Dec 29, 2006

Game Day Preview

Regular Season Game 16 (PDF)

CBS Regional Coverage (KCTV-5 in Kansas City) – Gus Johnson handlesthe play-by-play duties, while former Bills Pro Bowl special teamsperformer and WR Steve Tasker provides the color with commentary.
NATIONAL RADIO: CBS Radio/Westwood One – Harry Kalas and Trev Alberts.
LOCAL RADIO: KCFX-FM (101.1) – Mitch Holthus, Len Dawson, Bob Gretz and Bill Grigsby.

The Chiefs and Jaguars are set to square off in the first-ever New Year’s Eve contest at Arrowhead. Both clubs need a victory and plenty of help to secure a postseason berth. The Chiefs playoff hopes hinge on a win vs. Jacksonville combined with a Denver loss, a Cincinnati loss/tie and a Tennessee loss/tie. Meanwhile, Jacksonville needs a victory against the Chiefs, a loss by the N.Y. Jets, a Cincinnati loss/tie and a Tennessee loss/tie to get into the postseason dance.

Head coach Herm Edwards is seeking to join Gunther Cunningham (’98) as just the second head coach in franchise history to post nine victories in his inaugural season with the club. Kansas City is coming off a 20-9 win at Oakland (12/23), extending the club’s winning streak against the Raiders to eight games. The Chiefs own an NFL-best 20-2 (.909) record in December home games and are 12-2 when their final regular season contest of the year is played at Arrowhead.
Former Chiefs LB Jack Del Rio makes his debut appearance as an opposing head coach at Arrowhead. Del Rio played for Kansas City in ‘87-88 and is now in his fourth season as Jacksonville’s head coach. He guided the Jaguars to a 12-4 mark a year ago and is attempting to lead his squad into the postseason for a second consecutive season. Jacksonville is coming off a 24-21 loss vs. New England (12/24).

Twelve-time NFL All-Star Will Shields and three-time Pro Bowl invitee Brian Waters are the NFL’s first pair of teammates at guard to make the Pro Bowl three years in a row. Thanks to that duo and the rest of Kansas City’s offensive front, two-time Pro Bowl RB Larry Johnson has racked up 1,651 rushing yards on the season and needs exactly 100 yards to surpass the single-season franchise record 1,750 yards he accumulated in 2005.

The Jaguars have a pair of talented backs at their disposal in RB Fred Taylor, who racked up his sixth 1,000-yard campaign in 2006, and rookie RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who has averaged 131.7 ypg over the past three contests. Jacksonville currently ranks second in the NFL, averaging 161.9 rushing yards per game.

The Chiefs are 1-4 in regular season action against the Jaguars. Kansas City’s lone win in this series was a 30-26 win at Jacksonville (12/30/01). The Jaguars have claimed two straight victories against the Chiefs, including a 22-16 win at Jacksonville (10/17/04) in the most recent meeting between the two franchises. The Jaguars also won their only previous regular season game in KC by a 23-16 count at Arrowhead (9/15/02).

The Chiefs are 1-3 against the Jaguars in four preseason games played from ‘98-01, giving KC a 2-7 mark in all contests in the history of the series. The Chiefs lone preseason win against the Jaguars came when KC prevailed by a narrow 22-21 margin at Arrowhead (8/22/98) in the initial preseason meeting between the two clubs.

The National Football League and the American sports community lost a true treasure on December 13th when Chiefs Founder Lamar Hunt passed away in Dallas, Texas at the age of 74. Recognized as one of the greatest sportsmen in American history, Mr. Hunt served as the guiding force behind the formation of the American Football League and the Kansas City Chiefs franchise.

Mr. Hunt served as a positive influence on the game for 47 years. He was the first AFL figure to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in ‘72, a remarkable feat considering he became involved in the game just 13 years earlier. Despite his many accomplishments and his induction into eight different Halls of Fame, Mr. Hunt’s humility was one of his most unwavering and most endearing traits.

Whether it was serving as a key player in the AFL-NFL merger talks, coining the term “Super Bowl” or having the vision to conceive of Arrowhead Stadium, few individuals helped change the face of America’s favorite game for the better more than this quiet Texan.

The Chiefs will celebrate Mr. Hunt’s life and legacy throughout Sunday’s game. For the third consecutive game, the Chiefs will wear an “LH” decal on their helmets to honor Mr. Hunt’s memory.