Unbeaten Chiefs aim to improve in second half of season
LOS ANGELES - Agence France-Presse
Running back Knile Davis #34 and other members of the Kansas City Chiefs run onto the field prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns. The Chiefs will visit the Buffalo Bills this weekend, aiming to defend their unbeaten run. AFP photoKansas City are the lone unbeaten team heading into the second half of the NFL season, but coach Andy Reid says the Chiefs can’t afford to get complacent.
Reid, the former Eagles coach who has overseen the Chiefs’ stunning turnaround from a 2-14 season in 2012, says the club is only focused on improving.
“We have a ton of room to improve in all three phases,” Reid said this week as the Chiefs prepared to take on the Bills in Buffalo on Nov. 3 with a chance to match the best start in franchise history of 9-0 in 2003.
“That’s exciting, but you have to make sure you go out to practice with that in mind. You get better at what you’re doing and then you get better at what you’re not doing, while you make sure that you keep improving yourself as a coach and as a player.”
The Chiefs survived a stiff test against Cleveland last week, but will be hoping to extend their winning streak against a Bills team that will likely again be without quarterback EJ Manuel, who has been out since hurting his knee in week five.
Replacement Thad Lewis was held out of practice on Oct. 30 with a rib injury and might not be available against the Chiefs.
Week nine of the season kicked off on Oct. 31 in Miami, where the Dolphins ended a four-game skid with a wild 22-20 overtime win over Cincinnati.
Cameron Wake sacked Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton in the end zone for a safety with 6:38 left in overtime to give the Dolphins the victory. Miami had appeared headed for a fifth successive defeat after a pair of Giovani Bernard second-half rushing touchdowns and Mike Nugent’s 54-yard field goal turned a 14-point deficit into a 20-17 Cincinnati lead with 1:24 left to play in regulation.
Miami’s Caleb Sturgis booted a game-tying 44-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, and Brandon Fields set up Wake’s final sack by pinning the Bengals deep in their own territory with a 32-yard punt.
Miami’s defense came up big, intercepting Dalton three times. One of those interceptions was returned 92 yards for a touchdown by Brent Grimes. Week nine action resumes on Nov. 3. Key matchups include Indianapolis at Houston in an AFC South clash.
The Colts, coming off a bye week, lead the division with a 5-2 record. The 2-5 Texans have the league’s top defense, but a turnover-prone offense has seen Houston lose five straight after a 2-0 start.
The NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers host division rivals Chicago, who are coming off a bye week and aiming to get back on track after falling 45-41 to Washington the week before.
That Monday night matchup is the only week nine contest in which both teams have a winning record, and it’s the 185th meeting between the historic rivals.
However, the Bears will be without quarterback Jay Cutler, and will turn to backup Josh McCown to make his first start of the season.
McCown completed 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards with one touchdown after coming in against Washington after Cutler went down with a groin injury.
The Packers have won four straight and lead the division with a record of 5-2.
In other games, Dallas host Minnesota, St. Louis host Tennessee, the New York jets host New Orleans, Washington host San Diego, Carolina host Atlanta, Oakland host Philadelphia, Seattle host Tampa Bay, Cleveland host Baltimore and New England host Pittsburgh.