The Chiefs 2011 season was anything but predictable.
Who would have thought that Kyle Orton, who began the year as Denver’s Opening Day starter, would close the season as Kansas City’s starting quarterback in Denver?
Who would have thought that Jackie Battle would end up leading the team in rushing yards? What about the injuries? The in-season coaching change?
And who could have predicted that Richard Seymour would block two field goals in Week 16 to end Kansas City’s bid to repeat as AFC West Champions? Who would have predicted that the Chiefs would even be in a late-December playoff push after the way the team started the season?
The 2011 Kansas City Chiefs turned in quite the year. If anything, it was always worth watching to see what would happen next.
From Derrick Johnson’s 179-tackle season to Ryan Succop making 22 consecutive field goals, a number of Chiefs established personal-bests during a wild season of ups and downs.
Here’s a look some of the personal milestones, both big and small, that Chiefs players established during the 2011 season.
T Branden Albert started all 16 games at left tackle for the first time in his career. Albert has now started 60 games at left tackle for the Chiefs since joining the team as a first-round pick in the 2008 draft.
CB Javier Arenas set a career-high, averaging 12.8 yards per punt return to rank first in the AFC and third in the NFL behind Chicago’s Devin Hester (16.2 avg.) and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson (15.9 avg.). Arenas also scored the first touchdown of his NFL career on an seven-yard TD run out of the Wildcat formation at Oakland. Defensively, Arenas recorded a career-high with two interceptions.
G/C Jon Asamoah became a regular starter in his second NFL season, opening all 16 games for the Chiefs at right guard.
DL Allen Bailey appeared in all 16 games as a rookie and recorded his first-career sack in a 19-14 win vs. Green Bay.
WR Jonathan Baldwin tallied 21 catches for 254 yards as a rookie. His first-career touchdown reception was a 39-yard beauty in a 23-20 overtime win vs. San Diego on Monday Night Football.
RB Jackie Battle set career-bests across the board in his fifth NFL season. Battle led the Chiefs in rushing with a career-high 149 carries for 597 yards, while averaging a career-high 4.0 yards per carry. His two touchdown runs represented a career-best and so did his nine catches for 68 yards. Battle made the first start of his NFL career on Halloween night against the Chargers.
LB Jovan Belcher started all 16 games at inside linebacker and finished second on the team with a career-high 120 tackles (86 solo).
WR Dwayne Bowe led the team in receptions (81), receiving yards (1,159) and receiving touchdowns (5) for the second consecutive season. He’s now churned out three 1,000-yard receiving seasons (2008, 2010-11), trailing only Tony Gonzalez (4) for the most in franchise history. Bowe is only the fourth player in team history to record back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
WR Steve Breaston started a career-high 13 games and finished second on the team in receptions (61), receiving yards (785) and receiving touchdowns (2). Breaston’s two-touchdown game at Indianapolis helped the Chiefs erase a 17-point deficit and marked his first-career multi-touchdown game.
CB Jalil Brown led all Chiefs rookies with eight special teams tackles.
CB Brandon Carr started all 16 games at cornerback for a fourth consecutive season and has started 64 straight games since joining the Chiefs as a fifth-round pick in 2008. His 64 starts to begin a career rank second in team history behind DB Gary Barbaro (101). Carr led the team with a career-high four interceptions.
QB Matt Cassel established a career-best 138.9 passer rating in the Chiefs 28-24 win at Indianapolis. Cassel finished that game completing 21 of 29 passes for 257 yards with four touchdowns.
P Dustin Colquitt’s 40.15 net punting average in 2011 moved him past Oakland’s Shane Lechler for the highest career net punting average of any punter since the NFL merger. Colquitt’s career net punting average stands at 38.90 following the 2011 season. Lechler is just behind Colquitt with a career net punting average of 38.84 yards.
CB Travis Daniels set a career-high with two interceptions as a reserve defensive back.
DE Glenn Dorsey tied his previous career-best with 60 tackles to lead all Chiefs defensive linemen.
CB Brandon Flowers tied his previous career-best to finish fifth on the team with 81 tackles (53 solo). His four interceptions tied for the team lead with Brandon Carr.
DE Wallace Gilberry set a career-high with three passes defensed (batted balls) and tied a career-high with two forced fumbles.
DL Amon Gordon recorded the first sack of his seven-season NFL career on Monday Night Football at New England. He finished the year playing in all 16 games for the first time and set career-highs with 20 tackles and 2.0 sacks.
LB Cory Greenwood led the team in special teams tackles for the first time of his career. He finished the season with a career-best 15 special teams stops and also recorded his first career defensive tackle in the season opener vs. Buffalo.
OLB Tamba Hali was selected to his first Pro Bowl after becoming the fourth Chief to register double-digit sacks in back-to-back seasons. He finished second in the AFC with 12.0 sacks. Hali also led the team with four forced fumbles and set a career-high with 83 tackles (68 solo).
WR Jeremy Horne played in a career-high nine games as a reserve wide receiver and logged his first NFL carry on a five-yard reverse. He also returned kickoffs for the first time of his career, registering two returns for 44 yards.
OLB Justin Houston started 10 games as a rookie to finish second on the team with 5.5 sacks. He established a career-high with 3.0 sacks against the Bears. Houston’s 5.5 sacks tied for the fifth-highest total by a rookie in Chiefs history.
OL Rodney Hudson started the first game of his NFL career at left guard vs. Pittsburgh.
DE Tyson Jackson posted a career-best 52 tackles (42 solo) and tied career-highs in sacks (1.0), pressures (5) and batted passes (2).
LB Derrick Johnson was selected to his first-career Pro Bowl after recording the highest single-season tackle total in Chiefs history. Johnson’s 179 tackles broke the previous record of 162 set by Mike Maslowski in 2002. Johnson also set a career-high with 13 pressures and became one of only nine players in franchise history to record 700 or more career tackles.
Also, Johnson’s 326 tackles from 2010-11 passed Gary Spani (306 tackles from 1979-80) for the most tackles by a Chief in consecutive seasons.
S Reshard Langford made his first NFL start vs. Green Bay and played in a career-high 11 games. He finished the season with a career-best 14 tackles.
S Kendrick Lewis started all 16 games for the first time of his career and totaled a career-best 83 tackles (53 solo). He also tied a career-high with three interceptions and returned a Kyle Boller interception 59 yards for his first career touchdown at Oakland. Lewis finished his second NFL season with a career-high 11 passes defensed as well.
T Steve Maneri played in a career-high six games and made his first NFL start as an extra tight end vs. Pittsburgh. He also caught his first NFL pass in that game.
RB Dexter McCluster played in all 16 games for the first time of his career and set career-highs with 114 carries for 516 yards and 43 catches for 303 yards. He scored his first NFL rushing touchdown on a 21-yard run at Denver. McCluster also averaged a career-high 22.3 yards per kickoff return.
S Jon McGraw recorded a career-high 60 tackles (36 solo) and also established a career-best with three interceptions.
TE Jake O’Connell set career-highs with seven receptions for 52 yards while making four starts.
QB Kyle Orton posted his 12th career game with a 100.0 passer rating in the Chiefs upset of undefeated Green Bay. Orton completed 23 of 31 passes for 299 yards in the win.
QB Tyler Palko made his first NFL start against on Monday Night Football at New England and threw his first NFL touchdown pass at Chicago. Palko saw the most extensive playing time of his four-year NFL career, completing 80 of 134 passes for 796 yards with two TDs and seven INTs.
TE Leonard Pope caught a career-high 24 passes for 247 yards and established a single-game best with 72 receiving yards vs. Green Bay.
T Barry Richardson started all 16 games at right tackle for a second consecutive season. He’s now started 32 games in a row for the Chiefs.
OLB Cameron Sheffield played in all 16 games after missing his entire rookie season with a neck injury. He finished with eight tackles and two special teams stops.
OLB Andy Studebaker started a career-high five games at outside linebacker. He also forced his first fumble and recorded the first fumble recovery of his career on Philip Rivers’ fumbled snap late in the fourth quarter vs. San Diego on Monday Night Football.
K Ryan Succop had a career-long streak of 22 consecutive field goals made starting vs. Minnesota (10/2) before having a kick blocked vs. Oakland (12/24). That streak tied Pete Stoyanovich for the longest made field goal streak in Chiefs history.
DB Donald Washington tallied a career-best 30 tackles (18 solo) while making a career-high three starts. He also logged his first-career forced fumble.
C Casey Wiegmann started his 175th consecutive game at center in the Chiefs season finale at Denver and ends the year having played in 11,162 consecutive snaps. Wiegmann’s consecutive snap streak began on September 23, 2001.