Romeo Crennel, Kyle Orton Provide Kansas City Chiefs With Completely Different Look And Results

Kyle Orton threw for 299 yards in his first start for the Chiefs as Kansas City handed Green Bay its first loss of the season.

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Todd Haley Linked With Arizona Cardinals In Return To Offensive Coordinator Job

Could former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley really return back to his old stomping grounds? Kent Somer of the Arizona Republic says it's a possibility in his latest column detailing the idea that Haley could head back to the Arizona Cardinals as the offensive coordinator under Ken Whisenhunt.

Certainly one player who would welcome the move is Larry Fitzgerald, who praised Haley for his work with him. The Cardinals clearly have not been the same without him. Somers writes:

It’s unknown what title Haley would have should he return to the Cardinals, but he likely would be place in charge of the offense again. The Cardinals have not been nearly as good on offense since Haley left, but his departure also coincided with the retirement of quarterback Kurt Warner. The Cardinals have had four different starting quarterbacks since Warner retired.

When Haley left, Mike Miller was promoted from receivers coach to passing game coordinator. Russ Grimm was assistant head coach/offensive line and run game coordinator. After that season, Miller was promoted to offensive coordinator, while Grimm remained assistant head coach. He continued to have a strong influence on the offensive game plan. Whisenhunt would have to create a position for Haley, which would mean either re-organizing his existing coaching staff or adding a coach.

Green Bay Packers Will Be Without Bryan Bulaga And Chad Clifton Against Bears

The Green Bay Packers are definitely hurting on their offensive line, as both of their starting tackles will be out for another game after both were hurt from the Kansas City Chiefs contest last week. Clifton, the team’s starting left tackle, and Bulaga, the starting right tackle, leave the Packers particularly open to the Bears pass rush and Aaron Rodgers will need back-ups to step up as well as execute a game plan to get rid of the ball quickly.

Adam Schefter also reports that Greg Jennings will be out yet another game and it’s possible he could miss the rest of the regular season. While Jordy Nelson stepped up, it’s also clear that the Packers passing attack was stifled versus the Chiefs with the increased vulnerability to the pas rush and the lack of Jennings to draw the coverage.

The good news for the Packers is that they’ve developed a tremendous cushion heading into the playoffs so that their injured can get healthy.


Chiefs' Todd Haley, Scott Pioli Called 'Inseparable' Earlier This Year

The tension had to go somewhere if it wasn’t resolved, and it finally was alleviated in the form of one person having to leave. Scott Pioli wielded the power, so it’s obvious that he’s the one who got to stay with the Kansas City Chiefs as the general manager while Todd Haley lost his job. The tension had been brewing for a long time, but there’s an interesting note that explains it might have been brewing later than people would think.

As Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post weighs in on recent firings of coaches that had been on the hot seat and their relationship to the front office, he also drops in an interesting tidbit about the tension between the two. He writes:

In Kansas City, the relationship between general manager Scott Pioli and Haley turned into, as Billy Joel sang, “the cold remains of a passionate start.” I remember seeing general manager Scott Pioli and Haley together at the Combine; they seemed inseparable and joined at the hip. Obviously, that changed due to time, losing and different philosophies about the team. I am told that the lack of communication recently between the two was palpable and affecting the rest of the building.

Perhaps it was Haley’s handling of the preseason that coincided with some longtime disagreements that finally led to the tension. Perhaps even as late as last February, the two had worked out their issues enough to work together again. It’s hard to tell what exactly went on behind the scenes, but Brandt’s anecdote adds another layer of perspective.


Peter King Calls Tamba Hali His Defensive Player Of The Week

Tamba Hali is making everyone take notice. Of course, three sacks in one game will do that for you, but those who have been watching — which should be everyone — will tell you he’s always that close to making that many major plays in a game. It’s just that he’s often held when no one is looking or getting double teamed and opening up opportunities for others like Justin Houston.

In his latest Monday Morning Quarterback column, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King has Hali as his defensive player of the week.

King writes, “He capitalized on the soft underbelly of the Green Bay offensive line. But remember, he was rushing over left tackle Marshall Newhouse, who has been the left tackle of the Pack for much of the season since Chad Clifton was lost with a hamstring injury. His three sacks, two pressures and four tackles led the upset of the Packers.”

Hali now has 12 sacks and 4 forced fumbles on the season.


Romeo Crennel: 'I'd Like To Have Another Opportunity' As Chiefs Head Coach

Romeo Crennel doesn’t ignore the obvious. Whereas former head coach Todd Haley would play coy with the media and state that he didn’t know who would start at quarterback after yet another miserable performance with Tyler Palko, Romeo Crennel came straight out and moved Palko to third-string on the quarterback spot on the depth chart. It’s just one example of the straight-shooter that Crennel is.

Now that he knows the interim tag is hanging over his head, he also speaks openly about the fact that he’s vying for the head coaching position with the Chiefs. After the game, he opened up to Peter King to discuss it.

“Everyone in this game has an ego,‘’ Crennel told King. "I have one too. I’d like to have another opportunity to prove I can do this job. I had one in Cleveland and we won 10 games one year, then got hit hard with injuries the next year. Scott knows me, and that helps. But he knows me as an assistant, not as a head coach. Now he’s got to see me as a head coach.’’

It’s clear the players are behind Crennel, but one game doesn’t make or break an NFL head coaching career. Pioli will certainly be watching close as the Chiefs close out the season.


Kyle Orton: 'This Is About The Most Fun I've Had On Football Field'

If you want to know how it felt for the Kansas City Chiefs to overcome odds and adversity to defeat the best team in the NFL, just check out the quotes from players after the game. The guys in the locker room were excited and emotional after the game and it was clear that everyone was responding to perhaps the Chiefs best played game on the year.

For new quarterback Kyle Orton, this game provided a special moment in his first real game play for the Chiefs. “This about the most fun as I’ve had on the football field. You go through practice and all that stuff but your teammates don’t really know you until you get in that huddle. That’s a special time for me, inside the huddle. I kind of turn into [another] person. I think everybody took it well. We had a lot of fun and battled together.”

When asked if it was the most excited he's ever seen a locker room, Orton couldn't say.

“I’ve played in a Super Bowl so it’s hard to say. All teams are different, with different personalities and that’s the tough thing coming into a team late in the season; you haven’t had training camp, you haven’t had all those grueling practices to get to know the guys. They haven’t had those practices to get to know me so it was a crash course on the field. I thought everybody gelled together and played hard for each other and got the big win.”


Leonard Pope, Anthony Becht Unexpectedly Come Up Big For Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs had several new faces show up for Sunday's win over the Green Bay Packers. They had a new head coach in interim Romeo Crennel. They also had a new quarterback in Kyle Orton at the helm. Yet it was a couple of unexpected names that rose to the top of the receiving ranks in the Chiefs tight end corps that came up big in the 19-14 win over the Green Bay Packers.

Leonard Pope led all Chiefs receivers with 72 yards and Anthony Becht also came up big with some key plays down the stretch that helped the Chiefs put away the league's best team.

"I thought our tight ends showed up," said Orton. "I don’t know if [Coach] expected them to catch that many passes but they were open and did a great job. They made some big plays. [Leonard] Pope made a couple of really big plays for us. Anthony [Becht] on the naked we ran to get the touchdown was a huge play. I think everybody stepped up. It was a total team win. It wasn’t just one guy. It wasn’t just one coach. It was everybody fighting together for a win."

Orton found 10 different receivers on the day and it was nice to see so many Chiefs getting a chance. Having an experienced quarterback who can check down the receivers and find the open man is key when going against such a strong team. It's that facet that Orton brings that the Chiefs haven't had in recent weeks.


Romeo Crennel Praises Tamba Hali, Brandon Carr For Work Against Aaron Rodgers

It was clear the Kansas City Chiefs had their work cut out for them in Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. Specifically Romeo Crennel, the Chiefs interim head coach, knew that they had to contain Aaron Rodgers, the likely MVP of the NFL this season and the Packers quarterback, if they wanted to win. The good news for the Chiefs is that they did and they won in an unlikely 19-14 victory at Arrowhead.

"We tried to mix things up," said Crennel. "Aaron [Rodgers] is a very good quarterback and as we were watching tape and looking at the things he was able to do, we knew that we had our work cut out for us. Sometimes with a quarterback like that, you can’t contain him all the time. We were very fortunate in the first half that they didn’t get any points but then he started clicking in the second half and so that concerned us. But try to mix it up, that’s all you can do. If your guys mix it up and play good then you have a chance."

Specifically, Crennel praised defensive players like Tamba Hali, who had three sacks, and Brandon Carr on the defensive unit for their play against the Packers.

"Tamba Hali comes to work every day, and you notice him out there every game, he gives it everything he has," said Crennel. "Carr has been improving as the year has gone on. With Flowers on the other side, sometimes teams choose to try Carr, but Carr has stood up to the challenges and he has improved as the year has gone on. So I think that’s a positive for him and this team as well."


Kyle Orton Will Remain Kansas City Chiefs Starter For Next Few Weeks

While Romeo Crennel won't label Kyle Orton the team's new long-term starter for the Kansas City Chiefs, it's clear that he's willing to ride out the rest of the regular season with him. Given Sunday's first performance for the Chiefs which included 23 first downs and 299 passing yards, it's clear that Crennel's confidence is well-founded. The Chiefs interim head coach said that after Orton's work in the 19-14 win over the Packers showed him enough to go with him moving forward.

"For the next few weeks I’m going to be pretty confident. If we win these next few games with him and he continues to play like he did today, then you might have to say that. You see what kind of production a player has and then you make a determination whether that production will continue and if you want that type of player on your team. So if he continues to do what he did today, then I would say, ‘Yes.’"

Crennel came right out when he was announced as the interim head coach with his intentions at quarterback, rather than leaving things as a mystery like his predecessor Todd Haley.

"I would like to think that it helped," he said about the clarity of announcing Orton would start. "Like I mentioned earlier in the week I’ve been through a quarterback situation before where the players didn’t know who the quarterback was going to be until the last minute. So I wanted to clear the air and get it out there so they wouldn’t get asked questions about it, they wouldn’t have to wonder about it. They would know who they guy was going to be and give them an opportunity to learn his cadence and his voice and how he operated. Adapting to that was beneficial to us because as it turned out he took all the reps in practice."


Romeo Crennel, Kyle Orton Provide Kansas City Chiefs With Completely Different Look And Results

It took a new head coach and starting quarterback to completely change the culture of the Kansas City Chiefs. But once those two were in place with Romeo Crennel and Kyle Orton specifically, the rest of the Chiefs players responded in a way they haven’t before this season. The end result was an unexpected win over the Green Bay Packers this afternoon.

Bill Reiter of Fox Sports noticed the difference when analyzing the Packers loss and writes, "With Romeo Crennel stepping in as the interim head coach and Orton back in the lineup, the Chiefs were a different football team Sunday. They (and a string of drops by Green Bay receivers) suffocated the Packers’ offense enough to limit it to 213 passing yards, 315 total yards of offense and those measly 14 points. The Chiefs stifled the league’s most high-octane offense, a unit that had averaged more than 35.8 points per game heading into Arrowhead.

“On the other side of the ball, Orton spearheaded a 438-yard day for the offense. His workmanlike 23-of-31 passing day and 104.1 passer rating was good enough, surely, to confuse Chiefs fans who had not glimpsed even an imitation of a real NFL quarterback in about the same time since Green Bay last lost a game.”

These two made a major difference today for the Chiefs and Scott Pioli has to be excited about the way the holdovers responded to the new elements in the locker room. Perhaps he knew what he was doing after all.


Chiefs Vs. Packers: Romeo Crennel Says 'The Chiefs Played A Very Good Game Today'

Romeo Crennel said it best: "The Chiefs played a very good game today." There's no one who could or should say it better than Kansas City's interim coach who, with Sunday's win against the previously undefeated Packers, moved closer to removing that "interim" from his title.

The locker room after the game was an emotional one that rallied around their new coach, chanting his name. And it's clear that the coach believes in his players. Crennel offered up some great post-game commentary discussing the win and what the Chiefs did well.

"The Chiefs played a very good game today," he said. "They played the way that I would like to see the Chiefs play all the time. They followed the game plan, they had energy, they had effort and they played their hearts out. And that’s the thing we talked to those guys about with a Green Bay Packers team coming in here, undefeated, everybody had marked it off as a win for the Packers, but those guys in the locker room, they’re football players. They decided that they were not going to lay down, they were not going to give up, so they went out and played a tremendous game."

Specifically Crennel wanted to give credit to the other coaches who helped compile the tremendous game plan executed by the Chiefs players.

"One, I would like to give credit to the offensive coaches because they did a good job of putting a plan together and then calling a good game. Kyle [Orton] did a nice job of controlling and operating the offense, but if you look at it all, all those guys did a nice job. The defense did a nice job and that’s what happens when a team wins, everybody wins. We’re just proud that we were able to win this one. We know that it’s a short week that we have to work on. We close out the season with division opponents, which are always tough and rivalries are always good, but now our guys have a little confidence and will be up for the challenge.

"The best part about it is that our next game is a home game, and even though we had more Cheese Heads in the stadium than I would like, we prevailed. Playing at home is always a plus for us and that’s good because our fans are wonderful fans. Saturday we hope they are out and enjoying the holidays and come cheer us to another victory."


Chiefs Vs. Packers: Green Bay Players Respond To Loss Of Perfect Season

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Green Bay Packers this afternoon in an unexpected 19-14 win and with it went the historic wind in the sails of a team that hadn’t been beaten in a near NFL-record 19 games. While most teams and players generally gloss over accomplishments as accoutrements on a season that fail to matter, the Packers players were quite honest in their appraisal of today’s loss — that it’s frustrating to miss the chance for historic greatness.

“It would have been special, make no mistake,” cornerback Charles Woodson said. “When you have a shot to do something like that, you do it. We certainly felt like our chances were good to come in here and win today, and we didn’t get it done. … Guys would have loved to do it. We would have loved to do it.”

Defensive tackle B.J. Raji agreed, ""You can’t underestimate the opportunity to chase history. It was definitely huge. We didn’t shy away from the topic. Our coach didn’t shy away from it. He addressed it. I can’t belittle the challenge to go 16-0, but obviously that’s behind us now."

Wide receiver Donald Driver added, “It hurts because that’s something special. We always talk about, if you get the perfect season, then you’re part of greatness. But you take it for what it’s worth. Right now, the only thing we can do is go 18-1. If that’s 18-1 and you’re the Super Bowl champs, I don’t think anyone cares about the perfect season after that.”

The Packers are still the class of the NFL and the team to beat come February in Indianapolis. But it’s also clear that today revealed a missed opportunity for the team — one that they’re all feeling right now.


Scott Pioli Needed Chiefs To Beat Packers More Than Anyone

Scott Pioli has made his bed. Now he has to lie in it. Given the results from the first game after his questionable move to fire Todd Haley with three games left in the NFL regular season, Pioli is going to sleep quite well.

Before the Chiefs’ unexpected 19-14 win over the Green Bay Packers today, the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs had endured a full week of criticism. After letting Haley go and naming Romeo Crennel as interim head coach, Pioli’s draft record has been brought into question and the seemingly untouchable aura around Pioli seemed to finally evaporate. Some fans even wanted Pioli to be fired along with Haley.

But one win later, Pioli looks like a justified man. Could Todd Haley have coached the Chiefs to victory today? No one will know that, but what is clear is that Romeo Crennel had a great game plan heading into today’s game at Arrowhead and that the players loved to play for him. Even quarterback Kyle Orton, who reportedly didn’t want to report to anyone but the Chicago Bears when waived by the Denver Broncos, was passionate on the Chiefs sideline. It was a memorable day for all involved.

Not only did Pioli’s coaching move work out, at least today, but some of his personnel moves looked good as well. Defensive end Allen Bailey hit Aaron Rodgers hard for his first career sack. Justin Houston continues to look great opposite Tamba Hali. Hali himself, who Pioli locked up long term, had a monster day with three sacks. New acquisition Kyle Orton played great and enjoyed the presence of first round receiver Jon Baldwin among others. Several of Pioli’s acquisitions stepped up and responded well to the new head coach.

It’s impossible to tell what the Chiefs will do moving forward in these final two games of the regular season, and it’s even harder to tell what the Chiefs will do in the off-season with Crennel’s interim tag and their own head coaching search. But what is clear is that Pioli has cast his lot with this head coaching stand against Todd Haley. He had the power and pulled the trigger. Now he only hopes that bullet doesn’t ricochet back somehow and take out two instead of one. Today was a sign that perhaps Pioli knew what he was doing all along.


Romeo Crennel Earns Credibility For Chiefs Head Coaching Gig With Win Over Packers

Romeo Crennel has a real shot at this whole Kansas City Chiefs head coaching gig.

Some people really didn’t believe that Crennel was a possibility given his horrible stint as the Browns head coach for four seasons. They believed he was a solid interim choice given the defensive performance in recent games. However after listening to Scott Pioli’s words this week and seeing the incredible performance in today’s 19-14 win over the Green Bay Packers, it’s clear the Chiefs might already have their man in house.

Crennel had his players showering him with Gatorade on the sidelines and chanting his name in the locker room. It’s clear they played hard for him on both sides of the ball, and even the offense could move the chains this afternoon — something the team could not do in recent weeks against other playoff teams like the Steelers and Patriots.

The Chiefs might have suffered some big injuries this year, but they’re also a team with a lot of young impact talent on both sides of the ball. Kyle Orton made a big difference under center, but it’s also clear that Crennel had an incredible game plan today. Aaron Rodgers never got comfortable in the pocket for more than a couple plays at a time, and the Chiefs never even punted until near the end of the first half. It was just that kind of day all around for the Chiefs at Arrowhead.

Every head coach who is successful seems to have a stint in their past where it didn’t work out. Certainly Bill Belichick had a bad stop with the Browns himself. Perhaps Crennel has learned some things and can carry the Chiefs forward from here. At the very least he’s earned more credibility than he had before and now likely has much of the Chiefs’ fan base on his side for the future.


Chiefs Vs. Packers Final Score: Kansas City Beats Green Bay 19-14

The Kansas City Chiefs have done what no one thought they could do: defeat the Green Bay Packers. In an incredible showing in Romeo Crennel’s first game as the head coach after supplanting Todd Haley, the Chiefs dominated the Green Bay Packers in every single area in today’s 19-14 win at Arrowhead Stadium.

For the Chiefs, they were finally able to move the ball on offense with Kyle Orton making his first start for the Chiefs. But the main story was Kansas City’s defense led by Tamba Hali who had three sacks on the day. Allen Bailey also had his first career sack for the Chiefs, who also had several pressures and hurries on Aaron Rodgers for all four quarters.

The Packers were uncharacteristically sterile on offense. They managed only 16 first downs to Kansas City’s 23. Rodgers went 17 of 35 for 235 yards and 1 touchdown. Meanwhile Orton went 23 of 31 for 299 yards. Leonard Pope was the Chiefs leading receiver with 72 yards on 2 catches.

The Chiefs now move to 6-8 on the season and face the Broncos and Raiders in their final two games as they hope to move to .500 and make a statement in their final three games. Certainly they made their loudest one this year at Arrowhead today.


Chiefs-Packers Score: Aaron Rodgers Rushing Touchdown Brings Packers Within Five

With just over two minutes left, the Green Bay Packers have put themselves within five of the Kansas City Chiefs in a wild game that is now 19-14 in the fourth quarter. Aaron Rodgers just ran it into the end zone to narrow the score after the Chiefs had went up with a Jackie Battle one yard touchdown to make it 19-7.

For a team that has scored at least 24 points in each game this season, the Packers have looked largely ineffective for the most part on offense as well as defense. Aaron Rodgers and company are certainly the most potent offense in football and they can prove it here if they can get the ball back. They have three timeouts left so it’s clear that the pressure is on the Chiefs to hold onto the ball and move the chains.

The Chiefs could pick up an incredible win in Romeo Crennel’s first game as the Chiefs head coach if they can hold onto the lead.


Derek Sherrod Injury Update: Packers Tackle Taken Off Field On Stretcher

It’s been a total nightmare today for the Green Bay Packers offensive tackles who were already missing starting left tackle Chad Clifton due to back issues. They’ve lost Bryan Bulaga earlier today to injury as he was taken off to the locker room and then brought back to the sideline. Now the word is that Derek Sherrod is being taken off of the field on a stretcher.

The only tackles left on the active roster is Evan Dietrich-Smith who has played mostly at guard for the Packers and free agent rookie Ray Dominguez, so the Packers are definitely going to have to get creative to keep the Chiefs pass rushers like Tamba Hali and Justin Houston and Wallace Gilberry away from Aaron Rodgers.

The extent of Sherrod’s injury is unknown at this time, but it’s clear that he’s done for the day against the Chiefs. Given that Bulaga still hasn’t grabbed for his helmet means that the Packers are going to have to move forward with a patchwork offensive line for the rest of the game.


Kansas City Chiefs Lead Green Bay Packers Heading Into Fourth Quarter

The Green Bay Packers have established an NFL record for longest streak without ever once trailing in the fourth quarter this entire season. Now in week 15, consider that record broken by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are clearly playing inspired football on all sides, but especially on defense, as they lead the Packers 9 to 6 heading into the final quarter.

The Chiefs have dominated nearly every aspect of the game so far. They lead in time of possession 26:49 to 18:11. They have 15 first downs to the Packers 10. In total yards, the Chiefs have 280 and the Packers have 208. The good news for Aaron Rodgers and company is that they have the ball right now and are on the move into Chiefs territory.

For now, however, both Chiefs players and fans have to feel good about where the Chiefs are at. If the lead holds, Romeo Crennel will have made a major statement in his first game as the Chiefs head coach.


Chiefs Lead Packers On Ryan Succop's Third Field Goal 9-6

Ryan Succop might turn out to be the MVP for the Kansas City Chiefs on a day that’s already as unlikely as anything you could have predicted in the NFL today. The Chiefs are currently up over the Green Bay Packers thanks to three field goals from Succop, who has now hit 20 in a row.

Succop’s field goal was good from 46 yards out and even made it on a high snap that Dustin Colquitt helped stabilize at the last second. Succop shook off some early season issues to now give the Chiefs one of the most impressive stretches of consistency in team history.

Succop has already hit field goals of 19 yards and 32 yards, both back in the first quarter. Succop’s best game of the year came against the Minnesota Vikings with five field goals.

The Chiefs now hold the lead with under four minutes to go in the third quarter.


VIDEO: Aaron Rodgers Touchdown Pass To Donald Driver Puts Packers Up 7-6

It was impressive while it lasted. The Green Bay Packers have never been shut out in the first half yet the Kansas City Chiefs defense did just that today. In fact, the scoreless streak lasted until midway through the third quarter, but a 40 yard bomb to Jermichael Finley eventually led to this touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers, his 40th, to Donald Driver to take the lead 7-6.


VIDEO: Derrick Johnson Stuffs Packers On Third-And-Short To Force Punt

It's clear that the Kansas City pass rush is getting to the Green Bay Packers today. Tamba Hali had a sack earlier today and narrowly missed another in the third quarter. Here, the Packers are moving and has a third-and-short and Derrick Johnson comes up big again in this drive stuffing the Packers' run along with the defensive line to force the Packers to punt once again -- just another example of how strong the Chiefs defense has been today:


Bryan Bulaga Injury Update: Packers Tackle Is Officially 'Questionable' To Return To Chiefs Game

John Clayton of ESPN is reporting on the latest concerning Bryan Bulaga’s status for the Green Bay Packers and the news is not good. The NFL analyst says, “Bryan Bulaga injured a knee. His return is questionable. Derek Sherrod is at right tackle for the Packers.” The questionable status will keep Sherrod at a position he’s not used to and might become a weak link for the Kansas City Chiefs to focus on.

Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali have both already taken advantage of opportunities to get to Aaron Rodgers and it’s clear the Packers’ quarterback is not having his best day. Rodgers is 6 of 18 for 59 yards with 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.

If Bulaga is able to return to the game it will likely come in the fourth quarter given that he went all the way back to the locker room. The Packers will definitely miss their tackle from Iowa.


Bryan Bulaga Injury Update: Green Bay Tackle Taken To Locker Room Against Chiefs

The Green Bay Packers have some injury concerns along their offensive line with a reported ankle injury for former Iowa offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga. The Packers’ right tackle was the team’s first round choice just two years ago and has become a reason why the Packers are so effective in protecting Aaron Rodgers.

Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated is reporting that his ankle was rolled on against the Kansas City Chiefs today and that he was taken to the sidelines. The Packers brought in Derek Sherrod, this year’s first round choice, to take over at right tackle — the opposite position than he’s used to on the left side.

The Chiefs are taking advantage in the meantime with Derrick Johnson’s sack on third and short and Tamba Hali’s relentless work. It’s clear that KC’s pass rush is getting to the Packers.

Update: the word on Bulaga is that he’s been taken to the locker room and that he won’t be back any time soon.


Kansas City Chiefs Lead Green Bay Packers 6-0 At Halftime

The Green Bay Packers have never been shut out in the first half this season. Yet the Kansas City Chiefs are clearly showing they have a defense that can stay with anyone, and the Chiefs are now up 6-0 over the Packers at halftime in a game no one expected.

After shutting down the Patriots well in the first half on Monday Night Football and two strong showings against the Steelers and Bears, it’s clear the Chiefs’ defense is the dominant force on the roster. Yet Kyle Orton has also moved the chains well in the first half as the Chiefs new quarterback.

The first half presented an incredibly strong showing for the Kansas City Chiefs who limited the Green Bay Packers better than any defense in the NFL so far this year, with only 89 total yards for the Pack. Orton went 14 of 19 in passing attempts with 152 yards. The Chiefs, even though they failed to score a touchdown, have to feel good about where they stand.

The Chiefs had 13 first downs and Dustin Colquitt didn’t punt until the very end of the first half. Those are marks of a team with a much better showing than the last several games and shows why Chiefs fans were dying to get a better quarterback in the middle.


Packers Vs. Chiefs: Kyle Orton Holds Keys For Kansas City's Offense And Any Hopes Against Green Bay

The Kansas City Chiefs are making the right call at quarterback. Everyone has been waiting for some change from Tyler Palko, but many of the calls for a change have been for fifth round rookie pick Ricky Stanzi to don the starter’s helmet for the first time since finishing his career with the Iowa Hawkeyes. But CBS Sports Josh Katzowitz believes the Chiefs are making the right move by passing over Stanzi to start waiver claim Kyle Orton instead.

Katzowitz writes, “If the Chiefs want any kind of chance to beat the Packers at home, Orton and not Stanzi has to be the one to start. The biggest concern entering the week for the Chiefs was whether Orton continued to have problems gripping the ball with his injured finger. But on Friday, Orton practiced without wearing the glove he’d worn all week to protect his index.”

Orton doesn’t help the Chiefs figure out much for the future, but as long as there is a mathematical chance, however slight, to make the postseason this year, the Chiefs have to take it. And Orton is the best bet for immediate success.


Kansas City Chiefs Have Chance To Display Growth Against Green Bay Packers

The Kansas City Chiefs will have a new coach and a new quarterback, so it’s definitely reasonable to expect the team will have some new results to show for their efforts. After all, those are major changes for any team, but upgrading from Tyler Palko to Kyle Orton has to bring something. Then again the team faces the Green Bay Packers this week so any measurement for growth is likely to come in smaller quantities this week. Fox Sports believes the Chiefs can grow but it will not be enough:

The Chiefs will have a different look than what they’ve shown over the course of the season, and it’s reasonable to believe both the insertion of Orton and the more-relaxed atmosphere that Crennel will bring as opposed to the stern and demanding Haley can pay some immediate benefits. It’s not going to change the Packers’ customary results, however. Kansas City will still be hard-pressed to keep the defending world champions from nearing their normal offensive output, and there’s little debate that the Chiefs don’t have anywhere near the firepower to keep up in a high-scoring affair. The final two games will offer a better indicator of whether Kansas City’s modifications will lead to an overall improvement, as the Packers are simply in another class.


NFL Picks, Week 15: Peter King Picks Green Bay Packers To Beat Kansas City Chiefs 33-20

The picks are overwhelmingly in favor of the Green Bay Packers over the Kansas City Chiefs, as they should be. The defending Super Bowl champs haven’t lost since 1976. But as Aaron Rodgers and company come to Arrowhead Stadium hoping to secure a first-round bye this week, the team finds the Chiefs at a particular interesting crossroads with a new interim coach in Romeo Crennel and starting quarterback in Kyle Orton. That’s still not enough for Peter King to believe the Chiefs will not get blown out, however.

He writes, “Just what every interim coach who wants to be a head coach wants to see for the first game of his three-game trial: Romeo Crennel’s got the 13-0 Packers coming to Arrowhead Sunday. I don’t see him being picked by Scott Pioli come January for a second stint as a head coach in the league, but Crennel has the kind of credibility with ownership and the GM — and is well-respected enough in the locker room — that a very good last 15 days of the season could get him on Pioli’s finalist list.”


NFL Picks: Bill Simmons Selects Green Bay Packers To Beat Spread Against Chiefs

When it comes to NFL Picks, it’s impossible to find a single person who really believes the Kansas City Chiefs have a real chance at beating the Green Bay Packers this week. Yet even as two touchdown favorites, experts still believe the Packers will beat the Chiefs by that much and more, even the Sports Guy Bill Simmons who wrote in his recent NFL picks column for Week 15 that the Chiefs would lose.

Simmons writes, “(Opening an early Christmas gift.) ‘Wow! It’s the chance to bet against Romeo Crennel again! Thank you! You shouldn’t have! This is too much!’”

The good news for the Chiefs is that if they are starting Kyle Orton at quarterback, they suddenly have the most experienced, savvy talent in the pocket than they’ve had for weeks. That’s a mark of just how bad the the Chiefs’ season has gotten in 2011, but there’s also reason for hope that Orton is able to find such dynamic wideouts like Jon Baldwin, Steve Breaston and Dwayne Bowe. They won’t likely overwhelm the Packers but at least they can make a game of it.


Chiefs Vs. Packers: Romeo Crennel Likely To Get 'Free Pass' Against Green Bay

Romeo Crennel will have a head start on any other candidate to become the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. After all, as the interim coach in place of the fired Todd Haley, Crennel will have a three game trial run to prove his worth. If the team shows signs of life, even in a loss, that bodes well for Crennel's chances at the long-term job.

Bill Williamson of ESPN also says he's likely to get a free pass this week, given that the Chiefs face the single greatest team in all of football, the Green Bay Packers. He writes:

There’s no doubt Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli will consider Crennel for the full-time job. Of course, it will help Crennel’s cause if the Chiefs play well in the final three games. But I don’t think Crennel has to beat the Packers to keep his name in consideration. I think Crennel will likely be judged more on the Chiefs’ performance in their final two games, at home against Oakland and at Denver, than in Sunday’s game against the juggernaut. However, of course, if the Chiefs somehow become the team to derail the Packers, Crennel’s candidacy will soar.


Kyle Orton Should Start For Kansas City Chiefs Unless He's Injured

If one team can hold an edge over another in the NFL, then they'll take it -- even if it's just a perceived edge. So it's hard to tell just who will start at quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday since that wild card alone seemingly is an advantage for the Chiefs, in reality or not. Will Tyler Palko start his fourth game in a row? Is Kyle Orton finally healthy enough to suit up under center? Will Ricky Stanzi get his first look as a pro? No one knows at this point, or at least they're not saying.

Orton has a finger injury that was dislocated in the one single play he's ever been in for the Chiefs. It's hard to tell whether Orton is good to go or not, but it's also clear he's the best option by far on the roster. For a team that's still mathematically in the playoffs, it's essential to not go into evaluation mode and play the back-ups or draft picks. That might mean no Stanzi for now.

It's clear Palko is not the man. He hasn't been able to consistently move the chains at all until now, at least under Haley, and the public sentiment and interest is strong in another option. For the Chiefs to trot out Palko for yet another week even after Haley's dismissal would unleash a chorus of ill will at Arrowhead.

For now, Chiefs fans have to hope for the best for Orton's health. Today's practice schedule should give a bit of a sign of what to expect.


Chiefs Vs. Packers: Green Bay Feasting On AFC West Opponents So Far

The Green Bay Packers have been beating up on anyone and everyone in this 2011 season. While there are plenty of teams vying for spots 2 through 9 on most NFL Power Rankings lists, it’s clear who the best overall team is and there’s no competition whatsoever for that slot. And yet of all of the teams that Green Bay has embarrassed, the AFC West has served up perhaps the best overall course for them to feast on.

“The 13-0 Packers are doing some of their best work against the AFC West this season,” says Bill Williamson. “They are 3-0 against the division and they are doing it in spectacular fashion. Green Bay has outscored Denver, Oakland and San Diego by a combined score of 140-77. The Packers have scored at least 45 points in each game. They play at Kansas City on Sunday, so the carnage could continue.”

The Chiefs don’t have much of a prayer on Sunday after losing their head coach and enduring extreme injuries this year, but the NFL always surprises week to week. Perhaps this will be one of those unforeseen games.


If Packers Endured Chiefs' Level Of Injuries, 'It's like Losing Aaron Rodgers, Jermichael Finley, Clay Matthews, Greg Jennings'

The Kansas City Chiefs sit at 5-8 and last place in the AL West. It's been a difficult season through and through and ultimately it cost Todd Haley his job as the head coach. But even the team's upcoming opponent, the Green Bay Packers, can shake their heads at the losses that have mounted up for the Chiefs and wonder how they would do themselves.

The Chiefs have suffered through 2011 without several of their top performers. Whether it's the most dynamic performer on the defense in Eric Berry or their offensive MVP like Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs have been hurting all season. Matt Cassel, Tony Moeaki, Brandon Siler are all names of guys done for the season -- guys the Chiefs were counting on.

"You lose your top tight end, your top running back, your quarterback, your all-pro safety, that's like the Packers losing Aaron Rodgers, Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings, Clay Matthews," says Wayne Larivee, the Voice of the Packers on 620 WTMJ, on "Wisconsin's Morning News."

"No one has the depth to overcome the kind of losses the Chiefs have had.  This is also a program that has not developed the kind of depth the Packers have right now."

Every team certainly endures their share of injuries to overcome in a given season, and Clark Hunt made a point of that in his press conference about firing Haley. But when it comes to the Chiefs, they've endured particularly horrific injuries this year, and that alone makes you believe next year has to be better.


Greg Jennings Injury Will Slow Down Packers Passing Attack Against Chiefs

There’s no doubt that the deepest and most dangerous passing attack in the NFL belongs to the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is the frontrunner for MVP this season and the Packers haven’t lost a game since Vince Lombardi was their head coach. Even with a subpar running game, the Packers dominate each and every game and haven’t even trailed for a single second in the fourth quarter in 2011. That spells trouble, at the very least, for the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead.

Yet the Greg Jennings injury that happened last week will end up hurting the Packers for the time being. They still have James Jones, Jermichael Finley, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Donald Driver, so there is no shortage of targets for Rodgers to consider. But Jennings is not simply a cog in the wheel. Instead, he’s the key piece that allows the other receivers to do what they do best.

“The real worry here is Jennings health for the playoffs,” writes Jacob Daczyk. "The injury time is only two to three weeks but who knows if the injury will linger, either affecting his performance in the playoffs or worse preventing him from playing in the playoffs.

“If Jennings has to miss a playoff game it could seriously hinder the Packers offense. The Packers most likely won’t be able to run the ball against any of the defenses they face in the playoffs so it will be up to the passing game. With Jennings out, Rodgers has one less target to throw to meaning defenses can better predict where the Packers will go with the ball. While the Packers do have a deep receiving core, losing your best receiver is never a good thing.”


Packers Vs. Chiefs: Kansas City Leads All-Time Series Against Green Bay

The Kansas City Chiefs have had a rough week this week to say the least. Now they must face the single best team in all of football: the Green Bay Packers. After firing head coach Todd Haley, interim coach and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel will lead the Chiefs against the Packers, who are visiting Arrowhead in an attempt to catch the Packers off-guard. The good news is that history is on the team's side.

According to the Chiefs main site, "The Chiefs own a 6-3-1 (.650) overall record (6-2-1 regular season and 0-1 postseason) in 10 previous meetings with the Packers. Kansas City is 3-2 (.600) at home against Green Bay. The Chiefs won fi ve straight games against the Packers from ’89-03, including posting a perfect 2-0 record at home. During that stretch, Kansas City was 3-0 at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 20-19 when the two clubs met in a preseason game earlier this year at Green Bay (9/1).

"Including preseason competition, the Chiefs and Packers have squared off at six different sites in the 23 previous meetings between the two teams (13 preseason, nine regular season and one postseason). In addition to Lambeau Field, Arrowhead Stadium and Milwaukee County Stadium, Kansas City and Green Bay met in Super Bowl I at the LA Coliseum and have competed in preseason play at the Tokyo Dome (8/1/98) and at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio (8/4/03). Green Bay posted a 33-22 win in its last visit to Kansas City (11/4/07) as QB Brett Favre threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns. The clubs also faced each other in Super Bowl I as the Packers won 35-10."

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