Looking back at Preseason Game No. 2 @ Rams, looking ahead to Bears + 53-man roster prediction 2.0

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Tomorrow at noon, the Chiefs will play  the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in preseason game No. 3 - usually the dress rehearsal for the starters, and Chiefs fans can expect the starting offense to produce once again after doing so in each of the last two games. The backups have left far more desired, but finding and ironing out weaknesses is what the preseason is for. Last weekend, the Chiefs once again game up 1-point short, falling 21-20 to the LOS ANGELES Rams, in the game formerly known as the Governor's Cup, at the LA Coliseum. With Kansas City leading 20-14 in the fourth quarter, Jared Goff engineered a five play, 67-yard drive that spanned just 2:53 and ended with a 10-yard pass to running back Malcolm Brown. Despite possessing the ball three more times before the final gun, Kansas City could not find a way to win. Both Rams quarterbacks, Case Keenum and Goff, threw touchdowns in the win, despite the latter having an inconsistent overall performance (8/12, 82 yards, 2 [Read more...]

Give up on these Royals? Please, 2.0: Red-Hot August has Royals in the race

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One month ago, the Kansas City Royals sat at 48-48, eight full games back of Cleveland, and five games back from Toronto for the second Wildcard spot. They were fading fast, and the feeling around Kansas City was that of a season from the 2000s, though the Royals were still over .500. Exactly one month later, Kansas City is 64-60, and four games over .500 for the first time since late June, and suddenly, the thought of reaching the playoffs for three straight years wasn’t such an unfathomable idea. How they got there, however, is the story. Entering August on the heels of a 7-19 month - matching the franchise's fewest wins in July in their history, there weren’t many people who believed that the Royals would turn things around. The starting pitching was a disaster, the offense was at time offensive and the bullpen had lost two prominent late-inning relievers in Wade Davis and Luke Hochevar. 18 days ago, things were the bleakest they have been in a long time. Sitting at 51-58, the [Read more...]

Chiefs @ Rams Preseason Week 2 Preview + 53-man roster Prediction, 1.0

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Tonight, in Southern California, the Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Los Angeles Rams in Week Two of the preseason – the rivalry formerly played for the Governors Cup. Last week, Los Angeles made a tremendous comeback over the Cowboys and won 28-24 (trailed 24-7 at the half) in front of the largest crowd in preseason history (90,000+) while the Chiefs lost 17-16 on the game's final play. While a win over the Rams would be nice, more important, however, are the development of rookies, young players, and the overall continuity of the team. Here are the things I'll be watching for during the game: Continued development from the offensive line: You may notice a trend in the offensive line being high on my list of keys for the Chiefs, but if you've seen any of their games during the last three years, you'd know why. Last week, the starters ran right over Seattle's starting front, and Los Angeles has an elite front of their own. If they open lanes and keep the quarterbacks clean, [Read more...]

The Good and the Bad of Chiefs Preseason Opener Loss

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Last Saturday, Kansas City dropped their Preseason Opener to the visiting Seattle Seahawks, 17-16, after Seattle rookie quarterback and former TCU standout Trevone Boykin found his 6'6 receiver Tanner McEvoy for a 37-yard touchdown on sort of a Hail Mary pass, even with Chiefs cornerback Malcolm Jackson draped all over him in single coverage, and with no help. Seattle then attempted a two point conversion from the 1-yard line after Kansas City was charged with 12 men on the field on the field. There, running back Troymaine Pope scored the winning points. It was certainly a disappointing way to lose the game, but not all takeaways from Saturday were negative. (Remember, Kansas City was leading 16-6 late in the third quarter). Spencer Ware rushed for a short touchdown in the first quarter, Marcus Peters intercepted Russell Wilson at the goalline to stall a drive in the same quarter, and the Chiefs converted three field goals - including a Cairo Santos 58-yarder (!!!) before the backups [Read more...]

Things to Watch in Chiefs Preseason Opener

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This afternoon, in a rare preseason day game, the Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Seattle Seahawks at Arrowhead Stadium in the preseason opener. These two teams met in the preseason last year, and the Chiefs narrowly won 14-13. The Chiefs, coming off their first playoff win in over twenty years, are eager to shake off the rust of the preseason and get back to what carried them to the postseason last year. While they did return most of the roster, this year's team is a little different. Gone is the standout play of cornerback Sean Smith, blocking of guard Jeff Allen, and key sub-package players in safeties Husain Abdullah and Tyvon Branch. The Chiefs also have key injuries to deal with in Justin Houston's ACL, which could sideline him for most, if not all year. Players coming off injuries, such as such as Jamaal Charles (ACL), Phillip Gaines (ACL), and Tamba Hali (knee) must also be monitored to ensure they're at their best come September. While extremely significant, injuries [Read more...]

Danny Duffy: bullpen to Ace to…Cy Young?

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Despite posting a 3.80 ERA (24-30 record) in his first five years as a starting pitcher (2015 was his “worst” year as a starter, posting a 4.35 ERA with 90 strikeouts and 51 walks in 24 starts, coming off a 2014 season filled with lack of run support – 2.53 ERA, 1.112 WHIP, 9-12 record), Duffy’s inconsistency with the strike zone, resulting in high pitch counts, he landed in the bullpen to start the season for the second time in the last three seasons and marked the third season in a row that he spent a portion of the season in the bullpen. This time, it looked permanent. And while there, Duffy finally figured out how to throw strikes. He pounded the zone at a better rate in any year of his career (70%, 6% higher than career mark), striking out 10.4 batters per nine innings (7.6 career) with a 4.20 strikeout to walk ratio. His ERA was at 3.00 with a 1.222 WHIP and opposing batters were slashing .250/.297/.371. The Royals then placed 40% of their rotation (Chris Young and Kris Medlen) [Read more...]

Chiefs extend Fisher for four more years

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina (USA TODAY Sports)

The Chiefs made a significant commitment to 2013's No.1 overall pick, their own left tackle Eric Fisher. After seeing him surrender 42 pressures in 2013 and 2014, he reduced that number to 37 last season. Better yet, he didn't allow a sack until the Chiefs Week 13 road game against the Oakland Raiders. (Read that again: Week Thirteen. He went twelve weeks without giving up a sack). That performance was good enough to earn him a new four-year, $48 million extension with $40 million guaranteed Saturday afternoon, just minutes before the first practice of the 2016 season. With the new deal, he's now under contract for the next six years, with a price tag of $63 million. The contract also shows a trend this offseason of John Dorsey locking up his young offensive stars (Kelce, and running backs Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West). While Fisher hasn't come close to reaching his ceiling, last year showed he's well on his way to becoming a star in this league. If you don't believe he has the [Read more...]

Chief Questions heading into training camp

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With the start of the Chiefs training camp upon us, all eyes will be on St. Joseph's Missouri Western University as Kansas City looks to prove that last season's run was not a fluke, but a sign of things to come. With the majority of their starters returning (free agent departures notwithstanding), the team has a solid core in addition to another unique draft by John Dorsey. With a few key in-house re-signing's (Travis Kelce, Spencer Ware, and Charcandrick West), the Chiefs look secured for at least the next two or three seasons. However, the present state of the Chiefs franchise does have some questions, which I will identify and answer. 1. Who will take the No.2 QB job? Aaron Murray and Tyler Bray have been on this roster since 2014, but neither one has been able to move up with Chase Daniel in the way. Now, with the former in Philadelphia, both have a chance to make a serious move on the depth chart. However, rookie Kevin Hogan, who shares many traits with Alex Smith, may beat [Read more...]

To sell, or not to sell, that is the Royals question

When talking about buying or selling (or standing pat), there are a lot of things to take into consideration: Current record, roster makeup, injuries to certain players, standings, holes that need to be filled, and whether or not your team has the pieces to compete down the road. With the Kansas City Royals at 48-50 and 8.5 games back of the Cleveland Indians, there has been some discussion about whether the Royals should buy, sell, or stand pat at the deadline. There are a few key players hitting the open market after the 2017 season, and with that, there aren’t many players who are considered “off limits” during the trading season, but there are a few who are more likely to be shopped than others. Jayson Stark recently reported that Dayton Moore has been “wide open to listening” about deals on closer Wade Davis, starter Edinson Volquez, and DH Kendrys Morales. Moore also said that he wants MLB-ready players, and not “kids.” With the recent blockbuster deal that sent Aroldis Chapman [Read more...]

Royals call up top prospect Raul Mondesi, Jr, option Whit Merrifield

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The Royals announced that top prospect Raul Mondesi Jr has been called up to the big league club. In order to make room for Mondesi, it was announced that Whit Merrifield has been optioned to AAA Omaha. The Merrifield, the once-rookie sensation labeled "2-hit Whit" - 24 multi-hit games in his first 42 games, demotion is a bit of surprise due to his versatility. The Royals could have sent down Christian Colon or Brett Eibner, but Merffield, in a current 1-17 (.059) slump and slashing .170/.241/.245 in July, is in a slump, so it makes the decision much easier. He hit .339/.356/.496 through 27 games, but hit a wall and has hit .189/.245/.242 since (26 games). Mondesi, the middle-infielder and the organization's consensus No. 1 prospect, is hitting .268/.322/.469 with 7 HR, 30 RBI and 24 SB in 52 games in minors in 2016. The switch-hitter was suspended for 50 games by Major League baseball in accordance with the leagues Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program earlier this season when [Read more...]