs defense.
Matt Cassel struggled to get into a rhythm early in the game, but two touchdown passes of his own to Dwyane Bowe and Steve Breaston has helped keep the Chiefs in the game. For the game, Cassel is 9-13 for 131 yards.
The Colts have lost their starting tailback Joseph Addai to an apparent hamstring injury in the first quarter, yet rookie backup Delone Carter has stepped in admirably with a 3-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter.
Also, Joseph Addai has an injured hamstring, and his return is questionable. — @kentbabb via Twitter
Addai's backups on the depth chart are Delone Carter, the rookie out of Syracuse and Donald Brown, the third-year player out of Connecticut. Addai has had injury woes in the past, but so far this season Colts head coach has not hesitated to give some of the load to Carter. Carter as also shared some of the kick and punt return duties for the Colts this season.
The Colts currently have a 17-0 lead over the Chiefs early through the second quarter in Lucas Oil Stadium as Matt Cassel has struggled to find a rhythm thus far.
For more insights about the Kansas City Chiefs, check out SB Nation blog Arrowhead Pride.
Kansas City Chiefs were hoping to get rookie wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin in the lineup for the first time this week, but he will be out another week. Baldwin practiced all week and seemingly has recovered from a wrist injury he suffered in a training camp fight back in August with teammate Thomas Jones.
Here are the week five inactives for today's matchup between the Chiefs and the Colts.
The Kansas City Chiefs are relatively healthy for their week five matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Rookie wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin is listed as probable for today's game and could see action. Baldwin has been out since mid-August with a wrist injury which he suffered when getting into a fight with teammate Thomas Jones. Baldwin has practiced all week, so if he does not play it seems that it will not be due to Baldwin's health.
The Chiefs other injury concerns are wide receivers Terrance Copper practiced all week but came down with an illness, but is listed as probable as is safety Jon McGraw who had a knee injury is also probable.
As for the Colts, they have lost a few players to injury for the season this past week. Rookie offensive lineman Ben Ijalana tore his ACL and had surgery on Oct. 5 and will be out for the season, defensive lineman Eric Foster dislocated his right ankle and was placed on the injured reserve list this past week and tackle Anthony Castonzo has ankle injury and is out for Sunday's game and is expected to miss a few more weeks. Rookie defensive tackle Drake Nevis is questionable after injuring his back in the Colts loss to the Bucs on Monday night. Tight End Dallas Clark who has played through a foot injury is a game-time decision but is expected to play by most.
The Kansas City Chiefs travel to take on the Indianapolis Colts with a 12:00 p.m. Central kick on CBS
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