Kansas City Chiefs (0-0) vs. Atlanta Falcons (0-0)
Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012 - 12:00 p.m. CT Arrowhead Stadium
Thom Brennaman- Color Commentator: Brian Billick - Sideline Reporter: Laura Okmin
Chiefs FOX Football Radio Network - KCFX-FM (101.1 FM in Kansas City)
Play-by-play: Mitch Holthus - Color Commentator: Len Dawson - Sideline Reporter: Kendall Gammon
Chiefs Spanish Radio
La Gran D (1340 AM) - Play-by-Play: Enrique Morales - Color Commentator: Oscar Monterroso - Sideline Reporter: Ricardo Soto
THIS WEEK'S MATCHUP
Kansas City and Atlanta begin the 2012 regular season with a 12 p.m. Sunday matchup at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs and Falcons meet for the first time since 2008 and in Kansas City for the first time since 2004.
The Chiefs are coming off a 1-3 preseason that began with a victory over Arizona and was followed by losses at St. Louis, vs. Seattle and at Green Bay. Atlanta also finished 1-3 in the preseason with losses vs. Baltimore and Cincinnati followed by a win at Miami and a loss at Jacksonville.
In 2012, the Chiefs return key starters S Eric Berry, QB Matt Cassel, RB Jamaal Charles and TE Tony Moeaki, who all suffered season-ending injuries at various times during the 2011 season.
Cassel and Charles return to lead an offense that will feature WRs Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston, Jon Baldwin and Dexter McCluster in addition to Moeaki. TE Kevin Boss, RB Peyton Hillis and T Eric Winston all joined the team as free agents during the offseason and should contribute to the offense immediately. C Rodney Hudson takes over for Casey Wiegmann, who retired following last season.
On defense, LB Derrick Johnson leads the way for Kansas City after setting a franchise record with 179 tackles (131 solo) last year. DEs Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson return and welcome the addition of fi rst-round pick (11th overall) DT Dontari Poe. Johnson is joined on the inside by last year’s second-leading tackler LB Jovan Belcher, who recorded 120 tackles (86 solo) in 2011.
At cornerback, Brandon Flowers returns after tying for the team-lead with four interceptions that he returned for 95 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown. CB Stanford Routt will line up opposite of Flowers after joining the Chiefs as a free agent following seven seasons in the AFC West with the Oakland Raiders. Berry steps back in at safety after missing nearly all of last season with a knee injury. In 2010, he became the first Chiefs player since LB Derrick Thomas in 1989 to earn a Pro Bowl selection following his rookie season when he set a franchise safety record with 126 tackles and returned four interceptions for 102 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown.
Specialists P Dustin Colquitt, K Ryan Succop and LS Thomas Gafford return and form one of the most consistent trios in the league. Succop has led the Chiefs in scoring in each of his three seasons and was twice named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week last year. Colquitt is the franchise leader in nearly all punting categories while Gafford has handled all long snapping duties since 2008.
CHIEFS-FALCONS SERIES HISTORY
Sunday’s contest marks the eighth overall meeting between Kansas City and Atlanta. The Chiefs own a 5-2 (.714) advantage in the series but the Falcons have won two of the last three meetings. From 1972-94, Kansas City was 4-0 against Atlanta.
In the most recent meeting on Sept. 21, 2008, the Falcons won 38-14 at the Georgia Dome behind 104 rushing yards and three TDs by RB Michael Turner. WR Roddy White added fi ve receptions for 119 yards, including a 70-yard TD from QB Matt Ryan in that contest. WR Dwayne Bowe caught four passes for 43 yards, including a 15-yard TD for the Chiefs.
In the last game between both teams at Arrowhead on Oct. 24, 2004, Kansas City set an NFL record with two running backs - Priest Holmes and Derrick Blaylock - each recording four rushing TDs in a 56-10 victory. All four of Holmes’ TDs came in the fi rst half while Blaylock scored one in the fi rst half and the final three TDs of the game in the second half.
During the fi nal week of the 2000 season, Atlanta defeated Kansas City 29-13 in a game where RB Jamal Anderson rushed for 107 yards. TE Tony Gonzalez, now a member of the Falcons, led all receivers that afternoon with fi ve catches for 86 yards and a TD for the Chiefs.