Heavenly Peace: Chiefs Should Get Some Rest

Heavenly Peace: Chiefs Should Get Some Rest

The AFC West title could be on the line Sunday. A Chiefs win and a Raiders loss would give Chiefs their first division win since 2005. Chiefs will no doubt be tempted to pull out all the stops to win, but they shouldn‘t. Division titles are all too often the booby prizes’ of playoff teams. I believe that Chiefs should rest some of their best starters against San Diego and risk losing the game. Here’s why:

A Bye Week Helps

The biggest reason we want the Chiefs to win the division is so they can get a bye week. A bye week gives you a chance to get some of your hurt and tired players closer to 100%. If it’s really important to rest your starters, why gamble on the possibility of a bye week when you can just give them the week off and get the same result? Certainly having an extra week to plan and home-field advantage helps, but does it really help enough that you would want to risk a gimpy Justin Houston, or Spencer Ware’s bruised ribs against the Chargers on the off chance that Denver can handle a Raiders team with a solid defense and great run game?

Injury Risks

Imagine rolling into the playoffs without Travis Kelcie or Tyreek Hill. How good do you feel about the Chiefs chances? Chiefs don’t have to take these guys completely out of the game, but limiting their workload to avoid an untimely injury would be very smart. Raiders lost Carr playing a bad Colt’s team, now their fans can’t even get excited about going to the playoffs for the first time in forever.

The biggest reason to rest starters against the Chargers though, is that Chiefs can get away with it. I’m not saying go to completely backups, but it’s worth noting, Chiefs came darn close (thanks refs!) to beating SD with depth guys before. Chargers are a good team, but they have more talent on IR than on the field. Chiefs have one of the deepest rosters in the NFL and a fair number of their depth players are outright better than Charger’s starters (at least right now). Who knows? If Chiefs decide to rest starters they might even discover a rookie who’s better than they thought like Terrence Mitchell. Maybe a guy like DeMarcus Robinson could finally see some snaps. Then again, I may be drunk with Kool-Aide and Chiefs would lose badly to the Chargers without their stars. Whatever Andy Reid does, I’ll be fine with, probably, maybe, I hope so. What would you do?

Bonus Thought

It sounds absurd to say it, and it’s far too early, but Peyton Manning pretty much held the Broncos together. Without him, Denver’s locker room is becoming toxic. Elway hasn’t had much luck low-balling free agents once Manning left and it probably gets worse next year. Who wants to play on that offense? Sanders and Thomas sure don’t. Maybe that’s why they drop so many passes these days. The shocking thing is that Denver actually has an ok QB in Simien, but will probably end up going to Paxton Lynch and fourth place in the AFC West next year, because their Oline is garbage is Lynch can run. Gary Kubiak is not a great head coach, but since he’s good buddies with Elway, it’s going to take a season or two before they let him go. If we didn’t have to deal with an up and coming Raiders team, I would say Chiefs are locks to win the division the next two years.

And those are my Sizzling Takes. How about yours?

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Ransom Hawthorne

Ransom Hawthorne

Ransom Hawthorne is an electrician living in central KS. He's married and has two young boys. Born in KS, and raised in Tucson, Ransom spent his middle school years in southern Mexico.
Ransom Hawthorne

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  • berttheclock

    John Elway made several mistakes this past season which have both hurt his team and helped the Chiefs. But, he was correct in not over paying Brock Osweiler. However, look at the reverse of that deal. Bob McNair, the owner of the Texans absolutely went into a panic mode, did not even consult with his HC and signed Osweiler to a ridiculous contract largely due to giving away the ranch in guaranteed money. Joel Corry, the former NFL agent lists this deal as the worst FA acquisition of the past year in a thread over at CBS Sports/NFL. It is the huge amount of guaranteed money which means the Texans can not trade him and they will be hurt financially if they cut him.

    Ransom, while I understand your reasoning for resting certain players, I am not one who believes in doing such in last of the season games. Limited play perhaps, but, not a total pull out. The Bolts, even with their many injury problems, still have some excellent weapons to use against the Chiefs on both sides of the LOS. Their young wide out from Western Oregon is very good. Their rookie TE is excellent. Bosa is playing outstanding defense as well as Hayward, the corner back they stole from the Packers. He is close to being a shut down corner and leads the league in INTs. Where they may well fall off is in the running game. BTW, their earlier success in running had a lot to do with the usage of Gates as a blocker. Now, without any quality RBs, should Gordon not be healed, Gate can concentrate more on tying or even surpassing the TD record set by Tony G.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      Definitely don’t want to see all backups out there. The Oline should stay the same, Smith should start the game, Maclin and Conely should play. Want to see really limited workload for Kelcie, Hill and Spencer Ware on offense. Those are three guys we don’t have good replacements for. On defense, want to see Houston stay out of this game. Let everybody else start, but give Poe and Chris Jones a few more snaps off than usual. Chiefs should also keep an eye on other games, if it seems evident that the game will have no impact on seeding by half time, then you pack it in and send Foles out there on offense, and Dadi Nicolas on defense.

      • berttheclock

        Speaking of snaps, did you see the season high, by far, number of snaps for Harris last week? Joel T noted it was the most snaps, 56, of any Number Two TE in the league. Many were used for blocking, but, he has gained the confidence of the coaches and somehow he is producing (at times).

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          You have to admit…his (at times) have been pretty timely as of late.

        • Die-hard Chiefs fan

          Ya I wouldn’t buy into that. It was probably more so in the game plan then trust. Harris shouldn’t be trusted. He leads the league in percentage of dropped passes. He has around a 2-1 catch to dropped ratio and has a 20% dropped percentage which is ridiculously high for his amount of targets. He’s progressing just very very slowly. I hope we replace him with a more capable TE in the draft. Never been a fan of his. He just hasn’t delivered as much as say an Anthony Fasano did.

          • berttheclock

            Ransom has been on the “We must find a new TE in the draft” bandwagon and I am with him. What has really bothered me about the play of Harris is his lack of concentration, no matter if he is trying to go out for a pass or trying to catch a pass or even not seeing when he off the opposing center that he was lined up off side. Can’t really buy into the argument that he was only a BB player in college as he starred in high school football in Arkansas and had solid offers to continue in college. He just chose to play only BB. But, the game is not new to him and he should not still be making those lack of concentration mistakes.

          • Die-hard Chiefs fan

            I’m up in the air. I do like this year’s TE’s. I’ve read multiple reviews on oj Howard and some are saying he’s a top 20 talent. He’s someone I’d love to see sport the red and gold. If Harris can work on his drops he’s worth keeping. He’s got great leaping ability, he’s a decent blocker, he is a redzone threat I’ve just seen to many drops this year. If he can cut down on the drops he can definitely make a great second TE. I’m just not seeing it. I’ll be sadly disappointed if he drops redzone passes in the playoffs.

          • Chiefly Bacon

            The guy I really want is Bucky Hodges. Big TE who’s pretty fast for his size.

          • Chuck Burrell

            I miss Jason Dunn. Pair his 80 yr old self up with Kelce and cut the rest

          • mnelson52

            You would have thought with his basketball background that he would have had soft hands instead of hands of stone. I think part of his problem is letting the ball get into his body but he’s dropped plenty that hit his hands.

        • Chiefly Bacon

          I think Chiefs are trying to get him ready for the playoffs.

      • mnelson52

        Are you also assuming that the Dolphins will lose so that we keep the 5 seed if we lose?

  • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

    All good points CB….thing is, looking ahead there is one very important thing, assuming we got past Houston in the first round, Pittsburgh is almost assuredly waiting in the wings…..with the 5 spot we play them on the road. With the 2 spot, we would see them or the Raiders at home…..that alone is reason enough to play balls to the wall Sunday in SD.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      I stand corrected….assuming we were to beat Houston and the Steelers were to beat Miami…..we would travel to NE and the Steelers would travel to Oakland.

    • drwillez37

      Yes and great point cause I for one would rather face Pitt @ arrowhead

  • berttheclock

    I trust Andy Reid will not attempt to rest his offensive mind on Sunday afternoon.

  • Die-hard Chiefs fan

    Man I hate to be the negativity Nancy but Denver is only like 1 point favours over Oakland. Oakland will dedicate themselves to running the ball and I believe they can win that way. They won’t ask their QB to do much versus their corners. That offensive line can make way through the Broncos. Denver is giving up. People say “they have to much pride to roll over for the Raider’s”. I disagree. Kubiak putting players on IR to give Ray and Barret more playing time. Telling the media that Lynch will get the start over the Siemian who has more games and more years under his belt. To me Denver is giving up. I hope I’m wrong. I expect Oakland to win. We will have the same road in the playoffs as last year. First Houston then New England.

    The only difference is we might be healthier. Mac, Houston, and Ware didn’t play last year. Hill, Jones, Schwartz are our new acquisition.

    • berttheclock

      Have to agree with you about the running attack. Especially, as Oakland found a new RB last week after Murray was shut down. They went with the smaller and quicker backs. We all knew about Richard, but, DeAndre Washington came off the bench to short his quickness and both improved the running game. With a healthy Osemele, that left side should be very hard for Denver to have to stop.

      • Die-hard Chiefs fan

        Ya they looked pretty darn good running the ball last week. If Denver plays wolfe, Ward, and Marshal they have a great chance in winning. Unfortunately I don’t see Kubiak doing that. He’s going to give some younger guys a shot and build towards the future. Seeing how they virtually have nothing to play for other then maybe a winning record. I really hope I’m wrong. Then again I don’t mind having a similar path to the Superbowl. It brings familiarity to Reid’s game planning. The only difference this year is Blount and white are healthy so new England will be more balanced this year. I still am hopeful we can beat new England. It’ll be tough but we have the playmakers available. Though I’d love to see Miami beat Pittsburgh and we beat Houston. That would mean two divisional games. Unfortunately Miami is without their starting QB. We’ll have to beat Pittsburgh and New England for our chance at a super bowl. I still believe. Reid just has to be aggressive. He knows he’ll have to be.

      • ladner morse

        Good Morning Sir. How did your surgery go yesterday. I’m I to take your presence here as a hint that your surgery was a major success? I certainly hope so.

        • berttheclock

          “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone”.

          Or, how about the Carter Sisters doing “Look for the sunny side of life” to begin the new day?

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            As long as it isn’t foreigners “double vision” that’s good news

          • mnelson52

            I think they should have the attitude from the James Taylor song I’m a steamroller baby I’m going to roll all over you.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      Is the #5 a better spot for us?
      Houston first…..then a Gronkless NE…..then maybe a beat up Pittsburgh team by that time?

      • Die-hard Chiefs fan

        I believe so. Are we sure new England will be without Gronk? I haven’t kept up on his injury. To me that’s the second best. First best scenario is the bye because Reid is fantastic in the bye. I’m curious how many times Reid has had a bye in the playoffs and how many times he’s won after that bye.

      • berttheclock

        They may be Gronkless, but, their signing of Bennett as a FA is rated as one of the best FA signings last season by Joel Corry, the former NFL agent. Add the addition of the troubled Floyd as a wide out and the Pats still look tough.

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          No question about it, New England is the team to beat, I just meant it would make things a little easier without Gronk

      • mnelson52

        I don’t think playing three games on the road is ever better than two at home to get to the SB. Also an extra game is more chances of getting an injury, especially the way people hit in the playoffs.

    • mnelson52

      I remember saying a few weeks back, (Jokingly ) that it would be sad if we beat everyone in our division and gave the #2 seed back to the Raiders by losing to the Titans. Looks like that will be the case as I fully expect the Raiders to win Sunday. It still may be important to win this game to keep from dropping down to the 6 seed.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      I kinda feel this way too.

  • berttheclock

    Ebb and flow of the Mocks. I see where KCBudman of Draft Tek has moved the Chiefs up to 30 and is back taking the Clemson QB, Watson. In the 2nd round, he selects the ILB from Northwestern, Anthony Walker. Now, Walter football believes Walker needs to add weight and might better fit the Will position of ILB, but, he should be paired with a bigger ILB next to him to do the thumping.

    • drwillez37

      Josh Mauga comes back next year and I know DJ will come back and still be just as good. He’s the man and we should remember that

      • berttheclock

        A healthy DJ, even with his age, is a Coach on the playing field. He is the one who knows how to position his defensive front seven.

  • freshmeat62

    Houston, Miami, and Pittsburgh all play in the noon games so the Chiefs will know where they stand concerning those 3 teams when their game starts. Even w/o Carr I think Oakland will beat Denver. So the Chiefs are playing to see if they match up w/ Pittsburgh or Houston…they want Houston! But who knows what Reid will do? As I remember last year, knowing they were already in the playoffs, he played reserves most of the last game.

    • berttheclock

      Ah, the oft forgotten first pass by Daniel against the Bolts. He came within inches of throwing a Pick Six. However, on his next throw down field, he had something like a 48 yard pass, so, many forgot that first pass attempt. Then, after gaining a lead, the Chiefs and Daniel went into their typical cruise control which hurt them.

    • PaulfromnorthMO

      In a way, the Miami/NE game is the key. If Miami wins and the Chiefs lose to SD, it would drop us to the 6 seed and send us to Pittsburgh. I would play to win this game with an eye on the Raiders scoreboard, if Oakland is blowing out the donkeys, then I would probably start playing reserves.

  • berttheclock

    Just another thought about the play of Harris. With his getting 56 snaps last week, he appeared to be more focused. I have seen this happen to other players when their individual snap counts are increased. Some just really need more actual playing time on the field to improve. Many do not appear to fit the limited plug and play situations as well.

    Sort of akin to Harris being brought off the bench to run a pass play and, as he set up outside, went into a “Oh boy, I’m going out for a pass” and he ended up jumping the gun.

    • PaulfromnorthMO

      Some have mentioned the AS11 led offense not scoring a TD after the 1st quarter Sunday, but part of the reason for that was Harris dropping a pass in the end zone that hit him right in the numbers. As I recall, Hill dropped one as well.

      • berttheclock

        Yes, and those two plays were back to back. Seems the worst place to hit receivers is in their hands. Harris made the mistake of trying to pull the ball into his chest, whereas, Hill just looked surprised the pass was so close to his face.

      • mnelson52

        I was one that mentioned that. You are correct in the fact that he should have had a TD there, but they should have against the Bucs and Tenn. My point really was, they keep finding ways to not get it done for what ever reason. If you’re playing a good offensive team and don’t score any TDs for the last three Quarters of a game, there’s a good chance they will come back to beat you.

  • drwillez37

    I do beleive Reid’s best games come off the bye week. And home field could really push the team to the Super Bowl. But at what cost?? It’s hard to say hopefully at no cost. As far as injuries goes obviously

    • berttheclock

      Didn’t the Giants under Coughlin lose their last season game and end up having to win out on the road to advance to the SB where they beat the Pats who had won that last season game?

      • PaulfromnorthMO

        Yep, they went into the playoffs as the 6 seed and a record of 9-7, iirc.

      • mnelson52

        Wasn’t that the year the Pats went to the SB 18-0 ?

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      I’d say there is a really really good chance that the road to the SB has us meeting up with New England and Pittsburgh, just depends in what order we see them by what seed we get.
      At least with the 2 seed we would see one of them at home after a bye week.

      • Tony Parker

        Exactly, and my money is we see Pitt as a first opponent if we have the #2, at #5 we beat Houston then play, Um, I mean beat NE, then would have to go to Pitt for the conference championship. I would rather get the 2 seed and play Pitt at Arrowhead then go beat NE.

  • berttheclock

    Just remember the record of 13-3 with a home field advantage throughout the playoffs and all the Chiefs had to do was suit up against Indy because “EVERYONE” “KNEW” their “REAL” game was going to be the following week at home against Pittsburgh.

    • PaulfromnorthMO

      I remember that one. 13-3 has not been a good record to end the regular season with.

    • freshmeat62

      Weren’t there 2 13-3 seasons where the Chiefs lost to the Colts in the 1st game? The one w/ Harbaugh as QB in that miserable weather was the 1st.

      • berttheclock

        Yes, and botched FGs.

      • PaulfromnorthMO

        The other 13-3 season I remember was losing to Denver when Marty was coaching, but I could be wrong.

  • berttheclock

    All of us fell in love with the speed and smarts of Charles. But, Ware is not Charles and he is not the ground pounding bruiser which the Chiefs need to play full time. He is a very good back and having to be that full time ground pounder is going to wear him down. The Chiefs need to find such as a DeMarco Murray type who can keep blasting away. He was really misused by Kelly in Philly, but, he was reborn in Nashville, when, used properly. He was a 3rd round pick (Same as Charles), so, there can be Gold in the round if you do proper prospecting.

    • PaulfromnorthMO

      Having a back like Henry to spell him helps a lot. A RB by committee might be the best approach if a team wants a good rushing attack in todays game.

      • berttheclock

        Funny thing about Henry is many so-called “pundits” thought he was vastly over rated coming out of college.

        • PaulfromnorthMO

          There have been so many 1st round RB flops, I can understand the hesitation, but good O-line play is the route to success. With a few exceptions like JC25.
          I trust your surgery went well and full recovery will be quick.

      • berttheclock

        True and I believe that is what could extend the future of Ware with the Chiefs.

    • berttheclock

      BTW, I am not unhappy that Pioli did not select Murray in that draft, as he took the player just ahead of the Cowboys taking Murray by selecting some “unknown” DE/OLB named Justin Houston.

    • Merlin

      Do you think a Murray type back would succeed with a more mobile line like the Chiefs have?

      • berttheclock

        Yes, plus, I love how he can catch passes out of the backfield. The Chiefs need to find such.

        • PaulfromnorthMO

          Assuming of course, Charles doesn’t come back.

          • berttheclock

            As Fats Waller used to say, “One never knows, do one?”

      • berttheclock

        If Dorsey could find the money, I would like to see him obtain Ronald Leary, the OG, of the Cowboys, who did block for Murray at one time.

        • Merlin

          Leary has heavy legs (like Fulton). I don’t see Reid wanting a lineman like that. I would think the Chiefs would be better suited to looking for a

          Shady McCoy type, more of a one cut runner.

          • berttheclock

            That is why we love your work around here. You swoop in with that Merlin engine purring and point out flaws.

    • Chuck Burrell

      Murray’s style reminds me a lot of Larry Johnson. We’ve constructed a team built around a bruiser like that and in my opinion I’d give a huge pass to going that direction again. That style of play is in the past. (Notice how many games Demarco will be playing this postseason).

  • tm1946

    All depends.

    Rest players and be satisfied with the 5th position or fight to win and have a chance at 2nd and a weekend rest. Addict has a writer who sees no benefit of #2 over #5. Of course I might say something unkind with that thinking.

    Me, I want to win every game, preferably 69 – 0. Who needs rest right now? Then there are injuries, we are light across the board with enough hurt. So, no problem either way , but….

    • mnelson52

      They still may have to play to win to keep from dropping to the 6 seed.

      • tm1946

        That be more than unfortunate.

  • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

    Lets not forget the Miami beat New England to close out last season and Miami still has something very big to play for…..as the 5th seed THEY play Houston and we go to Pittsburgh in the WC round.
    This SD game is more important in my opinion than some are suggesting.

  • Chuck Burrell

    I haven’t read through the comments so forgive me if this has already been said… Chiefs won the division in 2010. A first round bye is more than a week’s worth of rest, it shortens the path to the super bowl by 33%. They aren’t just playing for the division. They’re also playing to keep from falling to the 6th seed which goes to Pittsburgh instead of Houston. Lots to play for this week!

  • Delaware Chief

    It is a very important game as has been stated,my only thing is if a player such as Houston is questionable,I would sit him out,otherwise full speed ahead

  • mnelson52

    Off subject but I saw on a different site where they’re looking for a good name for Chris Jones. I thought maybe a good one would be “Plummer Jones”. For those that don’t know, a Plummer is the most fierce and most commonly used bull in rodeos. A Plummer is exactly half Texas Longhorn and half Brahman. They are bred specifically for their high kick and quick spin move. They are 1,000 lbs of pure muscle. Of coarse the way he can swat the pass down, maybe just simply call him the Fly Swatter.

    • mnelson52

      The symbol of danger or death “Crossbones Jones”

  • Laurels and limitations

    JH is already out for this weekend so KC might as well go for the 2 seed, and give JH an entire other week to heal….HOT TAEK!!!!!

    • mnelson52

      Hope that it’s nothing serious like Charles turned out to be.

      • Laurels and limitations

        Man, Charles being down still hurts me in the feels, ya’ know? But I think JC25’s predicament has just as much to do about age as it does anything else. I’m betting that Houston and his team are doing everything they can to get him back on the field as soon as possible…but it seems to be detrimental to keep rushing things.

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          He needs to listen to that song by Toby Keith “I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was” just in case we get to the dance and need a dance partner.

          • Laurels and limitations

            HAHA!!! I have to listen to that song every once in a while to remind myself that I am no longer 18 either. One of my current favorite sayings is, “I no longer bounce, I splat”.

    • PaulfromnorthMO

      With this Dr. Andrews guy already in Florida, at least he doesn’t have to fly much further south for the winter.

      • Laurels and limitations

        think I would be looking for a different medical team, firing my second opinion team, not listening to team doctors, hell I dunno…anything but listening to Andrews.

        • PaulfromnorthMO

          I agree, we have three redone knees on this team and they are all having problems.

          • Laurels and limitations

            but how? I mean, is the team’s personal trainers screwing up? Are all three lying through their teeth in order to get back early? Something seems amiss.

          • PaulfromnorthMO

            IDK, maybe it is our teams guys. But that shouldn’t have much to do with the repair holding up, should it?

          • Laurels and limitations

            from everything I read, hear, make-the-hell-up, rushing the recovery process decreases the effectiveness of the surgery. These guys have, arguably, the best personal trainers in the world so maybe they believe they know better than anyone else. But then again, maybe Dr. Andrews is on the Raider’s payroll….I dunno.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            I think they just don’t understand the “rub some dirt on it” and get your ass back out there method that our old men taught us.

          • Laurels and limitations

            A lot of that also has to do with parity in ability and performance of the players at the NFL level. When these guys take any kind of dip in production or ability due to injury there are any number of guys jumping at the bit to exploit that. Of course, as you said, they could just be a bunch of weenies, also, lol.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Man, this whole no Thursday Night Football thing has me thinking of the offseason…..makin’ me sad.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Completely off topic but Hermoine just gave record time birth on a floating barge….crap..TWINS!!! no wait..one died, never mind.

    • Laurels and limitations

      Good news, they both lived…ALL IS WELL!!!!

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      Completely off topic too, but I decided to try out for the local theater, I thought doing a little acting would be fun, on my first audition, the director told me she wanted to see me limp……………. misunderstandings get me every time, the police said I’m not allowed to go down there anymore.

  • Mcginest: It’s easier to get to the super bowl playing twice as opposed to three times. (Paraphrased). David’s corollary.Its better to be on a roll and keeping momentum going than taking time off.

    • tm1946

      Don’t tell Stacy.

      • He was on a roll today… not about the Chiefs, but on a roll just the same… 🙂

      • the aside: I think the Chiefs go take the Chargers. it’s their business to do so and they should play to win that game and finish 12-4. Beyond that? It’s a wait’n’see deal.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Welp, ,looks like we are clinging to a 53% chance that Denver beats Oakland this week, and a 75% chance that KC wins versus S.D. according to 538.
    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-nfl-predictions/?ex_cid=rrpromo.
    I’m in the crowd that thinks KC would benefit more from the bye week and home field advantage rather than KC travelling throughout the playoffs.