It’s game day, folks! If only we could be more excited about the prospect of taking on the Steelers with Tyler Palko at QB.
Still, there is a lot to be excited about today. Since the Chiefs don’t play until tonight, you can enjoy a day of stress-free football.
Some other notes:
-Be sure to join Big Matt and me for another edition of AA Radio. We’ll be hosting a live Chiefs Pre-Game Show that will literally take you right up until kickoff. We’ll recap last week’s loss to the Patriots, talk about the Kyle Orton acquisition and get you ready for Chiefs/Steelers. The show goes live at 6:30 central. Join us.
-Rodney Hudson will make his first NFL start tonight at guard in place of Ryan Lilja.
-There is a chance Orton could be active today, though likely as an emergency option.
We’ll have more on the game for you throughout the day. Until then, here is your Morning Fix!
They put in a claim and were awarded Orton — the NFL is set up in such a way that, in an act of either generosity or pity, teams are awarded players in reverse order of the standings — and a day later, Chiefs coach Todd Haley called the move a “no-brainer.” That’s mostly because the team was uncomfortable playing its final six games with just two quarterbacks on the roster — and one NFL start, Tyler Palko’s appearance on Monday night, between them.
Haley reluctantly admits it, but injuries are crippling his team’s chance of repeating as division champs. The Chiefs are two games behind the Oakland Raiders (6-4), but a challenging schedule – including tonight’s matchup against the Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium – leaves them with a faint playoff pulse.
“You must go on,” Haley said earlier this week. “They aren’t going to cancel the game. So you have to be ready.
“We had been moving in the right direction, and we felt really good about where we were going. Then we lose a couple of core guys that you are kind of shaping your team around. That’s a jolt and a shock to reality.”
Best-case scenario, then: Orton makes his appearance next week, with five games left in the regular season. As it stands, the Chiefs are tied for last in the AFC West, two games back of the Raiders.
And even if Kansas City finds a way to get by Pittsburgh (and that’s a long shot), their schedule is the league’s toughest for the final month of the season: at the Bears, at the Jets, Packers, Raiders, at the Broncos.
So even if Orton plays like it’s 2010, where he ranked 12th in Football Outsiders’ QB efficiency metrics (3,653 passing yards, 20 TDs, 9 INTs) — which put him just ahead of Michael Vick, Cassel and Eli Manning — it won’t be enough to get the Chiefs back to the playoffs.
Patrick Allen is VP of Content for the FanSided Network. He also serves the managing editor of the network's very first site, Arrowhead Addict. Originally from Ohio, Patrick is a Chiefs fan first and a Browns fan second (I know!). He also pulls for the Buckeyes, Indians and Cavs. Guinness is thinking of naming him the most miserable sports fan of all time. @rpatrickallen