Top 5 Headlines 12/22: How the Chiefs Can Make the Playoffs

Daily headlines to keep you up-to-date on the latest Chiefs news from local and national media

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1. How the Chiefs Can Make the Playoffs

By BJ Kissel - kcchiefs.com

"Despite losing four of their last five games, the Kansas City Chiefs (8-7) are still alive in the AFC playoff picture.

But after Sunday's 20-12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5), they are no longer in control of their chances at back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in 20 years."    READ MORE…

Chiefs vs. Steelers

Kansas City Chiefs vs the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 21, 2014

2. Chiefs Blitz: A look at the good, the bad and the ugly from Sunday's loss to the Steelers

By Terez Paylor - The Kansas City Star

"1. How big of a problem is Alex Smith's arm strength?

The impetus for this question is Smith's inexcusable overthrow of a wide-open Albert Wilson on a post route in the first half. This marks the second week in a row Wilson could have scored a touchdown with a better throw on that route. It was not pretty, and it is an example of Smith's limitations. However, the Chiefs knew what Smith was when they signed him to an extension before the season. He's a caretaker who makes good decisions and needs ample talent around him to maximize that strength. The Chiefs have not provided him with that this season, particularly up front. And while Wilson and Jason Avant have given the team some juice at receiver in recent weeks, the receiving corps could still be better. The belief here about Smith still hasn't changed — they can win with him — but throws like that, and other wobbly downfield passes Sunday, have to shake his believers' confidence.

  1. Why didn't Jamaal Charles get the ball more?

Charles finished the game with 14 touches for 77 yards, which isn't quite enough for a star player in a gotta-have-it game. But the answer to this is simple: He's hurt. Charles could be seen limping slightly on the sideline on at least one occasion Sunday, and he's been listed on the injury report with knee and ankle injuries all week long."    READ MORE…

3. Kansas City's Alex Smith passed for a season-high 311 yards but was sacked six times.

By AP - kcchiefs.com

"Ben Roethlisberger passed for 220 yards and a touchdown, Le'Veon Bell added a score and the Pittsburgh Steelers locked up a postseason berth with a methodical 20-12 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Pittsburgh (10-5) faces Cincinnati next week for the AFC North title. Either way, the Steelers will be playing January football for the first time since Tim Tebow and Denver stunned the defending AFC champions in the wild-card round three years ago."    READ MORE…

4. They might yet sneak into playoffs, but Chiefs failed in pledge to 'finish'

By Sam Mellinger - The Kansas City Star

"The locker room is quiet and without answers, and you could say the same about the Chiefs' season.

Another strong start is being tossed down the drain by another limping finish. They spent the entire offseason talking about their focus on finishing. Remember that? They made it their mantra, and turned it into a theme for 2014 after that 9-0 start in 2013 dissolved into a 2-5 finish and historic collapse in the playoffs."    READ MORE…

5. Chiefs playoff hopes dim in 20-12 loss to Steelers

By Will Graves - The Washington Times

"Andy Reid refused to take the easy path. His aggressive decision made Kansas City's fading road to the postseason decidedly more difficult.

Needing all of an inch on fourth down deep in Pittsburgh territory late in the first half Sunday, Reid ordered the Chiefs to go for it. Alex Smith stuffed the ball into Jamaal Charles' gut. The Steelers stuffed Charles right back into Smith."    READ MORE…

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