Star-studded Chiefs rely heavily on late-round gems, too
– It was an easy decision for Daniel Sorensen to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent. No fewer than 22 players drafted in the third round or later — or not all — are on the Chiefs roster as they finish their prep work for the Super Bowl. The Chiefs have won consistently for the better part of a decade, with a roster dotted by more stars than there are in the nighttime sky. When injuries popped up on the offensive line, the Chiefs plugged a big hole with Nick Allegretti, a seventh-round pick in 2019. “When they're looking for guys to add to our roster,” Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck said, “they're looking for guys that love football, love to compete.
Rams' Goff dislocates thumb, Jets' Gore has chest injury
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)Jared Goff popped his dislocated right thumb thumb back into place and kept playing. “It’s OK right now," said Goff, who was 23 of 42 for 224 yards and an interception in the Rams' 20-9 loss at Seattle on Sunday. In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Frank Gore ran his way to another career milestone and then was forced to watch the New York Jets' second win from the sideline. — Baltimore center Patrick Mekari left the Ravens' 27-13 win over the New York Giants with a back injury. — Carolina left tackle Trent Scott left early in the third quarter of the Panthers' 20-13 win over Washington with a shoulder injury and did not return.
Chiefs clinch No. 1 seed when Falcons' Koo misses late FG
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is tackled by Atlanta Falcons Foyesade Oluokun during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Kansas City. The Chiefs had to watch as Pro Bowl kicker Younghoe Koo missed a tying field-goal attempt with 9 seconds left to escape. The Falcons (4-11) took the lead when Matt Ryan hit Laquon Treadwell for a 5-yard touchdown with 4:33 to go. Kansas City finally took its first lead on Harrison Butker's 53-yard field goal with 14:08 left in the game. The Falcons squandered their first chance to match the points when Brandon Powell coughed up the ball deep in Kansas City territory.
Browns short-handed as they face Jets
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)The Cleveland Browns are short-handed as they try to clinch the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2002, the longest active drought in the NFL. They learned Sunday morning they will be without starting rookie left tackle Jedrick Wills against the New York Jets because of an illness. The Browns will be missing receivers Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and KhaDarel Hodge and linebacker Jacob Phillips. The Indianapolis Colts will be without both starting offensive tackles when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers. This comes after they placed LB Whitney Mercilus on the COVID list on Christmas.
Chiefs lead AP Pro32 poll; Packers at No. 2, Bills at No. 3
The Chiefs took a 30-10 lead against Miami and held on for a 33-27 victory. The Chiefs clinched their fifth straight AFC West title with the victory and are the unanimous No. “Is there anybody in the NFC that can beat them?”And the surging Buffalo Bills also moved up two places to No. The Packers, who have clinched the NFC North, will host the Carolina Panthers and the Bills will head to Denver to take on the Broncos. The Saints will try to avoid a two-game skid as they host the Chiefs on Sunday.